BCA Open 9-ball Championships to remain in Las Vegas

Colorado Springs, Colorado: The Billiard Congress of America [BCA] and BCA Pool League [BCAPL] have signed an agreement in which the BCA's professional 9-Ball event and Billiard Education Foundation [BEF] Challenge the Stars fundraiser will continue at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas through at least 2008.

“There's a natural fit between these two tournaments, and we wanted to build upon the success we've achieved over the years,” said BCA Executive Director Stephen Ducoff. “The BCA National 8-Ball Championships draws a huge field, and these players provide an enthusiastic and appreciative audience for the top professionals. The excitement of the crowd really comes through when you watch the event on ESPN.”

The BCA 9-Ball Championships features top men and women professionals from around the globe with semi-finals and finals taped for later broadcast on ESPN. The inaugural tournament was held in 1999, with TV production starting that same year. With each successive year, ESPN has replayed the matches with increasing frequency based on the solid billiard fan base. The 2004 matches received a record 64 hours of airtime, with the 2005 matches scheduled for 30 hours just through October alone.

Concurrent to the professional event is the BCA National 8-Ball Championships. The tournament and supporting league system, operated by Mark Griffin, continue to run a growing league system and host a world-class amateur 8-Ball event that encompasses 17 divisions and a wide variety of special events and programs. In 2005, the league system sanctioned more than 50,000 players with over 6,500 participating in the championships.

“We're very pleased that the BCA pro event will stay with us at the Riviera for at least the next three years,” said BCAPL owner Mark Griffin. “The tournament adds value to our players' experience and the BEF Challenge the Stars fundraiser is a great opportunity for the amateur and pro players to exchange some great shots and raise money for a good cause. Our dates are set with the Riviera through 2012, and we hope the pro event can be with us every year.” Griffin added that “[the BCAPL] … has had a tremendous amount of support from players and League Operators since the transfer took effect, and we want to provide continuity and ‘pride of ownership' in the BCA name.”

The dates for the next BCA National 8-Ball Championships are May 12-20, 2006. The professional event runs concurrent to the amateur tournament and is held in the east end of the Royale Pavilion of the Riviera Hotel & Casino.