After its successful first year at the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena, the Culligan City of Palms Classic has signed a new contract with Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW) to host the nation’s premiere boys’ high school tournament for another five years. Tickets are on sale now for the beloved winter tradition, which will run Dec. 18 to 23 for its 45th year, at cityofpalmsclassic.com/tickets.
In 2016, the Culligan City of Palms Classic moved from its 22-year home at Bishop Verot Catholic High School, where its growth was on track to exceed that school’s capacity. The new 75,000-square-foot, 3,300-seat Suncoast Credit Union Arena was chosen for its ability to accommodate the growing tournament well into the future. In the first year at its new home, the tournament issued 15,000 tickets, representing a 50-percent increase over the previous year.
Culligan City of Palms Executive Director John Naylor said, “The continued success of the tournament is a reflection of the local community’s pride in this hometown commitment. When it was named Edison Community College, FSW hosted the Classic from 1973-83 and then again in 1990 and 1993. We remain extremely grateful to Bishop Verot for growing the tournament for more than two decades. It’s safe to say that basketball teams and fans all around the country think of great basketball when they think of Fort Myers.”
Culligan returns for its fifth year as Title Sponsor, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car is Presenting Sponsor for the fourth year. In 2015, official apparel & game ball provider, Nike, gave the Culligan City of Palms Classic its blessing to integrate its iconic “swoosh” into the tournament’s elegant new logo.
No fees are collected from players and teams, and Classic Basketball Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation that acts as a foundation for the tournament, covers all expenses for the players. For many of the players, the tournament represents their first opportunity to travel outside their own city.
One hundred forty-six Culligan City of Palms Classic players have been named McDonald’s All-Americans and 116 have been drafted by the NBA since 1989, including 71 first-round picks. Fifty-five are current NBA stars and 120 are current NCAA Power 7 conference stars.
Visit cityofpalmsclassic.com for all the information on this not-for-profit tournament featuring the top-ranked players and teams, including visitor information, ticket sales, schedule, team information, history, sponsors and sponsorship opportunities, eNewsletter signup, a tournament bracket, scores and stats, information on how to lend financial support as a Friend of the Classic, and much more.