Washington, DC to host the 2020 DC Paradise Jam presented by the US Virgin Islands
Washington, DC to Host the 2020 DC Paradise Jam Presented by the U.S. Virgin Islands
NCAA Division 1 Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Event to be Played at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from November 26 – 28, 2020
Washington, DC – [October 12, 2020] – Basketball Travelers, Inc. announced today an agreement with Events DC to host the 2020 DC Paradise Jam presented by the U.S. Virgin Islands, an NCAA Division 1 Men’s and Women’s College Basketball event in Washington, DC. This is an annual Thanksgiving tournament organized by Basketball Travelers that is traditionally held in St. Thomas (USVI). Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the new event will be played at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from November 26 – 28, 2020. Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for DC, has been working closely with local DC health officials and Basketball Travelers to develop a safe, secure and controlled environment for the participating athletes.
“Sports have the power to unify and inspire during challenging times – and the 2020 DC Paradise Jam tournament is a prime example of us getting creative and continuing to showcase Washington, DC, not only as the sports capital but as a hotbed for basketball events,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “We couldn’t be more excited to host the Paradise Jam college basketball tournament at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, while prioritizing the health and safety of all the participating athletes, coaches and staff in a controlled environment.”
In an effort to provide a secure and protected environment to host the event, Basketball Travelers and Events DC will continue to work with DC city officials, the local DC health department and MedStar Health to implement comprehensive COVID-19 protocols that will safely welcome participating schools and their athletes for the duration of the tournament. 2020 local DC region participating teams will include George Mason University’s men’s team and George Washington University’s women’s team.
"While we would have liked to keep the tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands, we are pleased to have found a strong partner in Events DC," said Nels Hawkinson, owner of Basketball Travelers. “Safety and security procedures are at the utmost importance and the Events DC, Courtyard/Residence Inn staff and city officials demonstrate the capabilities and commitment to safety that we are looking for in a host city.”
DC-based laboratory, Curative Inc., will administer mandatory and regular COVID-19 PCR tests to participating student-athletes, coaches, officials and staff in accordance with NCAA recommendations and CDC guidelines. Participating universities will be housed at the Courtyard/Residence Inn by Marriott Washington Downtown which is located adjacent to the Convention Center. The hotel will also support university needs from flexible meeting spaces for the teams and their staff to virtual learning spaces for the student-athletes.
In September 2020, Basketball Travelers announced that this year’s Paradise Jam tournament would be in a new reimagined location on the U.S. mainland due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, with no fans in attendance. The rebranded 2020 Paradise Jam will mark the second time that the tournament will be held on the U.S. mainland. In 2017, George Washington University in Washington, DC hosted a portion of the event which was relocated from the U.S. Virgin Islands due to damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
All games will be streamed on the ESPN family of networks. The full list of 2020 participating universities will be announced shortly.
Events DC continues to deploy its COVID-19 venue recovery plan and remains focused on enhancing areas of health and safety, with increased sanitation efforts, cutting-edge wellness technology and new food and beverage services and capabilities, along with comprehensive staff training. Recently, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center was named the first convention center in the northeast corridor to secure the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s® GBAC STAR™, a preeminent cleaning accreditation for facilities. Events DC also serves on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s ReOpen DC Advisory Group, along with distinguished leaders from public health, business (including retail and hospitality), entertainment, and recreation, with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and DC Health.
About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation's capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District's hospitality and tourism economy that hosts more than 1.7 million visitors and generates more than $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, The Fields at RFK Campus, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and the Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Stay current on the 190-acre RFK Campus Redevelopment Project at www.RFKFields.com. Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and the Entertainment and Sports Arena (www.ESAontheRise.com), all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.
About Basketball Travelers
Basketball Travelers is America’s leader in organizing exciting, memorable, and unique tours and tournaments for college and high school teams and their fans. With 35 years of operation, Basketball Travelers has built a reputation as a pioneer in sports travel, logistics and event management for professional, collegiate, and high school athletics. With a staff that consists of former coaches and players, they have an outstanding network of basketball contacts around the world. Beyond organizing competitive, high-level preseason tournaments, Basketball Travelers has taken athletes around the world to countries like Italy, Spain, Russia, Australia, and more to give student-athletes the chance to grow the game of basketball as well as create memories that will last a lifetime beyond their years as competitors.