“He was saying they would be interested and to keep him updated,” Williams said of Tech coach Josh Pastner.
Said Pastner, “We’re open to everything, but we can’t do anything until we hear what the NCAA and ACC tell us what’s going on.”
The Hawks, which operate State Farm Arena, are having discussions with various parties about bubble events, but no decisions have been made, a team spokesman told the AJC.
Williams envisions possibly two different eight-team bubbles in which each team could play four games over the course of six days. Williams' plan also includes the teams staying at the Omni Atlanta Hotel by the CNN Center, which would enable players to walk to the arena without going outside. Teams also could make use of the practice court at the arena. COVID-19 testing would be provided, he said.
“We kind of have the perfect scenario for it to happen,” Williams said.
Williams said the 10 teams originally scheduled to play in the event are interested, although it’s likely each would be looking for games against mid-major opponents, as well. But if any teams back out, Williams has had calls from teams nationwide showing interest.
“It can almost be a plug-and-play type deal,” he said.
It has been a trying year for Williams, who left an IT job with NAPA Auto Parts in September 2019 to go full-time into sports marketing with his wife, Tiffany, forming a company called the VII Group.
“Really, we gambled on ourselves and formed a company, and we had the contracts and created the business, and then COVID hits,” said Williams, who also is an AAU basketball coach.
Not only did COVID-19 impact the event, but he was infected with the coronavirus in late February or early March, he said. He said he lost his sense of taste and smell for four weeks and suffered bad headaches and chills.
“My wife had me quarantined in the basement, dropping my food at the bottom of the basement like Sloth from The Goonies,” Williams said.
Even without ticket revenue, Williams said he is hopeful that he’ll be able to break even on the event. He said ESPN continues to have interest in broadcasting the games and that there are companies that are “right on the cusp of committing” to being sponsors. He already has teams secured for the next two seasons.
“Me and my wife, we’re making it through it all,” he said. “We always say we’ll have a testimony to tell at the end of the year, for sure.”