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SBD/October 8, 2013/CollegesPrint All
UConn yesterday confirmed that Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn., "will be the site of regular season basketball games this season," according to John Altavilla of the HARTFORD COURANT. The UConn men's team will play Eastern Washington on Dec. 28 at 1:00pm ET, while the women's team will play Temple on Jan. 11 at 12:00pm. This will be the first time in women's coach Geno Auriemma's tenure that UConn "will host a regular season home game in any place other than Storrs or Hartford," and it will be the "first time since 1987 ... that the men's program has traveled south in Connecticut." The agreement is "for one season, but there is every reason to believe that more games could follow." UConn AD Warde Manuel said, "We'll see where it all goes in the future, in terms of how many games we might play here. But this is something I personally wanted to do." Altavilla reports this plan has "been in the works for nearly two years." UConn has "long been interested in accommodating Fairfield County boosters by scheduling games near them, but had been unable to do so because of a contract with the XL Center that prohibited off-campus home games in any other venue." That contract expired after last season (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/8). In Connecticut, Chris Elsberry notes former UConn AD Jeff Hathaway "always said the right things when asked about the subject of playing in Bridgeport, but never did anything." Once Manuel took the job in February '12, the "conversations started to get more constructive." It "didn't take a rocket scientist to see that Husky fans packed the building when the UConn women played here in the NCAA tournament" (CONNECTICUT POST, 10/8).