SBD/March 27, 2014/Events and Attractions

With ACC's Move To Barclays Center In '17-18, A-10 Searching For New Host Sites

Venues in DC, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia potentially could host the tournament
A-10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade said she has had "great interest" from venues in the footprint of the conference to host the men's basketball tournament in '17 and '18, according to Tim Pearrell of the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH. The conference is searching for a new venue after the ACC yesterday formally announced it would play its '17 and '18 men's basketball tournament at Barclays Center. Potential sites include DC, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Sources said that Richmond Coliseum "likely won’t be considered." McGlade said that the league is "open to holding the tournament at different sites" in '17 and ’18. Meanwhile, the "tradeoff for the A-10 moving out of the Barclays Center a year early" is that its tournament will return there for '19-21, "and it will play the ACC in doubleheaders" there during the '15-17 regular seasons. The A-10 also will "place teams in the annual Brooklyn Hoops events at the Barclays Center." ACC Commissioner John Swofford said that one doubleheader "will be played each year in December, and in all probability, the event will be televised by ESPN" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 3/27).

WHERE TO? In Philadelphia, Jonathan Tannenwald wrote there is "quite a bit of speculation (or at least hope) that Philadelphia will put its hat in the ring" to host the A-10 tourney. McGlade "also spoke highly" of the Palestra, which is the 86-year-old venue at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. But "some observers have questioned whether the Palestra has the ancillary amenities necessary to host a conference tournament." The "media room and press seating areas are small" and there "isn't any premium seating." But Penn's "recent multimillion-dollar renovation of the facilities adjacent to the Palestra have created more modern ancillary spaces for events” (PHILLY.com, 3/26). In Providence, Kevin McNamara writes the "preeminent theory is that the conference would prefer to continue holding its marquee event in big city, NBA-sized arenas" like the Verizon Center in DC, Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia or even Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. However, "no session of the A-10 tourney" at Barclays Center this year "drew more than 11,000 fans so there is thought" that a building like the 12,500-seat Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence "would be a better fit for the conference." Dunkin' Donuts Center GM Larry Lepore said, "Once the bid process comes out, we'd be interested." McGlade said that the conference is "working on putting together a request for proposals" for the '17 and ’18 tournaments (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 3/27).

POWER SHIFT: In N.Y., Zach Braziller writes the "balance of power has shifted, from Madison Square Garden to Barclays Center, when it comes to the local basketball scene." Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said there is a "paradigm shift going on in the marketplace." He added that Barclays Center is "in talks with the NCAA to host a regional or sub-regional round in the coming years." Yormark: "We've become the go-to place for basketball in this marketplace." Yormark said that Barclays Center "was also in discussions with the Big Ten, but felt the ACC, because of its new additions, made more sense." Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman said that the ACC Tournament coming to N.Y. "doesn't necessarily infringe on the Big East's product." Ackerman: "I think very little (of it). ... It makes sense to me that the ACC, given their current member composition, would want to rotate through New York periodically" (N.Y. POST, 3/27).
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