Syracuse Taking New Measures To Remain Relevant In N.Y. Market Amid Move To ACC
Syracuse Univ. "still wants to be New York's college team," but as the school's men's basketball program prepares to open its first season as a member of the ACC on Friday, it "faces a significant challenge: trying to stay relevant in its most important market when most of its new opponents play south of the Mason-Dixon Line," according to Jared Diamond of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. SU as a member of the Big East faced St. John's, Seton Hall and Rutgers "every year, effectively guaranteeing a game or two in the metropolitan area." The regular season "always ended" at MSG with the Big East tournament. Now "all that is gone." If SU still wants to "call itself 'New York's college team,' it is going to have to work for it harder than ever before." SU had been "synonymous with the Big East tournament, with Madison Square Garden serving as their unofficial second home." SU used the Big East tournament, and MSG, as "a destination for its fans to gather." SU AD Daryl Gross has "taken temporary measures to try to keep the school's fan base in New York engaged." SU will play a nonconference game at MSG against St. John's on Dec. 15, followed by a contest against former Big East rival Villanova at the Carrier Dome on Dec. 28. Gross said SU "will be in New York City every year, starting this year." But he added that an "annual regular-season game or even an occasional Thanksgiving tournament at the Garden 'doesn't take the place of the Big East tournament'" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/8).