Missouri Valley Conference Will Keep Arch Madness At Scottrade Center Through '20
The Missouri Valley Conference has "extended its agreement to host its conference tourney" at Scottrade Center through '20, according to Clay Cunningham of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls COURIER. The '20 event will mark the 30th year the conference has held the men's basketball tourney in St. Louis, meaning only the Big East at MSG has held a conference tournament at the same neutral site for a "longer period of time." A key reason for the extension is the "upgrades that have been made" to the arena, including a "new video board and renovations to locker rooms and media work areas." MVC Commissioner Doug Elgin "doesn't see the Valley tournament taking place anywhere else in the foreseeable future." Elgin: "The arena improvements and enhancements that we see taking place right now will certainly keep our tournament in place for a long time to come" (Waterloo-Cedar Falls COURIER, 8/18). Elgin indicated that despite the extension, the conference will "still explore other potential hosts." He said, "When this contract expires, we'll probably send off another RFP to test the Midwestern marketplace to gauge the interest in our tournament." In Illinois, Todd Hefferman notes the MVC "explored other hosts" before signing a three-year extension with the Scottrade Center in '14, including Indianapolis, K.C., Chicago and Las Vegas (THE SOUTHERN ILLINOISAN, 8/18).
TIMING IS EVERYTHING: The AAC yesterday formally announced it will hold its men's basketball tournament in Ft. Worth's soon-to-be-built Dickies Arena from '20-22, and AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco indicated that the announcement "just happened to coincide" with the death of Texas' bathroom bill. He said, "We weren't certain that was going to happen, and I'm glad that it did, but we had planned the announcement for this week." Aresco noted that Ft. Worth officials visited the conference's HQ in Newport, R.I., to "make the pitch for the event" in front of all 12 AAC ADs and that Dickies Arena "beat out five or six other venues." He pointed out the "ease for fans and schools to travel to Fort Worth, along with its relatively close proximity to several conference schools" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/18).