Mountain West Studying Possible Move Of Basketball Tourney To San Diego In '20
Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson said that a subcommittee is "investigating various options" for the '20 men's basketball tournament, one of which is bringing it to San Diego State's Viejas Arena for "one and possibly three years," according to Mark Zeigler of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The MWC's contract to play the tournament at Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center expires in '19. Thompson said that Phoenix also has "shown interest as a neutral site, but it is 250 miles" from the closest MWC school. Another option is "moving the tournament a week earlier to avoid CONEXPO-CON/AGG, an international trade show for the construction industry held every three years in March in Las Vegas." But holding the tournament a week earlier "would force the regular season to start before Christmas -- something coaches are not keen to do." Thompson said that surveys of MWC fans "found they take vacation for the conference tournament and they want to go somewhere warm." So the "three options" are San Diego, Phoenix or stay in Vegas. Thomas & Mack has "hosted the tournament" for 15 of the MWC's 18 seasons. The other three were "played on a neutral floor in Denver, but attendance was so low it returned to Las Vegas" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/19).
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany this morning at the conference's basketball media day said that he would "like the league tournament sites to have about an '80/20 split' between the Midwest and East Coast." In Omaha, Jon Nyatawa notes that means MSG "is a possibility" to host the Big Ten Tournament again following this March's edition. The tourney already has been pegged for Chicago in '19 and '21 and Indianapolis in '20 and '22 (OMAHA.com, 10/19).