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Volume 25 No. 108

Events and Attractions

The Big Ten men's basketball tournament will continue to rotate through Chicago and Indianapolis through '22, but after that, there is a chance it "could be played in other cities within the conference's Midwest footprint, including Detroit," according to Matt Charboneau of the DETROIT NEWS. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, "There will be other opportunities for other cities to express interest. There's no plan -- Indianapolis and Chicago, great cities -- but there will be a competitive environment and others will have a chance to comment on their interest in the out years." With the opening of Little Caesars Arena, Detroit has become a "more attractive city to big events." Former Michigan State AD Mark Hollis often has "pushed Detroit for big events." Hollis: "There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be considered for Big Ten championships; there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be considered a site for the NCAA regionals" (DETROIT NEWS, 10/12).

ANOTHER BITE OF THE APPLE? Delany: "We’ve talked to (Madison Square Garden) about the future. We’ve presented them with a powerful, promotional plan that we think ... can elevate it to the next level with regard to college basketball postseason competition." In New Jersey, Jerry Carino notes the Big East already has conference championship week at MSG "locked up" through '26. That is why last year, when the Big Ten played its men’s hoops tourney in N.Y. for the first time, the event "took place before championship week." Big Ten coaches were "widely displeased with the early dates." Long term, Delany said, “We’ll have probably 80 percent (of the years) in the Midwestern region and 20 percent out East" (ASBURY PARK PRESS, 10/12).

Federer (l) and Djokovic both have said that the timing of the revamped Davis Cup is not ideal
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

There are "serious doubts about the participation of several top players" in next year’s revamped Davis Cup after it "emerged that Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic refused to commit despite being offered wild cards," according to Stuart Fraser of the LONDON TIMES. Great Britain and Argentina were announced as the "beneficiaries of the controversial new wild-card entry route," in which a four- person panel "selects two nations to bypass the qualifying round in February." It is understood, however, that Switzerland and Serbia were the "preferred choices until it became clear from Federer and Djokovic that they were still unsure whether they wanted to play" in the 18-team event in Madrid next year from Nov. 18-24. Alexander Zverev, from Germany, also confirmed that he will "not appear in the new-style Davis Cup because of its place in the schedule at the end of a long season." Zverev: "In November (after the ATP Finals), I do not want to play tennis any more. All the top guys will say the same thing." He added, "Making a tournament at the end of November, it’s crazy. By the end of the year, we are all tired." Fraser noted it will be "disastrous for the ITF" if the inaugural edition of the new Davis Cup is "missing several leading players" (LONDON TIMES, 10/11). Federer said the new Davis Cup was "not designed for me." He added, "This was designed for the future generation of players." Meanwhile, Djokovic said the timing of the Davis Cup was "really bad." He said, "I will priortise the World Team Cup because that's a competition of ATP" (AFP, 10/11).

EYEING THE CALENDAR: WTA CEO Steve Simon said his circuit "would love to have a team competition on the women’s side" similar to the Laver Cup. Simon: “The challenge with it is … we have an extremely full calendar, and I don’t want to shove an event within the calendar that has a detrimental effect on the other (events).” The WTA is “certainly open at looking at these,” but Simon wants to “make sure it is integrated within the calendar that makes sense from a flow perspective” (“Beyond The Baseline,” SI.com, 10/11).