Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tourney Site Decesion Near; PruCenter out

It looks like only three venues, and not four, will be considered for hosting future conference post-season tournaments when presidents from league schools meet on Monday to decide where the event will be played in 2012, '13 and '14.

My good friend and one of college basketball's best beat reporters Pete Iorizzo of the Albany Times Union, has reported on his blog that the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., which had submitted a proposal to host the tournament, has withdrawn from consideration.

That's probably a good move since the last time the event was held in that area (at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J.), attendance was its lowest since the late 1980's.

You can find Pete's blog report here:

Still in the running are the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y., the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn., and the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

It says here that the Times Union Center makes the most sense by far, but league presidents won't be considering the opinion of this particular blogger.

The Springfield facility has no "home" team, meaning tournament attendance is likely to be negatively affected by mere logistics.

Actually, Siena is the closest school to the MassMutual Center, about 95 miles away and just over a 90-minute ride there.

Next closest is Fairfield, about an hour and 45-minute ride, followed by Marist (listed as a tw0-hour, 15-minute ride to Springfield by mapquest).

Otherwise, it's a lengthy trip for the other seven conference schools.

Then, the Bridgeport facility is scheduled to host the tournament in 2011. That means if it's also awarded the event for the up-for-grabs three-year block in question then it would host for four consecutive seasons.

Hard to believe the tournament would break away from the Albany arena for four consecutive years, particularly since that facility has had considerable success hosting it, while the Bridgeport arena did not approach attendance figures, in its lone hosting duty, routinely recorded by the TUC.

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