The availability of the MAAC tournament for a single facility to host for a three-year block (2012-14) wasn't the only basketball news to come from the league's Council of Presidents meetinging.
That group discussed plans to make the 2009 and 2010 tournaments, both at Albany's times Union Center, more of a neutral environment.
The facility serves as the home court for the Siena men's team during regular-season play, and traditionally retains a strong Saints' flavor during the tournament.
The league hopes that adding additional team purchase options for seats within the center court sections of the arena's lower bowl will help create a more neutral environment. In other words, some Siena ticket holders who have center court section seating for regular-season games will be displaced for the tournament.
"It's actually to the area's benefit to have the arena become a more neutral setting," said Ensor. "Presidents of our individual schools don't want the event always to be played in a hostile environment for their teams."
Hostile environment, or not, Siena has only captured the MAAC tournament title twice in the 13 years the event has been played in Albany.
The league will also offer a maximum of six "premium" courtside seats to each of the 10 participating schools. It will also change signage around the top of the facility's mid-court scoreboard and at entrance doors and windows to reflect a MAAC flavor.
"We'll take out anything that has a Siena look to it both on the court and around it for the tournament," added Ensor.
Ensor also indicated that ticket sales for the 2009 event are ahead of 2008 sales thus far.
"I don't know exact numbers, but we have more money in the bank (for the 2009 event) than we did at this point last year," he said.
you want to increase turnout and revenue for the MAAC??
Why doesnt Ensor start at home with that AWFULL basketball program at his alma matar St Peters. St Peters and Canisius in particular have been an anchor for the league for some time.
Noone cares if a program has low points but these two basketball programs are flat out embarrasments.
I agree with Paul that the MAAC needs to do something about the bottom feeders of the league. The league really needs to establish a "competitiveness" floor. I think the league needs to establish a "competitiveness" standard based on the NCAA DI RPI and SOS. For example, if a school's average RPI and SOS falls below the 75th percentile over a two year period, then the school would be put on probation and required to make certain improvements to their program. And if below the 75th percentile over a four year period, then the league should take steps to revoke MAAC membership.
Given that the almighty dollar appears to be dictating the decision-making of Ensor and the University Presidents, they have to recognize that the bottom feeders are having a negative financial impact on the MAAC's postseason returns. By dragging down the overall RPI and SOS for the league the bottom-feeders are impacting postseason invitations and seedings. Case in point is Rider last year not getting an invite to the NIT and Niagara competing the NCAA PIG two years ago.
Plus the bottom-feeders impact the media's perception of the league keeping us at the low major level whereas the top programs are clearly mid major programs making it difficult to gain media attention.
It should be noted that while Siena may not have stacked up a string of titles because of their hosting the tournament, there have been several years when they went a little further than expected simply because they were playing at home.
Post a Comment