ACC, A-10 strike deal to get ACC Tournament to New York
Posted March 14
Greensboro, N.C. — In its quest to play on the country's biggest stage, the Atlantic Coast Conference is finalizing plans to move its postseason tournament to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The move, signaled for months by Commissioner John Swofford, was reported Friday morning by Sports Illustrated.
"We have a different footprint now, so moving to the north, like New York, is probably in the future," Swofford told Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 99.9 FM The Fan Wednesday. "They have amazing facilities there, but it depends on their availabilities."
The ACC has solid plans to play in Greensboro once more – in 2015 – and a commitment to play the 2016 ACC Tournament at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. But it has been no secret that the recent and ongoing round of tournament realignment would mean long-term changes to some ACC traditions.
Madison Square Garden is locked in a contract with the Big East, so the Barclays Center is the obvious next target. In Brooklyn, the Atlantic 10 has a five-year deal that runs through 2017.
"Eager understates the ACC's desire to get to New York," said David Teel, who covers college basketball at the (Hampton Roads, Va.) Daily Press.
He explained Friday morning to Adam and Joe how the ACC convinced the A-10 to give up that final year and cede the NYC spotlight.
"What the ACC has proposed is a series of regular-season doubleheaders at the Barclays Center between the two conferences which would be good for both parties but especially the Atlantic 10," Teel said, noting the higher visibility and neutral court of a New York City game.
"It also sends ACC teams to the Barclays during the regular season to get a feel for the building where you are going to contest your conference championship," he said.
A-10 teams would also benefit from the RPI and strength-of-schedule boost playing upper-echelon ACC teams could bring.
Teel pointed to Washington, D.C., as a "very sensible" location for any future A-10 tournament. The conference includes two D.C.-area teams, George Washington and George Mason, along with Virginia Commonwealth University and Richmond whose fans could make the quick trip to the nation's capital.
Swofford was not speaking on the record about the deal Friday, and SI reported only that that A-10 presidents and athletic directors were meeting to "discuss the future of their postseason tournament."
The ACC Tournament has been held in seven different cities and 11 venues since the inaugural event in March of 1954.