NEW YORK, N.Y.–The Big East has reached a 10-year deal to continue hosting its conference tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City, commissioner Mike Aresco announced Wednesday at the conference’s media day.
Wednesday’s announcement means that, despite rumors of a challenge from the ACC, Big East basketball will remain at The World’s Most Famous Arena. The deal adds six years to the current four-year deal that was set to expire in 2016.
The timing is key for the Big East, who is the middle of major television negotiations for the rights to its sports media, which will likely be the bedrock for the conference’s financial stability for years to come.
Syracuse and Pittsburgh will leave the Big East after the 2012-13 season, with Notre Dame reportedly beginning discussions to do the same in the near future.
To fill the void, the conference will be adding Memphis, Temple, UCF, Houston, and SMU to the mix, which gives them a presence in more major media markets than ever before, despite perhaps a downgrade in overall national recognition.
By adding Temple (Philadelphia), SMU (Dallas), Memphis, and Houston, as well as San Diego and Boise State in football, the Big East has boosted the possibility of football revenue and an increased value to the overall media deal it eventually signs.
And keeping basketball in New York City doesn’t hurt, either.