One of the most interesting story lines stemming from the wave of conference realignment over the last three or four years has been the location of the ACC tournament.
It’s currently being held in Greensboro, N.C. In 2016, it will be held at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. But the goal has always seemed to be to get the event to New York City.
Madison Square Garden is not an option, as the Big East re-upped their deal through 2026, but according to a report from Pete Thamel of SI.com, the ACC is likely headed to the Barclays Center in 2017, the first year the conference is not committed to a venue for their tournament.
The league wants a two-year deal from the arena, but there’s a major stumbling block: the Atlantic 10 currently holds their tournament at Barclays, and they are signed through 2017.
While the heart and soul of the ACC is in North Carolina, the addition of Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame to Boston College — and with Louisville joining the league next season — there’s a northern, and old Big East, presence in the league. Throw in the alumni base for Duke, North Carolina and Virginia in the New York-area and the dearth of media and television exposure that comes with the Big Apple, and there it’s pretty clear why there has always been interest from the conference in shuffling north.
ESPN’s Andy Katz followed up on Thamel’s report on Friday morning. According to Katz, the A-10 would not shorten its deal with Barclays, but the league would be open to negotiating with the ACC — or the Big Ten — to share the venue during Championship Week. For that to happen, the A-10 would need some kind of scheduling agreement between the two conferences.
Katz also noted that the Big Ten is considering an east coast rotation for their conference tournament, and that the A-10 was looking at Philly and D.C. for their tournament after 2018.