Back in late March the Atlantic 10 deciding to move its conference tournament from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2017 and 2018 to allow the ACC to move its annual event north, with the A-10 also receiving benefits in non-conference scheduling in the future. What was left to be determined is where the A-10 will play its men’s basketball tournament in 2017 and 2018, and on Thursday, the league made it official.
Pittsburgh will host the 2017 Atlantic 10 tournament with Washington, D.C. getting the honor the following season.
Both cities have quality arenas to host the event, with Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh and the Verizon Center in D.C. And there are Atlantic 10 members in both cities as well, with Duquesne being located in Pittsburgh and George Washington in the nation’s capital. Also of note with regards to Washington, D.C. is the fact that George Mason is located in nearby Fairfax, Virginia and Richmond (where both Richmond and VCU are located) is about two hours away.
The Verizon Center will host three different conference tournaments from 2016 to 2018, with the ACC there in 2016 and the Big Ten the following year due to the addition of new member Maryland.
After spending two seasons away from the Barclays Center the Atlantic 10 tournament will return in 2019, with that portion of the agreement running through 2021. Among the benefits received by the Atlantic 10 in exchange for the move are doubleheaders against ACC teams in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and an annual spot in the Brooklyn Hoops events held at the arena.
It’s been a busy day for the Big Ten, as earlier Monday, the conference was announced as a participant in the newly-created Gavitt Tipoff Games with the Big East to open the college basketball season beginning in 2015.
Now comes news for the Big Ten’s postseason plans as it was reported by multiple outlets on Monday afternoon that the Big Ten Tournament would move to Washington D.C.
The Big Ten’s move to our nation’s capital for the league tournament was first reported by Justin Albers of Scout.com and also confirmed to be at the Verizon Center on March 8-12, 2017 by the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt.
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson confirmed to Prewitt the Big Ten’s plans to move to the home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals for the 2017 edition of the league’s men’s basketball tournament.
A 1 p.m. press conference is scheduled at the Verizon Center on Tuesday that features Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney as well as Anderson and Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon.
“We’re excited the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament will be played at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.,” Anderson said to Prewitt. “The Big Ten has shared its commitment to having a strong presence on the East Coast. It’s a great opportunity for our fans to attend the tournament in our backyard and it should be a tremendous atmosphere.”
The Big Ten has only played it’s men’s basketball conference tournament at Chicago’s United Center and Indianapolis’ Banker’s Life Fieldhouse since the event began in 1998 and it wouldn’t be any surprise if Washington D.C. was permanently alternated into the equation to continue to conference’s growth on the East Coast. With Maryland and Rutgers joining the league in 2014-15, the Big Ten will have a growing East Coast presence to go along with current member Penn State.
The Big Ten is also putting new offices in New York — to go along with headquarters in Chicago — and is also opening a satellite office in Washington D.C.
The Verizon Center will also host the ACC Tournament in 2016.