By next April, the only thing Atlantic City and the Atlantic 10 will have in common is half a name. That’s a good thing.
The league announced Monday that it’ll move its conference tournament to Brooklyn’s spiffy new arena, the Barclays Center. That ends a five-year run at Boardwalk Hall, which was rarely filled with fans for title events. Only the Temple-St. Joe’s championship in 2007 had more than 8,000 in attendance. Last year’s Richmond-Dayton game filled half of the 10,500-seat venue.
Can’t say it’s a surprise. Atlantic City hasn’t been a destination spot since Nucky Thompson was running things.
So why not head to the NYC area? It’ll appeal to those wanting a vacation and has the added benefit of mucho media attention.
(If the league was really smart, it’d have its championship game on Tuesday or Wednesday, rather than Sunday for an even bigger media boost — though that may not help attendance for title games. Opening rounds would see a weekend boost, though. Maybe when the A-10 holds its official presser on the move Wednesday, it’ll announce that as well.)
The A-10 reportedly chose Brooklyn over Atlantic City, Pittsburgh and the Meadowlands. None of them would truly be a centralized spot for all 14 A-10 schools, though Pitt would be close. As John Templon writes, it’s centrally located and the standard deviation travel distance for every school is 155 miles. Not bad.
But you don’t get the press bump. And when you’re competing for airtime with the Big East, ACC, Big 12, SEC, etc., setting up camp in the NYC-area is just smart business.
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