The latest trend in November college basketball games is to play them on aircraft carriers.
Last season was kicked off when North Carolina took on Michigan State on the USS Carl Vinson out in San Diego. It was gorgeous. This year, San Diego State and Syracuse play on USS Midway in San Diego, while Marquette and Ohio State play off the coast of Charleston, SC, and Georgetown takes on Florida in Jacksonville.
The beauty of it is that the games are to be played outside, which is a unique experience for the players involved and the fans attending the game.
The problem, however, is that the games are played outside. And as any baseball fan will tell you, there’s nothing that anyone can do to control the weather. Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com addressed that exact problem in a column today:
Because it could rain, because there is even a slight chance of precipitation for the outdoor game, organizers have had to make contingency plans.
“Don’t worry about it,” said Rick Schloss, who is acting as spokesman for Syndicus Entertainment, the promoters of the Battle on the Midway. “It’s all been handled.”
Schloss said if rain forces the game inside, it will be held at the Valley View Casino Center, a multi-use facility located about 4 miles from the Midway. Ernie Hahn, the Valley View general manager, confirmed by email that his facility will serve as the alternate site.
The folks heading to San Diego probably don’t have much to worry about. There rarely are heavy winds or rainy days in San Diego, and November just so happens to be one of the nicer months in terms of sunny days in that area.
But what about the teams in Charleston and Jacksonville? November in the southeast isn’t exactly like the rainy season in the Amazon, but it’s also not exactly the Gobi Desert. What happens if it ends up being 55 degrees and cloudy with a stiff breeze off the ocean? Is it worth playing a game outdoors in those conditions? How much of a push will be made to keep the game outside regardless of the elements to drive attention and viewership?
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.