Wednesday afternoon it was announced by the Maine basketball program that the team will not be playing its America East opener against Vermont on January 7 at Alfond Arena in Orono. Instead the game is being moved just over two hours south (southwest to be more specific) to Portland, where the game will be played at the Expo Center.
According to the Bangor Daily News it was head coach Bob Walsh who originally came up with the idea, with the program looking to reach out to fans in the southern portion of the state.
That’s definitely a positive for a Maine program that’s looking to rebuild, and connecting with their fan base in other parts of the state can help in that regard. However from a conference schedule standpoint the Black Bears will now play their first three America East games away from Orono.
The Vermont game is sandwiched in between games at Albany (January 3), which won the conference tournament last season, and Binghamton (January 10). Maine’s first conference game in Orono will be played on January 13, when UMass-Lowell visits Alfond Arena.