Cincinnati will spend the 2017-18 season in a new arena as Fifth Third Arena will be undergoing renovations next season.
The Bearcats announced on Friday that they would play next season at BB&T Arena, which is Northern Kentucky’s home arena.
The 9,400 seat BB&T Arena is a good alternative for Cincinnati because it is a newer arena that was built in 2008 and it is only located seven miles away from downtown Cincinnati.
Fifth Third Arena is getting an $87 million renovation that begins in March and is scheduled to end in October 2018.
This is a solid move for both programs as it will be intriguing to see how two Division I teams share the same home arena for one season. My biggest question comes with the home floor. Is Cincinnati spending all season playing with Northern Kentucky logos on the hardwood?
Cincinnati had to find something during its arena overhaul so this is a natural solution that is still relatively close to campus.
Northern Kentucky is the big winner in this. BB&T Arena will get a lot of new fans coming there next season and that should only enhance the Northern Kentucky basketball brand in that area. Some Cincinnati fans could check out a game at that arena for the first time, realize how nice of a facility it is, and come back for a Northern Kentucky game or another event at the arena. That’s what Northern Kentucky gains from all of this.
Cincinnati’s larger national profile also means that a healthy amount of nationally-televised games should be coming from that arena as well, which gives it even more visibility.