ACC Finalizing Contract To Play Tournament At Barclays Center
I don’t know how fans will feel for this move being that majority of the ACC is in the south, but Basketball is a business first.
According to SI.com the ACC, Atlantic Coast Conference, is looking for a major move outside of North Carolina. The conference is finalizing its details for a multi-year agreement to play its popular postseason in Brooklyn, New York at the Barclays Center.
The ACC desires a two-year agreement that could start as early as 2017, the next uncommitted year for the ACC Tournament. (The ACC plays in Greensboro in 2015 and in Washington DC in 2016).
The ACC’s move to New York has been viewed within the conference as inevitable, as it’s expected that the league will rotate through New York and North Carolina locations after 2017. (Maryland’s departure to the Big Ten makes Washington DC a less natural place to hold the tournament.)
“It wasn’t Madison Square Garden or else,” said an official at an ACC school. “People are enthralled with the Barclays Center. If The Garden is locked up, so be it. I don’t think it’s a warm up act. It’s a hell of a facility.”
Within the ACC, the move is viewed as a marriage of the best league in college basketball with the country’s most prominent city and media market. Especially considering the ACC’s recent northern expansion, with the addition of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame this season, the move to host the tournament in New York City has been considered a natural transition.
According to one source, the feeling among ACC coaches about playing in New York is overwhelmingly positive. Both Notre Dame coach Mike Brey and Syracuse coach Jim Boehiem lobbied hard for New York both privately and publicly. Behind the scenes, Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina Coach Roy Williams have been more bullish about the move to New York than they’ve let on publicly. Both programs have played games in New York in recent seasons and seen the power it can have with reaching alumni, media and as a recruiting tool. But they’ve chosen their words carefully, as to not offend their local fan bases.
This is a huge move for the ACC. The ACC is deep North Carolina roots, with 4 schools alone in the state, two of the biggest being Duke and UNC. Im anxious to see how fans respond to this move to New York. With a growing fan base the move to New York seems to make sense, not only as a mutual meeting place but also a larger market. Sports are always a business first, fans should never get too comfortable because the rug can be pulled from underneath you in no time.