MAAC Basketball Tournament Will Be At Times Union Center From 2015-2017
Today was a great day for Albany area sports fans, as the announcement was made that the MAAC men’s and women’s basketball championships will be held at Albany’s Times Union Center from 2015-2017.
— MAAC Sports (@MAACSports) May 29, 2013
The announcement was made at a press conference earlier today, featuring MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor, Times Union Center General Manager Bob Belber, and other high ranking MAAC and Siena officials.
During a conference call about the decision, Siena men’s coach Jimmy Patsos said he thinks that Albany is the perfect place for the MAAC Tournament, noting the increased availability of restaurants and hotels.
In recent years, the tournament has been held at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, or MAACachusetts, as it was dubbed by the league as part of their marketing campaign for the event. It will still be held there in 2014 before making the move to the TU Center.
A big reason for the change was surely attendance, which was down in the years that the tournament was held in Springfield compared to the years before the move, where Albany yielded much higher numbers at the turnstiles.
Ensor, during the conference call, noted that holding the tournament in Springfield was “a branding price we were paying in terms of the number of fans in the stands and what that was doing to our relationships with our sponsors.”
We have seen that a home court advantage in conference tournaments can go a long way to benefit teams, most notably in our area when the UAlbany men’s and women’s basketball teams swept last year’s America East championships, which were held at the school’s SEFCU Arena.
Hopefully we will see a similar outcome for the Saints from 2015-2017, in what could be a prosperous period for Albany area basketball.