Big Ten Tournament Going to Washington, D.C.

By Kyle Rowland on May 5, 2014 at 8:08p
54 Comments

The Big Ten will hold its 2017 men's basketball tournament at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., the conference will announce Tuesday, according to the Baltimore Sun. It will mark the first time the event will be held outside Midwestern Big Ten strongholds Chicago and Indianapolis since its inception in 1998.

It continues the Big Ten’s recent trend of establishing roots in the Northeast and along the East Coast. On Monday, the league announced the Dave Gavitt Tipoff Games, which will pit the Big Ten against the Big East in an eight-game event to start the college basketball season, beginning in 2015.

“The important thing for us is that we want to talk about being in two regions in one conference, but we want to live it, too,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told the Sun. “It’s good, but it will require hard work to bind the conference together.”

On July 1, Maryland and Rutgers become official members of the Big Ten. The conference is opening a staffed office in Midtown Manhattan and a satellite office in Washington this summer. They’re also beginning a partnership with the Pinstripe Bowl, advertising inside Yankee Stadium during all events at the historic venue and adding Johns Hopkins as a member of the Big Ten lacrosse conference.

Delany said the conference anticipates moving the event among several venues in the Midwest and Northeast.

“I think all of us now live in two regions,” Delany said. “My perspective is that it’s one thing to be in two regions, but it's more important to live in two regions. This is the first opportunity we had to demonstrate that in basketball. We get incredible responses [in New York]. You can expect us to try and plant flags and have friends and try to become more relevant in both [New York and Washington].”

The 2015 Big Ten Tournament will be played at the United Center and the 2016 tournament is at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The 2016 ACC Tournament is at the Verizon Center.

“It’s a great basketball region, lots of great fans. We’ve got a lot of people living in the East,” Delany said. “Not only do we hope to stimulate and entertain Maryland and Rutgers fans, but also our fans who live in the East. We’ve got nearly six million alums living around the country, and probably a million from D.C. to New York. We’ve got a pretty significant community, and we wanted to get out there ASAP.”

54 Comments

Comments

TheShookster's picture

So lame. Every Big Ten tournament should be in Indianapolis aka in the middle of real Big Ten Country...sorry Maryland and Rutgers you are like distant cousins who we invited to Christmas dinner for some reason.

+2 HS
703Buckeye's picture

All about establishing the brand. Don't worry though, the B1G will come back to the MIdwest and will host most of its tourneys there.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+6 HS
mr.green's picture

This is great. Thousands of B1G alums here in DC. Hoping to see more of this kind of push to the east. 

 

+7 HS
703Buckeye's picture

I still want to see the tournament stay in the Midwest most of the time but you're right. Thousands and thousands of alum in the D.C. area will make an occasional tourney worth it.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+4 HS
DCNick's picture

Exactly. There are loads of B1G alumni in DC, especially Michigan grads. There are also tons of people from the Midwest who didn't attend B1G schools but are huge fans. They certainly outnumber ACC fans.

It makes sense for the B1G to hold events in their largest cities. This should include DC, Philly, Baltimore and NYC. These are also great recruiting areas. Maryland and Rutgers haven't kept most of their best local prospects but there is more talent in Jersey/NYC and Maryland/DC than any B1G state other than Ohio.

southbuc's picture

Get out of the Stone Age. 

+1 HS
BuckDiego's picture

This is not a well-thought-out post.  You obviously know very little about some very basic business concepts.  Nevermind the fact that there's no good answer to "Why does it really need to be in the middle of B1G country?" that can't be shot down via swift and rational internet justice.

+1 HS
rdubs's picture

Did the ACC ever do this?  If not, I don't know why not.  So many UMD and UVA grads here not to mention VT.  I don't mind too much since I live in Bmore and might be able to attend at least part of the tournament.  But it seems like this has the potential for epic failure (but some would have thought the same about BTN at the outset.

bucksfan92's picture

The ACC did hold their tourney in DC one year to appease Gary Williams.  But that doesn't mean the B1G should follow suit.  This is a terrible mistake.

+4 HS
BuckDiego's picture

And how exactly is it a terrible mistake?

+1 HS
Citrus's picture

I'll be joining you in the District shortly

+1 HS
bucksfan92's picture

I do not like this one bit.  I also don't really like the direction of the conference as a whole.  I have a bad feeling that the while Rutgers/Maryland thing is going to  end up being a very bad thing for the conference.  I hope OSU is looking at options just in case...

-3 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Chill out, this is a one year thing. Adding Rutgers and Maryland is all about the money, which won't hurt anyone. Please tell me how the B1G is going to be effected negatively by these additions.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+1 HS
Kyle Rowland's picture

In what way do you have a bad feeling? It's all about money, TV eyeballs, etc? The Big Ten is virtually foolproof because of its large alumni bases and being located in an area that contains major metro areas and population numbers. 

Deadly Nuts's picture

Could this also be a pitch to UNC and Duke?

LEBRON

+1 HS
703Buckeye's picture

I don't think UNC and Duke are aware anything exists outside the state of North Carolina. If you remind them, they get very upset... just ask Maryland.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+3 HS
mr.green's picture

So true. But it is a signal to carolina, duke, Virginia and others that this is more than a Midwest conference. I am sure that if Ga Tech were in the B1G we would love having our tournament in Atlanta. Could you imagine? 

+3 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Barring Notre Dame (whose ship has sailed), my two favorite choices to bring the B1G to 16 are UVA and GT. Both are great schools, AAU members, are both in growing/large states, and have solid athletics programs. I'd like to see how the 14 team model works for a few years but I have a feeling 16 team "superconferences" are not far off.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+1 HS
SirMarkusCombs's picture

You're dead right about this. UVA and GT are probably the two best options for the B1G, outside of the early 1900s Princeton Tigers, VT, and mayyyyyybe UT and Oklahoma as a package. As an alternative to losing them to God's conference of the Southeast.

DCNick's picture

Georgia Tech doesn't make sense because it's not in a contiguous state. UVA does make more sense because of the academics but I don't think it adds any significant metro areas or a great sports brand. Personally, I would rather not add anyone until Notre Dame is finally interested. Once they are ready, if they are ever ready, then I would also try to add Boston College and make Notre Dame vs BC a protected crossover game. I think that would be a huge win for the conference.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Boston College is not in a contiguous state nor is it an academic peer.

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

This is great. I don't care. I love it. 

Read my entire screen name....

+4 HS
Buckidelphia's picture

Great idea. Shows commitment to the East Coast. 

+3 HS
bigDbuck's picture

Not sure why all the negative feelings. This is about growing the brand. Can the PAC 12, big 12, or sec match the major markets!!? Hell fing no. 

+7 HS
rdubs's picture

People are just afraid of things they aren't used to.  This too shall pass.

+2 HS
BuckDiego's picture

Brilliant response…this should be pinned to every post that the 'GET OFF MY LAWN!' message board crowd (both young and old) flips out about because said topic merely reflects change/evolution.  

Hovenaut's picture

DC appreciates, and yearns for, good basketball.

This is all good.

+2 HS
seafus26's picture

Getting better but still not going that far north in Febuary or March. That trip to Indy for the Big Ten Championship was ridiculous this year. Small compact city with bad roads that was way too cold to enjoy.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

-3 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

makes sense geographically at least

-1 HS
WildMan Leather and Lace's picture

I agree with Bucksfan92.  This conference is becoming unrecognizable.  Why are we playing Rutgers and Maryland every year instead of Wisconsin or Iowa?  A championship game in DC?  What about Chicago or Detroit or Cleveland? So what if there are a lot of B1G fans all over the country.  I bet you there's more in the Midwest. All the arguments people use for B1G expansion could just as well be used for Buckeye sucession.  This money grab is destroying our traditions and cultures and The Big Ten still sucks.  Where's my tricorne at?     

-4 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Are you done complaining? The tournament will be in DC for ONE YEAR, that's it! You want to see the game back in Chicago or in Cleveland and Detroit? Well, that can happen now that the tournament will rotate every year, most likely within the traditional Midwest footprint. The B1G is not abandoning the Midwest, they are just trying to build their brand in their new markets.

How are our traditions being destroyed? We're still playing M!chigan the last game of the year and will occasionally get the chance to beat the crap out of Illinois for the Illibuck. Am I missing something else? Otherwise, there's no chance Ohio State will secede from the B1G.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

WildMan Leather and Lace's picture

No. I'm not done complaining. Neither Rutgers or Maryland are from the Midwest, they both suck and we have to play both of them every year. That sucks and so does Jim Delaney.

-4 HS
703Buckeye's picture

 

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+3 HS
southbuc's picture

Please don't ever have a tournament in Cleveland or Detroit.  

-2 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Why not?

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

southbuc's picture

Because they aren't anywhere else?

-1 HS
Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

Not sure why anyone thinks this is to make Maryland or Rutgers feel good or wanted or anything. This is about expanding the footprint. Honestly, could the ACC or Big East host a tournament in Chicago or Indy? No. The conference is flexing muscles no other conference has. I can't wait to see the B1G Tournament in MSG!

+3 HS
703Buckeye's picture

It's gonna be hard to get into MSG as the Big East already hosts its postseason tourney there. The brand-new Barclay's Center in Brooklyn will be difficult as well, as the ACC will be moving up there. I'd love to see the B1G tourney in one of those two NYC arenas but I think the closest the conference can get is Newark or Long Island... I don't think anyone wants that, lol.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

Ohio Guy in Jersey's picture

You're right about MSG and Barclays. However, the Prudential Center is a great venue, despite OSU's loss to UK there a few years ago, and downtown Newark is fine.

703Buckeye's picture

It's not a shot against LI or Newark from a safety or put-down standpoint. I just think that the B1G would be best served at MSG or Barclay's; the other two arenas don't have the same cache.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

rlyon's picture

I have a huge problem with the way the Big 10 is heading. For years Missouri begged to be given membership. So instead the BIG decides to allow in two schools who are not competitive and are not in traditional Big 10 territory and bring in a lot of baggage. Missouri on the other hand has joined the SEC where it is competitive. I think most will agree that Missouri would have been a better fit in all ways.

-3 HS
southbuc's picture

$ + time = winning. = more money. 

+1 HS
bucksk1n's picture

I think the additions would have been Maryland and Missouri if Missouri didn't get the SEC invite.  They made a lot more sense as there is no way Delany wanted to let the SEC in to the KC and St Louis market.  I really hope they reconsider at some point but that ship has probably sailed.

UConn is the other team that has really made strides lately both in academics and athletics.  They also draw the most fans of any team not in a Big 5 conference.

Having said that I'm good with this move.  If nothing else, hopefully the B1G will give every AAU coach in the greater DC/Baltimore area tickets to the games so young kids can see the games for free.  It would be nice to turn that basketball pipeline from the ACC to the B1G.

OSUlewis's picture

This is probably a dumb question but I'll ask anyways. Once a team, such as Maryland and Rutgers, are invited and join the B1G, what type of security do they have in staying in the conference? Hypothetically what if their addition to the conference does not improve the conferences worth and the B1G wants to go in a separate path. Is the B1G able to force them to leave?

cplunk's picture

Like any contract, there is always an out.

You might want to bear in mind that MD and Rutgers, thanks to the way the BTN's network contract makes money from cable, are about to bring more money into the B1G than everybody but us,TSUN/MSU, PSU, and Illinois. It's all about cable subscriptions (not BTN subscriptions, but cable subscriptions) in what's considered a B1G foot print. NYC and the DC area are freaking huge footprints.

Rutgers and MD aren't going anywhere. From a business perspective, they're top tier in the B1G. Doesn't matter if anybody even watches a game in those areas. They pay cable subscriptions for a package that includes the BTN (and it's on or about to be on basic cable in much of NY, NJ, DC, MD, and VA, and bundled into attractive sports channels (like the one that carries the Yankees) in others) and that is all it takes for the B1G to be rich.

If you want to kick people out- again from a business and not a sports perspective- you kick out teams in states where there are two, particularly states which have fewer cable providers. It only takes one team to count the whole state as a footprint. A second team adds nothing. I'm looking at you, Purdue and Northwestern. 

From a sports perspective it's a different story. Although I'm still looking at Purdue.

 

+1 HS
OSUlewis's picture

Thanks and I agree. I just never hear about a school being "kicked out" of a conference but rather schools leaving for greener pastures.

rdubs's picture

Temple got kicked out of the Big East in football.

FROMTHE18's picture

well this makes very little sense

-1 HS
Jpfbuck's picture

the last tie I heard about a school effectively being "kicked out" of a major conference was when Temple was essentially booted to the curb by the Big East back in 2005 due to poor attendance, lack of competitiveness and lack of commitment to football

funny that they were then invited back in 2012 after a couple years as in independent and several in the MAC.

I recall back around 1980 New Orleans University was forced out of the Sun Belt in hoops due to poor facilities

U Mass recently was half forced our of the MAC as a football team starting in 2015 due to a clause that said they had to choose between being a full member or non-member by then and they chose to be a non-member so kinds forced out but not really

of course scum was voted out of the conference back in 1907 for "non-observance of rules"

back in 1959 when the Pac 12 was formed as the "Big 5" from the Pacific Coast Conference Idaho who had been a member of the PCC was not invited to join the new conference

UNC Charlotte and St Louis were both essentially forced out of CUSA a few years back since they did not have football teams at that time

Marshall was kicked out of the MAC back in 1969 due to hundreds of recruiting violations

so it happens but not often in big conferences

RedStorm45's picture

How has "expanding the brand" worked so far for national titles in football and basketball?  Yeah, ok.

-1 HS
BrewstersMillions's picture

How has 'expanding the brand' been the reason national titles haven't come? Yeah, ok.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would more obvious.

JakeStevensIsSwag's picture

An hour away, i can go watch now. I personally love it

Buckeye fan from PA

armybuckinva's picture

So many OSU fans and BIG fans in the DC area.  Rhino Bar and Pumphouse in Georgetown is going to get a whole lot busier.