The MAAC IS Back In Albany

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The MAAC is Back!!! In a sign that all is right in the world, the MAAC Tournament is returning to Albany. In a press conference at the Times Union Center this morning word came down that the event will be returning to the site of its most successful years. Following one more year in Springfield in 2014, Siena will serve as host from 2015-2017.

The MAAC presidents accepted the bid submitted by the Times Union Center on Tuesday in a unanimous vote to return the event to the site which far surpassed attendance numbers in any other locations. By comparison, last year in Springfield total attendance for the event was 14,294 compared to 2010, the last time in Albany, when total attendance was 53,569.

“I am thrilled the Times Union Center has been awarded the bid to host the 2015 – 2017 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. Albany has had the honor of hosting the MAAC for 15 out of 24 years, and in 2010, we set a new record for attendance when 53,569 people attended the championships. In addition to two exciting college basketball championships, the Capital District will see a positive impact for the local economy. We are honored to once again have the MAAC Championships tip off in Albany, “said Bob Belber, SMG General Manager of Times Union Center.

The TUC reportedly beat out the bids of 3 other sites including Bridgeport, which was the other finalist and the only other one to meet minimum specifications. Springfield and the Izod Center at the Meadowlands were the other two candidates. Siena and the TUC have hosted the tourney 15 times since Siena joined the conference in 1989-1990. It was reported that the TUC guaranteed the MAAC $250,000 for each of the 3 years of the contract. The deal also includes an “out” clause for the TUC should Siena depart for another conference i.e. the A-10.

“The MAAC membership was pleased that multiple venues expressed an interest in hosting the 2015-17 basketball championships and that the interest extended to home team venues and neutral sites,” noted MAAC Commissioner Richard Ensor. “In evaluating the bids, as in the last bid cycle, the MAAC required that the league’s minimum financial, ancillary event hosting and budget thresholds be met by the bid cities. Albany and other sites met this standard, with the TUC bid being selected because of its history of high attendance, downtown hotels and restaurants for the fans to utilize, and the experience of Albany’s Local Organizing Committee on hosting successful events with the MAAC and Siena College.”

Ensor explained that although there was a concern around neutrality in a site, there were no alternative viable neutral sites available. Mohegan Sun which had been mentioned as a possible site in recent months was not available and Atlantic City was not a possibity for the desired dates. He also stated that the MAAC members were interested on rotating future tourney sites between member locations but that would be explored down the road after looking at the TUC’s success.

New Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos expressed at the time of his hiring that bringing the tourney back to Albany should be a top priority. Wish Granted! “I think Albany is the perfect place for the Tournament.” said Pataos. “The numbers don’t lie and the Albany numbers are impressive. No matter who you ask, the Times Union Center is a great place to have it.”

Here are some more thoughts from Siena coaches Jimmy Patsos and Ali Jaques as well as some other MAAC coaches:


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  1. Pingback: Patsos, Jaques and MAAC Opponents Discuss Return of MAAC To Albany | 4GuysinBlazers

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