The MAAC is back! Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference officials announced this morning that they are bringing the men’s and women’s basketball championships back to Albany for the 2015-2017 seasons.
The MAAC Council of Presidents accepted a bid from the Times Union Center on Tuesday. After beating out three other bids, including Bridgeport, the stopgap site between Albany and Springfield, the MAAC believed that it was best to come back to Albany.
According to MAAC Commissioner Rich Esnor, the league weighed the impact of the low attendance at the MassMutual Center in Springfield was having on the MAAC brand. The Times Union Center guaranteed the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference $250,000 for each of the three seasons from 2015-2017.
“We talked about the fact that we’ve always positioned ourselves as A Mid-Major playing in arenas and we try to differentiate ourselves from some of our competitors and that helps fund our TV package and some of our sponsors and we had that poor attendance branding starting to impact all of that,” Ensor said. “As a result we chose to go to a home-venue and then it really came down to Albany and Bridgeport. I think the history of success in Albany was a major factor and I think that because downtown is a lot more inviting for our fans in Albany than Bridgeport. There’s more restaurants, more bars, you guys have more hotels downtown so you can walk to the venue. Ultimately all the finacials being equal from both bids, we just choose to go with Albany.”
The MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will be hosted by the MassMutal Center for one more year this spring.
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