In a conference call Tuesday, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Commissioner Rich Ensor confirmed that Albany had bid on the next MAAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
The tournaments are in Atlantic City, New Jersey, this year, from March 7-11, after the league signed a one-year extension last March. Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall was selected to host three MAAC men’s and women’s basketball tournaments from 2020 through 2022 before the 2020 championships were cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the 2021 championships were held with limited access due to the pandemic.
Ensor said that three locations had bid on the three-year contract: Albany’s MVP Arena, Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and the UBS Arena at Belmont Park in Elmont. The Albany and Atlantic City bids follow the usual structure of the 22 participating men’s and women’s teams playing all the games at one site. The UBS Arena’s bid, however, is just for the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals, so campuses would have to host the opening round and quarterfinal games.
Ensor said that the schools’ athletic directors have made a confidential vote, and that he just needs the college presidents to sign off on that. He didn’t say what his timetable is for that.
Albany last hosted the MAAC tournaments in 2019, which ended a five-year run there. Albany has hosted the tournaments more than any location, 20 of the 41 times. Crowds are traditionally better when Albany hosts, strengthened by Siena College’s devoted fan base.
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