Barclays is bringing on the March maddness!
The Barclays Center has entered a partnership with the Atlantic Coast and Atlantic-10 conferences that will bring more elite college basketball games to Brooklyn, it announced at a press conference on March 26.
“Brooklyn is the heart of basketball in this city,” Barclays Center chief executive officer Brett Yormark said. “College basketball is a major part of this venue.”
It will host the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament in March of 2017 and 2018. The Atlantic-10 conference’s post season tournament, which has been played at the Barclays Center the last two seasons, will remain there until 2017 and return from 2019–2021.
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford said that adding teams such as Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame this season and Louisville for the upcoming campaign to his conference made it logical to have a greater presence in the New York market.
“With our league’s footprint spanning the entire Atlantic coast this is a perfect opportunity for us to bring the ACC tournament to the media capital of the world,” Swofford said. “The 15 member institutions in the ACC have strong ties to New York.
Yormark said that bringing Syracuse to his arena has been a goal. Madison Square Garden is contracted to host the Big East basketball tournament through 2026.
In addition to the conference tournaments, Barclays will host inter-conference double-headers between the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Atlantic-10 from 2015–2017. The conferences will be responsible for choosing what teams will play in the double headers. The Atlantic Coast Conference includes schools such as Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wake Forest, among others. The Atlantic-10 has Fordham and flagship schools such as Virginia Commonwealth University, Dayton, UMass, and St. Joseph’s University.
“The rich tradition of the ACC, and combining that in an alliance in this agreement is nothing but phenomenal, and I think will pay great dividends in the future,” said Atlantic-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade.
She said her coaches have raved out their experience playing at the Barclays Center, and Swofford expects to hear the same from his crew. He said he wants their brand in New York City.
“I firmly believe the experience for our players, our coaches, and our fans will be second to none when we come to Barclays,” Swofford said.
Yormark believes the agreement and the teams it will bring to Brooklyn will differentiate the Barclays Center from other arenas around the country.
“It puts us in a class by ourselves when it comes to college basketball — not only in this market, but around the country,” Yormark said.