ACC finalizing deal to play tournament in Barclays Center, report says


The perfect home for the ACC tournament? (Victor J. Blue / Bloomberg)

The ACC basketball tournament is expected to move into New York, specifically into Brooklyn, within the next couple of years.

The conference is finalizing a multi-year deal with the Barclays Center, SI.com’s Pete Thamel reports. The tournament, which will be held in Greensboro, N.C., next year and in Washington, D.C. in 2016, would land in Brooklyn the following year. The ACC, according to the report, hopes to strike a two-deal that would begin in 2017, although it is not clear yet how that would work, given that the Atlantic 10 has leverage with a contract with the arena that runs through 2017.

It doesn’t intend to move the days of its conference tournament to make way for the ACC in 2017, ESPN.com’s Andy Katz reports, unless it gets a deal that could include a non-conference scheduling agreement with ACC schools.

No question the ACC would like to have a New York City presence, but the Big East tournament isn’t budging from Madison Square Garden for at least another decade. That left Brooklyn as the likeliest spot as the new ACC evolves. Beyond 2017, ACC tournament would alternate between New York and North Carolina locales. From Thamel:

Within the ACC, the move is viewed as a marriage of the best league in college basketball with the country’s most prominent city and media market. Especially considering the ACC’s recent northern expansion, with the addition of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame this season, the move to host the tournament in New York City has been considered a natural transition.

While the ACC’s traditional roots are on Tobacco Road, the league’s members came to a decision that expanding its reach to bigger markets is a must. The ACC is balancing its past and future by honoring its North Carolina roots by holding the tournament there and rotating it through New York as a sign of its expansion and increased national presence.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | March 14