TELECONFERENCE AUDIO ARCHIVE
NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—The Atlantic 10 Conference Men’s Basketball Championship will take on a new look and vibe when it moves to CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 2017 and to Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., in 2018.
The announcement, made today by the A-10, solidifies the championship sites through 2021. The championship will continue to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn through 2016, then will move to the steel city in 2017, and to the nation’s capital in 2018 before returning to Barclays Center for three additional years through 2021.
“The opportunity to rotate our championship within the A-10 footprint is exciting,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “CONSOL Energy Center and Verizon Center are two state-of-the-art venues with great fan amenities and successful histories of hosting NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship events. Bringing the A-10 Championship and brand to Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. is another nod to the strength and value of the conference.”
Pittsburgh previously hosted the A-10 championship for five years, from 1978-1982. CONSOL Energy Center, which seats 19,100 for basketball, was opened in 2010 and hosts regular season men’s basketball, including the popular “City Game” between Duquesne and Pitt. The home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, CONSOL Energy Center also hosted the 2012 NCAA Second and Third Rounds and will host those same rounds in March of 2015.
“We are thrilled that the Atlantic 10 Conference has selected Pittsburgh for its Men’s Basketball Championship in 2017,” said Tim Hassett, General Manager of CONSOL Energy Center and Regional Vice President for AEG Facilities. “The City of Pittsburgh has a rich history and tradition in college basketball and is the center of a region full of enthusiastic sports fans. We look forward to partnering with the Atlantic 10 and its member schools to put on a great show for all of those who will travel from near and far to see top-notch college basketball and enjoy all that our great city has to offer.”
The 2018 event will mark the first time Washington, D.C. will host the A-10 championship. The home arena for the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, Verizon Center opened in 1997 and hosts on average 220 events per year. Verizon Center also has hosted a number of regular-season men’s college basketball events and tournaments, including six NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship events, two of which were regional rounds.
“We’re excited to be selected as the host for the Atlantic 10 Conference’s first trip to the nation’s capital,” said David Touhey, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Verizon Center. “Partnering with the Atlantic 10 and its member schools provides another great opportunity for college basketball to be featured in the heart of downtown Washington.”
Washington, D.C., is the eighth largest media market in the country and Pittsburgh, Pa., ranks 23rd nationally. Atlantic 10 institutions reside in states that comprise 33.3 million television viewers, 28.8 percent of the total national market. There are eight A-10 institutions in the top 25 media markets in the country. National television coverage for the 2017 and 2018 Championships will be distributed by ESPN, CBS Sports and NBCSN.
The Atlantic 10 is coming off its most successful men’s basketball season ever, with six teams having earned an NCAA Tournament bid. Each of those teams finished with 24 or more wins, making the A-10 the only league with six 24-win teams in 2013-14. Dayton advanced to the Elite Eight, the seventh straight year the conference has had a team reach the NCAA Regionals. The league also won 71 percent of its non-conference games which led to seven A-10 teams receiving votes or earning a ranking in the national polls, and nine teams finishing in the top 100 of the RPI.
About the Atlantic 10 Conference
The Atlantic 10 Conference is a basketball-centric conference founded in 1976 and consists of 14 diverse members across eight states and Washington, D.C. The mission of the Atlantic 10 Conference is to provide an enhanced student-athlete experience through 21 nationally competitive championship sports. The conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for its student-athletes, coaches, and support staff. The membership consists of Davidson College, the University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Louis University and Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information, visit www.atlantic10.com.
About CONSOL Energy Center/AEG Facilities
CONSOL Energy Center, operated by AEG Facilities, is the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh’s premier indoor site for sports and entertainment. In addition to hosting over 40 Penguins home games, the arena also hosts more than 120 additional sports & entertainment events per year. Past signature sporting events include the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball 2nd and 3rd rounds, the 2012 NHL Draft, the 2013 NCAA Frozen Four and the 2014 P&G Gymnastics Championships, and the venue will once again host the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament 2nd and 3rd rounds in 2015. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, is the leading sports, entertainment and venue operator in the world. AEG Facilities, a stand-alone affiliate of AEG, owns, operates or consults with more than 100 of the industry’s preeminent venues worldwide, across five continents, providing complete venue management, as well as specialized programs in operations, guest services, ticketing, booking, sales and marketing. AEG Facilities also provides resources and access to other AEG-affiliated entities, including live event producer, AEG Live, AEG Global Partnerships, AEG Development, AEG 1Earth, AEG Encore and AEG Creative to support the success of AEG venues across the globe. For more information, please visit aegworldwide.com.
About Verizon Center/Monumental Sports & Entertainment
Verizon Center is a 20,000-seat multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue, owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), in downtown Washington, D.C. The arena is home to three professional sports teams, also owned by MSE, which include the NBA's Washington Wizards, NHL's Washington Capitals and WNBA's Washington Mystics. MSE also oversees management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the state-of-the-art training facility for the Capitals, and George Mason University's Patriot Center. Hosting an average of 220 events per year, inclusive of games, concerts, family shows and world-class sporting events, as well as home games for the NCAA’s Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team, Verizon Center sits at the heart of a $8.1 billion redevelopment of downtown Washington, D.C., that began 16 ½ years ago when the arena opened.