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Report: CAA tournament moving to Baltimore

Dec 12, 2012, 2:25 AM EDT

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Sources have told Jeff Goodman of Eye on College Basketball that the Colonial Athletic Association will move its annual postseason tournament to Baltimore starting in 2014.

The move is not particularly surprising. The league was historically heavy on Virginia-based schools, so the Richmond Coliseum made sense as a central location. It was never, as league officials would disingenuously claim, a neutral location. When the final game featured VCU, Old Dominion or George Mason, final-day attendance soared. Especially if two of the league’s local powers squared off against one another for the auto-bid, as has happened five times since the turn of the millennium. Only twice in that same time period has a CAA title game been played without one of the league’s big three on the court.

With VCU gone to the A-10, and Old Dominion heading off to C-USA, the epicenter of the league has clearly shifted. The only member of the big three to stay put is George Mason (so far), so the notion of moving the league tourney into their territory would seem to be a logical decision.

In addition, the Baltimore/Washington D.C. metroplex is more populous, has more attractions and is, as Goodman points out, easier to get to for fans of every team. Fans of Boston’s Northeastern Huskies or Hofstra’s Pride had to take two flights to get to Richmond more often than not (and, unsurprisingly, didn’t do so in great numbers), but will find a direct flight to Baltimore easier and cheaper. Fans of JMU, Drexel, Delaware and W&M will not be particularly inconvenienced, and supporters of Mason and Towson will be able to take public transportation to the games now.

Dig UNC-Wilmington or incoming member Charleston? Well, you’re getting the short end of the stick. It’s a fair cop, society’s to blame.

Essentially, there’s not much point in getting attached to any particular team, building, city or iteration of reality as long as realignment rages unchecked. Richmond today, Baltimore tomorrow, Sheboygan the next? Stranger things have happened.

  1. tomtravis76 - Dec 12, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    The Baltimore Civic Center/ Arena? Did they even take a tour of the building? The Baltimore Bullets played there. Its an awful place to watch sports, unless you consider NWA and WWF wrestling sports, along with zero technology updates.
    ,

    • critter69 - Dec 13, 2012 at 2:20 AM

      This actually could be just the thing that gets the proposed new arena next to the Convention Center off the ground (and state legislative approval of remodeling the CC itself). The new arena will be privately funded, and no streets have to be removed, rerouted, etc. Just approval received by City Hall for the permits to move ahead with construction.

      And just like when the Bullets moved from Baltimore to DC (where they played home games at the UMCP Cole Field House until the Cap Centre was finished), the old Civic Center could fill in until the new arena is built. Or the tourney could be moved for a year or two to the UMCP campus – Comcast Field House won’t be used for post-season tourneys for the next few years, or to the Verizon Center in DC’s Chinatown – it won’t be used for post season tourneys for the next few years.

  2. George H - Dec 12, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I wonder if there will even be a CAA in a couple of years. Pretty sad because it was a very good conference in its day.

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