Earlier in May Jim Delany announced that in 2017 the Big Ten tournament will take its show on the road to Washington D.C. and be played at the Verizon Center. It’s an effort to make more of an East coast after the addition of the Maryland Terrapins and Rutgers Scarlet Knights to the conference later this year.
But is this a good idea or bad idea by the conference? Let’s take a look at both sides, starting with the bad.
Most of the Big Ten teams are based in the Midwest. In fact most of, if not all of their roots lie right in the heart of the country. In all honesty, the Big Ten has a good thing going with holding its conference tournament in either Chicago or Indianapolis. Those are two great cities to host a weekend conference championship tournament because the people of those communities love basketball. And they love hosting a basketball tournament from a prestigious conference like the Big Ten.
The traditionalist in me does not want to see the Big Ten tournament leave Chicago or Indianapolis. The realist in me knows this is the state of collegiate athletics and every conference is trying to out-do the others.
With the addition of Maryland and Rutgers this July 1st, the Big Ten is branching out to the Northeast and East coast. I have a feeling that this is just the tip of the iceberg. So it would make sense to hold a conference tournament over there, right? And what better place than Washington D.C. and the Verizon Center. It’s all about branching out and Delany and the Big Ten are showing they are willing to do whatever it takes to make this conference stick out above the rest.
About a month before the announcement of the tournament being held in Washington D.C., the Big Ten announced that it was opening a second office in New York City. The conference is making its presence known on the East coast and the Northeast region of the United States.
I’m on both sides of this coin. I hate to see the tournament leave Chicago or Indianapolis, even if it is just one year. But at the same time, I understand why Delany would want to branch out and make their presence known out East.
Tell us what you think. Comment below on whether you think the Big Ten holding its basketball tournament in Washington D.C. is a good idea or a bad idea.