June 5, 2008
Edison, N.J. - The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has named the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. as the revised site for the 2009 MAAC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships and the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. as the 2011 host facility.
"The Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport and the Times Union Center in Albany have proven to be great hosts for the MAAC Basketball Tournament in past years," Richard J. Ensor, Commissioner of the MAAC, said. "In renewing our association with the two arenas, the MAAC Council of Presidents agreed to a three-year schedule that has the championship at the Times Union Center in 2009 and 2010, and the Arena at Harbor Yard in 2011. The presidents also agreed to a revised bid schedule for the 2012-2014 sites that will begin in April 2009."
The 2009 championships had previously been awarded to the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J. Jeff Schumacher, the General Manager of the Sovereign Bank Arena, had requested that the MAAC consider alternate plans and noted that the arena had some issues with hosting the 2009 MAAC Men's and Women's Basketball Championships.
"The business model for the Sovereign Bank Arena has changed significantly over the last couple years. We are looking at decreasing our risk/exposure on future events and requested that the MAAC consider alternate hosting models or a venue switch."
"We are obviously disappointed that the MAAC Basketball Championships will not be held in Trenton next year, but understand that this is a business decision between the MAAC and the Sovereign Bank Arena," notes Don Harnum, the Director of Athletics at Rider University. "We worked hard with the arena to secure the bid several years back and were prepared to make this a successful event."
Located in Albany, N.Y., Times Union Center has served as the home court for the Siena men's basketball program since the 1996-97 season. The 15,500-seat facility has successfully hosted a number of NCAA events with the MAAC and Siena, including the 1995 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds, the 2002 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, and the 2003 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship East Regional.
Located in Bridgeport, Conn., the Arena at Harbor Yard is a 10,000-seat facility which became Fairfield University's home venue in 2001. Prior to serving as the site for the 2007 Bank of America MAAC Basketball Championships, Fairfield and the Arena at Harbor Yard hosted one of the four regionals of the 2006 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship as well the first and second rounds of the 2008 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.
Located in Trenton, New Jersey, the Sovereign Bank Arena has hosted Rider basketball games since the 1999-2000 season. The 8,600-seat arena had been home to the 2003 EUS Communications MAAC Basketball Championships and the 2006 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds. The Sovereign Bank Arena will also be the location for the upcoming Trenton Regional of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship, co-hosted by Rider and the MAAC.
The 2009 MAAC Basketball Championships will take place at the Times Union Center on Thursday, March 5 through Monday, March 9. The men's championship game will be televised Monday night, March 9, at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN2.