brooklyn nets

The Atlantic 10 Conference announced that it has formed a five-year partnership with the Barclays Center to bring the A-10 men’s basketball tournament to Brooklyn and the new arena, beginning in 2013.  The joint announcement was made Wednesday afternoon at the Barclays Center Showroom in Manhattan, N.Y.

It will mark the first time the A-10 Championship, which sends its champion to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, will be held in metropolitan New York City and the first time it will be played in a state-of-the-art new facility.

“The opportunity to partner with the Barclays Center and bring the Atlantic 10 Basketball Championship to New York has unlimited possibilities. Our teams will compete in the newest, state-of-the-art facility within the Atlantic 10 footprint and the number-one media market in the country,” stated Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade.

Currently under construction, the Barclays Center will be a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue and the future home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. The Barclays Center will offer approximately 18,000 seats for basketball and will have one of the most intimate seating configurations ever designed into a modern multi-purpose arena. The last time the Atlantic 10 Tournament was in an NBA building was in 2002 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.

“We are thrilled for the Barclays Center to play host to one of men’s basketball’s most prestigious conference tournaments,” Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said. “We appreciate our alliance with the Atlantic 10 as we position the Barclays Center as a significant national collegiate sports venue.”

The highest concentration of Atlantic 10 alumni of any region in the county live and work in the New York metro area. There are 2.5 million people total in Brooklyn and 8.1 million total people in New York, an opportunity for the A-10’s premier event to be played on the biggest stage in the nation.

“Brooklyn and the surrounding metropolitan New York area is home to over 100,000 Atlantic 10 alumni; this combined with the eight-million plus population will give the Atlantic 10 an opportunity to grow the Championship to new heights,” said McGlade.

The move also places the championship into the largest media market in the nation and home to CBS Sports, the Atlantic 10’s television partner for the men’s basketball championship.  CBS Sports carries several regular season A-10 games and the league’s championship title game is aired on CBS as part of the network’s Selection Sunday package.

The Atlantic 10 is one of the most successful and well-respected leagues for basketball. The A-10 has averaged more than three teams per year in the top 50 of the RPI, equal to the Southeastern Conference. For the last four years, the Atlantic 10 earned three bids into the NCAA Tournament, one of only six Division I conferences to do so. Over the last six years, the league has had 10 at-large selections – the seventh most in Division I - behind only the big six BCS leagues.