The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will hold its conference tournament in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of the sport, in 2012-14, according to a conference press release.
The conference will play all tournament games at the MassMutual Center, which is a neutral site. Several teams wanted the tournament to move to a neutral site instead of playing at opponents’ courts.
“The coaches and administrators had expressed to the Council and league office during the selection process that home sites have become too big of a playing and recruiting advantage for the host school. This is understandable, and speaks to the increased competitiveness of the MAAC. It seems appropriate and financially sustainable to move beyond the comfortable confines of an arena with a home school fan base. I would note that the MassMutual Center and the Local Organizing Committee have guaranteed the league its best ever financial result,” said conference commissioner Rich Ensor.
Springfield is home to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, named for James Naismith, the inventor of the game of the basketball. He devised the game while working at the Spingfield YMCA in the late 1800s. He later founded Kansas’ storied basketball program and witnessed basketball become an Olympic sport.