While there have been talks between the Barclays Center and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for quite some time about holding the annual ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament there; today Sports Illustrated broke the news that they are finalizing a deal to bring the tournament to Brooklyn by the end of the month. This is a huge step forward for the ACC as they have become the powerhouse basketball conference since going through a second phase of expansion this year bringing in (relatively) local teams like Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Boston College to the stacked conference that already included Duke, North Carolina and Virginia.
This proposed deal between the ACC and Barclays Center is a strategic move to bring the best basketball conference to the biggest market in the country to capitalize on the potential revenue this partnership would create. The ACC Tournament would not move to the Barclays Center until 2017 at the earliest due to previous commitments with the Greensboro Coliseum in 2015 and Washington DC in 2016.
There is only one thing holding this deal back, the Atlantic 10 (A-10) Conference. The A-10 currently plays it’s conference tournament in the Brooklyn arena since signing a five year agreement to move there from Atlantic City in 2013. Moreover the two conferences would overlap in 2017 which creates a scheduling conflict with the two tenants of the Barclays Center, the Nets and Islanders, who would have to be out of the building for over a week straight. This is just too many days of conference tournaments and has resulted in the A-10 and ACC entering negotiations to move the A-10 Tournament if the ACC agrees to a scheduling alliance and inter-conference games so they will have a higher profile.
Additionally the ACC’s history is deep rooted in the Carolina’s where it was founded in 1953 by seven schools from the surrounding area and as a result will continue to keep its presence they by rotating its tournament between Greensboro Coliseum and Barclays Center.