2016 Conference Championship Locations

Hey A-10...Please put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty and head back down to Atlantic City
Hey A-10…Please put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty and head back down to Atlantic City

It’s my favorite time of year again! The College Basketball season is winding down and a few teams have already played their last home game. While the NCAA Tournament is the core of March Madness, the Conference Tournaments should not be overlooked as there is plenty of excitement within each bracket. Since this is a stadium website, I like to break down each College Basketball conference and their respective tournament location. It’s not as fun when more conferences nowadays need a plane ticket just to travel to a road game, but nonetheless, long-time lovers of this sport can’t resist getting excited when the calendar hits late February. Except for the 14-game tournament that is the Ivy League, every other conference and tournament location is placed below into one of three categories: the good ones, the OK and the bad.



  • Big East:     New York, NY – Madison Square Garden

    • I know it is not the same, but at least there are still five original members
  • Big Sky:     Reno, NV – Reno Events Center

    • Yes! Great move by the Big Sky. This is a spread-out conference in the western half of the US and with Vegas already packed with other tournaments, the next best choice is Reno. The Events Center is relatively new and mid-sized, a venue that should fit wonderfully. Here’s to it working out well in the Biggest Little City in the World.
  • Big Ten:    Indianapolis, IN – Bankers Like Fieldhouse

    • Basketball is king in Indiana and the heartbeat of the state is perfect for a big conference tournament
  • Big XII:     Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center

    • Perfect spot in a basketball-rich city that loves the conference and always supports this tournament well.
  • Big West:     Anaheim, CA – Honda Center

    • The California Bus League features most if its members in SoCal, so Anaheim is a great spot
  • MAC:     Cleveland, OH – Quicken Loans Arena

    • Excellent location and fans travel well here. It’s a great tournament made even better by the return of a natural bracket with no double-byes.
  • Missouri Valley:     St Louis, MO – Scottrade Center

    • The best conference tournament in the country
  • Ohio Valley:     Nashville, TN  –  Nashville Municipal Auditorium

    • A long time home for the OVC tournament that is a natural fit. The venue is perfect for the crowd size and the atmosphere has been pretty good in recent years.
  • Pac-12:     Las Vegas – MGM Grand Garden Arena

    • Great neutral site. Though UCLA and USC had a slight advantage when this was held in LA, a little part of me still feels the Staples Center is the right venue though.
  • Southern:      Asheville, NC – Asheville Civic Center

    • The Southern Conference has struck gold as they enter their sixth year in Asheville. Crowds have been good and Asheville is such a terrific city
  • Southland:     Katy, TX – Merrill Center

    • Small arena in a Houston suburb that is an ideal host for the Southland
  • Sun Belt:     New Orleans, LA – Lakefront Arena

    • I thought Hot Springs was a good home, but New Orleans is centralized and offers a lot more. I like the Lakefront Arena much better as a venue for the Sun Belt, as opposed to the professional facility for the Pelicans (whose crazy corporate name I will not write).
  • West Coast:    Las Vegas, NV – Orleans Arena

    • Big crowds fill this casino just off The Strip as each team brings a high number of fans. They are doing very well here



  • ACC:     Washington, DC – Verizon Center

    • There is nothing wrong with DC…it’s just that this tournament is synonymous with Greensboro. Another byproduct of conference expansion.
  • American:     Orlando, FL – Amway Center

    • It really doesn’t matter where the tournament is since this conference is a random mix of teams stretching halfway around the world. But as for destination cities, Orlando is a good one.
  • America East:    Campus Sites

    • I know this conference is too small to generate a big crowd at a neutral site. But I think Springfield, MA and the MassMutual Center is a nice, centralized location for them. They have at least got rid of the unfair pre-determined host for the first two rounds to an all campus-site affair.
  • Atlantic Sun:     Campus Sites

    • Campus sites are fine for this constantly evolving conference. They still could try for better…how about Savannah and the Civic Center? It’s a nice destination town within driving distance of most schools
  • Colonial:     Baltimore, MD – Royal Farms Arena

    • The city is a great host and the location is in the middle of league members. But my heart longs for the good ol’ days in Richmond.
  • Conference USA:     Birmingham, AL – Legacy Arena at the BJCC

    • Similar boat as the American Conference (just realized their names are close to each other too). At least Birmingham is kind of the middle for this far-reaching conference.
  • Horizon:     Detroit, MI – Joe Louis Arena

    • The Horizon finally heads to a neutral site, but it’s not the one I was looking for. Give me Fort Wayne, IN and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, one time! This Midwestern City School league would be a perfect fit for Fort Wayne. Looks like the Motor City will have to do as both Detroit and Oakland certainly will have an advantage.
  • MEAC:    Norfolk, VA – Norfolk Score Arena

    • This may move into the “Good” category eventually. Probably the best option around for this league.
  • MAAC:    Albany – Times Union Center

    • Springfield was unfortunately a failure, so the MAAC goes back to where they know the crowds will be better. However, this gives Siena vastly unfair home cooking. If they meet in the Semis, I’m sure Monmouth or Iona will not be pleased having to play a virtual road game despite a better record than Siena. I still think Newark’s Prudential Center would be a much better option as it is closer to the core of the league’s teams.
  • Mountain West:    Las Vegas – Thomas & Mack Center

    • Yeah, Vegas is awesome, but UNLV has a distinct advantage. How about Salt Lake City?
  • NEC:    Campus Sites

    • Not ideal but not sure there is a suitable place for them in the NYC Metro area
  • SEC:     Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena

    • Nothing at all against this fine city and arena, but both Atlanta and the SEC are Kings of the South. This event should stay in Atlanta.
  • Summit:     Sioux Falls, SD – Denny Sanford Premier Center

    • The Sanford Premier Center is a beautiful new arena and Sioux Falls is a fine town to host an event. It’s just that the Summit League is so spread out that it is understandably hard to get fans to make the trip.



  • Atlantic-10:     Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center

    • I booed Bernadette McGlade when attending the 2012 tournament, the last in Atlantic City. The move to Brooklyn the next year typified this attempt at making the A-10 bigger than what it is and should be. Teams are spread out, rivalries have disappeared and the premier conference event is played in a dark, cavernous arena that is a pain to get to. AC was a perfect home.
  • Big South:    Buies Creek, NC – Pope Convocation Center

    • Coastal Carolina’s impending departure to the Sun Belt means that the tournament says goodbye to the Myrtle Beach area. The Big South had to scramble in the Spring and settled on Campbell’s Campus as the tournament site. Hopefully with some time this summer, they can find a more suitable location (Roanoke perhaps?)
  • Patriot:     Campus Sites

    • OK Patriot League, it’s time to take a step and grow up…especially since you decided to make the curious move to 10 teams a few years ago by adding Boston and Loyola (MD). It’s time to try a neutral site and I am still in favor of Philadelphia’s Palestra. What a great Thursday-Sunday this event could be and I’m sure the city has a lot of alumni that would come out too.
  • SWAC:     Houston, TX – Toyota Center

    • Without local team Texas Southern, games can be a sad sight with 90-95% of the arena empty.
  • WAC:     Las Vegas, NV – Orleans Arena

    • What kind of crazy teams play in this league again?


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