Big Ten moves 2017 basketball tournament to D.C.


The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that it will move it's men's basketball tournament to Washington D.C. in 2017.

The tournament is moving from Chicago and Indianapolis to the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. Its the first time the tournament will be played on the east coast.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement, "We're thrilled to announce plans to host the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament in Washington D.C. We have a great amount of respect for basketball in this region of the country and are pleased that we were able to place this tournament at the Verizon Center at this first possible opportunity in March of 2017."

The tournament will be played at the United Center in Chicago in 2015 and in Indianapolis in 2016. The 2017 tournament will mark the 20th annual event.

The announcement has drawn mixed reaction.

"We're very excited the Big Ten Conference has selected our nation's capital as the site for the 2017 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament," said University of Maryland Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson. "This is yet another example of the Big Ten's commitment to our region and provides fans of Maryland and all conference teams on the East Coast easier access to enjoy this outstanding event."

According to the Washington Post, it won't be the only conference event held in the D.C. area either.

“It’s probably the biggest one, but it won’t be the last big one,” Delany told the Post.

The Big Ten though has been increasing its presence on the east coast. Maryland and Rutgers will join the conference for competition beginning this fall.

"We don't just want to visit here, we want to live here," Delany said. "This was our first opportunity to do that."

The conference is also finishing construction on a second office space in New York City and will have a permanent satellite offices in D.C. It also signed a new deal with the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium and announced a partnership for an early-season basketball series with the Big East.

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