Report from Springfield
A few notes from today's MAAC tournament press conference in Springfield:
- Commissioner Rich Ensor told me the financial guarantee from the MassMutual Center is substantially more than any guarantee they've had in the past, and that he was extremely confident the tournament would do better financially than it has in years. "The fans are all saying that the MAAC has done really well (in Albany), but we're going to do a lot better here," he said. "We're doing better right off the gate than we did last year.
- He said past guarantees have been a little more than $150,000, and that the guarantee per year is "way past that" this year, in addition to the league's expenses being fully paid for.
- Ensor, who has a Master's degree in sports management from UMass, was optimistic fans would consider the Pioneer Valley a destination site.
- The league will hold its awards banquet at the Basketball Hall of Fame, and use the convention center adjacent to the arena for fan fests. The building also has practice courts, which will take away teams' needs to find gyms elsewhere in the city like they have done in years past.
On an unrelated note, a reader wrote to ask if Ryan Thompson and Novar Gadson made the trip to Albany. I don't know where that question came from, but on the off chance that something was up, I checked with Tommy Dempsey, who said the Broncs have had "no issues" and that everyone who was expected to be in Albany tonight will be there.