Big Ten announces partnership with Madison Square Garden

NEW YORK — The Big Ten continued its shift to the East Coast on Tuesday, announcing that it has reached an extensive agreement with Madison Square Garden to host the conference’s 2018 men’s basketball tournament, along with men’s basketball and hockey doubleheaders from 2016 through 2019.

It’s the latest push toward the east for a league that has added Maryland and Rutgers and announced that Washington D.C. will host the 2017 Big Ten Tournament all within the calendar year. The agreement with Madison Square Garden only means the Big Ten’s footprint is growing bigger with the league set to receive year-round branding opportunities at the fabled arena, including signage inside and outside of the facility and select media promotion in the heart of New York City.

“We are thrilled to establish this long-term partnership with Madison Square Garden, one of the most-revered brands and buildings in all of sports,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. “This pairing is a natural fit for us as we continue to extend our brand and live in two regions of the country. The Garden has been the site of countless iconic moments throughout history, and we look forward to showcasing some of the best basketball and hockey programs in the country through this partnership.”

This news also means the 2017-18 conference season will begin in December to accommodate the Big East Tournament, which will continue to run through Selection Sunday. The Big Ten Tournament will start on Wednesday, Feb. 28 and run through Sunday, March 4, meaning all league teams will sit idle for more than a week before the start of the NCAA Tournament.

The tournament has been held in either Chicago or Indianapolis through each of its first 17 years of existence. Chicago’s United Center will host the event for the ninth time in 2015, followed by its 10th appearance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2016. The 2017 event at Washington’s Verizon Center will represent the tournament’s first time on the East Coast. The Big Ten is schedule to return to Chicago in 2019 and 2021, and Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022.

The agreement represents a boost for the league’s Big Ten hockey programs, which will receive additional exposure at Madison Square Garden. The league will host four consecutive doubleheaders between conference foes held in late January or early February from 2016 through 2019. Michigan and Penn State will be the first two schools to have their men’s basketball and hockey teams compete in a doubleheader on Jan. 30, 2016.

The league’s ties to the East Coast have only strengthened since the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, with last year’s acceptance of Johns Hopkins University as the conference’s first sport affiliate member for men’s lacrosse. The Big Ten also has an agreement with the Pinstripe Bowl, sending a team to play at Yankee Stadium each December. This past spring, the league announced plans to take part in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an early-season men’s basketball series with the Big East. The conference also recently opened a second office in New York City and plans to open a satellite office in Washington.


  1. “…100,000 conference alumni that live in the New York metropolitan area.”

    Most of the 100,000 could give a crap. It’s a drop in the bucket. Alumni doesn’t transfer to interest….It will be a flop. It’s a disservice to the many students and families(the far majority) that support teams year-round that can’t afford such a trip.. ..Maryland and Rutgers just joined the conference and we’re already transplanting the hype East? Then again, I won’t really miss the sea of orange that always takes over Indy via Illinois. Absolutely despise the Illini more than any other school in the conference…Their colors and their sophistication will fit right in with MSG Knicks’ fans.

  2. Delany grew up in South Orange, New Jersey and attended Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1970. While a student there he played for the university’s basketball team, playing on two squads that reached the NCAA Final Four. His senior season he was co-captain of the team(courtesy: Wikipedia)

    Jersey…NC…Tarheel…Huh? What do you know.

    Should we really be surprised that he wants to take limelight off of Indy and Hoosiers? Should we really be surprised that he puts us second fiddle to the Big East tournament and then attempts to sell it off as an upgrade in status because it’s at MSG?

  3. And let’s be completely clear about the Big 10 Network…If Hoosier Basketball was not on that peanut network, their viewership would dive 75%…. We should contract everything possible with ESPN…and get off that boring-ass channel. Never second fiddle…We put the conference on the map…Delany is just another Establishment pawn forever small and jealous of Hoosier banners.

  4. We should actually consider joining the Ivy League…I’ve heard the Ivy League is thinking of pushing westward with Northwestern and IU heading up the top of their prospective choices for Midwestern schools that put academics into the student-athlete equation first and foremost. …And another plus moving to the Ivy League…I’m pretty sure that no Ivy League team has had any coaches that showered with children for 15 years….I’m really glad we’re now rewarding the East influence that began with Penn State for such admirable presence in the conference….

  5. the voices inside your head are talking against you harvard. i don’t understand it and refuse to answer it.

  6. I appreciate such sturdy resolve. And I appreciate your concern. I’ll be fine.

    Take care, coachv.

    I’ll forever hold you to a compliment you once tossed my way….It is in a place those “voices” bypass every once in blue moon.

  7. I never promised to be the Hoover Dam….Rivers got to flow…Speaking of which…Whatever happened to Jeremiah Rivers…? Is he playing any ball? What’s up Doc? Wasn’t he Crean’s real breakthrough into the Eastern b-ball Establishment? Thank goodness we’re done with bricklayers and finally have some shooters heading into NYC…rather than rim polluters used for propping Crean’s connections to the Jersey NBA Pipeline. Blackmon, Hartman, RJ, Nickie “Buckets” Stauskas Zeisloft…Hoetzel California…Finally some shooters! Lord, I wish we had Cody inside the circle of all this heavy outside artillery fire…Timing is everything..

  8. How about wetting your lips H4H, and sticking them to a wall? You’re worse then Geoff. The Big Ten won’t listen to you, and you can’t do a thing about it. This isn’t your grandparents conference anymore. It probably pissed you off when Internet was introduced to classrooms. Do us a favor and look out the window a little more….

  9. Lonnie is hands down the best poster here… short, sweet interjections. Quiet for a month and then comes in with a blitzkrieg. I just wish he’d stay around and not disappear for so long between posts.

  10. Thanks for thinking of me Geoff. It thrills me to no end that you think of me beyond the walls of the Scoop. Tell Grayson I said hello and kiss that manly wife of yours for me too. I’ll be in Maine for 2 weeks in January. I’ll be looking for “Feldmans’ in the phone book at the Hampton Inn. Toodle loo Geoff.

    P..S. I thought you were dialing back Geoff?

  11. No better time to come to Maine than January Lonnie… Kudos for your excellent taste in weather. No doubt this is true since we have both Hampton Inns and Phone Books here in Maine. Luckily I was able to kiss Grayson and the wife good night tonight because they were able to move back in last night.

  12. MM just reported that MSG is about 80% IU fans.

    Yup. B1G tourney there is going to be just horrible for attendence.

  13. Thank you very much Geoff Feldman. Sorry to hear your wife and Grayson were evicted from the low rent district. I say put them on the street beings your a little chubby. Do you want my email so we can sling mud? Didn’t think so. Shut up before I go to Maine and beat you straight to the ground.

  14. This just in….Crean said “gameplan” during the halftime interview. The improvement continues.

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