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Madison Square Garden And Barclays Center Made John Swofford Look Dumb

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Both major arenas in New York City declined to bid on hosting the 2016-21 ACC basketball tournaments.

Michael Heiman - Getty Images

Here's Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford last year while talking about the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to his conference and whether the ACC would be interested in playing their conference basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden:

I don't think there's any question that taking a look at New York and Madison Square Garden would be very appealing for Atlantic Coast Conference basketball fans. And even more so now with even more teams in closer proximity. With that being the media center of the world, so to speak, we'd probably be remiss if we didn't think of it in those terms.

You probably should have checked with MSG officials before saying something like that, Johnny Boy. ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy is reporting that Madison Square Garden did not submit a bid for the 2016-21 ACC tournaments before the deadline recently passed. While the ACC might be interested, the decisionmakers at MSG are apparently well aware of the brand equity that they've built by being the home of the Big East tournament since 1983. Not only are they not submitting a bid on the ACC tournament, but McMurphy also reports that the Big East and MSG are working on extending their contract through 2026.

The kicker on this whole deal is that the Barclays Center, the brand new home of the Brooklyn Nets, also did not submit a bid for the ACC tournament. As a brand new building, it has no attachments to any tournament, or any recurring event at all for that matter. It would appear that the people in charge in Brooklyn either A) don't want to get involved in trying to promote a tournament at the same time as the Big East tournament or B) don't want to get locked into a contract that doesn't start for another three years.

Ultimately, the whole thing seems to me like New York City is saying this to the ACC:


UPDATE: As you can see in the comments, Brian Ewart of VUHoops.com pointed out that Barclays is tied up with the Atlantic 10 tournament for the next five years, which would prevent them from hosting the ACC tournament in 2016.