On Monday, the Inquirer's Keith Pompey confirmed through a Temple source ESPN's original report that the Atlantic 10 conference will be moving its year-end basketball tournament away from Boardwalk Hall and to the as-yet-unfinished Barclays Center in 2013.
The oft-delayed new home of the Nets will host one of two tournaments set to be held in New York City during conference tournament week, with the Big East's Madison Square Garden series remaining in place for now.
The World Wide Leader's Eammon Brennan reports that the tournament—contracted to be held at the Barclays Center through 2018—could be used as leverage for the building to later attract the ACC or even lure the Big East away from MSG. This assumes the Big East is even relevant in 2019...
As for Temple losing its home away from home in Atlantic City, it remains to be seen whether the Owls even be a part of the A10 by 2013. College football's seemingly inescapable realignment figures to change the face of basketball for any number of schools.
Whether all members of the A10 or not, Temple, La Salle and St. Joe's will be departing the confines of Boardwalk Hall after this season.
Frankly, it's heartbreaking.
Having spent all four of my collegiate spring breaks staring at that goofy ship, I've personally grown a great deal attached to the Hall. As a supporter of the building and an unabashed fan of minor league hockey, I remember getting my hopes up for a rumored Phantoms relocation to Atlantic City just a few years ago.
Alas, the Phantoms are in Glens Falls, New York, and all good things must come to an end.
For the record, and this is certainly worth noting, Boardwalk Hall is one of the few remaining venues in this country where a little British band named the Beatles actually took the stage. They played their only show in the building on the auspicious date of August 30th—my birthday. Albeit that back in 1964, I was barely a thought in anyone's mind. Whatever, you get the point.
So, do try your best to enjoy the 2012 Atlantic 10 conference tournament from Boardwalk Hall. Once it's over, I know I'll be scrambling to purchase WWE Smackdown! tickets just to back inside.