View Full Version : OT - The Big 10 about to make conference scheduling history

11-27-2017, 01:22 PM
As some people may know, because of the Big 10's fixation with getting their postseason tournament into Madison Square Garden in NYC, the Big 10 Tourney will take place super early this season: February 28-March 4.

In order to allow this to occur, the Big 10 has been forced to move its regular season conference games up........way up as it turns out.

The first Big Ten game of the season will take place this Friday, December 1, when Illinois takes on Northwestern. Everyone else in the league plays games the following day. On December 3, Northwestern plays at Purdue. Their next league game: January 2 vs. Nebraska. That's right: one month between league games.

I cannot recall any conference who has started league games this early in ages. I vaguely remember the old PCAA starting up some games around December 10, but December 1 is another thing all together. But then to take a whole month off from league play? I can't imagine that any Big 10 coach really likes that.

Seems like a real high price to pay just to get your tournament in Madison Square Garden to satisfy Rutgers or whatever. If I were the Big 10, I would just stage it every year in Indianapolis. It's the perfect city for it, and the venue is easy to get to.

11-27-2017, 02:38 PM
Isn't the made for TV Big 10/ACC challenge taking place between league games? They also have semester finals to deal with. I'm with you, I don't see the magic of having the tournament in MSG.

Section 116
11-27-2017, 02:47 PM
I heard Schulman and Bilas discussing this at PK80. The first I had heard of it, and besides the Zags, my other favorite is Penn St, the state where I grew up. Penn State basketball is now and has for a long time been experiencing "growing pains". I do follow the men's and women's teams among other Penn State sports and I never noticed their men's regular season schedule ends Feb 25th with the Big 10 tournament opening at Madison Square Garden on Feb 28th. Either Bilas or Schulman noted the Big East Conference already had MSG locked up and reserved for the traditional Power 5 conference weekend, March 8-11.

11-27-2017, 02:54 PM
It IS “the worlds greatest arena,” after all.

11-27-2017, 03:18 PM
Isn't the made for TV Big 10/ACC challenge taking place between league games? They also have semester finals to deal with. I'm with you, I don't see the magic of having the tournament in MSG.

It's taking place this week prior to the Big 10 games. Duke travels to Indiana on Wednesday, etc.

11-27-2017, 03:28 PM
It IS “the worlds greatest arena,” after all.



Section 116
11-27-2017, 03:52 PM
The Big Ten tournament at MSG is likely a one off deal: Mark Rudner, the Big Ten’s senior associate commissioner of television administration, told Sporting News. “None of us really expect this to carry on into 2019 and beyond.” See this link for an explanation of why this year, (if you are interested):


11-28-2017, 08:36 AM
To heck with Madison Square Garden! Let's bring back the old Hollywood Sportatorium in Pembroke Pines, Florida for the Big 10 Tourney!

MSG may be the world's greatest arena, but the Sportatorium was hands down the worst arena ever constructed in American history. Especially when it came to hosting rock n' roll concerts:



An "acoustical nightmare"

Despite hosting well-known musical acts, the Sportatorium was notorious for poor acoustics.[20] Roger Waters described the Sportatorium as a "real compromise" because there was no other venue in South Florida at the time. At one concert, Billy Joel reacted to the echo by calling the facility an "acoustical nightmare".

Ironically, numerous bootleg recordings of concerts from the Sportatorium by bands such as Pink Floyd, Rush, Ambrosia, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, and U2 remain sought after. In addition, one of the Grateful Dead's most critically praised live performances ever took place at the Sportatorium on May 22, 1977, most of which was commercially released in 1995 as Dick's Picks Volume 3.

Indoor rain delays

The Sportatorium roof was infamous for occasionally leaking over the stage (and performers) or the audience during heavy rainfalls. Robert Plant postponed a 1985 concert for one day due to leaks in the roof, and remarked to the crowd the following night, "This is the first gig I've ever done that was rained out inside the building."


Raucous crowds frequently created problems at the Sportatorium. Minor incidents abounded, such as the throwing of firecrackers inside the arena. After one such firecracker-throwing incident in February 1981, Bruce Springsteen announced from the stage, "All right, whoever threw those can come down to the front of the stage. We`ll give you your money back and throw you the #### out of here." Other unruly fans were reported to have urinated on the stage during the show, leading Springsteen to later declare that he would never again perform there.

In July 1980, about 500 fans attending a Ted Nugent concert at the Sportatorium rioted after deputies from the Broward County Sheriff's Office arrested 15 people suspected of smoking marijuana and took them to a command trailer. The crowd held 35 deputies and 15 prisoners at bay in the trailer for nearly an hour. One deputy was injured by rocks and bottles thrown by the crowd. An additional 20 people were injured before deputies in riot gear ended the violence after 21 additional arrests.

In 1981, Pembroke Pines police arrested 13 people at a Rick James concert on charges of illegally carrying weapons, including a .38-caliber revolver and semiautomatic pistols, and possession of cocaine and marijuana.

In 1982, fans waiting to attend a Rush concert began throwing rocks and bottles at Pembroke Pines police officers and Sportatorium guards when the gates did not open on time due to the late arrival of Rush's drummer, Neil Peart. Neil had been sailing on his sailboat in the British Virgin Islands during a 10-day break and missed his original flight in due to weather and other unforeseen issues. Having to take a later flight that would've got him there in time, he sent a telegram to the venue explaining this. However, the telegram never made it, and workers for the band couldn't verify that he was on the plane (or as Neil put it in his book, Roadshow: Landscape with Drums, "In those pre-Homeland Security days, the airline I was flying on wouldn't release its passenger manifest."). When the doors were finally opened, gate crashers scaled the 11-foot (3.4 m) wall surrounding the facility and started running toward the gates. Police sprayed tear gas on the intruders, resulting in additional rock throwing and fighting. Twenty-two people including 11 police officers were injured and two fans were arrested. As a result of this incident, a Sportatorium task force was created to handle the rowdyism and related problems.

Drug-related arrests at the arena peaked at 58 at the 17 concerts held in 1983.


The Sportatorium was also infamous for creating severe traffic jams. Interstate 75 did not exist until 1986, and most concertgoers were forced to take a lengthy, miles-long trek westward on Pines Boulevard, which by 1985 was still only a two-lane road for 8 of the 10 miles (16 km) west of the Florida Turnpike, the nearest major highway. The traffic jam on what was then Hollywood Boulevard would frequently extend all the way back to the Turnpike itself. One passenger in the long line of cars for the 1978 John Denver concert was reported to have jumped out of the car he was riding in, jog a quarter-mile ahead to a fast food restaurant, and receive his order in time to walk out the front door and get back in the car he was riding without either having to pause.

Many fans – some without tickets – would turn the impenetrable traffic bottlenecks into impromptu tailgate parties. Cars frequently stalled because of overheated radiators, leading to many concertgoers setting out on foot. This posed some danger, however, because impatient drivers would sometimes attempt to dart down the shoulder of the road to bypass traffic, resulting in a number of pedestrians being struck.

The Broward Sheriff's Office recommended what regular concertgoers knew: to avoid this traffic by taking U.S. 27 either northwest from Miami or south from State Road 84 and approaching the arena from the west. In 1979, the Sportatorium sped up the flow of traffic somewhat by eliminating its $2.00 parking charge and adding a 50-cent charge on each ticket instead. In 1985, the county began widening a four-mile (6 km) stretch of Pines Boulevard from University Drive to Flamingo Road, although the remaining four miles—with the exception of the roadway immediately in front of the arena—remained two lanes.

Because of the horrendous traffic, performers drove out to the arena hours before the show. Elton John arrived by helicopter for a 1984 performance, while Kenny Rogers stopped playing at the Sportatorium for a few years after 200 to 300 ticketholders were unable to attend a show because of the traffic. Despite some improvements, half-hour delays in concert start times to accommodate late arrivals would remain common for bigger acts. After one such delay, Billy Joel remarked from the stage, "#### the traffic getting to this place!"