Friday, June 1, 2007

The Best Location for the A-10 Tournament: Cumberland, MD

Not really. But Atlantic City is asking the A-10 to hold the conference tourney in the city until at least 2010, and that's spurred a little debate at GWHoops.com. I think A.C. is a good place for the tournament, as it's pretty close to DC, it's a neutral site, there are ample hotels and there's lots to do - namely gamble, although the Boardwalk is neat to walk around on and there's shopping too. The city is pretty grim, but I think that's a small price to pay. And Irish Pub is great.

But considering I am a mapmaker by trade, I decided to do some analysis of where the optimum location for the tournament would be - the place that's in the middle of all the conference cities. Whether or not you count Philly three times or one, the geographic center is in the panhandle of Maryland, and the town that's closest to the conference's geographic center is Hancock, MD (pop. 1725). The nearest bigger city is Cumberland, MD. Cumberland (pop 21815) is actually a pretty nice little town; it used to be one of the bigger cities in Maryland and it's got a quaint little downtown. The band Page France is from there too, and they're good (my fave is "Junkyard", give it some time). So anyway, there's a random factoid for you - Cumberland, MD.

If you're looking for a bigger city, the closest to the geographic center is in fact Pittsburgh, PA, followed closely by D.C.

Here's the maps of the A-10 and of the area around the geographic centers. The blue star is the center if you count Philly three times since there's three schools there, while the red is if you only count it once. Surprisingly, there's not much difference between the two. Click the images for bigger ones.



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