Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A-10 headquarters moving to Newport News

he news this week is that the Atlantic 10 headquarters is moving from Philadelphia to Newport News, Virginia. While Philadelphia holds three A-10 teams (St. Joseph's, Temple, and LaSalle), they are moving to a state where there is only one team (The University of Richmond, a good hour drive from Newport News).

According to Chas Rich of NCAA Fanhouse, “the move is apparently driven by economics, as the city's development office actively courted the A-10 to move” to the City Center at Oyster Point, which is described by them as “premier Class A office space.”

The Philadelphia Daily News quoted the A-10 Commissioner, Bernadette McGlade, as saying "Moving the office to a new region of the Atlantic 10 footprint is an opportunity to further brand the A-10."

But as noted on GWHoops, the new City Center is near a major airport (Norfolk), has a number of potential “recruits” (Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, and Hampton University, as well as nearby William and Mary and Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University). Many of those schools have been thought as possible A-10 members if the A-10 decides to grow some more.

In addition, there are at least 3 basketball arenas in the area, that could be utilized for an Atlantic 10 tournament, if the A-10 decides to leave Atlantic City, which is probably also costly. One such arena is the Hampton Coliseum, which used to house the Virginia Squires of the American Basketball Association (the team that first drafted Julius Erving from the University of Massachusetts). In addition to basketball, the Hampton Coliseum hosts concerts, including Elvis twice, and the Grateful Dead 21 times. Word is that Elvis has left the building though.

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