The 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball Championships are coming to Springfield Thursday, and Western Mass. Sports Biz will be at the MassMutual Center all weekend to cover the tournament which concludes Monday. Check back for analysis and pictures from the event. Coverage will include all business aspects of the tournament, including attendance, game presentation, and the venue, among others.
The tournament is in its second of a three-year commitment to Springfield, a year in which more local support has been asked upon. The event brings ten men's and ten women's teams from around the Northeast to compete for an automatic bid to their respective NCAA tournaments. Last year, decent support was drawn from the member schools, yet crowds lacked neutral fans from Western Mass.
The tournament will be giving back to the community by partnering with the Jimmy Fund to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. For every ticket sold at the tournament, a contribution will be made to the Jimmy Fund, along with a "text-to-give" campaign that will be promoted within the arena. Spectators can text "JIMMY" to 22122 to contribute $5. Additionally, a large canister will be placed in the MassMutual Center as another option for fans to make a donation.
Community events planned include the MAAC Restaurant Program, benefiting local restaurants where visiting fans can be part of a reward program. This is a perfect example of how the tournament will be impacting locally-owned businesses, and the rest of the Pioneer Valley's economy. Other events include a one-mile "Bounce to the Arena" from the Basketball Hall of Fame to the MassMutual Center, and MGM Springfield FanFest.
The tournament will be co-hosted by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and played at the 6,663-seat MassMutual Center. Two women's games will be broadcasted live on ESPN3, available on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app, while the final will be televised on ESPNU on Monday at noon. On the men's side, 6 games will be broadcasted on ESPN3, with the final live on ESPN2 on Monday at 9. If you can't make it to the MassMutual Center this weekend, check Western Mass. Sports Biz all weekend for coverage from the tournament.