RENO, NV – As we wrap up another Big Sky tournament, we also wrap up the three-year deal between the conference and the Reno Events Center to host this championship.
The conference recently announced they will move next year, signing a new three-year deal with Boise, Idaho. And location played the biggest factor in that move.
“We looked at the footprint and all of the different arenas and cities,” said Big Sky Commissioner Andrea Williams about the selection process. “We really did lock into Boise because it’s really central to the Big Sky. What we found out is more than half of our schools can drive there, so that’s great for our teams and our fans. The fact that we have got Big Sky alum there, I think we’re going to see a big jump in attendance. And we’re going to do our best to make sure we create the best experience for our student athletes.”
“Geographically it makes a lot more sense,” admitted Montana Athletic Director Kent Haslam. “I think a lot more of our fans will be able to get there. Might be able to get teams in and out of there much easier, speaking from the Montana perspective. So I’m excited to go to Boise.”
Everyone we have talked to who has attended the tournament in Reno over the past three years has loved it. It has a great fan experience. It’s extremely well run. There has been some fantastic basketball. And the hotels everyone stays in are only a block away from the arena, making it extremely convenient for everyone.
The problem is the list of people who have attended is just too small. The hope is that attendance goes way up with the move to Boise. And for Grizzly and Bobcat fans, that will almost surely be the case next year.