After lobbying so hard for the chance to host postseason women’s basketball, the Mohegan Sun Arena isn’t about to let it go after one season.
Chris Sienko, general manager of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, reiterated Saturday the facility wants to remain the home of the American Athletic Conference – for as long as UConn is there.
The tournament is here for just this season; the AAC has the option to renew for next season.
“It’s more of a mutual thing, but if they don’t want to return it’s their right,” Sienko said. “I’m sure they will assess the tournament after its completion [Monday] and make a decision [about the future] in a short period of time.”
Mohegan Sun Arena tried unsuccessfully for years to wrestle the Big East tournament away from the XL Center, but found philosophical objections to the casino setting impossible to overcome.
But once the XL Center deal was over, and the old guard Big East decision-makers eliminated, the AAC quickly came to terms.
“We are not concerned with the length of any future deal as much as we are with the comfort level [of the AAC],” Sienko said. “We provide them with many different opportunities to do business here and we feel we can host the event as good, if not better, than anyone else might.
“Year-to-year makes sense to us right now, for as long as UConn is in the conference. Multiple years would be fine to, as long as UConn remains. It would be hard for us to have it here without a state presence.”