We know now the UConn-Stanford game on Nov. 11 will begin at 7 p.m. The only thing we don’t know yet is in which Connecticut arena the game will be played.
And we likely won’t know exactly where any of UConn’s two preseason and16 regular-season home games will be played for a while, perhaps not even when the official schedule is released in a few weeks.
That’s because negotiations to resume a relationship with the XL Center are off to a slow start.
At this point, getting the parties together to talk has been somewhat problematic; appointments have been canceled, dates found not convenient. But there is more to this.
UConn is also looking for financial relief to host men’s and women’s games in the building that has long been its alternate venue. And that promises to be – as it always is in these cases – a difficult negotiation, especially now with a new management group running the building.
This is even the case despite UConn’s intention to play up to a dozen men’s hockey games at the XL Center as part of its graduated upgrade to major Division I hockey and Hockey East.
As it stands now, the UConn women will likely play at least nine of its 18 home games at Gampel Pavilion. As for the other nine, the majority will still most likely be played in Hartford, perhaps as many as eight of them.
It also looks like the Mohegan Sun Arena, the sight of the first American Athletic Conference women’s tournament in March 2014, will not get any men’s or women’s home games this season.
That leaves Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena with at least one women’s game and one’s men’s game for this season.
The UConn women will play 31 games this season, including two exhibitions, nine conference games and seven non-conference games at home. They will play four non-conference road games [Maryland, Penn State, Duke and Baylor], two neutral site games [Ohio State in Springfield, Mass., and California at Madison Square Garden] and nine in the the AAC.
Also, it is quite probable that the CBS Sports Network will double its share of UConn games this season from two to perhaps four, likely meaning a few less for SNY, depending on what games ESPN decides to take other than Stanford, Duke, Baylor, California and Maryland.
You might think ESPN would be interested in at least one, perhaps both games against Louisville, who UConn played for the national championship last season and will be its toughest competitor in the AAC.