Sources are saying that a tentative agreement has been reached between the UConn athletic department and Hartford’s XL Center to stage a large number of games in the building for the 2013-14 season.
Earlier this week, I reported that UConn had been looking for financial relief to host men’s and women’s games in the building and negotiations with the new management group running the facility were off to a slow start.
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 previous contract UConn had with the XL Center and AEG Management specified that it could not play any home basketball games in any other building but Gampel or XL Center. That stipulation is not expected to exist in the new deal with Spectrum.
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.