The Big Ten Conference announced Tuesday that the 20th annual Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held in at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C in 2017.
The Washington D.C. location will mark the first time the conference tournament will be somewhere other than Chicago or Indianapolis.
“We’re thrilled to announce plans to host the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Washington, D.C.,” Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany said in a press conference Tuesday. “We have a great amount of respect for basketball in this region of the country and are pleased that we were able to place this tournament at the Verizon Center at this first possible opportunity in March 2017.”
The Verizon Center is a 20,000 seat multi-purpose arena set in downtown Washington D.C. that hosts the NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals and WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
“We are looking forward to and are honored to host the Big Ten Tournament here in Washington, D.C. for the very first time,” senior vice president and general manager of Verizon Center David Touhey said Tuesday. “The excitement that surrounds this conference event is unparalleled, and with Maryland becoming a part of the fold officially next season, the tournament is sure to have some added local flair here in the nation’s capital.”
The Big Ten will be adding two East Coast teams, Maryland and Rutgers, in 2014 to go along with Penn State.
The United Center in Chicago will host the 2015 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament. The conference tournament will move back to Indianapolis in 2016 before moving east in 2017.
Washington D.C. is just more than 800 miles from Madison.