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Rounding The Belt: Potential Relocation for MAC Championships?

The MAC has a "very special announcement" for us today. The Belt decided to read entirely too far into it.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

At 2:30 p.m. today, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher will be announcing "a very special announcement" to the media at Quicken Loans Arena.

We don't exactly know of any real hints or rumors floating about, but one possibility that we thought of back in the offices is that it could be an extension with Quicken Loans Arena for the MAC Basketball Tournament. That quickly turned into relocation and all sorts of other topics and ideas.

Anyways, we asked ourselves the question that has surely been on your minds as well: should the MAC reconsider relocating their football and basketball championship venues, and if so, where?

James H. Jimenez: The Palace of Auburn Hills or the Conseco Fieldhouse would be the only two places I could think of. Unless they wanted to go into B1G country and poach the United Center in Chicago.

Justin Coffin: Cleveland just makes too much sense what with half of the league being in Ohio... Though the MAC tourney would outsell Pistons games.

JHJ: Plot twist: They got to Miami (FL.)


Corey Gloor: I would think they'd stay in the state of Ohio. Hell, Columbus is the only other option I see that would make sense. MAC offices in Cleveland, tournament's been in Cleveland for awhile. It ain't leaving.

Justin Kruse: I am old enough to remember the days at Cobo Hall in Detroit and Battelle Hall in Columbus, plus of course the time in Toledo. None of those even come class to the experience or level of event that is put on in Cleveland.

Dustin Riley: Indianapolis would be a lot closer for a lot of the conference. It's also a nicer venue and city and easier to navigate.

Carter Adler: Sorry, Dustin, but that's not true. Average distance (using driving directions provided by Google Maps) to Cleveland is 199 miles, to Auburn Hills is 205, and to Indy is 250. Also, counting schools, 8 would travel farther to Indy than they do to Cleveland, with only 4 schools (NIU, Ball State, Miami, and Western Michigan) decreasing their drive, and one of those is nearly a toss-up (Western Michigan would only see their travel time cut from 3:54 to 3:46.)


DR: Interesting. Still think Cleveland and Detroit are holes that are terrible for the conference image.

Keith Scheleese: Conseco Fieldhouse? Is this 2007?

JHJ: Oh hi, Keith, Yes, it is.

JK: I am not from Cleveland and don't live there either, but work takes downtown about once or twice a quarter and the perception the city once held is no longer the reality. Fourth Street has some amazing restaurants and the number of people living downtown or in areas such as the warehouse district or nearby Ohio City continues to grow. The republican national convention is slated for 2016 and development in the Gateway in an around the Q and Progressive field continues. I think to call it a "Hole" is a bit of a stretch.

Thomas McElgunn: Screw all the Detroit haters. Nowhere else but the D.

JC: Shouldn't have to defend a city for it to make sense. Indy is B1G Country. Don't want any part of it if the MAC wants to differentiate.

KS: Indy used to be B1G Country. They are moving the tourney to Madison Square Garden.

Brandon Hickey: The MAC really is pretty lucky. Not a lot of the smaller conferences get to play their conference tourneys in an NBA arena. I also love the people who say it gives Akron and Kent State an unfair advantage. Since the tournament started at the Q they have been arguably the best programs in the conference, so yeah they have an advantage by being the better teams.

KS: One word: Toronto.

TM: I would agree with Indy or Toronto so long as they agree to take Western Michigan there as well.


Sam Barloga: Who's ruling out smaller options, too? You could probably fill the arenas up in Erie, Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids or Evansville.If you want to keep it big, I'd stay in Cleveland or move to Columbus. I really like Indy, but the B1G will be back there soon enough. It's not worth the risk. (Aside: Crew Stadium is a pretty viable option, in actuality.)

TM: I hear that the Silverdome might be available. It's a little windy there right now, but it has that rugged outdoor feeling and it's cheap.

DR: It fits in so well with the Detroit theme.

JHJ: Crazy idea time: The MAC should buy the Silverdome and make it the new championship venue. No more contracts with people, save money. (Relatively) neutral. Who loses?

JC: But make zero changes.



TM: KickStarter? Crowdfunding??

JC: It should be $100k tops.

Not a lot of the smaller conferences get to play their conference tourneys in an NBA arena.

JHJ: Gotta use that ESPN money somehow! Get a roof on that bad boy and we can host the #MACsketball championship too!

Max Moore: As someone with East Coast bias, Detroit is far less attractive than Cleveland. Like Charley Molnar-esque unattractive.

Carter Adler: FYI, the actual geographic center of the MAC is between Toledo and Bowling Green (just south of Perrysburg).

KS: Nerd.

TM: Perrysburg for the new queen city of the MAC! It might be cheaper to build a Silverdome mock-up there. You know like they do in Vegas for things?