More than 30 colleges await Connecticut basketball ‘bubble’
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP)– A resort casino on tribal land in Connecticut is completing strategies to host more than 30 college basketball teams as it ends up being a modified bubble for several early season tournaments, consisting of two moved from New York.
The Mohegan Sun has teamed with the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Popularity, which holds its guys’s Tip-Off Competition and Women’s Challenge there every year, and the Gazelle Group, which runs the Empire Classic and the Legends Classic in New York.
The organizers plan to hold those tournaments and numerous other “pods” of video games, which will get names in the next couple of weeks, at the Mohegan Sun, which is owned by the Mohegan Tribe and consists of a 10,000-seat arena that is home to the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.
” It’s a single site, remote area, with enormous square video footage for social distancing,” stated Greg Procino, vice president of basketball operations for the Hall of Popularity. “There are a great deal of things that will operate in our favor, ”
Rick Giles, the president of the Gazelle Group, anticipates about 35 teams from more than a dozen conferences will take part at what they are dubbing “Bubbleville” between Nov. 25 and Dec. 5, with as much as 7 video games a day.
There will be at least 9 “pods” of games, beginning with the Empire Classic on Nov. 25-26, which will consist of Villanova, Baylor, Arizona State and Boston College.
UConn, USC, Virginia, Florida, St. John’s, UMass, Vanderbilt, BYU, Louisville, North Carolina State and other males’s and ladies’s programs also have accepted play, organizers said.
Southern California coach Andy Enfield said the Trojans are anticipated to be in a pod with BYU, UConn and Vanderbilt.
” It’ll be a great occasion once we arrive,” Enfield stated. “We’re not concerned as long as we understand we’ll get checked and the opposing groups are too.”
The Hall of Fame on Friday revealed a revised field of teams and schedule for the Tip-Off Competition. The occasion will be split into two brackets called Naismith and Springfield.
The Naismith bracket consisted of Rhode Island, South Florida, Temple and Virginia Tech will play Nov. 28-29. The Springfield bracket of Albany, Drexel, Long Island and Quinnipiac will play Dec. 3-4.
” We have actually had the ability to integrate and utilize both our companies and strengths to produce something larger than what we originally had,” Giles stated. “I don’t understand if either company separately might have pulled off what we’re about to do next month.”
The Mohegan Sun has currently established procedures for coronavirus testing, cleaning and handling sports during the pandemic. It also has its own medical staff and facilities to treat and separate anyone who might be infected.
The resort teamed with Viacom over the summertime to produce televised events for boxing and combined martial arts.
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Tom Cantone, the senior vice president for sports and home entertainment at Mohegan Sun, stated this is not a complete bubble, like the NBA and WNBA in Florida, but an extremely controlled environment.
” We’re just following the playbook we have actually already developed and has been working remarkably,” Cantone said. “We will simply continue to do what we have actually been doing with our medical professionals and protocols. So far, it’s worked perfectly.”
Each team will be evaluated upon arrival. Each school will have its own secured flooring in the resort’s 34-story tower hotels along with meeting and catered dining locations.
The resort’s 125,000-square-foot exposition center will be transformed into a practice center, with courts on which some video games also will be played. The groups will move through designated “back of the home” corridors so they don’t connect with the general public.
The organizers plan to utilize a swimming pool of about 25 officials, who also will be housed at the resort for those two weeks.
The casino had actually currently set up safety devices as part of its reopening in June, including ultraviolet lighting and special filters in its A/C system.
The organizers are not preparing to permit fans at the video games, however that could change if metrics suggest it would be safe to permit a minimal variety of people, Procino said.
It has not yet been figured out how frequently and what sort of coronavirus testing will be done due to the fact that each conference has its own requirements.
” That’s been a real challenge,” Giles said. “I would love to see a combined set of constant procedures that all conferences can sign onto. That would make interconference play a lot easier.”
AP Sports Author Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
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