The CAA basketball tournament is on the move.
The conference announced Wednesday it will shift the event to Baltimore in 2014, the start of a three-year deal at 1st Mariner Arena (formerly the Baltimore Arena).
The CAA tournament had been held in Richmond – home of the conference offices – every year since 1990.
There might not be a massive shift in the in-game experience. Neither 1st Mariner Arena (opened in 1962) nor the Richmond Coliseum (opened in 1971) is a particularly modern venue. However, there are several hotels and restaurants within a short walk of the arena in Baltimore.
Perhaps just as significantly, it is a reflection of the CAA’s changing membership. Virginia Commonwealth left the conference earlier this year, and Old Dominion will head to Conference USA in 2013. That leaves only three Virginia schools (George Mason, James Madison and William & Mary) in what was traditionally a commonwealth-centric league.
The change moves the event closer to the likes of Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra and especially Towson, all of which joined the CAA early last decade. It also will be a shorter drive for George Mason fans, at least those located in Fairfax and the rest of the D.C. area.