Friday, October 8, 2010

University of Albany Men's Basketball to Play in Madison Square Garden for First Time as Part of Doubleheader - UAlbany Sports 2010

Cambridge, Mass. - For the first time ever, Madison Square Garden, the "World's Most Famous Arena", will host an America East men's basketball conference game when University at Albany and Boston University face off on Thursday, Feb. 10. America East Commissioner Patrick Nero, University at Albany Vice President for Athletic Administration & Director of Athletics Lee McElroy and Boston University Assistant Vice President & Director of Athletics Mike Lynch announced the joint venture with St. John's University this afternoon.

"This is a wonderful step forward for America East Basketball," said Nero. "Madison Square Garden has been the mecca of college basketball for over 75 years. We are thrilled that the students, alumni and fans from Boston University and Albany will get an opportunity to experience college basketball in The Garden. If you play college basketball or are a fan of college basketball, you want to get the chance to enjoy the passion and history of Madison Square Garden."

"We want to thank St. John's Athletic Director Chris Monasch for providing us with this opportunity," continued Nero. "As the former America East Commissioner, he understands the value this brings to our conference. We also want to thank the administrations at Albany and Boston University for working with us to make this a reality."

The game, which will be the first played in the arena by an America East team since Boston University appeared in the 2006 AĆ©ropostale Holiday Festival, will follow a St. John's-UConn contest and tip off at approximately 9:35 p.m. Boston U. will serve as the home team. Overall, it will be the Terriers' fourth appearance in the Garden, which also includes a win over UConn in the 1959 NCAA Tournament. This will be Albany's first-ever appearance in the famed arena.

"It is exciting to be bringing Boston University's basketball program to Madison Square Garden," said Boston University President Dr. Robert A. Brown. "Our players and coaches are looking forward to competing on this stage."

"Albany welcomes the opportunity to play in a world-famous venue that is synonymous with the history of college basketball," said McElroy. "This provides us a chance to showcase a quality institution and highlight the America East Conference and representative basketball programs. Our alumni, fans and friends, who support the school's mission and athletic program's goals and values, will cherish the basketball team's first appearance in The Garden."

"This marks the third time in four years that Boston University Athletics will make an appearance in New York, an area that is critical to our continued growth," said Lynch, whose hockey program twice played Cornell at The Garden. "We look forward to hosting Albany in our home-away-from-home and are thankful for the continuing relationship with Madison Square Garden."

Both universities have centric ties to the New York City area with a combined five players who grew up within 50 miles of New York City, including all-conference performers Tim Ambrose from Albany and John Holland from Boston U. Seventy-thousand alumni from the two schools currently reside in the New York Metropolitan Area.

"The opportunity to play in Madison Square Garden, the most famous arena in the world, will be an amazing experience for our players, students and University," said Boston University head coach Patrick Chambers. "I had a wonderful time meeting with our alumni in New York City this past summer, and I'm excited that they will be able to come out and support Terrier basketball."

"Playing in Madison Square Garden is a great opportunity for our players and our program," said Albany head coach Will Brown. "We are looking forward to competing against a very good Boston University team and following two programs that are rich in history and tradition like St. John's and UConn. This will give our strong New York Metropolitan Area alumni base the chance to see our program compete in ‘The World's Most Famous Arena.' This is also a very good networking opportunity for all associated with the University at Albany."

The current Madison Square Garden opened in 1968 and hosts over 320 events annually, including home contests for the New York Knicks and Rangers, the National Invitation Tournament, The Big East tournament and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The venue, which is located directly over Penn Station, has hosted several historic events including the first Muhammad Ali-Joe Frasier bout, several Democratic and Republican National Conventions and numerous concerts, including three Grammy Awards.

Additional details regarding the event, including ticket details, will be announced at a later date. For more information on America East basketball, visit the brand new

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

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