McGrath-Phillips Arena has been chosen as the site for the 2016 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tourament
Sept. 9, 2015
NEW YORK – Conference attendance leader and reigning champion DePaul will serve as host of the 2016 BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Tournament, as approved by the league’s athletic directors and announced on Wednesday. The Conference postseason is set for March 5-8 at the Blue Demons’ McGrath-Phillips Arena, DePaul’s on-campus facility located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of downtown Chicago.
"We are very excited to bring the 2016 BIG EAST Women's Basketball Tournament to DePaul University, whose capabilities and long-standing commitment to women's basketball will ensure a first-class presentation and an exciting in-arena experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans," said BIG EAST Commissioner Val Ackerman. "Our schools have decided to begin moving our tournament back to campus sites to take advantage of fan support in the host city, and as the BIG EAST leader in women's basketball attendance for the past two years, DePaul is the ideal place to start."
Since the BIG EAST Conference membership reconfigured prior to the 2013-14 season, DePaul has won both BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Tournaments while also leading the league in average home attendance. The Blue Demons have consistently been among the national leaders in fan support, ranking among the top 50 of all NCAA Division I teams in each of the last five years, including 2011-12 when their total season attendance eclipsed 50,000.
“DePaul University is proud to host the BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Tournament,” said DePaul Athletics Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto. “DePaul Athletics has had the good fortune to host several NCAA women’s basketball events and looks forward to hosting the BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Tournament at McGrath-Phillips Arena this March. We are proud to showcase the City of Chicago and our Lincoln Park neighborhood. Coach Bruno and his staff have done a wonderful job marketing women’s basketball in Chicago as is evidenced by the terrific fan support from our faculty, staff and students, along with our Chicagoland neighbors and fans.”
The BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Tournament will return to an on-campus location for the first time since 2003. The league tourney was played on campus sites for the first 21 years (1983-2003), rotating across 10 different campuses, including the courts of five current members. The BIG EAST Tournament was moved to off-campus locations in 2004, remaining at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., through 2013. Allstate Arena in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill., has been the tourney home the last two seasons.
The first round games of the 2014 BIG EAST Women’s Basketball Tournament were played at McGrath-Phillips Arena before the final three rounds were moved to Allstate Arena.
Housed in the Sullivan Athletic Center which opened in 2000, McGrath-Phillips Arena seats 3,000 and serves as the home floor for DePaul women’s basketball and volleyball.
All 10 teams qualify for the BIG EAST Tournament, with the top six teams receiving first-round byes. DePaul won the 2014 conference crown as the No. 1 seed, sweeping the regular-season and tournament titles, while sharing the 2015 regular-season trophy with Seton Hall before topping the Pirates in the BIG EAST Tournament Final.
Season ticket packages for the 2015-16 DePaul women’s basketball season are on sale now featuring great savings and the best seats available. Show your commitment today by placing a $50 deposit and be a part of the BIG EAST action next season. Flexible mini packages and group ticket offers will be available this fall. Call the DePaul Ticket Office at (773) 325-SLAM (7526) and speak with a ticket representative or go to www.depaulbluedemons.com/tickets to learn more about joining the excitement of DePaul athletics.