November 6, 2012
A BIG MOVE
Big East men's championship switched from Red Bull Arena to PPL Park
The Big East Men's Soccer Championships have become the latest sporting event to take a hit because of the wrath of Hurricane Sandy.
The two- day final four event, which was scheduled to take place at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ on Friday and Sunday, has instead been moved to PPL Park in Chester, Pa.
Red Bull Arena has hosted the last two Big East Championships as part of a three-year agreement.
The four teams involved in the tournament apparently began hearing rumblings of the planned move as early as yesterday (Monday). No specific reason other than residual effects of the storm were given for the move, though the move apparently was made due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey in general and in the Harrison, N.J. area in particular.
Red Bull Arena suffered only minor non-structural damage in the storm, and the MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals Series game two between the Red Bulls and D.C. United will be played Wednesday evening at the Stadium. The MLS home and home series was switched because of the aftermath of the storm, with D.C. hosting the first leg at R.F.K. Stadium last Saturday.
The Big East semifinals are Friday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET, with both matches televised on CBS Sports Network. All four teams to reach the semifinals are from the Blue Division. Georgetown, the No. 2 seed, will face Marquette, the No. 4 seed in the first game, before the No. 3 seed, Notre Dame, matches up against top-seeded Connecticut. The two semifinal winners will play on Sunday at noon, with an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship on the line. The title game will be broadcast live via BIGEAST.tv, as well as numerous regional sports networks.
"We are happy to be able to step in and help the Big East with this very important event,” said Philadelphia Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz in a statement. “PPL Park and Philadelphia Union continue to be the home for top athletic and entertainment events, such as the Big East Championship."
“It is great of PPL Park to step up in adverse times,” said Jim Siedliski, Big East Associate Commissioner for Olympic Sports. “Our heartfelt wishes go out to the areas affected by the storm last week. PPL Park is a state-of-the-art facility that will give our student-athletes a great postseason experience.”
Tickets that were previously purchased through Red Bull Arena will be honored at PPL Park. Tickets also will be available for purchase via the PPL Park website.