Ivy League announces conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025

On Wednesday, the Ivy League office announced that Harvard will host the 2020 Ivy League Tournaments on Sat., Mar. 14 and Sun. Mar. 15. In addition, the league also scheduled the tournament locations through the 2024-25 season, with each of the conference’s schools that haven’t already hosted getting a turn.

After holding the first two Ivy tournaments at Penn’s Palestra (seating 8,722) and scheduling this year’s event at Yale’s John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,800), the league has elected to follow a southern-central-northern pattern for future sites.  After Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion (1,636), Ivy Madness will travel down south to Princeton’s Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854) in 2021, followed by trips to Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) in 2022 and Cornell’s Newman Arena (4,473) in 2023.  The event will move to the northern-most site at Dartmouth’s Leede Arena (2,100) in 2024, before finishing the rotation at Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium (2,700) in the spring of 2025.

The format for the tournaments will remain the same over the length of this plan, with the top four teams in the men’s and women’s divisions competing for the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.  With the Ivy League’s 10-year partnership deal with ESPN in effect until the summer of 2028, the planned Ivy League Tournaments will continue to be broadcast by the sports network.

The dates for the 2021-2025 tournaments have not been posted.  In an interview with IHO late Wednesday afternoon, Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris stated that the dates for those events will be announced at a later time.  She did not feel that the change of the 2020-21 Princeton academic calendar, which will move fall finals from January to December, would cause the conference to move its event up one week.

Harris also noted that the rotation plan had been in the works for a while, with complete consensus among the league’s athletic directors. Harris said that due to the success of the first two Ivy tournaments, the positive feelings regarding the upcoming tournament and the outstanding organizational skills of the various athletic staffs, league officials felt confident that the events could thrive at the eight on-campus sites without having to look for off-campus venues.

The league’s largest and most famous arena, the Palestra, will sit idle over the next seven postseasons and a number of stakeholders have voiced displeasure in the decision, the league feels the shared excitement among the eight schools is more important than keeping the conference’s premier event locked into one site.  Ultimately, Harris is aware that the improved quality of the men’s and women’s divisions (present conference RPI for men is No. 10 and women is No. 11) will be the biggest factor in drawing the fans to Ivy Madness over the next several years.

Some reactions from around the Ivy Twittersphere:

 

3 thoughts on “Ivy League announces conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025”

  1. Terrible idea. Hanover in mid-March? Ithaca in mid-March? That’s just begging for postponement and cancellation issues? Any potential weather concerns would discourage fans from traveling the long distances. Find a neutral site further south, perhaps The Westchester County Center in White Plains (seating capacity 5000) or Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT (seating capacity 9500). While distances would vary, every tournament team would have to travel. Stadium size would accommodate the crowds, the urban locations of these venues would provide ample lodging options, and no tournament team would ever have a home court advantage.

    • I like the idea of a neutral site, easily accessible to all teams and their fanbases. Another thought would be the Times Union Center in Albany, but would have to compete with the MAAC. What about the Prudential Center (19,500) in Newark, NJ, or the Tsongas Center (6,496) in Lowell, MA? Or SNHU arena (11,700) in Manchester, NH? Hosting on site for campuses will cause too many issues, especially when it comes to home court advantage like this years tournament. But, bad weather could discourage fans at any site.

  2. Bush league Ivy Office decision – no foresight …should have gone with a permanent site like the real leagues have done…the Dunk would have been perfect …or Webster…or New Jersey..

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