Wednesday, May 1, 2013
2013-14 could open with mega Dallas event
By Jason King
ESPN.com has learned efforts are underway to tip off the upcoming basketball season with a multigame event featuring some of the nation's top teams at the American Airlines Center in Dallas -- just 20 minutes from the site of the 2014 Final Four.
The one-day event -- which could feature as many as four games -- would be run by bd Global, the same group that put on last season's Texas-UCLA game in Houston. Details are still being finalized, so bd Global president Brooks Downing declined to name potential participants.
"We're still tying up some loose ends," Downing told ESPN.com, "but hopefully we'll be able to announce something soon."
Downing did acknowledge that as many as half the participants could be from Big 12 schools (such as Baylor, Texas or Oklahoma State, for example), which have large fan bases in or near the Dallas area. The rest of the teams would be nationally known programs from outside the region.
"We want this to serve as the tipoff to the season," Downing said. "The plan is to generate a lot of excitement and hype about college basketball in the city that's hosting the Final Four."
The 2014 Final Four will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, just 18 miles from Dallas.
If the November event is a success, Downing said bd Global likely will stage something similar each fall in the city slated to host the Final Four. The 2015 Final Four will be in Indianapolis before shifting to Houston in 2016.