INDIANAPOLIS -- The Horizon League Executive Council approved an agreement in principle with Olympia Entertainment to host the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Tournament in the city of Detroit.
Under terms of the five-year agreement, Olympia Entertainment will host the men’s basketball tournament beginning in 2016.
“The addition of the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship is a perfect compliment to our wide range of existing sports and entertainment events at our downtown Detroit venues,” said Tom Wilson, President of Olympia Entertainment. “We look forward to providing an outstanding and memorable tournament experience for the schools, their fans and all participating student athletes.”
The first two years of the tournament will be contested at venerable Joe Louis Arena, home to the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings, before moving to the state-of-the-art Detroit Events Center, currently under construction in downtown Detroit.
“The partnership with Olympia Entertainment is a unique and exciting opportunity,” Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone said. “We want to provide a great tournament experience for all of our key constituents -- student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans -- and we are excited to work with Olympia and our institutions on that goal.”
Among the planned tournament enhancements will be a celebratory event for the participating teams, increased fan participation experiences and multi-event ticketing packages. A multiple-layer branding and marketing effort will also be a feature of the agreement. Additionally, the Horizon League will have an increased presence in Detroit via future League meetings and media events.
The 2016 Horizon League men’s basketball championship game will keep its current Tuesday, March 8, slot on ESPN or ESPN2 at 7 p.m. ET. Additional game dates, times, network information, and tournament format will be announced at a later date.
Horizon League, Olympia Entertainment Announcement