The latest repercussions from the Crosstown Shootout have come down. Per Koch, the game will move to US Bank Arena for the next 2 seasons. This year’s contest will be played on December 18, 19 or 20 on one of the ESPN networks. The teams haven’t played at this arena since the Bearcats used to play there in the 80s.
I’m assuming that Cincinnati will be the ‘home’ team this season and Xavier the ‘home’ team in 2013-14. Two years suggests to me that neither team wanted to lose a home game to the other team, so they both lose a home game as a result. That seems like the fair thing to do. Tickets won’t be 50/50, but there will be a better chance for a mixed crowd. The fans not getting into fist fights in the stands would probably help the games get back to the school courts instead of the neutral courts. There isn’t much of a history of fan violence. I’m not worried about that. However, I do think that the atmosphere could be a little rowdier in a neutral arena.
With this news coming out, it seems I wildly missed the mark on how close the teams must have been to cancelling the series. I just assumed that all of the talking of cancelling the games were to placate media and boosters who were upset about the fight. But it seems like the administrators of the schools took a pretty hard stance. I would have been stunned if the series was postponed 2 seasons. If they couldn’t have reached a deal for US Bank Arena, maybe there would have been a hiatus. It’s hard to say for sure, but that’s the impression that I get.
The last 2 years of games have had chippy moments in blowout games. The Stephenson year had the halfcourt pull apart. It’s clear something needed to be done. I think this is the right step. Not playing the game would have been rather lame. It’s hard to let level heads prevail in the heat of battle, especially when you are college aged, but that’s why there are grown men on the sidelines. I think we make it through the next 2 years without incident and without Xavier wins and return back to the Shoe or the Fraction or whatever you want to call it.