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Big East Tournament extended at Madison Square Garden through at least 2032, ensuring 50-year run

NEW YORK (AP) — The Big East Tournament will be held at Madison Square Garden through at least 2032, ensuring one of college basketball's most popular and storied events will take place at “The World's Most Famous Arena” for 50 consecutive years.

The league and the arena announced a contract extension Friday during a news conference at MSG before the Big East semifinals. Their current deal was set to expire in 2028.

“I'm very happy to report that we have renewed our vows,” Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman said. “Hopefully, many additional anniversaries.”

After playing in three different venues during the first three seasons of the Big East, the conference has held its postseason showcase just off Broadway in Midtown Manhattan annually since 1983. That makes it college basketball’s longest-running postseason championship held at one location.

“Trust me, it will be more than 50 years,” said Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President, Marquee Events and Operations, MSG Entertainment. “It’s just gotten better and better every single year. And we didn’t think it could.”

Even with the league's reconfiguration in 2013 to include Midwestern schools such as Creighton, Marquette and Xavier, college basketball fans keep flocking to MSG in March. Last year's Big East Tournament was a complete sellout, with 19,812 fans filling The Garden for all five sessions.

“This event, a New York City staple, has long been synonymous with tradition, rivalries and heart-stopping moments," Ackerman said in a statement, calling the league's partnership with MSG "one of the most enduring alliances in the sports world.”

Said Fisher: “The rich tradition of the Big East Tournament has produced many of The Garden’s most celebrated college basketball moments and has cemented itself as one of the most anticipated annual events.”

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball