CIAC exploring Saturday-Sunday schedule at Sun

Southington - The CIAC would consider scheduling its boys and girls state championship games on Saturday and Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena next season, CIAC associate executive director Paul Hoey said at Thursday's boys' basketball and hockey press conference at the Aqua Turf Club.

Hoey said Sun officials have "asked us to consider moving from a Friday-Saturday tournament to a Saturday-Sunday tournament so that they have an opportunity to sell the arena on a Friday night for an event."

"From their point of view," Hoey added, "it's a business decision in order to bring more people into their facilities."

This weekend will be the fifth year that the CIAC has played its finals at Mohegan.

All eight championship games have been played on Friday night and all day Saturday.

The CIAC's Board of Control approved a provision last year that would allowed its championship games to be played on Sundays.

"We have permission to pre-schedule a Sunday final if it's necessary," Hoey said. "And it's contingent on us reporting to the Board first and not having another facility that we could use that could accommodate (any) tournament at the same level we're offered now.

"We haven't had any discussions (with Mohegan Sun officials) about that this year yet, but we're assuming they will be asking us to move to Saturday and Sunday and try it. Our feeling is if we have to do it, because of our working relationship with them, we will do it with the contingency that it doesn't negatively impact the number of people coming to the tournament and so on."

Hoey said that the two sides would meet sometime in April or May to discuss future plans.

A move to Saturday and Sunday would provide the CIAC with some flexibility. It's had to play six of its eight games on Saturday because it can only play two on Friday night. There have been complaints from coaches and fans that playing the first Saturday game at 9:30 a.m. is too early.

"(We could play) five games on Saturday and three on the Sunday after, which would make scheduling a little easier," Hoey said.

"One of the things we'd be concerned about is making sure we finish that last game early enough so that kids are back home because it's a school night."


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