For 36 years, the state’s top boys basketball teams have strived for the same goal: A trip to Glens Falls. That is about to change.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association voted Friday to award the state boys basketball tournament to Binghamton from 2017-19. The 2016 final four, which is scheduled from March 11-13 next year at the Glens Falls Civic Center, will end Glens Falls’ 36-year run hosting the event.
The NYSPHSAA’s executive committee made the decision during a vote rendered via teleconference Friday morning. The committee voted 14-8 in favor of Binghamton. That included support from both of Section 1’s representatives.
The decision to award the tournament to Binghamton went against the wishes of the state’s boys basketball committee, which twice voted to recommend a return to Glens Falls.
Binghamton will host the tournament at the 42-year-old Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, which, like the Civic Center, is a multi-use facility that houses a minor-league hockey team, the Binghamton Senators, the AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators. The 5,000-seat building has also played host in past years to the Stop-DWI Holiday Classic, which had been one of the region’s premier in-season basketball tournaments.
Binghamton’s bid reportedly gave the NYSPHSAA plenty of financial incentive to leave Glens Falls. The final bid to return to the Civic Center included a $12,500 rental fee. Binghamton offered its arena for a number that was clearly more palatable to the executive committee: $0.
Support for the two sites was noticeably divided along geographic lines. According to the Glens Falls Post-Star, two members from each section submitted votes during the call and all representatives from Sections 2, 7, 9 and 10 — areas in most proximity to the Civic Center — voted for Glens Falls. Sections 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 11 favored Binghamton. That included Section 1’s representatives – Bronxville athletic director Karen Peterson and Hen Hud High School principal James Mackin.
Glens Falls won’t be completely without state basketball in the coming years. Last week, the Civic Center was awarded the boys and girls state Federation tournaments from 2017-19. Glens Falls hosted the event from its inception in 1981 to 2010 before it landed in Albany.