Every year the Public School Athletic League hosts its varsity basketball AA Division city title game at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, but that won’t be the case this year due to “scheduling conflicts.”
Here is a statement from MSG:
“Madison Square Garden is one of the busiest arenas in the country with more than 400 events annually, and one of our biggest challenges continues to be not having enough date availability. We have a great, longstanding relationship with the PSAL, but unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, we’re unable to find a date to host the event this season.”
The city championship is typically held in the middle of March. It was March 16th last year and March 17th two years ago. This year the most suitable date would be March 15th or 16th, but it’s possible that it could be held on the 8th or 9th too.
On the 15th and 16th there are afternoon Knicks and Rangers games scheduled. Those could be rescheduled for later that night without making a big fuss. On the 8th or 9th there are events, but they are at night. In the past, having the PSAL game during the afternoon and other events at night hasn’t been an issue.
This makes it easy to speculate that something else must be going on. Maybe MSG decided that it wasn’t worth it financially to host this game. Perhaps they are afraid of a fight breaking out or something along those lines. It’s impossible to say.
This brings up the obvious question as to where to hold this game. The most obvious choice is the Barclays Center. They have the Atlantic 10 playoffs going on the 15th and 16th, but they are open on the 8th and have a Nets game at night on the 9th so those dates could work.
Otherwise there are the college arenas: LIU Brooklyn, City College of New York, Fordham, St. John’s. They could also use the Stuy Dome.
When the PSAL does announce a new venue, Brooklyn Eagle Sports will let you know.