The ECAC Hockey Tournament is moving from Albany, N.Y., to Atlantic City, N.J., starting in 2011.
The league has agreed to a three-year contract with the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority and SMG Management Group to hold the playoff championship at Boardwalk Hall, a 10,300-seat venue.
The 2010 tournament will be the last held at Times Union Center in Albany.
“We are very excited to partner with Atlantic City and Boardwalk Hall for our men’s championship beginning in March 2011,” ECAC Hockey commissioner Steve Hagwell said in a news release. “From the moment we began the process of evaluating our options for the championship, the representatives of Boardwalk Hall and Atlantic City clearly demonstrated that they wanted to host our championship. They were aggressive, in a very positive manner, enthusiastic and excited about the possibility of serving as the host site.”
Hagwell continued: “On behalf of the league and its institutions, administrators, coaches, and student-athletes we would like to thank Bob Belber and his staff at the Times Union Center, the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the County and City of Albany, as well as the local businesses in the Capital Region for the tremendous support of ECAC Hockey over the last years. The years in Albany produced many memorable events and outcomes. These past tournaments have merited a special place in the history of the league.”
Last season’s tournament at Times Union Center played to a two-day total of 8,374 fans.
Boardwalk Hall will be just the fifth venue to host the ECAC tournament, following Boston Arena (1962-67), Boston Garden (1968-92), Olympic Arena in Lake Placid, N.Y. (1993-2002), and Times Union Arena (2003-09).
The Atlantic City venue is listed on the United States Register of Historic Places as a National Historic Landmark and reopened in 2001 following a $90 million renovation.
The arena was home ice for the Atlantic City Seagulls from 1930 to 1952 and the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies of the ECHL from 2001 to 2005.