This weekend is the Big East Women’s Basketball Tournament. Many of the Big East’s most prominent and brightest stars were present. But one stood out above the crowd – literally. The Mohegan Sun Arena is the Star of This Big East Tournament.
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Both Villanova and UConn showed their schools excel in women’s and men’s basketball. With the men’s team ranked 11th, Villanova’s women were awarded many post-season accolades. Junior forward Maddy Siegrist (22.8 points, 9.8 rebounds) was named Player of the Year, and Denise Dillon, the Coach of the Year, is Villanova.
DePaul’s Aneesah Morrow (21.5 points, 14.0 rebounds) won Freshman of the Year. Additional major award winners include BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year Nika Mühl of Connecticut; Co-Most Improved Players Lior Garzon of Villanova, Lauren Jensen of Creighton; Morgan Maly of Creighton as Sixth-Woman of the Year (which should have gone to Evina Westbrook of UConn.)
The Real Star of This Tournament
The one thing that continues to separate Mohegan Sun from other east coast casinos is right in the middle of everything.
This past December of 2021, Mohegan Sun Arena earned the prestigious honor of No. 1 Indoor Arena in the world for its size (5,001 – 10,000-seat capacity) based on ticket sales. National industry trade publications Pollstar and VenuesNow announced the rankings in their 2021 Year-End Special issues, which report the top-selling tours and top venues across the globe. Additionally, Mohegan Sun Arena finished the year ranked as the No. 10 venue overall in the U.S. and the No. 11 spot in the world regardless of size.
Mohegan Sun Arena has consistently ranked among the top venues in the world over the last decade, and it’s an honor to lead and be a part of such a hardworking team we have called ‘The Decade of Excellence.Tom Cantone, President of Sports and Entertainment at Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment
Talk about accolades. It has won:
- “Casino of The Year” at the Country Music Awards in 2008 & 2010 and in 2013
- “Arena Of The Year” at the G2E Global Gaming Conference in Las Vegas.
- ranked among the top 10 arena venues in the nation for 2014, regardless of size.
- In 2015, the IEBA award for “Casino of the Year.”
- “Casino of the Year” in 2 categories at the 2013 & 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards.
And the list goes on.
Why So Special?
The Arena at Mohegan Sun helped double the visitation to the property in the first year the venue was completed. Five thousand retractable seats can be configured into five standard sports configurations – basketball, boxing, bowling, rodeo, table tennis, lacrosse. In addition, it also can be reconfigured to fit many types of concerts: regular, whole house, center stage, and half-house.
Significance to College Basketball
Remember “Bubbleville?” In late 2020, when Covid was peaking, Mohegan Arena and Hotel remade itself and housed several relocated events providing a controlled environment. Teams and event staff adhered to tribal, government, and NCAA health and safety protocols and testing requirements. All games were played without fans in attendance.
It proved to be a model for other college basketball events.
Back To the Big East Tournament
So, the stars are out at Mohegan Sun. The final four teams will play today – #9 ranked UConn vs. Marquette at 3:00, and Villanova vs. Seton Hall at 5:30. If you can’t be there for these games, FS1 is broadcasting both games today and the final tomorrow night at 8:00 pm.
They will all be there – the award winners, the best teams, our friend Geno, and it all happens at the Mohegan Sun Arena.