The Big Ten made it official Tuesday that Penn State and Michigan will meet in a basketball-hockey doubleheader at Madison Square Garden next season.
The Nittany Lions and Wolverines will tangle in the first of a four-year agreement to stage a doubleheader involving conference programs in the two sports. The deal comes in conjunction with the announcement the arena will also host the Big Ten Championships in 2018.
“We are thrilled to establish this long-term partnership with Madison Square Garden, one of the most-revered brands and buildings in all of sports,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. “This pairing is a natural fit for us as we continue to extend our brand and live in two regions of the country. The Garden has been the site of countless iconic moments throughout history, and we look forward to showcasing some of the best basketball and hockey programs in the country through this partnership.”
The building is celebrating 80 years of hosting college basketball, in addition to being the home to the NBA’s New York Knicks and NHL’s Rangers.
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The Nittany Lions and Wolverines are scheduled for their twin bill on Jan. 30, 2016.
The Penn State hockey team just played Cornell at The Garden on Nov. 29, losing 3-1 in “The Frozen Apple” series.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our program and the conference to bring great college hockey to Madison Square Garden,” coach Guy Gadowsky said in a statement. “We had a great experience this past November against Cornell and we’re thrilled to be a part of the first Big Ten doubleheader at MSG.”
The Nittany Lion basketball team last played in the arena in 2009 when it won the National Invitation Tournament title.
“Any chance we have to showcase Penn State and the Big Ten in the Northeast corridor, not to mention in one of the most historic venues in the world, is a tremendous opportunity,” coach Patrick Chambers said in a statement. “We are looking forward to taking part in the first conference basketball and hockey doubleheader, along with Coach Gadowsky, next year and kicking off the presence of Big Ten basketball leading up to the tournament in 2018.”
The collaboration between the conference and the arena extends to year-round branding opportunities throughout the building as well as select promotion through print, television and social media outlets affiliated with the arena and its tenants.