After three days at the MAAC Tournament in Bridgeport, Conn., I'm feeling the same way I did when I covered the Super Bowl a few years ago in Jacksonville: Which genius decided to put the event in this godforsaken place?
Downtown Bridgeport is a hellhole. It makes Buffalo seem like Paris. The first day we arrived, they weren't allowing anyone to park in the parking ramp adjacent to the arena. Good luck trying to find a local newspaper. I'm not sure there is a local paper. Is it the New York Daily News?
I know people don't care about the problems of media, but how can you not whine when the media hotel doesn't have its liquor license? It was quite a scene late Friday night, with the Rider crowd carrying coolers into the restaurant bar area. The hotel is in Trumbull. The only good thing you can say about Trumbull is that it produced Chris Drury. Nice job getting the Sabres into my first hoop blog.
I'm sure the MAAC had a reason to come to Bridgeport. Maybe it was time to give the Fairfield crowd a home-court advantage. Presumably, there will actually be crowds when Fairfield plays. The Arena at Harbor Yard is a decent enough basketball venue, but the league should put the tournament in Albany and leave it there permanently. Albany has an intimate downtown setting. The home team (Siena) has a strong following. You can walk right out of the arena and be 30 seconds from several eating and drinking establishments.
Bridgeport makes Trenton seem like a good idea. That about says it all.