The Bluejays are headed to the Big East, but there are still many unanswered questions about the move. We'll try to clear up some of the key questions that you might have about the new league and how it might affect Creighton athletics.
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Whoa, Creighton to the Big East? How long were the Bluejays in the Valley?
Creighton first joined the Valley in 1928 and has been a continuous member since 1976. It's never belonged to any other sports conference.
When will Creighton leave the MVC and officially join the Big East?
Creighton will join the Big East for the 2013-14 season. The so-called Catholic 7 teams will officially leave the old conference on June 30, and the new Big East could officially add new members as early as July 1. CU was officially introduced as a member on Wednesday, March 20.
How will this impact the sports seasons currently in play?
I thought the Big East was dying. Why is Creighton joining it?
The Big East isn't dying, it's splitting up. The basketball-centric schools referred to as the Catholic 7 are leaving the conference but taking the Big East name with them. That was part of a reported deal with the other members of the conference. Former Big East members Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame will join the ACC on July 1 with Louisville to follow on July 1, 2014; Rutgers joins the Big Ten on July 1, 2014.
Creighton represents a good fit in the new Big East academically and athletically. Like Creighton, the Catholic 7 schools — St. John's, Georgetown, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence — share a spiritual mission. And all have little or no football history but share reputations for playing big-time hoops.
How will this impact TV coverage of Creighton games?
The Big East and Fox Sports 1 have agreed to a 12-year, multi-platform media rights agreement.
The agreement grants FOX Sports rights to all conference-controlled men’s basketball games, select rights to women’s basketball, all Olympic sports and extensive rights for highlights and to produce ancillary programming. Included is a full array of “TV Everywhere” rights which adds to content already available on FOXSports.com.
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What is FOX Sports 1?
It is a new national sports network from Fox, set to debut on Aug. 17.
Who is on the short list to replace Creighton in MVC?
Names being thrown out include Belmont, UW-Milwaukee, Denver and a couple of others. It's still up in the air.
How does Creighton's athletic spending compare to others in the new Big East?
Figures compiled by The World-Herald show that Creighton's spending on men's basketball and overall athletic budget significantly lag those of the Catholic 7. Creighton spent a reported $4.4 million on men's basketball in 2011, compared with an average of $7.5 million for the Catholic 7. Creighton reported its total athletic budget at about $15 million in 2011, which was right at the average for other Missouri Valley schools. By contrast, the Catholic 7 athletic budgets averaged $27.5 million. But membership in the new league would open up new revenue streams for Creighton that would help bridge that gap.
New revenue streams? How much are we talking?
Media reports have suggested that the new league will announce a new television contract with Fox that would pay each member about $3 million. And by moving to a stronger league, Creighton could also significantly increase the amount of NCAA basketball tournament revenue it would receive each year. Creighton reportedly receives about $350,000 a year in TV and tournament revenue as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. It could easily increase that figure more than tenfold in the new league.
Why is the Big East's revenue so much higher than the Valley's?
One of the new league's biggest draws is exposure in some of the nation's largest cities. St. John's is in New York City, DePaul in Chicago, Georgetown in Washington, D.C., Marquette in Milwaukee, Villanova in Philadelphia, Xavier in Cincinnati and Butler in Indianapolis. Eyeballs generate leverage (which generates money) in the television business.
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Are all Creighton teams switching conferences or just men's basketball?
All sports will play in the Big East.
I love going to Arch Madness. When and where is the Big East tournament held?
The Big East men's basketball tournament is played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It will continue to be played there as part of the Catholic 7's separation agreement with the other members of the conference.
Will Creighton be able to schedule games with some old MVC rivals?
Creighton will still have nonconference games on its schedule, so anything's possible. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall indicated he'd be in favor of continuing the series.
Will Creighton's non-conference schedule be the same next year with the conference change? Will they still be in Anaheim tourney?
As of right now, yes. Things could change but those are details that have to be worked on.
Will ticket prices go up for season ticket holders? Single-game seats? Will tickets be harder to come by?
The teams that Creighton will now face will probably get more fans excited about more games. If the laws of supply and demand work as expected, that would result in higher ticket prices (Creighton is already a top-10 program in attendance). But there have been no official announcements on ticket pricing, and prices could certainly stay the same for at least the short term.