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MPBA moving 2016 playoffs to Pontiac from Bloomington

By Craig Fata, 03/10/16, 1:30PM CST


Market support in Pontiac, uncertainty at Bloomington venue reasons for switch


ST. LOUIS – The Midwest Professional Basketball Association is moving its 2016 postseason tournament, originally scheduled to take place on April 1-2 at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Illinois, to Pontiac High School in Pontiac, Illinois on those same dates.

                “The reason is twofold,” said C. Edward “Ed” Schumer, commissioner and chief executive officer for the MPBA. “First, we want to reward the Pontiac market for their outstanding support of the 66ers team and the league as a whole.  There will be tremendous turnout at those games, which will create an exciting atmosphere for the fans and the players.  Plus, it will help our sponsors and partners gain exposure in person and on our broadcast.

                “The second reason stems from the recent announcement dealing with changes at U.S. Cellular Coliseum,” Schumer continued. “Our relationship has been with Central Illinois Arena Management, and our reason for scheduling two double-headers and the playoffs there this season was with the intent of working with them to bring a team back to Bloomington to play in the Coliseum in 2017.  Now, with CIAM leaving, we have no idea when we would begin discussions for 2017 or with whom.  In fact, we don’t know the timeline of any upcoming changes, and so it only makes sense to move next month’s playoffs to a venue we know we’ll be able to secure.”

                “John Butler and Bart Rogers and the rest of the Coliseum staff were tremendous to work with. We appreciated all their efforts and their support of our league,” Schumer added.

                The top four teams in the seven-team league will qualify for the playoffs.  The top seed will play the number four seed, and the second and third seeds will play in the semi-finals on Friday, April 1 at historic Pontiac High School. The championship game will be held on Saturday, April 2.          

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