Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has cancelled his plans for an eight-team college basketball tournament that would have opened the 2013-14 college basketball season, according to Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press. Originally the plans were to hold the event at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, site of the 2014 Final Four:
"I'm disappointed it's not taking place," Hollis said, "and I also understand the input provided by all the different parties involved."
The idea of this tournament was to have four games starting with 15 minutes of each other, replicating the feel of a March Madness day in action. The tournament would have entertained 30,000 troops from 12 local military bases. However, the deal fell apart because Hollis could not find a suitable television deal for the event.
Hollis had been in contact with ESPN, CBS and Turner networks about the tournament, but concerns about product dilution and tying up multiple networks during a time of year where college basketball is not strong ratings wise helped to kill the event. The fact that there were concerns about how to split the revenue earned from the tournament didn't help.
Hollis is still interested in having the Michigan State Spartans participate in some even to honor Veterans Day as a yearly tradition. The Spartans were part of the Carrier Classic last season and opened this season at Germany's Ramstein Air Base.