PEORIA, Ill. -- Bradley Associate Athletic Director Bobby Parker was busy getting the media room set up at Renaissance Coliseum Wednesday morning.
The Bradley men's basketball team usually doesn't play its games there on campus. But they will Wednesday night.
"We have a $50-million arena that we knew was available and we thought that for the game we're playing this was the best venue," Parker said.
Bradley will be hosting Wisconsin-Green Bay in the first-round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. The setting will be much cozier than when the Braves play at Carver Arena. There are fewer than 5,000 seats at Renaissance Coliseum and many of them are closer to the action.
"The downside is that its spring break and our students aren't here. That's one of the main attractions to playing on campus is to be here for our students," explained Parker. "But the players like it here. Its an intimate venue, the crowd is right on top of you and they feed off of that."
The last time Bradley hosted a post-season game on campus was 31 years ago. 1982. It was the third-round of the NIT Tournament against Tulane. Bradley play by play announcer Dave Snell remembers because he was there.
"I believe we had three stations still doing the games on radio," recalled Snell. whose now in his 34th year calling Braves basketball games. "The game was televised. I mean this was a huge event in our city and knowing that we were going to Carver Arena the next year this was going to it. This was the swan song for playing basketball on campus and at the Fieldhouse."
But for one night at least the novelty of post-season play will return to the Hilltop. And Snell can't wait.
"When its filled its electric," Snell said. "There's something special about playing in your home."