UC men's basketball to play at BB&T Arena in 2017-18 season

CINCINNATI -- The University of Cincinnati men's basketball team will play at Northern Kentucky University's BB&T Arena in the 2017-18 season, UC director of athletics Mike Bohn announced Friday.

The Bearcats will play offsite during the $87 million renovation of Fifth Third Arena, which UC officials expect will wrap up in October 2018.

The move to BB&T means a longer drive for those around UC's Clifton campus than US Bank Arena, a site some had speculated the Bearcats would choose for their season away from Fifth Third. But UC's announcement said the trip across the river to BB&T would provide the team with "a state-of-the-art facility a short drive from UC's campus."

"The modern amenities of BB&T Arena will mimic some of the improvements UC fans will experience when we return to Fifth Third Arena in 2018 more closely than other facilities in the area which was important to us," Bohn said.

UC will also bring a floor with their branding to BB&T, according to Bohn. 

The university was working on alternate playing sites for women's basketball and volleyball. Those details were still being worked out. 

UC officials pointed to NKU's 8,000 parking spaces within walking distance of the arena as another advantage. Students and season ticket holders will have access to complimentary parking at BB&T. 

The 9,400-seat BB&T opened in 2008 at a cost of $60 million. NKU director of athleticss Ken Bothof said they were "pleased to assist" UC and host the Bearcats for the season and said they have a "great working relationship" with the UC staff.

Officials didn't immediately disclose financial details behind the deal. 

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