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Sports Speak Up: UNLV shouldn't host Mountain West tournaments

Apr. 14—MWC should call T-Mobile home

Regarding Geoff Grammer's recent mailbag and the men's and women's Mountain West Conference basketball tournaments being played at UNLV's Thomas & Mack Center: Of course most conference tournaments are played at a neutral site, but the MWC chose to play the tournaments at UNLV's arena for 22 years, giving the Rebels a competitive advantage while UNM's and other conference schools' fans generously deposited millions of dollars into the UNLV athletic department over that period of time (Editor's note: The Mountain West splits tournament ticket revenue among member schools, but UNLV collects revenue from parking and concessions). A term for such a monopoly could politely be called "bush-league."

With the Pac-12 Conference departing the T-Mobile Arena, Grammer stated that the Big Ten Conference might want to conduct its tournament there. I'm not sure how many fans would travel across the country to Las Vegas from states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. (Editor's note: Pac-12 schools UCLA, USC, Oregon and Washington move to the Big Ten next season). If the MWC Tournament must stay in Las Vegas, then hopefully new Commissioner Gloria Nevarez will be proactive and negotiate an agreement to play the tournaments at the new state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena beginning in 2025. The loyal fans in this part of the country deserve nothing less.

— John O'Mara

Pitino, the Pit and the portal

After a good season for the UNM men's basketball team a few thoughts came to mind. Hopefully coach Pitino will stay, and he will not pull an "Alford". Pay him more. If not, I think he will be gone no matter how much he loves the Pit, and they all say that. Next remodel the Pit so we can get some NCAA Tournament games and also fix the darn PA system. As for the portal, I hope the remaining players stay in order for the Lobos to remain competitive. I can't wait for next year's tournament in Las Vegas.

— Dan Salas

The ol' ball game

I've read recent submissions to Sports Speak Up about how badly the Albuquerque Isotopes are playing. Baseball is one sport, unlike college football and basketball, where I will attend a game exclusively for the experience. The experience of sitting in the stands on a sunny afternoon, overlooking a perfectly manicured baseball diamond, and enjoying a hot dog and a beer. Sheer relaxation. I couldn't care less about the outcome of the game, and I assume many in the stands feel the same way. Just a great way to spend an afternoon with friends and family.

— Bob Ferguson — In follow-up to Julian's Speak Up, about the 'Topes apparent lack of interest in winning. One must look at the Rockies organization and especially their ownership, the Monfort brothers. They appear more interested in making their team a venue and attraction rather than a winner. Maybe that's the best they can do, since players, especially pitchers don't want to play in Denver with the challenges they have to overcome with the altitude. So, ABQ fans, it may be awhile before we have a competitive winning team, so let's enjoy bringing the family and community together at the Lab.

— Anthony Gallegos — The turnstiles keep turning and the Isotopes keep losing. Another year at the Lab. Some things never change. Ridiculous.

— Chris Lalley

Submit a Sports Speak Up, 200 words or fewer, via email at sportsspeakup@ABQJournal.com. You must submit your full name to be published. The next Sports Speak Up will publish in print and online either Thursday (if enough are received) or next Sunday.