Future Dates Set For Big 4 Classic

By Scott Dochterman, Reporter

Iowa's Devyn Marble (4) huge Northern Iowa's Marc Sonnen (23) following their game in the Big Four Classic Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Grant Burkhardt

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Big Four Classic’s second installment will be staged Dec. 7, 2013 at Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena, according to the updated contract and others obtained by The Gazette through state open-records laws.

The event boasts the state’s four Division I men’s basketball programs. The inaugural Big Four Classic was held last Saturday with Iowa playing Northern Iowa and Iowa State facing Drake. Next year’s match-ups are Iowa-Drake and Iowa State-UNI.

In 2014, when the match-ups revert to Iowa-UNI and Iowa State-Drake, the Big Four Classic is slated for Dec. 20. In 2015, the final year of the four-year contract, the event (Iowa-Drake, ISU-UNI) is scheduled for Dec. 19. All four schools share in the event’s expenses and split the profits.

Iowa and Iowa State will renew their annual regular-season rivalry on Dec. 13, 2013. Future dates between the in-state rivals are not set beyond next year.

Iowa’s non-conference home slate this year costs the school $710,000 in guarantees. Five Iowa home opponents — Texas-Pan American, Central Michigan, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, South Carolina State and Coppin State — each receive $90,000 to play at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. South Dakota was paid $85,000, while Quincy (Ill.) received $15,000 for the Nov. 4 exhibition game. As part of the Cancun Challenge, Iowa paid Triple Crown Sports $160,000 for the Hawkeyes’ two home games against Howard and Gardner-Webb.

Iowa and Iowa State do not exchange guarantees for their basketball series.

In 2013, Iowa will pay Nebraska-Omaha $85,000 to play on Nov. 10 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes also will compete in the Great Alaska Shootout from Nov. 27-30. Other teams in that tournament include: Denver, Harvard, Indiana State, Pepperdine, Texas Christian, Tulsa and Alaska Anchorage. There’s no guarantee costs for Iowa in that tournament because none of the games are held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

In 2014, Iowa will pay the Gazelle Group $150,000 as part of a four-game series that concludes at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The first games are held Nov. 14 and Nov. 17 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The final two games are staged Nov. 20 and Nov. 21. Other schools in the New York event include Texas, California and Syracuse.

Iowa has not determined if it will play either a regular-season or exhibition game at Sioux City’s Tyson Events Center next season. If the Hawkeyes choose to play an exhibition, the opponent likely will be Sioux City’s Briar Cliff University, an NAIA school. Three Iowa players hail from the Sioux City area, as does assistant coach Kirk Speraw.
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