The Nevada basketball team will return to the Caribbean again next season, only this time in a little more high-profile tournament.
The Wolf Pack will play in the Cayman Islands Classic during the 2020-21 season, Nevada Sports Net learned after obtaining the tournament’s contract through a public records request.
Nevada’s potential opponents in the tournament are not outlined in the contract, but this year’s field includes two Power 5 programs. Since the Mountain West sponsors the event, the conference gets one team in the event every year.
The Cayman Islands Classic is in its third season of existence. Last year, the tournament included Georgia (from the SEC) and Clemson (from the ACC). Last year’s winner was Creighton, a traditionally strong mid-major program. This year’s eight-team field includes Nebraska (from the Big 10) and Washington State (from the Pac-12).
Nevada hasn’t played in a regular-season multi-team tournament that featured a Power 5 opponent since the 2014 Paradise Jam when it played Clemson. The Wolf Pack is playing in this year’s Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands, although the field does not include any Power 5 opponents.
The tournament will be held at John Gray Gymnasium, a high school arena that cost $8.8 million to construct and has a capacity around 2,000. Here are some more details about the event from the contract.
Date: First-round games will be held between Nov. 11-20, 2020 at Lawlor Events Center with three more games in Cayman from Nov. 23-25, 2020. In all, Nevada will play four games.
Hotel: Nevada will get 14 hotel rooms and one suite for five nights, one rental car for the staff and one meeting room for five days free of charge plus $1,500 in food and beverage credit.
Finances: Nevada will pay the tournament (Global Sports Management) $70,000 for the first-round home game against a TBD opponent. Nevada also must provide two nights of hotel stay for the visiting team. Nevada must pay for the three game officials plus offer 50 complimentary for the opposing team for the first-round game. The officials will be selected by the tournament.
Opponents: The tournament has full authority over the bracket pairings as well as the first-round opponents. All participants must be Division I teams. Teams must agree this will be the only multi-team event it will take part in during the regular season.
Tickets: Nevada will get 50 complimentary tickets for each game played in Cayman.
Gifts: Nevada will get 25 tournament gifts. There is no additional information on what would be included in that gift package.
Cancellation fee: Nevada would owe the tournament $140,000 if it pulled out of the event. That would be due within 30 days of withdrawal.
Natural disaster: The tournament will not be held liable if it cannot host the event due to a natural disaster, including flooding, hurricane or tornado, as well as war, strike, embargo or labor dispute.
The contract was signed and finalized last July.
Nevada’s 2020-21 non-conference schedule includes these four games plus contests with Texas-Arlington and Santa Clara on the road and Dayton at home. The leaves Nevada with up to six more potential non-conference games as long as the MW remains with an 18-game conference schedule. There have been discussions about going to 20 league games starting next season.
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