June 14, 2012
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University announced today their Crosstown rivalry in men's basketball will continue in 2012, but with some changes, including a new name and venue.
The Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic benefiting the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will provide a new direction for the annual rivalry. The 2012 game date has been set for Dec. 19 at U.S. Bank Arena.
UC President Gregory H. Williams and Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J., say they are excited about the new look to this great rivalry.
"We wanted to find ways to remind us all, including student-athletes and fans, that our athletic competition is about our two universities coming together to celebrate our hometown of Cincinnati and the mutual respect we have for each other. We want to celebrate the values we share in common and use this event to positively impact the city we both call home beyond just game night," Williams and Graham said.
To that end, the universities announced changes which focus on some of Cincinnati's greatest and most unique assets - its riverfront and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, which is located along the banks of the Ohio River.
The changes will be implemented on a trial basis for up to two years with annual reassessment. Changes to the game include:
- A name change - A new name, Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic, has been selected to emphasize a new direction for the game and its new emphasis on the city and its riverfront. Both institutions are pleased Skyline Chili will continue as the primary sponsor. After the two-year trial period, should the game continue, the new name will remain.
- A new logo incorporating the new name and the new direction.
- A neutral site - the U.S. Bank Arena, located on the city's waterfront.
- The addition of a new beneficiary of the game - The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, located along the riverfront, will receive a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales from the game.
Both presidents indicated their offices will work with the presidents of their respective student bodies, Provosts, Athletic Departments and student affairs vice presidents to suggest proposals on outreach and programming that will take place at the Freedom Center and tie into the center's mission.
According to Freedom Center President and CEO Kim A. Robinson, "The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is honored to be a partner in the celebration of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic. The Freedom Center is a key place in our community to explore and celebrate the deeply and historically embedded characteristics of courage, cooperation and perseverance of our Cincinnati region. The Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic is an opportunity to stoke the fire of community pride, respect and cooperation that can inspire all XU and UC fans to continue to make a positive impact on our Cincinnati region."
Father Graham and President Williams want a family-friendly atmosphere at the games. "We all love passion and intensity, but not when it becomes negative. We expect our teams to play in an atmosphere that will make both universities and the City of Cincinnati proud."
Ticket sales at the arena will be split equally between the schools for each game. UC will be the home team in 2012 and Xavier will be the home team for 2013.