The champions of the 71st edition of the Crossroads Conference Basketball (CRC) tournament were recently crowned.
Much has changed over the years (there are only two original members left -- McCool Junction and Hampton), but the one constant that has remained the same is the York City Auditorium. The auditorium has been the birthplace of this fabulous basketball tournament.
In his sports commentary in the Wednesday, January 29, 2020 issue of the York News-Times, Steve Moseley nailed it when he stated, “Once that baby gets down to the semis and especially the finals, the place positively rocks...If you’ve seen one conference tournament you’ve pretty much seen them all. But the CRC is a whole different creature. It’s unlike anything I experienced in three decades of chasing sports…”
That is the beauty of the CRC Tournaments (volleyball included): the nostalgic atmosphere; the neutral site; the “old style” seating; the Hoosieresqe quality. Nothing compares to the quality of play and the atmosphere that the auditorium provides. For over 70 years, the Crossroads Conference tournaments have had a home at the York City Auditorium. As James Earl Jones’ character in the movie Field of Dreams states, “and we’ll watch the game...it will be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick, they’ll have to brush them away from their faces.”
But that all changed this year. The York City Auditorium is feeling its age. Just as last year, there is no heat in the auditorium playing area. Thankfully the weather cooperated and we did not experience any bone-chilling days. However, it was chilly for the players and fans were observed using blankets to keep themselves warm.
Another issue that pertained to the outdated roof was the leak which necessitated the closing of the southwest stairway. There are other stairways to use, but this created a major inconvenience for fans sitting on the south side and for the teams as the locker rooms are located in the southeast section. Other issues may arise due to the many roof leaks over the years. This is just the tip of the iceberg as the locker rooms and shower areas are in need of improvements.
Hosting the tournaments is a major fundraiser for St. Joseph’s. Besides this, the extra foot traffic experienced by local businesses due to the multitude of fans attending the events has a financial impact - Valentino’s Pizza has an increase in sales of almost $1,000 from the hospitality room alone. All of this would be sorely missed if the tournaments were held somewhere else.
The most bothersome aspect, from the CRC’s point of view, is all of these issues are not new. For many years, the York City Council has been aware of the deficiencies in the auditorium but, up to this point, has neglected to address them. As a group, the CRC questions the commitment to make improvements to the auditorium. We would like nothing more than to continue this cherished tradition of playing in the auditorium. However, due to these adverse conditions, it might be time for the CRC tournaments to find a new home. It may be time to say good-bye.
The Crossroads Conference Executive Committee