Big 5 Classic | December 7

PHILADELPHIA (June 6, 2024) - Today, the Philadelphia Big 5 Athletic Directors officially welcomed Drexel University as part of the women’s basketball Big 5 and revealed details of a new series format where the champion will be determined during a same-day, Big 5 tripleheader. The inaugural Women’s Big 5 Classic will be held at the Finneran Pavilion on the campus of Villanova University on Friday, December 6, 2024. The Villanova Athletic Ticket Office is currently accepting deposits for the Women’s Big 5 Classic at Tickets will officially go on sale on June 17.

The 2024-25 season will be the 44th year of Big 5 women’s basketball. The five-team round robin format began in 1979-80 and has been in existence every year with the exception of 2020-21 due to Covid.

The Big 5 also announced that the Men’s Big 5 Classic will return to Wells Fargo Center for the next three seasons with this year’s event scheduled for Saturday, December 7. Comcast Spectacor will continue to oversee the operational and promotional aspects of the men’s tripleheader. Group sales are available now by calling 215-389-9543 or emailing Luxury Suites are available now and can be booked online at General tickets are scheduled to go on sale in September at

“Drexel University is honored for our women’s basketball program to officially join the Philadelphia Big 5,” said Drexel Director of Athletics Maisha Kelly. “The support, collaboration, and uniqueness of the Philadelphia Big 5 are unmatched. Aligning with our five fellow institutions only strengthens the visibility of women’s basketball in this city.  We are eager to participate in an official capacity this upcoming season having competed with many of these institutions in non-conference play regularly. This inclusion is another step towards advancing our brand, when coupled with the sustained success the program has had, both regionally and nationally.”

In addition to adding the Drexel women into the Big 5 women’s basketball format, the Big 5 bolstered its leadership team by naming Dan Hilferty as the Ambassador of the Big 5. Hilferty, a Saint Joseph’s alumnus and current chairman and chief executive officer of Comcast Spectacor and Governor of the Philadelphia Flyers, will serve as a lead ambassador to the Big 5.

“After a great response from the inaugural year of the new men’s format, I am thrilled to see that the success of the reinvigorated Big 5 is extending to women’s basketball,” said Hilferty. “As a lifelong basketball fan and Big 5 alumna, I am really excited to be working with the six universities to keep traditions alive and champion the future of the Big 5.”

For the new women’s format, the six schools will be separated into three-team pods: Pod 1: Temple, La Salle, and Drexel; Pod 2: Villanova, Saint Joseph's, and Penn. Each team will play the other two teams from their pod at their individual on-campus arenas. All teams will participate in the tripleheader at the Finneran Pavilion on December 6, with the first seed in each pod competing for the Big 5 championship, as well as respective games with the second seeds and third seeds.

Following the 2024 Big 5 Classic, the pods for the men and women will remain synchronized and rotate every two years. The site of the Women’s Big 5 Classic will also rotate on a yearly basis to other sites that will be determined at a later date.

"As our sport continues to grow in national exposure, we are all excited to welcome a new member into the Big 5 in Drexel, and capitalize on the excitement in women's basketball in a new, more intentional championship format,” said Saint Joseph’s head women’s basketball coach Cindy Griffin. “Paired with a rich tradition and history, the Big 5 is long known for the quality of student-athletes and coaches, and we are looking forward to continuing to showcase Philadelphia basketball at the highest level."

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Dec. 7, 2024

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