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Thread: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is...

  1. #161
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    How would the NCAA tournament have looked this year if the games were played at home arenas instead of regionals? Let's compare. Assumptions used here: First round on the first weekend (just past). Second round next weekend (March 30 and/or 31). Prices are assumed to be reasonable, instead of outrageous like they were in St. Paul; not illogical since if you divide the price in half for a single day at St. Paul, as you are dividing the games in half, you arrive at a reasonable price.

    All attendance figures are educated guesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    Updated attendance numbers:

    Green Bay
    3465 / 8709 40%
    3108 / 8709 36%
    6573 / 17418 38%
    Day 1:
    Cornell at Michigan: 6500
    Denver at Ferris State: 2500

    Day 2: Cornell at Ferris State: 2500

    Total: 11,500

    Ferris hosts twice at its tin can of a rink (mind you, the place is really hostile when the fans are into things) and still the Resch is destroyed here.

    Bridgeport
    5090 / 8412 61%
    5328 / 8412 63%
    10418 / 16824 62%
    Day 1:

    MSU at Union: 2500
    Lowell at Miami: 3600

    Day 2:
    Miami at Union: 2500

    Total: 8600

    There were a lot of empty seats at this regional, but given the fanbases that were close and the distance for the others it wasn't bad. Keep in mind that Union and Miami, the two hypothetical hosts, are two of those "low-capacity" worst-case-scenarios that everyone thinks completely destroys this idea, and still give away only 2000 fans here.

    St Paul
    9386 / 18064 52%
    10794 / 18064 60%
    20180 / 36128 56%
    Day 1:
    Western at North Dakota: 11,500*
    BU at Minnesota: 9700 (and how cool is this matchup on campus)

    Day 2:
    Minnesota at North Dakota: 11,500* (and the Ralph would never be louder)

    Total: 32,700 very happy fans.

    You want ESPN to put NCAA hockey games on television? Give them environments like this, instead of the Resch.

    *Assuming NCAA embargos weren't in effect. This is all hypothetical anyway. Lawson would be rocking for a playoff game, though.

    Worcester
    5925 / 12239 48%
    4470 / 12239 37%
    10395 / 24478 42%
    Day 1:
    Air Force at BC: 4500
    Maine at UMD: 6500

    Day 2:
    UMD at BC: 5500

    Total: 16,500

    BC attendance is tough to guess, perhaps some Easterners can help me here. I know they have some attendance trouble, hard for me to tell how much they'll sell for playoff games with a week's notice each. I could be undervaluing.

    47566 / 94848 50%
    12 Game total: 69,300.

    This is kind of the doomsday situation people who are concerned about small arenas describe; Union, with a capacity of 2500, hosts two games. Ferris, capacity 2457, hosts two games. BC, fickle attendance, hosts two games. Wisconsin, the highest-drawing home team in the sport, doesn't make the tournament.

    The home sites will draw more fans. It's not close.

    You can argue that this is guesswork, and you would be correct. But these are educated guesses. We're not talking about margin of error; we're discussing an estimated difference of 21,300 fans.

    Play the games at home sites.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    I just don't understand making attendance that big a deal.

    Never mind the regionals - look at the Frozen Four. Did Denver care that their repeat championship in '05 came at a venue where demand for tickets was so soft that some folks didn't even both looking for buyers? I left my extras on a bench outside an arena entrance. From my perspective, Maine's "comeback" title in 99 was not diminished in any way by the fact that it happened at sparsely-attended Anaheim. Heck, I think there were Team USA hockey games at the '80 Olympics that didn't sell out.

    I'd rather try to work around the edges and improve attendance at a neutral site than deal with the diminished excitement of campus sites. Sure, on a game by game basis, anything can happen. In the bigger picture, though, you have to know that upsets will be less likely than they already are. And isn't that the goal? It's called March Madness. Not March-Organized-to-Maximize-Attendance-and-Revenue-While-Protecting-Higher-Seeds-at-the-Expense-of-Diminished-Unpredictability.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by Almington View Post
    Except that all of the regional sites were single tickets for both of the semi finals, your examples are breaking the games into two separate tickets, of course you can easily match that attendance.

    Plus, the X didn't open the 2nd deck, which means that the games were sold out, or close to sold out, with only ~10,000 tickets available to the general public (the other tickets were the boxes which the owners had to buy, and the allotment for the players friends & families). I'm sure that if they had they would have been able to sell many more tickets to the championship game.

    Home ice to the higher seed is great, but it isn't feasible to have EVERY school hold its arena open for two weekends every year for games that most likely won't be played.
    The X didn't open the second deck because they didn't sell enough tickets. They would have been quite willing to open it if demand were there.

    Not every school has to. A team with no expectation to host a game doesn't have to, and a team that doesn't think it's worth the effort doesn't have to, or may try to secure another rink. I think teams like Minnesota, North Dakota, and Michigan will have no trouble clearing their rink's schedule for at least one half-day on two different weekends.

    Of course my examples break the games into two separate tickets; they are in different locations and sometimes at different times. Trust me, you're not going to juice up attendance at the Resch Center by splitting the ticket.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by Caustic Undertow View Post
    How would the NCAA tournament have looked this year if the games were played at home arenas instead of regionals? Let's compare. Assumptions used here: First round on the first weekend (just past). Second round next weekend (March 30 and/or 31). Prices are assumed to be reasonable, instead of outrageous like they were in St. Paul; not illogical since if you divide the price in half for a single day at St. Paul, as you are dividing the games in half, you arrive at a reasonable price.

    You can argue that this is guesswork, and you would be correct. But these are educated guesses. We're not talking about margin of error; we're discussing an estimated difference of 21,300 fans.

    Play the games at home sites.
    You have to double the semi final attendance to account for the fact that one semifinal ticket at the regional matched up with two tickets for the on campus sites.

    GB: ~9,000 vs ~11,500
    BP: ~15,000 vs ~8,500
    MN: ~30,000 vs ~32,000 (Noting that the X was near capacity with the seats that were not released for sale)
    WO: ~15,000 vs ~16,500

    Total: 69,000 vs 67,500 Basically a wash from an attendance standpoint, at least from within any margin of error from the assumptions and given the short time given to actually sell the on-campus tickets. A much stronger argument is based on the atmosphere of the games as opposed to the actual tickets sold.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by amherstblackbear View Post
    I just don't understand making attendance that big a deal.

    Never mind the regionals - look at the Frozen Four. Did Denver care that their repeat championship in '05 came at a venue where demand for tickets was so soft that some folks didn't even both looking for buyers? I left my extras on a bench outside an arena entrance. From my perspective, Maine's "comeback" title in 99 was not diminished in any way by the fact that it happened at sparsely-attended Anaheim. Heck, I think there were Team USA hockey games at the '80 Olympics that didn't sell out.

    I'd rather try to work around the edges and improve attendance at a neutral site than deal with the diminished excitement of campus sites. Sure, on a game by game basis, anything can happen. In the bigger picture, though, you have to know that upsets will be less likely than they already are. And isn't that the goal? It's called March Madness. Not March-Organized-to-Maximize-Attendance-and-Revenue-While-Protecting-Higher-Seeds-at-the-Expense-of-Diminished-Unpredictability.
    March Madness is basketball.

    This probably doesn't make as much sense to Easterners who think that two hours is a long way to drive to a hockey game; you get a regional within easy distance every year, often two. Out west it's a bit different. Three hockey teams from lower Michigan made the NCAA tournament; the closest regional was Green Bay, which was a whopping 7 hour (or more) drive for each. Next year there are regionals in Grand Rapids and Toledo--and the entire (current) WCHA gets the shaft.

    Meanwhile, Worcester and Bridgeport are two hours and change apart, and next year, it's... Manchester and Providence.

    I realize there are a lot of teams in a close area; that's part of the point, the current system is imballanced because the "West" is so spread out. In the "East" five hours of driving will cover virtually the entire HEA footprint; out "West" five hours is the shortest distance Michigan Tech drives to play any current WCHA opponent. In the "East" a remote team like Cornell has to drive 4.5 hours to get to Boston; out "West" it's 19 hours between Ann Arbor and Denver.

    To be honest with you, Western fans who drive hours to see their teams play on the road or in regionals (It's worth noting that even with the Green Bay regional at least 8 hours of driving away Michigan still had over 1000 fans there on Friday. I "only" had to drive five hours to get there) and wish they could see their own teams play more scratch their head at the Eastern regionals. How does a regional in Worcester not sell out? Sure, it used to do better, but that's kind of the point; the regionals aren't working even when they should.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    2012: UML over Miami. Cornell over Michigan
    2011: UNH over Miami. UMD over Union. CC over BC.
    2010: RIT over Denver. UNH over Cornell. Yale over ND.
    2009: Air Force over Michigan. Vermont over Yale. UNH over ND. Miami over Denver. Bemidji over Notre Dame.

    These results, and many more, are part of what makes the tournament great. Should we give these up so that players hear louder cheers when their teams advance from the first round?

    The NCAA hockey tournament is not perfect, as it currently exists. We can tinker with it and try to make incremental improvements. We can make radical changes, and risk losing probably the best thing about the current tournament.

    I guess it boils down to how dire you think the current format is. Personally, I'm not ready to nuke it just yet.

    eta: I realize that "Madness" is almost always refers to hoops. But I think we'd be silly to let hoops have a monopoly on it. It's the crazy uncertainty of it all that makes one-and-done tournaments so exciting. I think it's a lot easier to build a successful tournament if you embrace that concept, rather than work against it.
    Last edited by amherstblackbear; 03-26-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by Almington View Post
    You have to double the semi final attendance to account for the fact that one semifinal ticket at the regional matched up with two tickets for the on campus sites.

    GB: ~9,000 vs ~11,500
    BP: ~15,000 vs ~8,500
    MN: ~30,000 vs ~32,000 (Noting that the X was near capacity with the seats that were not released for sale)
    WO: ~15,000 vs ~16,500

    Total: 69,000 vs 67,500 Basically a wash from an attendance standpoint, at least from within any margin of error from the assumptions and given the short time given to actually sell the on-campus tickets. A much stronger argument is based on the atmosphere of the games as opposed to the actual tickets sold.
    And, a simple "thank you" to Almington for doing the math in the correct manner.

    By the way, Caustic, what's the complaint here? Is it "Not enough revenue for the NCAA?" Or, is it, "Hey, this is ridiculous!! Should be lots more fans there!"

    Makes a big difference to know the problem you are actually trying to solve. If the complaint is that somehow, the games are not accessible for the fans, then I say, "I don't know how to fix that." Because, this year, my favorite team would have been at home in Round 1. And, they have lots of fans. But, next year they could easily be slated to play at Clarkson in the first round, and then they are not so accessible for all their fans. So, it's not so easy of a problem as it first appears.

    The real problem is this:
    THERE ARE SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH COLLEGE HOCKEY FANS TO GENERATE THE KIND OF ATMOSPHERE THAT THE REAL FANS WANT TO SEE!

    And, this, which is paraphrased from what someone else wrote earlier,
    THERE ARE LOTS OF FANS WHO ONLY CARE ABOUT GAMES INVOLVING THEIR OWN TEAM!

    Which of course means that there are lots of empty seats for the other game in the regional semis.

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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by Almington View Post
    You have to double the semi final attendance to account for the fact that one semifinal ticket at the regional matched up with two tickets for the on campus sites.

    GB: ~9,000 vs ~11,500
    BP: ~15,000 vs ~8,500
    MN: ~30,000 vs ~32,000 (Noting that the X was near capacity with the seats that were not released for sale)
    WO: ~15,000 vs ~16,500

    Total: 69,000 vs 67,500 Basically a wash from an attendance standpoint, at least from within any margin of error from the assumptions and given the short time given to actually sell the on-campus tickets. A much stronger argument is based on the atmosphere of the games as opposed to the actual tickets sold.
    False.

    The X was not near capacity. They would have sold those tickets if necessary (just happened in basketball when they opened up a Regional's upper deck due to demand. That was in a dome).

    Perhaps more people would have come if they could have paid half price for just a Minnesota ticket, but not enough to double attendance. Meanwhile, regionals like Green Bay would see zero change in attendance (and possible declines).

    I agree that the strongest argument is the atmosphere and appearance of home games, but regionals are not going to compete in the attendance issue; not even close. We have ten years of data on this, and it has only regressed.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by amherstblackbear View Post
    I'd rather try to work around the edges and improve attendance at a neutral site than deal with the diminished excitement of campus sites. Sure, on a game by game basis, anything can happen. In the bigger picture, though, you have to know that upsets will be less likely than they already are. And isn't that the goal? It's called March Madness. Not March-Organized-to-Maximize-Attendance-and-Revenue-While-Protecting-Higher-Seeds-at-the-Expense-of-Diminished-Unpredictability.
    I'm pretty sure the goal is to determine the best team in the country, not be a lottery for the top 16 teams in the country.

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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by Almington View Post
    Total: 69,000 vs 67,500 Basically a wash from an attendance standpoint, at least from within any margin of error from the assumptions and given the short time given to actually sell the on-campus tickets. A much stronger argument is based on the atmosphere of the games as opposed to the actual tickets sold.
    Agreed, on-campus hosting isn't going to drastically increase attendance over a multi-year span (it would of course fluctuate drastically year to year given what arenas are hosting). It would create a much better environment, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by amherstblackbear View Post
    I'd rather try to work around the edges and improve attendance at a neutral site than deal with the diminished excitement of campus sites. Sure, on a game by game basis, anything can happen. In the bigger picture, though, you have to know that upsets will be less likely than they already are. And isn't that the goal? It's called March Madness. Not March-Organized-to-Maximize-Attendance-and-Revenue-While-Protecting-Higher-Seeds-at-the-Expense-of-Diminished-Unpredictability.
    Agree with the bolded part, even if it is contradictory to the point you were making in the section of this post I excluded.
    Mostly, I agree with the bolded because I think there WAS a problem with on-campus pre-determined sites, and I think there would be significant logistical problems with impromptu regionals being held at higher seeds.

    The issue really breaks down to 2 things:
    1) Ticket prices and seating options (lack of tiered seating)
    2) Single-session passes on day 1 of the regional

    The former is by far the greater issue. I'd really like to believe that this weekend in St. Paul is all the NCAA needs to get it through their heads.

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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by kdilks View Post
    I'm pretty sure the goal is to determine the best team in the country, not be a lottery for the top 16 teams in the country.
    That's just naive.

    If it were about that, we'd use KRACH for seeding, not PWR. And we'd use best-of rather than single elimination. And we certainly would never include a team that didn't win its conference tournament or regular season.

    The NCAA tournament is about balancing a number of objectives.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by kdilks View Post
    I'm pretty sure the goal is to determine the best team in the country, not be a lottery for the top 16 teams in the country.
    It is easy to accept that premise. However, if you really want to determine the best team in the country, then a single elimination tournament is not the right way to do it.

    So, the real goal is for the sponsoring organization (NCAA) to crown a champion in a way that keeps the student-athletes (they are just college kids. I keep having to remind myself of that) from missing class (which I suppose should be the real reason for going to college anyway) any more than necessary.


    Which is maybe one reason we all need a big 'chill pill.' And, I include myself in that. This is all a game, after all. It sure isn't life. Sometimes I think we all get too wrapped up in somehow being vicariously able to call ourselves "winners."
    Last edited by Numbers; 03-26-2012 at 12:31 AM. Reason: Add last paragraph

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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by Stauber1 View Post
    Agree with the bolded part, even if it is contradictory to the point you were making in the section of this post I excluded.
    You lost me there. What was the conflict?
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
    And, a simple "thank you" to Almington for doing the math in the correct manner.

    By the way, Caustic, what's the complaint here? Is it "Not enough revenue for the NCAA?" Or, is it, "Hey, this is ridiculous!! Should be lots more fans there!"

    Makes a big difference to know the problem you are actually trying to solve. If the complaint is that somehow, the games are not accessible for the fans, then I say, "I don't know how to fix that." Because, this year, my favorite team would have been at home in Round 1. And, they have lots of fans. But, next year they could easily be slated to play at Clarkson in the first round, and then they are not so accessible for all their fans. So, it's not so easy of a problem as it first appears.

    The real problem is this:
    THERE ARE SIMPLY NOT ENOUGH COLLEGE HOCKEY FANS TO GENERATE THE KIND OF ATMOSPHERE THAT THE REAL FANS WANT TO SEE!

    And, this, which is paraphrased from what someone else wrote earlier,
    THERE ARE LOTS OF FANS WHO ONLY CARE ABOUT GAMES INVOLVING THEIR OWN TEAM!

    Which of course means that there are lots of empty seats for the other game in the regional semis.
    The complaint was addressed, among other places, in an earlier thread entitled "College Hockey's Playoff Problem."

    And the point is that the regionals take the most important games of the year to that point and place them in antiseptic, unattended arenas that are among the most pathetic venues the partipants have played in all season long.

    "There are simply not enough college hockey fans to generate the kind of atmosphere that real fans want to see." (edited for noise)

    Sure there are, in the home towns of the teams. Have you ever heard of the "Molly Game?"

    "There are lots of fans who only care about games involving their own team."

    Quite true, all the more reason to simply play the games at someone's home. And if that means the game is at Clarkson, tough rocks; if Clarkson earned a higher seed, good for them. If they shouldn't have earned it but got it because the ECAC gets bonus treatment from the PWR, change the PWR. Your presented scenario doesn't make a good argument, to me; you seem to be saying, "what if they play Clarkson? Then none of my team's fans will get to see them play." Regretable, but alas, unless your team was Minnesota or North Dakota, nobody saw them play this year anyway.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by Caustic Undertow View Post
    This probably doesn't make as much sense to Easterners who think that two hours is a long way to drive to a hockey game; you get a regional within easy distance every year, often two. Out west it's a bit different. Three hockey teams from lower Michigan made the NCAA tournament; the closest regional was Green Bay, which was a whopping 7 hour (or more) drive for each. Next year there are regionals in Grand Rapids and Toledo--and the entire (current) WCHA gets the shaft.
    The NCAA can't control who puts in bids for the regionals only who is awarded them, if they only get two bids, not much choice on their part: not many good western sites exist that are not home rinks and still close enough to a host school (also, it appears that many of the larger western schools may have decided that biding on regonals isn't worth the effort if they can't be held at on campus arenas).
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    By the way, there might indeed by a reduction in upsets, but there will still be upsets if these are one-game rounds.

    And a lot of big "upsets" wind up having what the victims would consider to be an unfair home fan bias. Consider that Michigan blew through the 2003 Midwest regional as a 3 seed, beating #2 Maine and #1 CC, who for most of the year traded the #1 ranking in the polls. Major upset? Or was it the venue, Michigan's Yost Ice Arena, which was packed to the rafters?
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by amherstblackbear View Post
    That's just naive.

    If it were about that, we'd use KRACH for seeding, not PWR. And we'd use best-of rather than single elimination. And we certainly would never include a team that didn't win its conference tournament or regular season.

    The NCAA tournament is about balancing a number of objectives.
    Quote Originally Posted by Numbers View Post
    It is easy to accept that premise. However, if you really want to determine the best team in the country, then a single elimination tournament is not the right way to do it.

    So, the real goal is for the sponsoring organization (NCAA) to crown a champion in a way that keeps the student-athletes (they are just college kids. I keep having to remind myself of that) from missing class (which I suppose should be the real reason for going to college anyway) any more than necessary.
    What do either of these comments have to do with the ridiculous notion that the tournament should be structured to encourage "upsets"?

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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Every NCAA basketball tournament game Duke has ever played has been in a pathetically antiseptic arena (when compared to their home environment @ Cameron indoor).

    It's the nature of the beast. I just don't see it as a problem.
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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    When there are clear ways of improving things, I absolutely view that as a problem.

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    Re: More proof that the Regional system is a disaster: Today's attendance at the X is

    Quote Originally Posted by amherstblackbear View Post
    You lost me there. What was the conflict?
    The first part of your post asked why attendance was a concern, and explained that despite attendance great accomplishments and moments still occur.
    The part I bolded stated you'd like to see attendance improved, within reasonable steps.

    A trivial contradiction and not one I'd really care to debate. I should have perhaps not even said anything.

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