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MGoBlueHockey
01-11-2013, 08:04 AM
Careful what you wish for. If the SEC ever got into hockey, I'm sure that they would go all out. They could fund a team just with the change they find under the couch cushions in the mahogany locker rooms reserved for their 4th string waterboys. Throw SEC-quality facilities, highly paid coaches, and balmy temperatures (not to mention a few southern belles) at those Canadian farm boys, and they would their fair share of blue chippas. Think about how well PSU is doing in their inaugural season with only 2 of those 4 factors - I'm not ready to hand the NCAA title to them yet, but they're going to be relevant a whole lot sooner than a lot of people thought.

You know the SEC has some nice basketball facilities and all of the things you mentioned and that conference is a piece of ****. 85% of the teams are complete garbage with only two nationally relevant ones in Kentucky & Florida. And even UK is having a pretty bad year with their standards. But I think we all know why they were so good last year with that cheater Calipari.

The B1G is the bully this year. They might get 10/12 teams into the NCAA Tournament this year. The SEC is good at sports that are big down south and that are played outdoors. Most notably, football & baseball. 7 straight MNCs and a 3 in a row in baseball from 2009-2011.

PcFriars13
01-11-2013, 08:33 AM
What about Liberty University? My friend goes there and she says all of their games are packed, and they're able to carry three ACHA teams.

Hockey Monk
01-12-2013, 10:31 PM
I live in Phoenix and follow both ASU and Arizona in the ACHA. ASU is based in Phoenix and we already have an NHL team along with every other sports team you could think of. Its an over saturated sports market. It would take a large sum of $$$ (which the ath dept does not have) so we need a Terry Pegula type to step in.

Tucson, on the other hand is only an NCAA town. They have no minor league hockey and support the university well with a population of almost 1 million in the metro area. Ill never forget seeing a sold out Tucson Convention Center to see Arizona play and then to see a group of fans wrap around the TCC to get autographs from the club team players after the game. Tons of northern transplants are in Tucson and they crave their hockey.

If they were not a flight away from every team they would play, I think AZ is very realistic. Here is an example of game at TCC:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHPQn1p1yD0

5mn_Major
01-13-2013, 04:43 AM
They don't have to match sport for sport, or else schools would have to have women's football and wrestling.

Hmmm...

UncleRay
01-13-2013, 12:15 PM
Hmmm...You're thinking "mud," aren't you??

camilo
01-13-2013, 07:12 PM
Any California teams on anyone's radar? Seems there's some good players coming out of CA every year and they do support NHL to a certain degree. I'd personally like t see more teams west of the Rockies.

MGoBlueHockey
01-13-2013, 07:44 PM
Personally I hope the other 8 in the B1G add hockey eventually. That just means more sheep to skin for Michigan. :D

UncleRay
01-13-2013, 09:05 PM
Any California teams on anyone's radar? Seems there's some good players coming out of CA every year and they do support NHL to a certain degree. I'd personally like t see more teams west of the Rockies.Besides the rumors about UC Santa Barbara? Not that I've heard, and that one has been around for a while.

Back2BackU-MnPride2002
01-14-2013, 02:45 AM
If you group the 2 Alaska teams with the 2 Arizona teams, all you need is 2 Cali teams and you go yourself a nice little conference.

Hockey Monk
01-14-2013, 07:25 PM
If you group the 2 Alaska teams with the 2 Arizona teams, all you need is 2 Cali teams and you go yourself a nice little conference.


The most realistic conference would be the NCHC with having the Colorado schools not far away. ASU has talked about adding hockey as the next sport, as well as women's LAX to balance things out. The Sun Devil Club has to hit a certain amount of donors (50k) for it to happen so it might be awhile (only around 10k now). Also, if the Coyotes for some reason moved out of town the plans could be accelerated. The rink ASU uses is a stones throw away from campus and is going to be rebuilt with in the next couple years to accommodate ASU's club team with the ability to expand from what I'm hearing.

If ASU jumped, I cant imagine Arizona would not find a way to jump as well. They seriously could be ranked in the top 10 in attendance if they were in the NCAA. If you watched that video, that shows non-scholarship club players with fans selling out the Tucson Convention Center to watch. If you need attendance numbers you could look up what the TCC holds for hockey and will be blown away. I can only imagine what the average U of A attendance would be if they had North Dakota, Denver, ASU, etc rolling into town.

Dont hold your breath on either anytime soon though as the plans are still to be club. I just have a feeling Nebraska is the next one to make the jump....everything makes too much sense.

lmg6841
01-16-2013, 02:19 PM
I play beer-league at this rink (Oceanside in Tempe). It's far from something I'd consider NCAA appropriate.. even if they make their upgrade plans. I've also never seen a sizable crowd at the ASU games, then again not many club teams draw big crowds. I would love to have an NCAA team down here in AZ though.


The rink ASU uses is a stones throw away from campus and is going to be rebuilt with in the next couple years to accommodate ASU's club team with the ability to expand from what I'm hearing.

Red Cows
01-20-2013, 11:19 PM
I just saw an interview on the local news here (KETV/ABC, channel 7) with new Nebraska AD Shawn Eichorst who just started the job on January 1st.

They showed, on-camera, seven (kinda) silly questions and his answers to those questions. It was a fluff piece.

It was part of a larger interview they had done and KETV Sports Director Andy Kendeigh (who is a Wisconsin alum) said he also asked Eichorst about hockey and supposedly Eichorst told him "It is not on our agenda", whatever that means.

Since he's been on the job all of three weeks, I suppose that's what one could expect him to say. It would be very interesting to ask him that same question in another year.

The topic of hockey at the University of Nebraska is getting some local sports talk discussion around here lately and much of that has revolved around the Title IX implications. Construction of the Breslow Center is about to begin and that has people taking a lot more notice around here, now.

http://journalstar.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/city-jpa-swap-land-to-make-way-for-breslow-ice/article_e99959d7-ae2e-5ecc-b814-9a36fbc46cc4.html

If anybody really thinks that this University of Nebraska controlled facility, whose construction oversight as well as most of the financing of the facility is being provided by the NU Foundation is being built to be solely a long term solution for the Husker Club team to finally have a place to play in Lincoln (they currently don't), as well as a place for Lincoln kids to play hockey, then I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. Plus, this building is being erected so that the seating can be dramatically expanded:

http://www.letsplayhockey.com/online-edition/news/1256-new-facilities-in-lincoln-neb-to-elevate-hockey-programs.html

UncleRay
01-21-2013, 10:23 AM
But if the school has made the commitment to DI, why wouldn't they announce it and ramp up fundraising?

Red Cows
01-21-2013, 12:28 PM
But if the school has made the commitment to DI, why wouldn't they announce it and ramp up fundraising?

Since there has been SO much discussion about this around here (I mean, to the point that Eichorst is ALREADY being asked about it 3 weeks into the job, to give you an idea) I am pretty convinced that this is going to be on his radar at some level in the next year or so. I also think it might be that he may not yet realize this. He has much larger fish on his plate to fry right now, too. UNL is currently finalizing the construction of a brand new arena:

http://www.pinnaclebankarena.com/

....................a massive upgrade to the east stadium at Memorial Stadium:

http://www.huskers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=100&ATCLID=205413069

........and a major, major retooling of the Devaney Center is now going on to turn that facility lock, stock, and barrel over to the volleyball program:

http://www.omaha.com/article/20120102/HUSKERS/701029843/-1

Boosters very much drive the athletic department here, WAY more than the A.D. does. It is probable that Eichorst doesn't "realize" that he might be overseeing the jump to D-1 hockey as yet. I wonder if he yet has a real understanding of the dynamics/politics of what is going on, having himself been involved in none of the preliminaries associated with all this construction.

The Breslow Ice Center is basically being built by boosters (the NU Foundation). In a little over a year, there will be 4 ice rinks in 3 different buildings, all practically on campus, ALL under university control:

1.The existing Ice Box, where the Lincoln Stars play, that seats 5010. This building is on the old fairgrounds, right next to the Devaney Center.

2. Pinnacle Bank Arena, with an as-built capacity of 15,000+ (12,700 for hockey--right from the Huskers own web site, I might add), currently being built in the Lincoln Haymarket area in a sort of quadrangle that includes Memorial Stadium (football), Haymarket Park/Hawks Field (baseball/softball) and the new Breslow Ice Center (hockey). The arena has been constructed with all the necessary piping in the concrete slab to add ice making capability, later, if wanted or needed. It's being built so that it can be increased in size to 18,000, much like what was then known as the Qwest Center in Omaha was when it was originally built (and it ultimately was).

3. The Breslow facility, which is a dual rink facility, one standard size and one Olympic, that will have 1500 seats on one side and about 750 on the other, with the capability to expand the 1500 seat side to 6000 seats or so although the plans are not yet finalized.

Understand that ALL these buildings are under direct control of the University of Nebraska.

No way has any "commitment" been made as yet. I am certain that the real issue will be/is that a women's sport is going to have to be added to offset the addition of 18 scholarships on the already weighted-towards-the men side of that ledger.

I don't care what Eichorst has to say on the topic at this moment in time. Come see me in a year or two. As I said earlier in the thread, some of the local Husker press is so sure this is going to happen that they have publicly said so. Since the facilities will already mostly exist there, you are basically talking about endowing the requisite number of scholarships required for a men's team and whatever number you'd need to offset that on the women's side. Can anybody say "women's hockey", maybe?

I realize that some of this is sheer speculation, but if you were sniffing around for a school that appears to be headed down this road the University of Nebraska is sure doing an awful good impersonation of a school headed that way. Throw in that the Big 10 hockey conference is getting off the ground with only 6 schools...........put it this way, at the Big 10 meetings this year, you can't tell me that that some sort of "where do we come up with a couple men's hockey teams to round out the conference to 8 teams" conversation isn't going to happen. It has to be on the agenda on some level.

I don't think it's even out of the question that the conference itself provides some sort of initial subsidy to make this happen, given the financial situation of the conference. 6 teams are not gonna cut it.

Given what is happening here on the facilities side, what school is going to be farther down that road than any other? And, for added benefit, they'd have a built-in rival 50 miles up the interstate from them, too.

The pieces appear to be slowly coming into place despite what Eichorst is currently saying about it.

UncleRay
01-21-2013, 01:54 PM
I don't understand why a group would build a 1500-seat rink for a club team that they plan to bring up to DI but haven't told anyone about, when they could announce their intentions and raise the much-less money to just build a 6,000-seat rink from the get-go? Why go through the unnecessary expense of expansion in a few years?

Red Cows
01-21-2013, 05:31 PM
I don't understand why a group would build a 1500-seat rink for a club team that they plan to bring up to DI but haven't told anyone about, when they could announce their intentions and raise the much-less money to just build a 6,000-seat rink from the get-go? Why go through the unnecessary expense of expansion in a few years?

A very salient point and one I almost addressed in my post above.

Don't forget that the final design and cost of the Breslow Center has yet to be determined, and the NU Foundation was pretty cagey about that in this article:

http://journalstar.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/city-jpa-swap-land-to-make-way-for-breslow-ice/article_e99959d7-ae2e-5ecc-b814-9a36fbc46cc4.html

John Breslow is the former State Auditor of the State of Nebraska (1991-1999). He also ran for Governor after being Auditor. He was also formerly a minority owner of the Phoenix Coyotes and is a big hockey fan and supporter. He is still attempting to buy the Coyotes, outright, from the NHL. He is also a University of Nebraska alum. He is the former President & CEO of Linweld, in Lincoln, NE, which was bought out by Matheson Tri-Gas in 2006 for 260 million dollars.

Breslow donated 7 million dollars towards the construction of this facility in 2007, hence, it's name. The City of Lincoln kicked in another million bucks, plus the land, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus recreation program kicked in another million. The NU Foundation is the source of the remainder of the funds and they are overseeing its construction.

Ostensibly, this facility would allow UNL's club team (ACHA, Div.III) to play in Lincoln, finally, for starters. Amazingly, they don't currently--and NEVER have! They play at Sidner Ice Arena in Fremont, NE which is a YMCA facility (opened in 2004) and seats all of 350 or so and is upwards of 60 miles north of Lincoln. Here is a history of how and why the Husker Club team did not end up in the Ice Box in Lincoln, despite the fact that it was originally envisioned with them in mind, that describes that situation better than I ever could:

http://www.huskerhockey.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=54%3Adetailed-club-history&catid=38&Itemid=89

I firmly believe that the Foundation and/or John Beslow's ulterior motive here was/is to get D-1 hockey on campus at UNL at some point in this process. You can sense this in the whole "the facility is being built to be expanded" aspect of this thing. I mean, why else would you do that? For what purpose might this building maybe need to be able to seat 6000 people? UNL is not going to get crowds like that for club hockey, not when you can drive 50 miles up to Omaha and watch UNO play. Plus, the Lincoln Stars are already there, have another facility they play in, and are currently averaging 3,815 per night.

This is what I mean by wondering if Eichorst really sees the handwriting on the wall, here, or even knows it's there, yet, since he's been on the job all of 3 weeks. Between the Big 10's need for a couple more teams, at least, and the fact that UNL would have the option of upgrading this facility and playing in it, or putting ice making equipment in the Pinnacle Bank Center and playing there, he is going to have people/fans/donors wondering why weren't/aren't doing this and, in my estimation, pushing him that way whether he thinks that is the direction the school is going now or not.

I think the undercurrent is sort of a "build it and it will come" mentality.

I also think that if UNL was not currently both financially and logistically so heavily involved in current NCAA facility's wars, this might be happening right now, instead of in a few years.

Another thing that I think would aide in this is happening is if UNO has any significant measure of on-ice success. By that, I mean winning the title or even playing for it. The "talk" about this will become a clamor if that happens.

Again, there is some sheer conjecture in here. That said, it sure looks like 2 + 2 is adding up to 4 here to me.

slowe
01-21-2013, 05:54 PM
Hey Red Cows, thanks for being so thorough with the updates on UNL. As an Illini fan I'm jealous, but appreciate the close monitoring, looking for possible hints, and anticipation of watching a program being born. Unfortunately I have a lot less to report on my school, so in the mean time I'll have fun watching this one. I hope it happens for UNL.

UncleRay
01-21-2013, 09:10 PM
Thanks for burying me in verbiage, conjecture, and innuendo. Would you care to answer a simple question:
I don't understand why a group would build a 1500-seat rink for a club team that they plan to bring up to DI but haven't told anyone about, when they could announce their intentions and raise the much-less money to just build a 6,000-seat rink from the get-go? Why go through the unnecessary expense of expansion in a few years?

slowe
01-21-2013, 10:49 PM
Thanks for burying me in verbiage, conjecture, and innuendo. Would you care to answer a simple question:

I'll take a shot. The breslow donation was actually made a few years ago. Breslow is not paying for the whole rink, just enough to give the project a jump start. The design has a contingency that if more money comes along then they can expand it. Same logic when building the basketball stadium. Put ice making capability in there just in case.

If I were them, I would next figure out a way to fund the program itself. Budget for scholarships, coaches, etc. Play a little while out of the basketball stadium. Bide your time, then if the program is successful, build out a dedicated 6,000 seat ice arena. The whole thing could take a while and there's no incentive to move quickly. It could all take years if it even happens. But if you are making huge investments in arenas, you have to give yourself options.

Red Cows
01-21-2013, 11:50 PM
Thanks for burying me in verbiage, conjecture, and innuendo. Would you care to answer a simple question:

I think you missed the point I was trying to make.

IMHO, the fan base and donors are going to shove this down the athletic department's throat at some point, despite any protestations or nay-saying you might be hearing, now. At Nebraska, the tail does wag the dog. Donors exhibit enormous influence over the athletic department at Nebraska. The reason Bo Pelini is the Head Coach at Nebraska? Because that's who donors and fans wanted as the head coach. Tom Osborne, walk on water though he may do here, would have had near insurrection to deal with had he not hired him.

Shawn Eichorst, now, all of three weeks into his new job as AD, says "hockey in not on our agenda" to which I say, "Oh, yeah? We'll see about that". As hard as it might be for you to believe, the decision isn't going to be his to make if the fans and donors here want it to be. Since they are already stepping up to the plate in that regard given the construction add-on of ice piping in the floor at Pinnacle Bank Arena and the building of a actual dual ice sheet arena in the Breslow Center, I think the wishes of fans and donor are obvious. The NU Foundation, in conjunction with the other parties mentioned above are building a hockey rink for the university whether they like it or not.

Boosters did not pony up millions of dollars for all this for the benefit of the club hockey team. This is the way of getting it in through the back door, basically. Yeah, it would make more sense to do it cheaper, now and build Breslow with the extra seating now, but I don't think this will ultimately happen. Since the Pinnacle Bank Arena cannot be made exclusively available to any potential hockey team, I think the team just ends up practicing at the Breslow Center, thereby negating any need to expand it right up front, or, later, and they will ultimately play at Pinnacle. Plus the Huskers would then have the added advantage of practicing on either size ice sheet as desired since the Breslow Center is being built with both size rinks. If they don't end up at Pinnacle, then they have a plan B.