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hab
07-08-2013, 08:43 PM
The USCHO article on West Coast college hockey history is interesting, but if we want to talk about 2013 realities I think that the focus on the Southwest is misplaced. The Pacific Northwest is, and always has been, a much more fertile ground for hockey (weather being one very obvious factor) and should be a future growth area for NCAA Div 1 hockey, both male and female. There is a tremendous fan base here, as evidenced by the success of the many Western Hockey League franchises and the history of senior semi-pro hockey in the area. I would love to see college hockey on most of the campuses that are now part of the Northern Division of the Pac 12 football. Also, cities like Spokane, Portland and Seattle are great hockey towns. Of course the fact that major junior hockey got here first is a disadvantage, and the NCAA would have to compete for fans, but better to be late in a fertile market than try to fight for hockey fans in the deserts of Arizona and Southern California.

ExileOnDaytonStreet
07-08-2013, 11:45 PM
It was an interesting read, and the attendance at (some) club games out there are impressive, but that's a believe-it-when-you-see-it kind of scenario.

Especially with the WHL already having a presence out there.

Patman
07-08-2013, 11:59 PM
It was an interesting read, and the attendance at (some) club games out there are impressive, but that's a believe-it-when-you-see-it kind of scenario.

Especially with the WHL already having a presence out there.

to me it'd come down to the ability of the local community to support it. I can't imagine all the NW viable areas have a WHL team. If you have an insulated college town I think you can make it work.

hab
07-09-2013, 10:07 AM
to me it'd come down to the ability of the local community to support it. I can't imagine all the NW viable areas have a WHL team. If you have an insulated college town I think you can make it work.

Correct. The success of the WHL shows the overall level of interest in hockey in the region, but most college campuses (e.g. PAC 12 north) are in communities that are some distance from WHL cities. The biggest problem I see is how to get from zero NCAA teams to a conference. Starting as an independent or as a member of one of the existing conferences would be expensive from a travel perspective.

Patman
07-09-2013, 10:13 AM
Correct. The success of the WHL shows the overall level of interest in hockey in the region, but most college campuses (e.g. PAC 12 north) are in communities that are some distance from WHL cities. The biggest problem I see is how to get from zero NCAA teams to a conference. Starting as an independent or as a member of one of the existing conferences would be expensive from a travel perspective.

Who says you need to do that, the landscape has changed and NCHC has spots open

FlagDUDE08
07-09-2013, 10:16 AM
Correct. The success of the WHL shows the overall level of interest in hockey in the region, but most college campuses (e.g. PAC 12 north) are in communities that are some distance from WHL cities. The biggest problem I see is how to get from zero NCAA teams to a conference. Starting as an independent or as a member of one of the existing conferences would be expensive from a travel perspective.

Travel expense is going to be an issue with most of the western teams, given how spread out everyone is. I understand the NCHC is much more of a primadonna-esque league, but that'd probably be the best place, given you have Denver and Colorado College as at least somewhat close trips. Atlantic also has a 12th spot opening up (I know, good luck with it already being a cost containment league), perhaps get a close trip for Air Force? Who knows, if you can get 4 schools together out in the west, poach Air Force and an Alaska school and you have yourself the PHA.

FlagDUDE08
07-09-2013, 10:17 AM
Who says you need to do that, the landscape has changed and NCHC has spots open

That'd be the best starting spot IMO. They need some bottom feeders, anyway. ;)

Patman
07-09-2013, 11:01 AM
That'd be the best starting spot IMO. They need some bottom feeders, anyway. ;)

We could give them Notre Dame

FlagDUDE08
07-09-2013, 11:19 AM
We could give them Notre Dame

You going to give us spot #12?

davyd83
07-09-2013, 11:52 AM
Who says you need to do that, the landscape has changed and NCHC has spots openWhich NCHC schools is a bus trip from a West Coast school?

FlagDUDE08
07-09-2013, 11:59 AM
Which NCHC schools is a bus trip from a West Coast school?

If Colorado University joins, Denver and Colorado College. ;)

davyd83
07-09-2013, 12:28 PM
If Colorado University joins, Denver and Colorado College. ;)The last time I looked, Boulder was around 1200 miles from the West Coast.

FlagDUDE08
07-09-2013, 12:38 PM
The last time I looked, Boulder was around 1200 miles from the West Coast.

And yet, they're in a "Pacific" conference.

cosmo46
07-09-2013, 01:39 PM
If you pardon the personal story and skip to the end I talk about when San Diego had a D1 hockey program back in the 80s.
http://oldtimehockeyfornow.blogspot.com/2013/06/all-roads-lead-to-beer-leaguesand-then.html?m=1

lmg6841
07-09-2013, 01:45 PM
As a college hockey fan who is currently located in Tempe Arizona.. I really really want ASU to step up to NCAA. Their club teams play in a **** venue and draw a **** crowds, yet they have so much potential.

LtPowers
07-10-2013, 10:45 AM
As a college hockey fan who is currently located in Tempe Arizona.. I really really want ASU to step up to NCAA. Their club teams play in a **** venue and draw a **** crowds, yet they have so much potential.

If the venue and crowds are both expletive-worthy, where exactly is the potential?


Powers &8^]

FlagDUDE08
07-10-2013, 11:07 AM
If the venue and crowds are both expletive-worthy, where exactly is the potential?


Powers &8^]

Perhaps that the team itself plays very well and could be competitive if they were to move to varsity status. As for the crowds, people want to watch certain levels of play, and venue is something that could happen with a few simoleons. ;)

lmg6841
07-10-2013, 11:23 AM
They've been one of the best D1 club teams for some time now. They even managed to take a win off of Penn State last year (which RIT failed to do). If they can offer a successful product in an actual arena, ASU hockey would be popular.


If the venue and crowds are both expletive-worthy, where exactly is the potential?


Powers &8^]

hab
07-10-2013, 07:07 PM
Thought that I would add some data to support my thesis that the Pacific North West would be fertile ground for NCAA Div 1 hockey expansion. Currently, the US Division of the Western Hockey League has 5 teams in Washington and Oregon: Portland, Spokane, Everett, Tri Cities, and Seattle. They averaged 5330 fans per game this past season, and that is for a 72 game regular season schedule, not to mention the best-of-seven semi-final and final playoff series and beyond. Tier 3 Junior hockey has teams in Eugene, Tri-Cities, Vancouver (Wash.), Bremerton, and Bellingham (no idea what the attendance is, but not likely high for Tier 3. And of course, college sports rivalries are strong in the region and I am sure would easily transfer to hockey.

davyd83
07-10-2013, 07:12 PM
They've been one of the best D1 club teams for some time now. They even managed to take a win off of Penn State last year (which RIT failed to do). If they can offer a successful product in an actual arena, ASU hockey would be popular.On ice success at the club level means zero towards varsity success. Very few players at the ACHA level can play D-I hockey. If they could, they would. Not one member of this year's Penn State team played club hockey prior to the hiring of Guy Gadowsky as head coach. Only one played prior to last year. He only played 13 games last year and will likely see little ice time this year.