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Sioux_fan
12-09-2015, 12:00 AM
For those of you that follow college football, there have been a number of attractive interconference games scheduled at neutral sites in recent years - Wisconsin/Alabama at Cowboys Stadium in 2015 & Auburn/Louisville at Georgia Dome in 2015 also.

Does anyone think these neutral site games at big facilities will takeoff for college hockey? College football has many dedicated "kickoff games" between elite programs but I wonder if we will see annual corporate sponsored events like football.

It seems to have taken a slight trend but in more of team-by-team scheduling than an annually scheduled event (unless we count the Hall of Fame game). UND is playing BC at Madison Square Garden in 2016. I know Penn State frequently plays at Wells Fargo Center against Vermont. The North Star Cup somewhat fits this concept too.

The thing is: I imagine the only teams capable of selling out big arenas would be large hockey programs like Minnesota, Wisconsin, UND, Michigan, BC, BU, and maybe even the other big ten teams. The rest of college hockey would struggle.

I think it would be neat if we could see these concept takeoff more in college hockey but not sure if it gain steam or not. I mean, maybe we see a game like Notre Dame/Michigan at United Center. Or even better, if like mentioned earlier there could be an organized event of multiple games. Imagine UND/BC at TD Garden and Minnesota/BU in the same weekend. That would be awesome for college hockey fans.

Thoughts?

The Rube
12-09-2015, 12:03 AM
Not gonna happen. Home games have enough trouble (actually) filling in the seats. Too many novelty (outdoors, neutral site) will end up having the same effect.

Bonin21
12-09-2015, 12:04 AM
The North Star Cup is quickly becoming something pretty cool. I wish there were a way to have all five teams in it, though.

blackswampboy
12-09-2015, 12:48 AM
The thing is: I imagine the only teams capable of selling out big arenas would be large hockey programs like Minnesota, Wisconsin, UND, Michigan, BC, BU, and maybe even the other big ten teams. The rest of college hockey would struggle.

I think it would be neat if we could see these concept takeoff more in college hockey but not sure if it gain steam or not. I mean, maybe we see a game like Notre Dame/Michigan at United Center. Or even better, if like mentioned earlier there could be an organized event of multiple games. Imagine UND/BC at TD Garden and Minnesota/BU in the same weekend. That would be awesome for college hockey fans.

Thoughts?

The last thing college hockey needs is to be more like college football. gag. :rolleyes:

Neutral-site games are already happening for "the rest of college hockey" too, and it can work just fine without giant arenas.
just a couple of examples: last year BGSU played RMU in an outdoor game at Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mudhens. This year the Falcons are playing WMU at the Huntington Center (home of the ECHL Toledo Walleye), part of a double-header in front of a Walleye game.
so yeah, the concept isn't new in college hockey. I get that you're enticed by MSG-type extravaganzas, but there's creative and awesome stuff happening in college hockey everywhere.

ericredaxe
12-09-2015, 05:24 AM
I don't think these neutral site games will take off exactly, but they are already happening to some degree. Red Hot Hockey is an example of one that has been very successful.

If teams carefully pick and choose them, they can work.

Split-N
12-09-2015, 06:51 AM
The last thing college hockey needs is to be more like college football. gag. :rolleyes:


+1.

College football at the Power-5 level is a reeking cesspool that college hockey better not try to emulate. But I get the hint of that same stench with the age/eligibility proposal that the "money" schools are trying to backdoor through the NC$$, but that's for a different thread.

That being said, I'm just back from the Friendship Four Tournament, played in Belfast, Northern Ireland (I spent an extra week touring the Irish Republic). Attendance was surprisingly good (~5K per game) and the arena and atmosphere first class. But successful neutral site games, in general, are the exception rather than the rule although I'm surprised the ND/UConn game at Barclay's didn't to better given the raw numbers of alums from both schools in the NYC area. And IMO, the novelty has worn off the outdoor games. (Been to two of them, don't plan to do a third.)

BTW, the mother of all hockey bars is located on the ground floor of the Belfast arena complex. Who knew??

claver2010
12-09-2015, 07:39 AM
But successful neutral site games, in general, are the exception rather than the rule although I'm surprised the ND/UConn game at Barclay's didn't to better given the raw numbers of alums from both schools in the NYC area.

UConn & ND hockey aren't draws (despite UConn counting fingers and toes through the turnstiles opposed to people).

Barclay's isn't the easiest place in the world to get to either.

Despite it being completely redone, there's still something special about MSG

JohnsonsJerseys
12-09-2015, 08:01 AM
Does anyone think these neutral site games at big facilities will takeoff for college hockey?
If you do it local, then yes, it can be very successful. A few examples off the top of my head The Beanpot, The Great Lakes Invitational, North Star Cup. What do they all have in common? The field of teams every year are all local. If you can put the "neutral site" game within two hours of the teams playing home rinks (or areas of known strong alumni support) you'll get enough fans to travel to pack the building. Michigan Tech is 12 hours from the JLA in Detroit, but obviously downstate MI is a big area for MTU alumni so they always make a strong showing at the GLI.

If you have teams coming in from 1000+ miles away, fans might go once for a novelty but not consistently. A good example of this is the Desert Classic that ASU is hosting. I'm going this year just because it is something new. But if Tech goes back 4-5 years from now, I doubt I would make a return trip. By the same token, if you put Minnesota, BU, Denver, Michigan in a neutral site game/tourney in South Carolina, Texas, Florida or somewhere else outside of hockey's roots, good luck putting butts in the seats, big name teams or not.

Ryan J

FlagDUDE08
12-09-2015, 08:09 AM
RPI and Union typically have a neutral site NC game at the Times Union Center in Albany NY. This has been tried a few times (in various locations, too) in the past with not much success, but has started to see around 7k attendance (although most of them probably came because of the fight that made national news in 2014), not to mention the tickets are usually paired with the local AHL team playing the early game.

Sure, back in the day you could tout that you are showcasing "local talent", but when the teams are now as a result of nationwide searches and you hardly ever see local prospects play for local teams, it's tough to use that angle.

Red Hockey
12-09-2015, 08:18 AM
UConn & ND hockey aren't draws (despite UConn counting fingers and toes through the turnstiles opposed to people).

Barclay's isn't the easiest place in the world to get to either.

Despite it being completely redone, there's still something special about MSG


Barclay's isn't the easiest place to get to? That's a joke right? Have the subway system and LIRR ceased to exist? It's only a pain for drivers, and even then the arena is in a major part of Brooklyn that's not too far from a highway.


And some neutral-site games have been pretty good draws for certain schools (Cornell/BU for example). I don't know if the concept will "take off" for everybody, though--whatever that menas.

ericredaxe
12-09-2015, 08:28 AM
I think that Maine / UNH has been a decent draw at Manchester and Portland? (Although each of those would be considered "Semi" home games I'd say).

LynahFan
12-09-2015, 09:31 AM
There are only a few pairs of teams at a few neutral locations that can make this work. Cornell/BU sells out MSG; Cornell/Colgate and Harvard/Yale do not. So, to answer the original question: no, it won't take off like football, because it can't.

alfablue
12-09-2015, 09:37 AM
If you do it local, then yes, it can be very successful.

Ryan J

I don't know the first time MSU and UM faced each other during the regular season at the Joe.

But every time we've gone, it's been packed. Better than the GLI, better than the CCHA or B1G tournament when the two teams faced each other.

This isn't new. Works great when you tap a very handy fan base.

Bear in mind, few schools can just blindly call a strong alumni base a good hockey fan base. While Michigan has a lot of alumni in New York and Chicago, I don't think many of them would go to a hockey game. That debacle at Soldier field may illustrate that.

ecemleafs
12-09-2015, 10:27 AM
Cornell seems to play every year at MSG. I went to PSU Cornell last year at MSG and it was predominantly a Cornell crowd, but still cant be considered a home game for them. PSU is also playing Michigan at MSG in a month or 2. MSG hosts a lot of "neutral" games in both hockey and basketball.

claver2010
12-09-2015, 11:15 AM
Barclay's isn't the easiest place to get to? That's a joke right? Have the subway system and LIRR ceased to exist? It's only a pain for drivers, and even then the arena is in a major part of Brooklyn that's not too far from a highway.


who knew people in tristate come only via lirr & subway? what about nj? westchester? ct?

if the game is at msg it's obviously directly accessible via subway, lirr, njt, and a subway transfer for anywhere on metro north.

MGoBlueHockey
12-09-2015, 12:25 PM
Neutral site games suck.

The end.

alfablue
12-09-2015, 12:41 PM
Neutral site games suck.

The end.

You've never see MSU v UM at the Joe during the regular season?

MGoBlueHockey
12-09-2015, 02:07 PM
You've never see UM v MSU at the Joe during the regular season?

Yes. I've been to many of them.

Someone gets screwed out of a home game every year because of it. Would rather have the game at Yost where it's all Michigan fans as opposed to being the "home" team in a 70/30 building of Michigan fans to their fans.

Call me a hockey snob, but the casual fans that aren't necessarily hockey fan come out in full force to that game and like to talk trash as if they can name players on their team. It's quite annoying.

I think the Detroit meeting should be saved for the GLI.

alfablue
12-09-2015, 02:09 PM
Yes. I've been to many of them.

Someone gets screwed out of a home game every year because of it. Would rather have the game at Yost where it's all Michigan fans as opposed to being the "home" team in a 70/30 building of Michigan fans to their fans.

LOL. The point of neutral spots is to have a large crowd, JLA is almost 2x Yost plus Munn. And it fills up.

Seems great to me.

joecct
12-09-2015, 02:28 PM
who knew people in tristate come only via lirr & subway? what about nj? westchester? ct?

if the game is at msg it's obviously directly accessible via subway, lirr, njt, and a subway transfer for anywhere on metro north.

Metro North to Grand Central. Lexington Ave Line to Bleecker St is and B train to Barclays
NJ Transit to Penn Station. 2 or 3 train to Barclays.