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brassbonanza
04-10-2017, 02:10 PM
Is that for the final or all three games? Maybe it's good Maine is so bad with those prices.

Yes, that was for the full weekend.

FireKnight
04-10-2017, 02:19 PM
Again, this is false. Here's a picture I took in the second period looking directly at the same area you're talking about.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C9Ed2eHV0AIKoyf.jpg

There's probably 750 empty seats in that picture. This is my 6th FF and I've never seen so many empty seats.

FireKnight
04-10-2017, 02:22 PM
And that's my big beef with the ticket selection that some of us got shafted with. The organizers kept tickets for their people and didn't use them- leaving some of us long term people out in the balcony.

And I'm not sure how you got $175- ours were $200 in the second row of the 300 section. That blows.

I was 12 rows up in the balcony at center ice and I could have sworn the price was around $175 but probably $200 with the fees and such. Either way, $65 a game doesn't seem like a lot to me for a FF. I'd pay more to see 3 Rangers games.

brassbonanza
04-10-2017, 02:32 PM
There's probably 750 empty seats in that picture. This is my 6th FF and I've never seen so many empty seats.

Zoom in, no there aren't. But let's take your 750 number, that picture shows ~1/3 the arena. If so, that puts it at ~2,250 empty seats, never mind that the DU and UMD corners aren't shown there and were packed. Also never mind that a small percentage of those empty seats are people in the bathroom, getting food, etc. Subtracted from the 22K capacity and we're left with around 19.5K in attendance, or just about what they reported. I don't see the attendance complaints here, there were absolutely no overall attendance problems here. This is my third FF and it was very much on par with DC in 2009 which was also well-attended.

theprofromdover
04-10-2017, 02:57 PM
There's probably 750 empty seats in that picture. This is my 6th FF and I've never seen so many empty seats.

You obviously weren't in Pittsburgh.

Nick Papagiorgio
04-10-2017, 03:04 PM
There's probably 750 empty seats in that picture. This is my 6th FF and I've never seen so many empty seats.

This was my 13th and I disagree vehemently with your assertion.

I will add that I was surprised there were so few ND fans on Thursday night in the arena. I expected them to gobble up the tickets on the secondary market but I guess following around Coach Scissorlift and his merry band of dead fake girlfriends was too important in South Bend to head over to Chicago. (Given the high wind situation on Thursday this may have been a good thing. Brian Kelly was probably like "too windy for Fan Fest, no friggin way!")

FireKnight
04-10-2017, 03:07 PM
This was my 13th and I disagree vehemently with your assertion.

I will add that I was surprised there were so few ND fans on Thursday night in the arena. I expected them to gobble up the tickets on the secondary market but I guess following around Coach Scissorlift and his merry band of dead fake girlfriends was too important in South Bend to head over to Chicago. (Given the high wind situation on Thursday this may have been a good thing. Brian Kelly was probably like "too windy for Fan Fest, no friggin way!")

Is that why they didn't have fan fest?

FireKnight
04-10-2017, 03:09 PM
You obviously weren't in Pittsburgh.

I wasn't in ****tsburgh but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't attend well. I mean they think Cindy Crosby is actually a good player.

UML Puck Hawk
04-10-2017, 03:13 PM
Is that why they didn't have fan fest?

That's what I heard from a few of the UMD parents (who I guess were communicating with the players). Basically it was too windy, so they were openning the gates 30 min early and doing the red carpet inside the arena.

Mind you there was no communication of any kind explaining this to the masses.

FireKnight
04-10-2017, 03:19 PM
That's what I heard from a few of the UMD parents (who I guess were communicating with the players). Basically it was too windy, so they were openning the gates 30 min early and doing the red carpet inside the arena.

Mind you there was no communication of any kind explaining this to the masses.

With all of the technology out there, it is so easy to communicate but the NCAA doesn't. I've been on the train down to Yankee Stadium and my phone has told me that the game was delayed and gave an anticipated start time. Mind you, I didn't sign up for any alerts, it was all the magic of google.

Crimson on the Glass
04-10-2017, 04:37 PM
This was our first Frozen Four, so my perspective may be a little different. Our tickets (though Harvard allotment) were in the 12th row lover section corner, and went for about 3rd tier face value, it sounds like.

As expected, the hockey was great! My team lost in the first game, which means the rest of the weekend events were critical to our having a good time. One quibble about the arena arrangements was why in the world did the Crimson (and their coaches) have to enter and exit the rink from the end Zamboni driveway when they had a perfectly good tunnel behind their bench. Denver did not seem to have this issue.

The flights were apparently a mess all weekend, but you can't really say that O'Hare isn't a big enough airport with too few flights. One of ours Tuesday was cancelled, and we barely got there in time as a result. I understand that the Harvard Band's flight plans also vanished.

Chicago, as a place where we were stuck for 48 hours between games? Really great! We got the T transit pass (cheap enough) and the museum pass (not cheap) and that kept us pretty busy. The commute out to the arena was not hard - we went once by train, once walked (Saturday was beautiful), and rode the convenient #19 bus (lined up) back to the loop twice. Nobody told us not to take the train.

I don't think the arena location is remote so much as that no restaurants or bars have been opened in the nearby blocks - something that must have to do with zoning or market forces, or I don't know what. Any one of those huge single surface parking lots could be made into quite the festive place to be, with parking if you still need it underneath. It could at least be something like Gillette stadiums little outdoor mall, but far better if you could get mom and pop Chicago businesses in there too. Oh, and it is ridiculous that one can't leave and re-enter between games. No wonder nobody wants to open a business nearby.

The NCAA really did not communicate with us well at all! Yes, we got our tickets from Harvard, so maybe we missed the mailings and emails. I'll bet if NCAA sent them to Harvard, we'd have received them though. So our only notice about Navy Pier autograph sessions was a single PA message that we could just barely make out. When we got there, it seemed as if they were setting up for a Hobey Baker ceremony as well, but nobody invited us to that one. Fan Fest we also heard about via PA (once) but did not hear any details, so hard to know if this was something we wanted to make the trip out to the remote arena area 4 hours early for.

All in all, a fine weekend. But will we go back to the Frozen Four again or year after year in less interesting cities if our team isn't in it, buying balcony tickets from Ticketmaster or a 3rd party scalper? It seems unlikely, but that may be more about the (one team) fans that we are. I did enjoy that DU-UMD final, though!

Biddco
04-10-2017, 05:23 PM
Chicago was great, as a place to do stuff.

The UC was nice, but a touch remote. Sucks to have locals tell us to not take the train....

One other note- a common complaint in DC was lack of recognition that anything was going on. Same thing happened here, as I saw it. Other than some banners on Michigan Ave, nobody had any idea there was a tournament going on.
I actually thought the location of the UC would have been worse. I wrongly assumed there would be no bars or anything nearby but there was a few and the UMD location was a good time.

Funny you mention that about the DC tournament comment, I had the same thought but the opposite. Now my group wore our UMD jerseys around all weekend and our team was in it so we got tons of comments. Many people knew why we were wearing jerseys and you could hear many people explain to other around them why we looked so funny.

This was my 13th and I disagree vehemently with your assertion.

I will add that I was surprised there were so few ND fans on Thursday night in the arena. )
I actually thought there was a lot of ND fans, but I was in the upper bowl so perhaps you were down low and most were higher up.


Chicago, as a place where we were stuck for 48 hours between games? Really great! We got the T transit pass (cheap enough) and the museum pass (not cheap) and that kept us pretty busy. The commute out to the arena was not hard - we went once by train, once walked (Saturday was beautiful), and rode the convenient #19 bus (lined up) back to the loop twice. Nobody told us not to take the train.

I don't think the arena location is remote so much as that no restaurants or bars have been opened in the nearby blocks - something that must have to do with zoning or market forces, or I don't know what. Any one of those huge single surface parking lots could be made into quite the festive place to be, with parking if you still need it underneath. It could at least be something like Gillette stadiums little outdoor mall, but far better if you could get mom and pop Chicago businesses in there too. Oh, and it is ridiculous that one can't leave and re-enter between games. No wonder nobody wants to open a business nearby.


I really loved Chicago and had a great time taking the train around, perhaps the bus would have been quicker at times. Got to explore the city and do things I haven't been able to do in a while. I went to the fan fest on Saturday and boy was that disappointing. Lines were incredibly long and the wait for a drink wasn't worth it. Bathroom line was long as well. What was awesome was just hanging in the atrium on the east side. Lines were short for beer and bathrooms and it was fun to watch fans come into the building.

My one gripe about the building was our seats were looking right down a stairway so when people came up or down (many didn't wait for a whistle :upset: ) we couldn't see half of the ice. I guess that will happen an arena that is not hockey first.

pgb-ohio
04-10-2017, 06:10 PM
There's probably 750 empty seats in that picture. This is my 6th FF and I've never seen so many empty seats.


Zoom in, no there aren't. But let's take your 750 number, that picture shows ~1/3 the arena. If so, that puts it at ~2,250 empty seats, never mind that the DU and UMD corners aren't shown there and were packed. Also never mind that a small percentage of those empty seats are people in the bathroom, getting food, etc. Subtracted from the 22K capacity and we're left with around 19.5K in attendance, or just about what they reported. I don't see the attendance complaints here, there were absolutely no overall attendance problems here. This is my third FF and it was very much on par with DC in 2009 which was also well-attended.brassbonanza, profromdover & Nick are correct. In-house attendance in Chicago, based on fair comparisons, was very solid.

FireKinight's comment might still be accurate -- if based on unrepresentative sample. For the sake of argument, let's say FireKnight attended the tournament twice in Boston, and once each in Providence, Albany & St. Paul. In that scenario, FireKnight's comment, while quite misleading, would be technically correct.

That said, you need to look at other non-traditional cities in order to make a fair comparison. Chicago out-performed Tampa, Philly & Pittsburgh. I would describe it is on par with the DC & Denver. At least in terms of local support, St. Louis probably did the best among the non-traditional sites. FWIW, my observation in St. Louis was that the large majority of those in the packed upper bowl were locals. Bottom line? Chicago is in the middle of the non-traditional group -- at the very least.

The weakest attendance in recent memory was Thursday in Philadelphia. And while I'm sorry to say it, Tampa 2016 would have had a similar result without North Dakota in the field. That's not to say those tournaments were mistakes. Personally I had a great time on both Tampa trips and hope we eventually go back. I wouldn't schedule Philly again, but I don't regret that the tournament went there once.

pgb-ohio
04-10-2017, 07:47 PM
Had a great time, but not my favorite site. I said as soon as it was announced... but there's nothing BY the arena. I think that affected the sense of camaraderie and "smaller town" feel that Frozen Four often has. If it's your only vacation destination all year, I can see how that stuff would be less important, as you want somewhere that's good for a vacation, while I'm looking for somewhere that fits my idea of a good Frozen Four. Can't say I would spend a hockey-less vacation in Providence or Buffalo - but they were great Frozen Four sites. I prefer host cities with lots of stuff (hotels, bars, restaurants, things to do) within walking distance of the arena, and everything is more centralized and not spread out as much. Hard to do in many larger cities like Chicago.


The UC was nice, but a touch remote. Sucks to have locals tell us to not take the train....


The commute out to the arena was not hard - we went once by train, once walked (Saturday was beautiful), and rode the convenient #19 bus (lined up) back to the loop twice. Nobody told us not to take the train.

I don't think the arena location is remote so much as that no restaurants or bars have been opened in the nearby blocks - something that must have to do with zoning or market forces, or I don't know what. Any one of those huge single surface parking lots could be made into quite the festive place to be, with parking if you still need it underneath. It could at least be something like Gillette stadiums little outdoor mall, but far better if you could get mom and pop Chicago businesses in there too. Oh, and it is ridiculous that one can't leave and re-enter between games. No wonder nobody wants to open a business nearby.


I actually thought the location of the UC would have been worse. I wrongly assumed there would be no bars or anything nearby but there was a few and the UMD location was a good time.There's truth in all of these comments. Jen's characterization is probably the closest. But I am a little surprised that people seem so unaware of the history of the Chicago Stadium/United Center neighborhood. Back when the tournament was awarded to Chicago, there was an extensive USCHO conversation on this point. Wish I had taken the time to re-create some portion of that conversation before the tournament.

Medium Version of a Long Story: Chicago Stadium was built in 1929. While I can't tell you precisely why the exact site was chosen, it's similar distance from the loop as the baseball stadiums. I'm guessing the West Side location was "neutral ground" between the South Side and the North Side. None of Chicago's major sports facilities are located right in the Loop. Wrigley has many adjacent businesses; maybe the UC will develop in a similar way. Eventually.

Anyhow, toward the end of the original building's lifespan, the Near West Side neighborhood fell on tough times. At best it was unappealing; it worst it was unsafe. Few fans used public transportation to get to games. The procedure was to drive, park as close as possible, get into the building very efficiently and leave the area immediately upon the conclusion of the event. For many locals, that's a habit that persists to this day -- even though the neighborhood has significantly improved. Some habits die hard.

It's true that zoning restrictions have a major impact on land use in northern cities. But in this case zoning has nothing to do with it. The paucity of bars & restaurants near the UC is a result of lack of consumer demand.

You might very reasonably wonder why the United Center was built in the same neighborhood as the Stadium. Why not choose a "better" neighborhood? The answer is largely political. Proposals for new locations generated a lot of "NIMBY" opposition. Also, many of the potential sites were cost prohibitive. At the same time, the old neighborhood was desperate not to lose its one major asset.

In the end, staying put was probably a social good. The Near West Side is a neighborhood on the way back. It's come a long way. The United Center itself is the biggest single factor. "Oprah's Studio," just East of Union Park, has spawned some nice development, including restaurants. But that specific neighborhood is a bit of walk from the UC; too far for some. Others might be bothered by the non-trivial risk of being confronted by an aggressive panhandler.

Note that a significant addition to the UC is in the works. It's expected that the addition will include bars, restaurants & gathering space. Some office space as well. When that project is completed, my belief is that it help complete the attitude shift toward the neighborhood. In other words, it should create a culture of coming to events early and staying late. If I'm correct, private competition just outside the arena proper shouldn't be far behind. If and when all that occurs, the United Center will be a better site for the Frozen Four.

At the present? Not a bad situation at all. Great arena; tons of tourist opportunities in the city as a whole. But it's no surprise to me that most FF visitors did exactly what lots of local Chicagoans currently do for the Blackhawks: Come to the Near West Side for the games; do the pregame & postgame activities in other neighborhoods.

I'm not truly local. My parents met in Chicago; I was born in Illinois. I do have longstanding, ongoing ties to the area. But in fairness, I've lived most of my life elsewhere. Still, my group got a taste of my Blackhawks routine. We traveled to the UC by car. Parked in my usual parking lot. Thursday activities in Wrigleyville; Saturday postgame at Lou Malnati's in the South Loop. FWIW.

I'm glad to hear the bus option worked well. Might have to try that option. And just maybe a train stop will be added someday. We can hope. But in the meantime, when in Rome...

Crimson on the Glass
04-10-2017, 08:38 PM
Medium Version of a Long Story:
This was great to read, pgb. It helps me appreciate some of the story behind that area, while our big weekend trip to Chicago and the UC is still fresh in my mind!

From the Blue Line for the 5pm Thursday game, we walked from the Illinois Med Distr stop (Galen exit closed) up to Ogden, then S. Wood. It felt just fine in the late afternoon, though I wasn't quite sure how it would seem at post-game 10pm. When we walked, we came all the way out via Madison (same route as the #19 and #20), which was great. Several other walkers out in their game jerseys and we past what must be some major pre-game spots (packed) in the last few blocks before the big wasteland of UC parking lots begins.

mookie1995
04-10-2017, 09:06 PM
Being in Boston mookie giggled that he could park in the UC lot for only $29 :)
Played golf fri, sat, & sun. Public golf in Chicago is outstanding (as is the private). Could go back numerous times and not repeat.
Food inside was not bad. Mookie had the pulled pork nachos and was stuffed. Lot of food in there and it was good. Drove around some. Got a "pretzel bagel" :) at a brueggers in oak park. Neat neighborhood. Had dinner and drinks at a mall bar in oak brook that was very good. 90 taps. Then watched the masters Sunday at the derby in Lincoln park, which is beautiful.
Can't beat Chicago.

Well, traffic blows. :p

theprofromdover
04-11-2017, 07:22 AM
Being in Boston mookie giggled that he could park in the UC lot for only $29 :)
Played golf fri, sat, & sun. Public golf in Chicago is outstanding (as is the private). Could go back numerous times and not repeat.
Food inside was not bad. Mookie had the pulled pork nachos and was stuffed. Lot of food in there and it was good. Drove around some. Got a "pretzel bagel" :) at a brueggers in oak park. Neat neighborhood. Had dinner and drinks at a mall bar in oak brook that was very good. 90 taps. Then watched the masters Sunday at the derby in Lincoln park, which is beautiful.
Can't beat Chicago.

Well, traffic blows. :p

Did you enjoy the finals? 😜

pgb-ohio
04-11-2017, 12:07 PM
... For a newer arena, I was disappointed with the food options inside the arena...

...Food inside was not bad. Mookie had the pulled pork nachos and was stuffed. Lot of food in there and it was good...Mookie is correct. Don't mean to pick on you, FireKnight. But again you're being too pessimistic.

At least by arena standards, Sweet Baby Ray's is excellent. Had the brisket sandwich, one of my usual favorites. The wood-fired pizza stand is also quite good. Admittedly it's a little ironic to have a California style pizza in Chicago. But again, they offer a very solid product by arena standards. Location-wise, those places are on the Madison Ave. side of the arena, on the 100 Level. For the Blackhawks, my routine is to stop at one of those places before heading up to my seats in the 300s.

Should have posted that tip prior to the tournament; apologies...

Riz
04-11-2017, 02:17 PM
4/10

Wasn't impressed with the United Center or the surrounding area.

mookie1995
04-11-2017, 04:29 PM
Did you enjoy the finals? 😜

:(