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MagnessMan
03-28-2010, 09:59 PM
So my brother and I were sitting there watching RIT thump UNH last night talking about how the NCAA is really missing a golden opportunity with the regionals.

They seem to have just written the whole thing off. The way the system works it's left to the host committee to make it work. Albany sucked big time.
Here are a few ideas. Add yours and maybe someone in the bureaucracy will take notice.

+Show the other games in the lobby
+Show highlights from other games on the Jumbo-tron during ESPN's five hour commercial breaks that run every two minutes
+Post scores
+Serve beer!
+Host a fun event on the Championship day--having people there and not having an event is stupid. At the very least open up the team practices like at the Four. Get creative use the event to market the regional to families/youth hockey crowd. Have the bands play out front before the games
+Make the bids competitive--make the potential sites show what they are going to bring to the table
+Manage the event--put a team in charge don't just leave it up to a school/host committee.
+Have some contests to promote/build school spirit especially schools that don't make it. Bring in their bands and mascots. Get creative
+Sell discount/fund raiser tickets through local youth hockey teams
+Hire a firm to poll people at all four sites to refine the experience (wake up people--you've got all or most of the CH fans in the country as a potential audience. Yes, we're a relatively small crowd but we're also educated and have some spending cash.

I'm sure there are countless other could ideas--bring em on.

GB Puck Fan
03-28-2010, 10:07 PM
So my brother and I were sitting there watching RIT thump UNH last night talking about how the NCAA is really missing a golden opportunity with the regionals.

They seem to have just written the whole thing off. The way the system works it's left to the host committee to make it work. Albany sucked big time.
Here are a few ideas. Add yours and maybe someone in the bureaucracy will take notice.

+Show the other games in the lobby

+Serve beer!

+Make the bids competitive--make the potential sites show what they are going to bring to the table

+Manage the event--put a team in charge don't just leave it up to a school/host committee.

+Have some contests to promote/build school spirit especially schools that don't make it. Bring in their bands and mascots. Get creative

+Hire a firm to poll people at all four sites to refine the experience (wake up people--you've got all or most of the CH fans in the country as a potential audience. Yes, we're a relatively small crowd but we're also educated and have some spending cash.

I'm sure there are countless other could ideas--bring em on.


* The other games were on in the lobby at the XCel.

* They aren't going to serve beer. Don't bother to ask.

* It is competitive - insofar as the NCAA wants to see who will guarantee them the most money.

* Given NCAA staffing, they must rely on the schools and host venues for work. With all of the events going on - hockey, hoops at three levels in two sexes, etc. etc and so on - the NCAA would have to be even bigger to staff regionals themselves. Doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

* The Xcel had hamster ball races, sled races, human bowling, kids getting dressed in hockey gear race, t-shirt tosses, etc...

* The scoreboard/pa solicited people (more than once) to go to a website to fill out a survey about their experience.

bucky15
03-28-2010, 10:16 PM
* The other games were on in the lobby at the XCel.

* They aren't going to serve beer. Don't bother to ask.

* It is competitive - insofar as the NCAA wants to see who will guarantee them the most money.

* Given NCAA staffing, they must rely on the schools and host venues for work. With all of the events going on - hockey, hoops at three levels in two sexes, etc. etc and so on - the NCAA would have to be even bigger to staff regionals themselves. Doesn't sound like a good idea to me.

* The Xcel had hamster ball races, sled races, human bowling, kids getting dressed in hockey gear race, t-shirt tosses, etc...

* The scoreboard/pa solicited people (more than once) to go to a website to fill out a survey about their experience.

The only problem I had was the price of a ticket. The tickets for the West region games were $52, which is a lot when you already have to drive four hours to get to the game. I don't understand why they were so high. I think if the ticket prices drop to 30/35 a lot more local people show up to the game, which would make the overall experience better instead of only having 7k in a place that seats 18k. How was the attendence in the other regions? I really thought SCSU would have a student section...they had about 20 fans below there band. I was surprised by the lack of SCSU students. Overall my experience was great, which probably has to do with UW going to the frozen four.

michpuckhead
03-29-2010, 01:42 AM
How was the attendence in the other regions?

The official attendance for the Michigan - Bemidji game was 4,133. I didn't go to the final tonight and haven't seen a box score yet. According to the website, the War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne holds 13,000.

I've long said that college hockey is the best kept secret in sports. Even when Michigan or MSU is in Grand Rapids they only get ~6,000 in a 10K seat arena. On the other hand, Joe Louis draws large crowds for their college games and the UM-MSU game usually sells out (20,000).

IMO, the NCAA is the primary culprit as they try to strip the fun and atmosphere out of everything. Case in point last night in Fort Wayne. NCAA officials greeted a family of UM fans at the gate and informed them that their small children could not bring in their thunder sticks. Who gives a sh*t? The sight of NCAA suits regulating a couple of 6 year-olds was beyond ridiculous.

UPDATE: Tonight's attendance for UM - Miami was 3,204. Good grief.

state of hockey
03-29-2010, 01:51 AM
I just hate how sterile the environment is. No atmosphere whatsoever. NCAA symbols cover everything local. Half the concessions closed. It's ridiculous, makes it very hard to get into the game. I got more into the games in other regions because is was watching them on TV, not sitting in a sterilized bunker.

michpuckhead
03-29-2010, 02:06 AM
As pointed out, tickets are way too expensive, too. I got a $10 ticket at the Joe for the CCHA championship game (17,000+ in attendance) but an all-session ticket for Fort Wayne was $87 plus ticketmaster fees so ~$100 to sit in a lifeless tomb. I opted to go only Saturday for $50 and didn't even go to the first game. That's by far the most expensive UM hockey ticket I've ever had outside of the FF. I wonder if the ban on beer sales forces venues to inflate ticket prices to offset the lost revenue stream.

bigmrg74
03-29-2010, 03:41 AM
The official attendance for the Michigan - Bemidji game was 4,133. I didn't go to the final tonight and haven't seen a box score yet. According to the website, the War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne holds 13,000.

I've long said that college hockey is the best kept secret in sports. Even when Michigan or MSU is in Grand Rapids they only get ~6,000 in a 10K seat arena. On the other hand, Joe Louis draws large crowds for their college games and the UM-MSU game usually sells out (20,000).

IMO, the NCAA is the primary culprit as they try to strip the fun and atmosphere out of everything. Case in point last night in Fort Wayne. NCAA officials greeted a family of UM fans at the gate and informed them that their small children could not bring in their thunder sticks. Who gives a sh*t? The sight of NCAA suits regulating a couple of 6 year-olds was beyond ridiculous.

UPDATE: Tonight's attendance for UM - Miami was 3,204. Good grief.

Yeah, its pretty **** rediculous that they were the cheapest tickets to get inside of the Arena at Fort Wayne there was 30 bucks, for a nosebleed. Not that the view was bad from up there, just that it looks bad to not have people filling in the lower bowl there. Given that the local club that plays there sells those lower bowl tickets for 20, thats high enough to keep the locals from showing up to a game. You make those lower bowl tickets 25, and the nose bleeds 20, and they would have easily had another 1 or 2 thousand there. Also, still not even sure why they opened up the nose bleeds on the Even side. You have more of those people sitting down somewhere in the bowl ends and it would have looked better. Plus, you wouldn't have had people up there to open up the consession stands up there, and they could have had another body or two working the rooftop bar there, the one place where you could get a drink there.

RedFreak
03-29-2010, 10:00 AM
I just hate how sterile the environment is. No atmosphere whatsoever. NCAA symbols cover everything local. Half the concessions closed. It's ridiculous, makes it very hard to get into the game. I got more into the games in other regions because is was watching them on TV, not sitting in a sterilized bunker.

Didn't go to the St. Paul Regional, but I was sitting at home, listening to the radio, imagining that it was the same as the WCHA Final Five. Guess that's not the case, huh?

4035
03-29-2010, 12:31 PM
ALBANY -

RIT vs Denver - Attendance: N/A but assume same as other game - 4073
New Hampshire vs Cornell - Attendance: 4073
RIT vs New Hampshire - Attendance: 3737
Average attendance - 3961

ST PAUL:

UVM vs Wisconsin - Attendance: 7281
Northern Michigan vs St. Cloud State - Attendance: N/A but assume same as other game - 7281
St. Cloud State vs Wisconsin - Attendance: 7182

Average attendance - 7248

WORCESTER:
Yale vs North Dakota - Attendance: 6572
Yale vs Boston College - Attendance: 6054
Alaska vs Boston College - Attendance: 6572

Average attendance - 6399

FORT WAYNE

Michigan vs Bemidji State - Attendance: 4133
Alabama-Huntsville vs Miami - Attendance: N/A but assume same as other game 4133
Michigan vs Miami - Attendance: 3204

Average attendance 3823

Total average per game 5,358

Smaller host rinks???

TigerFan86-87
03-29-2010, 12:50 PM
Albany sucked big time.
+Show the other games in the lobby
+Show highlights from other games on the Jumbo-tron during ESPN's five hour commercial breaks that run every two minutes
+Post scores


Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes... although with the caveat that highlights on that video board in Albany would be a little difficult to decipher. Not the best picture quality on that thing.
I couldn't believe how they absoltely paid no nevermind to the fact that there were other regional games going on that many of us in the arena were interested in... Of course, I should probably step into the 2010's and get a phone that could help me check these things myself :)

TUSCHWI
03-29-2010, 01:00 PM
ALBANY -

RIT vs Denver - Attendance: N/A but assume same as other game - 4073
New Hampshire vs Cornell - Attendance: 4073
RIT vs New Hampshire - Attendance: 3737
Average attendance - 3961

ST PAUL:

UVM vs Wisconsin - Attendance: 7281
Northern Michigan vs St. Cloud State - Attendance: N/A but assume same as other game - 7281
St. Cloud State vs Wisconsin - Attendance: 7182

Average attendance - 7248

WORCESTER:
Yale vs North Dakota - Attendance: 6572
Yale vs Boston College - Attendance: 6054
Alaska vs Boston College - Attendance: 6572

Average attendance - 6399

FORT WAYNE

Michigan vs Bemidji State - Attendance: 4133
Alabama-Huntsville vs Miami - Attendance: N/A but assume same as other game 4133
Michigan vs Miami - Attendance: 3204

Average attendance – 3823

Total average per game – 5,358

Smaller host rinks???

I'm with you 4035. It looks awful having all the empty seats. The NCAA could make just as much money using smaller rinks and it would be a better visual product. The 8000 seat Resch Center in Green Bay comes to mind. Albeit in 2006, the Badgers were there but still.

There are newer rinks coming online all the time (the new DECC in Duluth) that could host. I don't know enough about the East Rinks but what about the Quinnipiac (sp?) facility? Isn't that relatively new? Get Q or Yale in the tournament, or any of a number of teams from around there, and it would be filled.

I think one of the problems that happens most years is that spring breaks are happening about this time. My daughter was off this past week and the UW students were heading out for their break on Saturday. That's a lot of bodies who might normally go but aren't available. The NC$$ needs to figure that out. Oh, and if the WCHA insists on having the Final 5 in Minneapolis every year, then the NCAA regional shouldn't be there. There is only so much $$ that people can afford on consecutive weekends, especially these days.

That's my rant.

aktick
03-29-2010, 01:15 PM
I just hate how sterile the environment is. No atmosphere whatsoever. NCAA symbols cover everything local. Half the concessions closed. It's ridiculous, makes it very hard to get into the game. I got more into the games in other regions because is was watching them on TV, not sitting in a sterilized bunker.

Yep, atmosphere is huge for me...I know I've been spoiled going to games at the Coliseum/Kohl Center my entire life, but it's just not nearly as interesting for me to watch UW play in a half (or third, or quarter) full arena with piped in music. And I would tolerate the stale environment if ticket prices weren't so ridiculous. Now that I'm a homeowner, I would rather put money towards future home improvements or whatever...UNLESS the arena atmosphere is going to be great, like at the Resch, KC, etc.

Also, I'd rather spend money going to an exciting Blackhawks game where the arena isn't sterilized by the NCAA and people are into it.

alfablue
03-29-2010, 01:23 PM
Our complaining kind of put the NCAA into this position.

Out west, we would host regional on-campus to packed arenas- had the Midwest been at Yost, or probably any other high ranked school, it would have been more people. Even East Lansing and Oxford would fill more.

But everyone complained about the home ice advantage.

So we get more neutral games, and no automatic season ticket holder fan base. Instant half.

We are a small group of enthusiests. Either we give some schools home ice advantage and big crowds, or empty, lifeless arenas for more time.

At least St. Paul probably had Minny faithful who like college hockey.

Sparty Foxbat
03-29-2010, 01:25 PM
All you nancies coming up with clever things like "NC$$", who's supposed to pay for it? Honest question. Clearly nothing makes money except for the basketball tournament on whose coattails just about every other sport rides. It's not like they're raking in enormous profits, and I don't see any extravagant wastes of money.

I'm going to take a wild guess that the NCAA has already done some kind of market survey and does not think $10 tickets will more than triple the attendance to the games. I'm sure some regional committees sucked (Grand Rapids wasn't bad but still no sell out for Notre Dame - MSU) but I genuinely want to know what your cost structure should be. Charge more for basketball? Who exactly is supposed to pay to organize an arena so people can watch RIT and Bemijdi State play?

(China is the correct answer).

Kepler
03-29-2010, 01:33 PM
You can have full buildings and not give unworthy teams home ice -- play the first two rounds at top seeds. If that means a #16 small school has to deal with 12k screaming #1 big school fans, so be it. If that means a #16 big school has to deal with 4k screaming #1 small school fans, so be it.

RedFreak
03-29-2010, 01:38 PM
You can have full buildings and not give unworthy teams home ice -- play the first two rounds at top seeds. If that means a #16 small school has to deal with 12k screaming #1 big school fans, so be it. If that means a #16 big school has to deal with 4k screaming #1 small school fans, so be it.

I agree. Chalk the regionals up as a noble experiment that didn't work out. No shame in that.

AMcoffee
03-29-2010, 01:41 PM
Is there a body who prescribes minimum ticket prices for the hockey tournament regionals ?

Would they be the same body who has allowed the Detroit organizers to market the $ 40 package, whist the subscriber base pays four times as much to enter the same venue ?

Just curious.

alfablue
03-29-2010, 01:42 PM
You can have full buildings and not give unworthy teams home ice -- play the first two rounds at top seeds. If that means a #16 small school has to deal with 12k screaming #1 big school fans, so be it. If that means a #16 big school has to deal with 4k screaming #1 small school fans, so be it.

I'm sure we can all deal with that.

Except for possibly the host schools.... I think you need more than a week to plan for an event like that. I could be wrong, but it seems like a lot of work to find worthy hotels for 3 other teams (well 2 more than normal).

And you do need to make sure there are "enough" seats for each team. 500/team isn't a big deal in a place like the Schott, but is where the rink only holds 4000 fans.

Still, considering the issues, that should be workable.

RedFreak
03-29-2010, 01:47 PM
I'm sure we can all deal with that.

Except for possibly the host schools.... I think you need more than a week to plan for an event like that. I could be wrong, but it seems like a lot of work to find worthy hotels for 3 other teams (well 2 more than normal).

And you do need to make sure there are "enough" seats for each team. 500/team isn't a big deal in a place like the Schott, but is where the rink only holds 4000 fans.

Still, considering the issues, that should be workable.

Nah, bottom eight travel to the top eight barns.

Priceless
03-29-2010, 01:47 PM
I posted this in response to a post over in the 2 sites thread...

You have a point, but the NCAA knows what they WANT attendance to be while the arena people know how to maximize attendance. There are solutions to these problems with varying degrees of difficulty and results. The NCAA would be foolish not to examine these solutions. I think a lot of people on this site are also biased because they have seen the NCAA take foolish steps before, so expectations aren't very high.

The quick and easy fix is the price point. All seats are not created equal. Some people can afford center ice seats so let them buy them. For the Hockey East playoffs you could drop $42 for tickets in the Loge down to $19 for nosebleed seats. The NCAA wants to sell those nosebleeds for the same price as center ice. Different price tiers for different sections of the arena is really easy to do and would boost attendance (and increase profitability). Many people - particularly college students - can't afford $90 seats but will be happy to drop (for example) $30 for nosebleeds.

Another fix would be to drop the seating requirement. Look again at those %capacity numbers. Worcester managed the best day at a whopping 44%. Albany couldn't even crack 30% despite two local schools and one of the top two traveling fanbases in the East. Stop booking 14000 seat arenas for regionals. I'll go out on a limb and say the regional in the 19000+ seat Scottrade Center in St Louis will be a disaster. If Miami/Michigan drew THAT small a crowd 2 hours from the campuses of both schools, how big a crowd are they really going to draw in St Louis - especially if they price all 19000 seats the same and set the price ridiculously high?

They should look at using campus sites in the East like they have out West. They can still go to Manchester and Bridgeport, but Conte Forum would make a great host. Seating isn't so great at Agganis, but a lack of seats at regionals hasn't exactly been a problem. Worcester might work. Albany has to go. Attendance there is always abysmal. Going back to having the #1 seeds host probably won't work, and the sport has grown beyond that. It's not big enough yet to support huge arenas. Using more centralized hosts to the massive Boston market would help the sport tremendously, with trips to other areas to help the sport grow. Maybe one day the sport can support AHL arenas but that day has not arrived yet.

A radical solution would be the 3-day/8-team regional. There are some logistical problems, but those can be overcome. Hopefully our sport has progressed to the point where we can support four regionals instead of two, but the first two matters must be addressed.

The attendance #'s referenced above:



Day Site Attendance Capacity % Cap
Fri Albany 4073 14236 28.61%
Sat Albany 3737 14236 26.25%
Sat Worcester 6572 14800 44.41%
Sun Worcester 6054 14800 40.91%
Fri St Paul 7281 18568 39.21%
Sat St Paul 7182 18568 38.68%
Sat Ft Wayne 4133 10500 39.36%
Sun Ft Wayne 3204 10500 30.51%