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CLS
03-26-2011, 12:18 PM
As the posts have already shown, coming up with an alternative that’s better than the current format is not as easy as it sounds. If the main problem with the current format is attendance, then I’m willing to put up with that (especially when it means that I, as a fan, can decide at the last minute that I want to go). IMO, home ice is more of an advantage than the higher seed deserves and/or should need, particularly given that the formula used to determine the seeding is so controversial. And even then, there might have logistical problems, such as multi-use facilities having conflicts with other events.

I think “atmosphere” a bigger deal for the fans than for the players. If the incentive of playing in a national tournament – even if they play in front of an empty rink – isn’t enough to get them motivated, then perhaps they don’t deserve to be there. Participants in most NCAA national championship tournaments don’t play in front of packed houses.

amherstblackbear
03-26-2011, 12:21 PM
How does this format increase attendance? It reduces attendance!

I'll concede your point for the sake of argument. But even if it reduces attendance from each school by 30%, doubling the number of participating schools will yield a net improvement in attendance, unless my math is horribly off.

Question regarding logistics: If you have two games each day, you can definitely get in ice time for the teams playing that day. Would it be that terrible for the teams not playing that day to get ice time at an alternate location?

edit:

Maybe you mean aggregate attendance. But going from 4 regional sites to 2 also saves a good chunk of change. I doubt it reduces profits.

flyund
03-26-2011, 12:25 PM
How about this go back to two regionals east and west rotate the regionals from the same places in hockey cities say Denver, the Twin Cities and Chicago in the west. and New York City, Providence and Boston in the East. All easy cities to get to with plenty of things to do between games.

Alton
03-26-2011, 12:27 PM
I think “atmosphere” a bigger deal for the fans than for the players. If the incentive of playing in a national tournament – even if they play in front of an empty rink – isn’t enough to get them motivated, then perhaps they don’t deserve to be there. Participants in most NCAA national championship tournaments don’t play in front of packed houses.

But participants in most NCAA national championship tournaments don't ever play in front of packed houses. Hockey players, on the other hand, do. Until the regionals, when they play in front of empty seats. Obviously, they don't have to. But we make them do it, in the name of "fairness." If we are interested in "fairness," why are so many of the regionals so close to participating teams? The fairest regionals would be in Atlanta, Miami, Dallas and Phoenix. Why aren't people lobbying for the regionals to be there? I assume the answer is obvious: we want people to go to the games. Unfortunately for "fairness," the people who go to the games are rooting for one team or the other.

Why not abandon the pretense that we are trying to be fair--we're not--and put the first round in the arenas of teams that have earned it? If they don't want to host, they don't have to put in a bid, but they should have first choice. Just like lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, field hockey and soccer; it's the most common way that the NCAA runs a tournament.

amherstblackbear
03-26-2011, 12:28 PM
I think “atmosphere” a bigger deal for the fans than for the players. If the incentive of playing in a national tournament – even if they play in front of an empty rink – isn’t enough to get them motivated, then perhaps they don’t deserve to be there. Participants in most NCAA national championship tournaments don’t play in front of packed houses.

I think that's absolutely true. I'm looking at this from a fan's perspective. I used to never miss regionals. Since the move to 4 4-team regionals, I've attended exactly twice. It's just not that compelling.

amherstblackbear
03-26-2011, 12:38 PM
Why not abandon the pretense that we are trying to be fair--we're not--and put the first round in the arenas of teams that have earned it? If they don't want to host, they don't have to put in a bid, but they should have first choice. Just like lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, field hockey and soccer; it's the most common way that the NCAA runs a tournament.

I would support this on one condition, and one condition only. That the host team has the option of playing on home ice regardless of venue. If one of those host teams is Merrimack, then tough ****.

CLS
03-26-2011, 12:59 PM
But participants in most NCAA national championship tournaments don't ever play in front of packed houses. Hockey players, on the other hand, do. Until the regionals, when they play in front of empty seats. Obviously, they don't have to. But we make them do it, in the name of "fairness." If we are interested in "fairness," why are so many of the regionals so close to participating teams? The fairest regionals would be in Atlanta, Miami, Dallas and Phoenix. Why aren't people lobbying for the regionals to be there? I assume the answer is obvious: we want people to go to the games. Unfortunately for "fairness," the people who go to the games are rooting for one team or the other.Your first point is absolutely spot on, but IMO it doesn't necessarily lead to the second. I see a clear distinction between playing a game at, say, the Garden in Boston, and at the Conte Forum at BC. If you don't, fine, we just see that differently.


Why not abandon the pretense that we are trying to be fair--we're not--and put the first round in the arenas of teams that have earned it? If they don't want to host, they don't have to put in a bid, but they should have first choice. Just like lacrosse, baseball, softball, volleyball, field hockey and soccer; it's the most common way that the NCAA runs a tournament.Like I said before I think that playing a lower seeded team is what they've "earned", not playing in their own rink or playing in front of a full house. We need some method for determining who's in the tournament, but we don't need to use that same controversial system, or any rating system to determine where the games are played.

I also don’t understand what you mean when you say “abandon the pretense that we are trying to be fair”, then talk about what teams have “earned”.

AFHockeyFan
03-26-2011, 01:00 PM
I'll never attend another "Regional" even if they return to Denver or Colorado Springs. The year they shipped Air Force to Worcester when I had tickets to Colorado Springs cured me of that. And spare me the "bracket integrity" argument. That goes out the window when a one seed plays at a four seed.
If the NC$$ wants people to show up, they need to put schools in a Regional within driving distance. The five-day advance purchase airfares are beyond the reach of the average fan, especially when all the games are on TV, as they should be.

CLS
03-26-2011, 01:16 PM
How about this go back to two regionals east and west rotate the regionals from the same places in hockey cities say Denver, the Twin Cities and Chicago in the west. and New York City, Providence and Boston in the East. All easy cities to get to with plenty of things to do between games.If you're referring to the TD Garden in Boston, they don't seem interested enough in the Frozen Four to put in a credible bid. I can't imagine they'd be interested in Regionals, especially when they already sacrifice a prime weekend for Hockey East.

I think that's absolutely true. I'm looking at this from a fan's perspective. I used to never miss regionals. Since the move to 4 4-team regionals, I've attended exactly twice. It's just not that compelling.
Agree there. Sometimes the regionals were better than the FF. Great bang for the buck. Four games in two days, except for that marathon in Albany between BU and St Lawrence when they played five games in two days.:)

DLG
03-26-2011, 01:25 PM
Remember the regionals go to the site with th best bid for the NCAA
Last night's attendance at Bridgeport and today in Manchester wil be very good
St Louis is just a bad choice
Have no idea about Green Bay
Need to be in a facility that has 10,000 seats or less for better atmosphere
Next year St Paul and Worcester replace Manchester & St louis

HockeyMan2000
03-26-2011, 01:25 PM
You are not a typical fan. I guarantee that nobody on this board is a typical fan. People who follow their team are following their team, and are indifferent or mildly interested in the other games.

After reading over your posts a few times you make a good point that leads into a second that doesn't connect to it whatsoever.

First, I'm not in favor of putting the regionals back in St. Louis even if there are 2 sites instead of 4. You cleared up that you are talking about campus sites instead of regionals -- I'm not against that per se, as it'd be better than the set-up as it currently stands. However, take a look at the Quarterfinal conference series that are played in the various leagues on campus sites. In Hockey East attendance for that 2-of-3 round seems to be falling off year after year; sell-outs are rare no matter what venue it's in (BC often struggles to have more than 2K-3K, UNH doesn't sell out, etc.). So doing a Quarterfinal campus-site NCAA series -- while obviously a "more important" round of games because it's the NCAA -- is not necessarily going to be a slam dunk for attendance, especially if you do it in 8 different venues like you are proposing.

I still disagree with you on the possibility of 2 sites, held in "traditional" areas nearby teams that, sure, would have more fans there than others. That's the way it used to be, and it was a more appealing overall product than the current 4 sites entails.

As far as your "typical"/"non typical" fans goes -- my belief is that a lot of college hockey fans follow this sport beyond their own team more than fans of other sports. The FF is an event that has no problem selling out every year. It's not because there's a massive natural interest in it -- it's partially because the same core people attend every year. They're fans of the game as well as fans who root for their own teams. You can call them "not typical" fans but IMO college hockey itself doesn't have a lot of fans who are "casual" or "typical." If the sport did, the current regional set-up would have fewer problems generating attendance, but it's struggling to do so even when the games are held in "traditional" sites. The "non typical fans" as you call them are the people who drive the bus for the NCAA. If you want to make the regionals into an 'event' like the FF, to appeal to them, then you make it a more appealing event. More teams, more games. 2 sites had far less trouble generating fans than 4 sites.

That doesn't mean -- as you wrote -- that I'm suggesting they go back to non-traditional sites like St. Louis. You are right -- a lot of people still wouldn't go, pay all that money, airfare and such. The poster who suggested a rotating group of sites in the east/west like Providence/Boston, Twin Cities, etc. is the way to go if 2 sites was a possible approach. Yes, that would mean keeping teams closer to home. I could care less about "fairness" myself when even in the NCAA hoops they always send teams like UNC or Duke to Charlotte to drive up attendance. So you do the same thing here -- for the most part, the Boston areas teams play in the Northeast, the WCHA teams play in an area of natural interest to them. Again, that's mostly what it used to be, and it was a bigger recipe for success than the current format. A couple of teams used to get sent East or West but that was it. It wasn't "balanced" to "protect the integrity" of the brackets which is garbage anyway when there's not enough interest to sustain their current format AND hosting schools like UNH get to stay home despite not really being "deserving" of that honor.

Whatever works in terms of making the product itself both more marketable and appealing to prospective ticket buyers and fans.

HockeyMan2000
03-26-2011, 01:27 PM
Four games in two days, except for that marathon in Albany between BU and St Lawrence when they played five games in two days.

I refrained from yelling at games a long time ago, but I distinctly remember being moved to belt out SOMEBODY PLEASE SCORE!! at one point in the 2nd OT. I did get some applause and the feeling I was not alone in that sentiment, lol. :)

Handyman
03-26-2011, 01:39 PM
I may be remembering wrong, but having the Regional at the X last year did not mean it had good attendance. In fact I thought attendance was thought of as pretty poor in St. Paul.

I may be completely wrong...but if I am right then having it in traditional markets is no guarantee either. The sites are just too ****ed big.

chickod
03-26-2011, 01:39 PM
A couple of teams used to get sent East or West but that was it. It wasn't "balanced" to "protect the integrity" of the brackets which is garbage anyway...

Absolutely agree. And while we're at it, why do you think they called them "Regionals" i the first place? The idea was for a team to become the champion of ITS REGION and then go play teams from OTHER REGIONS. In basketball it has become a complete joke, sending people all over the place. If you think attendance is poor in hockey, look at basketball. When you consider the sheer number of basketball fans (which dwarfs hockey fans), percentage-wise the attendance at these things is horrible. So if the NCAA doesn't care for BB, why does anyone think they will care about hockey?

NUProf
03-26-2011, 01:41 PM
In D3 the first two rounds are played as single games at campus sites the drama of a one and done game for advancement to the quarters or for advancement to the final round creates a lot of buzz and usually to sellouts. There's a lot of screwy things about the way the DIII tournament is set up due to the NCAA's lack of interest in spending money on transportation (no travel over 500 miles for any first round game or quarterfinal unless it is impossible to avoid it), but the premise of having the higher seed host a one game sudden death playoff game is a winner.

Dalangalang
03-26-2011, 02:07 PM
I may be remembering wrong, but having the Regional at the X last year did not mean it had good attendance. In fact I thought attendance was thought of as pretty poor in St. Paul.

I may be completely wrong...but if I am right then having it in traditional markets is no guarantee either. The sites are just too ****ed big.

Attendance was terrible...plus SCSU & WI were both there for 2 games.

quiddlet
03-26-2011, 02:29 PM
I love this thread every year... Because every year we're right... and every year we find ourselves watching great hockey that should be exciting and show up what's great about college hockey in mostly empty buildings. It's hard to friends, let alone random people, that college hockey is a 'real' thing when the NCAA tournament, the biggest even of the year, is so poorly attended.

Patman
03-26-2011, 02:54 PM
I personally happen to like the super-regional idea because it doesn't mean you have another home round after the round of 16. Of course it has its issues....

That being said, if we had an 8 team regional you could play Friday games at 5/8... Saturday games at 12/3 with the Friday winners at 8 and then wrap up play on Sunday at noon or 3...

What I don't want to see happen is that hosting becomes a matter of power-brokerage and bidding that's seen in other sports. If we go to a system, which say is best-of-3 home sites for the first two rounds, then it needs to be based on straight seed. If this means going to a 2,000 seat rink, that's life. I don't think a lot of fans want to see it go to home sites in the first place, but if attendance keeps dropping it will be inevitable... a 6 team regional format appears to work but none of us want to see it go back to 12... so if this is life with 16 teams I have to think the games will be coming to home-sites eventually.

CLS
03-26-2011, 03:23 PM
Absolutely agree. And while we're at it, why do you think they called them "Regionals" i the first place? The idea was for a team to become the champion of ITS REGION and then go play teams from OTHER REGIONS. In basketball it has become a complete joke, sending people all over the place. If you think attendance is poor in hockey, look at basketball. When you consider the sheer number of basketball fans (which dwarfs hockey fans), percentage-wise the attendance at these things is horrible. So if the NCAA doesn't care for BB, why does anyone think they will care about hockey?Do you seriously want that? What's the benefit?

Then you might as well cancel the Regionals and just take the winners of the conference tournaments. I like seeing teams that I don't see all the time.

bronconick
03-26-2011, 03:29 PM
Question: Would it help attendance if they just sucked it up and put the "bye" week in now and deal with going head to toe nail against the Final Four? That'd give people two weeks to come up with ways to get to the regionals, and my understanding is that most year, the Frozen Four is pretty much sold out the previous summer by people who go every year and the schools only get a few hundred to a thousand tickets each.