So my only question is...for those crying about the "drive" to the rural cities, are you going to be the first one crying at the hotel costs in the bigger cities? Or the raised food costs, travel costs, parking costs? Sometimes bigger isn't always better. New York City...awesome....get your pocket books ready. Same for Boston. We go to Boston in May for a tournament, cheapest hotel around Warrior complex was $250 a night.
Combining Mens and Womens at a smaller venue would be ideal. But then you will have the Women's fans crying how they're being treated as second fiddle just as some would cry that DIII is second fiddle to DI if they combined. Pick your battles. Want to keep it at school venues? Fine, but give the teams the option (mandate) to utilize bigger nearby venues if their seating capacity is too small. Logistical nightmare? Absolutely. I think the days of huge crowds at big venues have gone by the wayside IMO. Utica at home, maybe. Combining with the womens DIII would make the perfect sense, but this is the NCAA...the only thing that makes sense is not making sense with them...
A nice thing about putting it in a city is there are more attractions than just the games. There's a reason the D1 championships are all in cities and include those cities heavily in their marketing: because they're a part of the experience of the championship weekend and a destination for the fans. Nothing against Stevens Point, WI but it changes the value proposition about deciding to travel or not when you know that there are attractions at your destination other than one or maybe two hockey games.
I'm not arguing it needs be in a city every year, just that cities should continue to be part of the rotational mix -- I would argue a bigger part of the mix than they are now.
Might it work in St. Paul or Boston, or even Pittsburgh? Perhaps, if D1 moves their schedule up such that the Frozen Four is before the hoops F4, which they should probably do anyway given the attendance and TV ratings of this year's F4.
The D2 and D3 lacrosse championships are also held on the same field as D1 -- That wouldn't fly in hockey, it's too expensive to open an NHL barn for the 3k people that would watch D3.
Again, the NCAA doesn't care about what the casual fan wants to do. All they care is if some sucker wants to host (spend their money) the tournament and take the flack when it flops. The dumbest thing ever was when there was talk of combining the DIII with DI. The casual DIII fan won't spend the time or money to drive to Lake Placid, but expect them to fly/drive to Tampa or California when its there... lol
As far as 3k people watching the D3 game, I suspect SOME of the people in town for the D1 games might also attend the D3 games. I know this happens in lacrosse.
I'm not trying to get into an argument with anyone. What I will say is, I love college hockey and the attendance at BOTH tourneys hasn't been great. I want to see it grow. Lax (also a traditionally northeast sport) has BLOWN BY hockey in championship interest/attendance. "We" need to start thinking outside the box.
Lax is also played at a different time of year,nice and sunny Spring,we all know the weather that can be encountered during the Final 4,that doesn't help in drawing people in maybe we can end the season in Mayish
That said, both have that same problem of arguably being ďtooĒ big. Iíve said before that Iím a supporter of the predetermined site, but I get the argument about atmosphere. Lake Placid and Utica are probably too big (although, as you point out, one or two of Geneseo/Oswego/Hobart/Elmira in the tournament might fill it up nicely), but the majority of campus sites are way too small. Itís DIII hockey; buying a ticket should feel like Iím trying to find Super Bowl tickets from a scalper. This year, although I didnít go, we have examples of that kind of struggle to get tickets.
Iím not sure what the solution is, but there HAS to be a good balance somewhere. Unfortunately, itís all subjective and we may never agree on what that ďrightĒ balance is.
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