There has been a lot of discussion on a number of different threads about where our tournament should be held. While Atlantic City is fresh in everybody's minds lets all put our heads together and discuss the best possible alternatives.
To start the discussion off, I have done some research. I have calculated the total distance between each of nine possible cities (which is not to say there aren't other possibilities) and the twelve ECAC teams. Then I have divided the total distance by twelve (teams) to obtain the average distance between possible venue and ECAC team.
Then I have listed the number of teams which are within 200 miles (approx 3 hour drive) of the venue in parentheses.
Then I looked up the population of the metropolitan area in which the venue lies and listed this to the right of the team number.
The results are as follows:
Albany 1614/12=134.5 (12) 825,000
Springfield 1810/12=150.8 (9) 680,000
Hartford 1893/12=157.75 (8) 1,148,000
Bridgeport 2081/12=173.4 (7) 882,000
Worcester 2094/12=174.5 (7) 750,000
New York City 2341/12=195 (6) 18,000,000
Boston 2393/12=199.4 (7) 4,391,000
Lake Placid 2416/12=201.3 (6) 2,638
Atlantic City 3591/12=299.25 (1) 252,552
You will quickly see that Albany was quite a logical place for the tournament from the point of view of proximity and population and that Atlantic City makes no sense at all. Atlantic City is more than twice as far away on average as Albany from each member school, it is close to only one school and its population is far smaller than Albany's. Not to mention that there is virtually no local hockey in the area. It would make more sense to have the tournament in Rochester or Buffalo!
Other locations may make a great deal of sense depending upon which school's fans actually travel, which fans travel regardless of whether their school is in the tournament, and which locations can produce local fans to attend the tournament. Other important factors will include the relative cost of a weekend in each location and the importance of, and availability of, non-hockey activities in the nearby area.
Next I plan to look up the seating capacities of arenas in the various cities and will post them here.
Other interesting data might be the size of the alumni body for each school, which would be one possible proxy for the fan base of each school. Another proxy might be the number of members of the hockey booster club at each school and the number of season ticket holders.
I am also interested in your thoughts regarding how the final weekend could be expanded to five or six teams in order to increase fan interest.
For example, and just as an example, a six team tournament might be set up as follows: All twelve teams could play a three game first round with six teams being eliminated. The winning six would make the "finals" to be played Wednesday through Sunday the following week. The finals could then consist of two three team round robins (consisting of a total of six games -three per round robin) with the winners of each round robin then playing for the championship, the second place finishers playing for third place and the third place finishers playing for fifth place (for a total of nine games played over four or five days).
In theory, and in theory only, the bottom six teams could play a similar round robin so that all 12 teams could play over the same five day period in the same place. It might require more than one venue, but areas like Boston, Albany, Hartford/Springfield and Bridgeport/New Haven could easily accomodate all of the teams. Perhaps fans of all twelve teams could enjoy an end of season tournament culminating with a championship game in a major arena with fans of all twelve teams looking on. Why not?
I'm looking forward to your thoughts and contributions!