So as I watched the Union-MD game and then the BC-CC game there was 1 constant in those 2 games as all other regional gams for the past 10 years. There is no one at the games! These arena's are 50% empty, and the BC game last night had to have been more like 65%. So I ask, WHY do they continue to play at neutral regional sites? Why not go back to 1st and 2nd round games at campus sites like they did in teh 80's. First two rounds best of 3 series at highest seed, that way the fans can be there. Next week hockey takes a break because of the basketball final 4, which is crazy, they could play there final 8 weekend series then and have the final 4 the same time as now.
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Current NCAA D-I rinks I've been to:
B1G: UMinn, UWisc
HEA: UMass, Notre Dame
NCHC: UMD, UND, SCSU, WMU
WCHA: UAH, BSU, FSU, LSSU, MSU, MTU, NMU
Inactive: BSU, UMD, UND, NMU, Notre Dame
Agreed, Steve66. Yesterday, Dean Blais was in the locker room telling his players that they were about to play the most important game of their lives. They skate out, and are greeted by an arena with 80-90 percent of the seats empty. This regional format is an insult to the players who have spent 15 years working hard to get to this point, and to their families and friends. I guarantee that if you asked the players, they would rather play in front of 6,000 screaming fans rooting against them than in front of 2,000 fans and 12,000 empty seats.
We have a 3-week playoff already. Let's use all 3 weeks, and let's not insult the players any more by making them play their biggest games of the year in front of the smallest crowds of the year.
I agree. It makes zero sense to have games in Missouri where college hockey is basically nothing. Plus how can you call it "neutral" giving UNH a regional in Manchester when they're the lower seed? It's stupid.
Places I've Seen a College Hockey Game: Agganis Arena, Alfond Arena, Compton Family Ice Arena, Conte Forum, Cross Insurance Arena (Cumberland County Civic Center), Dunkin' Donuts Center, Gutterson Fieldhouse, Fenway Park, Matthews Arena, Mullins Center, Pegula Ice Arena, Ralph Engelstad Arena, Schneider Arena, T.D. Garden, Tsongas Center, Thompson Arena, University of Southern Maine, Webster Bank Arena, Wells Fargo Center, Whittemore Center
Steve.. i do agree with your premise. However, in order to 'grow' the sport.. even if the arenas are 50% full, 40% full, whatever.. the NCAA is hoping to garner the newer fans/ kids, casual fans to the sport. The television coverage has been better than ever.. just need a way to market & fill the rest of those seats.
Of course i would be happy if they implemented (again) what you are proposing. I think however, they are trying to go beyond.. go to unchartered ground with coll hockey & garner support in non-traditional markets plus get more schools to look at the sport as well.
It is a long road but someone up there has finally woken up to the potential of the sport.
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Always bullish on the future.
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The bottom line is the NC$$ will do whatever makes them the most $. If that's playing in front of empty non-campus arenas, than that's what they are going to do. My question is, do they actually make more money this way?
As for growing the game, I think HDTV will do more to grow the game than exposing the causal fan to a game at an empty stadium...
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There's a middle ground between playing regionals in stupidly oversized pro arenas in markets with no legitimate hockey programs and playing regionals on campus sites. It shouldn't be that hard to figure out. Good luck trying to convince the NCAA that any decision it has ever made was wrong.
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Seems like every year we resurrect this argument, and every year there's more and more of a pressing need for it since regional attendance is only getting worse.
2 Super Regionals is the way to go IMO. I wouldn't mind campus sites either, but 2 sites -- east and west -- and keeping most teams East and most teams West in their respective regions would make for a more appealing set up, would bring more teams together in 2 sites instead of 4, and generally would make for a much more exciting event for fans. Yes there are logistical concerns in terms of venue (plus how many games in a duration of time you would do, etc.) but it certainly can be done. The current set up isn't fair anyway with teams that host getting an advantage -- whatever imperfections there are in a 2 site regional format would be outweighed by the fact it'll eliminate the attendance issues and deadly feel of the current regional round. It'd almost be like having another Frozen Four before the Frozen Four.
I have no idea what good it does the sport to play in locations like St. Louis, where there are no college hockey teams, nobody goes and cares. It doesn't help "grow the game" when the sport doesn't exist there to begin with! (And clearly nobody DOES care judging from the empty seats). Also, while it's terrific for us die-hards that all the games are on TV, it doesn't help that exposure when the venues are 3/4 empty.
No matter what way you slice it, this Regional format has not worked, and it's time for a change.
How is it that the people who make these decisions do not see what we see?
Husky Hockey heading to the top of the bottom!
There's no evidence to support what you are saying is successful. Nobody is going to the St. Louis regional round. It's one thing to hold a Frozen Four there because a lot of the attendance isn't local fans anyway (it's team fans and annual "priority" buyers) but once the FF is over, do you think anyone in these "non traditional" sites cares about college hockey any more than they did before? Did holding the FF in Cincinnati or Anaheim start a renaissance of local college hockey programs?
IMO college hockey fans sometimes have a delusional view of what their sport is or could become. It is a niche sport played by a set number of teams in specific regional areas of the country -- always has been (with few exceptions) and IMO is always is going to be. Do you envision college hockey being played by UCLA and the University of Texas one day? It's never going to happen.
The NCAA may be forever trying to "grow the sport" but at some point they need to realize it is what it is, and when they start doing things like holding regionals in St. Louis it's only alienating the base of fans they have (plus, they have a hard time drawing people to regionals generally in the first place; why go to another one of these "non traditional" sites?). The lack of attendance in St. Louis is clearly evidence that they're pushing those boundaries beyond their breaking point.
Last edited by HockeyMan2000; 03-26-2011 at 11:29 AM.
8 regionals of 2 teams each will fill the arenas, give the players of both teams the playoff atmosphere that they deserve, and keep travel expenses down by having a minimum of 8 teams, and more likely 12 or so teams, playing within driving distance of the games.
"The game of hockey, though much in vogue on the ice in New England and other parts of the United States, is not much known here."
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[QUOTE=HockeyMan2000;5100176] It's one thing to hold a Frozen Four there because a lot of the attendance isn't local fans anyway (it's team fans and annual "priority" buyers) but once the FF is over, do you think anyone in these "non traditional" sites cares about college hockey any more than they did before? Did holding the FF in Cincinnati or Anaheim start a renaissance of college hockey programs?
I think holding Frozen Fours in non-hockey cities, at least once in a while, does help to expand interest because these events are sold out and I feel like people in the city have to at least take notice of the throngs of college hockey fans and jerseys in town for the weekend. Whether that will drive the development of new youth hockey leagues or whatever...I don't know...but it certainly doesn't hurt.
On the other hand, the regional setup right now is a disservice to the game
This situation is no different than the world junior tournament. If you want fans then you need to hold the games where the fans are. That means regionals need to be held in only a handful of locations including the New England area (Boston, Providence, Worcester, Hartford, Portland and Manchester all work), Upstate NY (Lake Placid, Albany, Buffalo or Perhaps Syracuse), Michigan (Detroit or whatever other suitable cities are there), Minnesota/Wisconsin (several places are obvious candidates) and Denver. Just about any other choice is a waste of time. If the NCAA wants to grow the game then do it via the Frozen Four games but not the regionals.
And you think my idea is crazy? LOL. 4 regionals isn't generating interest as it is. You want to go to 8 regionals? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight....8 regionals of 2 teams each will fill the arenas, give the players of both teams the playoff atmosphere that they deserve, and keep travel expenses down by having a minimum of 8 teams, and more likely 12 or so teams, playing within driving distance of the games.
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