Decision a Boon to Local Airlines

Two NCHC teams were awarded NCAA host schools for the 2017 NCAA regional playoffs - Miami & North Dakota. While this is better than flying across multiple  time zones to the northeast, there is no place like home. Too bad that the Springs or Denver did not bid and/or were not awarded a host role in 2017.

Two changes need to be made in the current playoff system. A lower seeded host should never play a higher seeded opponent (can you say Providence vs. DU?). It is about the $$$ but the 'neutral' regional venues are usually half empty anyway. If you are not going to offer truly neutral ice, reward the top four seeds as hosts. If their rinks are scheduled during that period, drop down to the two-seed, etc...

Miami from the NCHC is one of the Regional hosts this season.


Anonymous said...

The D-I hockey coaches have recently voted against on-campus NCAA hockey first round/regional games. The reason for this is that there are more small schools in D-I (and therefore, more small school hockey coaches) than large school hockey coaches. Small schools don't want to play in large school arenas in front of large school crowds. They would much rather play in a half-empty neutral site with small crowds and hope for an upset.

The biggest problem the NCAA faces in assigning regionals is in the west, where long distances between schools and few appropriate size venues and lack of interested bidders is a problem. Denver and Colorado Springs have hosted regionals in recent years, but likely lost money on them, hence no recent bids.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame that Colorado won't embrace this and go after the opportunity. Since they didn't get a winter Olympic shot, they seem hell bent on a superbowl right now. Why do you think Tampa got another FF so soon? Denver is a major airline hub for 3 airlines.... the access to Denver is prime, and not over priced. Elway will get his SuperBowl, at the expense of other sports opportunities...wait for it.

Anonymous said...

The issue with Colorado is that college hockey fan base is small. Here is the recent history of NCAA regionals in this state.

2004 - DU started its epic run to the NCAA Championship by beating Miami and North Dakota at Colorado Springs World Arena. Combined attendance for that regional (3) games was 5, 967 or an average of 2,984 per game, about 40% of capacity of the 7,700-seat CSWA arena. Great games, but Co Springs lost money on this for sure. Even with DU playing an hour from home, only perhaps 400 DU fans made the trip to Colorado Springs,

2007 - The Pepsi Center in Denver hosted this one, and DU, as host, required buyers who were interested in the 2008 Frozen Four to buy regional tickets in order to ensure seats for the Frozen Four. As I recall, the deal was you had to buy six regional tickets to ensure 2 good seats for the Frozen Four. Even so, some 22,000 regional tickets were sold, the highest among all regionals that year. The problem was that still meant only 7,444 average people per game, rattling around in a 19,000-seat arena, again around 40% of capacity. Financial loss once again.

2008- The regionals returned to Co Springs World Arena, and 5,810 showed up for the entire weekend - only 1,936 people per game on average. Simply embarrassing - about 20% of capacity.

The NCAA hockey regional has proven to be a poor draw without a resident team present - without DU in Denver or Colo.College or Air Force playing in Colorado Springs, the college hockey interest to just too low to make it viable. What we know it that most people only really will pay to see their own teams, and even then, they won't drive an hour.

The Frozen Four is a different animal - a contractual sellout now wherever you play it. But NCAA western regionals are only for the die hard fans in most cases.

5BWest said...

My experience from going to both Worchester and Boston Regionals was terrible attendance for both. I think all the Regional games on 'neutral sites' are near empty. The east is no different than the west. In my view, just as easy to be empty here than there. My main point is that this is the only NCAA tournament that makes high seeds go play lower seeds on their home court in a neutral court format. Others go true neutral court with fair seeding or let top seeds host.

Anonymous said...

Unless there were 3 separate admissions, Anonymous is not correct on attendance in 2007 and 2008. 1st day of Regionals is a double header, thus there are only 2 sets of tickets in actuality. In 2007, 11,000 per session at the Pepsi Center would have been fine.