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Rover
04-13-2012, 04:07 PM
If it got to the point where games in a new 4-5K facility were consistently selling out well in advance and no one could get a ticket, sure the XL would become an option then. In that very highly unlikely scenario, we'd have a case where the students likely would be willing to bus into Hartford to see a game against a big shot opponent. And then you'd at least have somewhat of a collegiate atmosphere, and it wouldn't be 2,000 people in a 16k facility. Thing is, that's not going to happen anytime soon, and the governor just wants to pander to voters by bringing more things into Hartford, even if they would be failures of events, and ruin the program's chance to build a fan base on campus.

There's plenty to do in Hartford, unless you're excluding illegal activities. Then, yeah, I guess there isn't much reason to go there.

kingdobbs
04-13-2012, 04:15 PM
I'm not sure that throwing money at the hockey team is really going to solve the attendance worries anyway. UCONN is a big school but one that is wholly caught up in its basketball teams (and to a lesser extent football).

They had a pretty good team this year, pushing eventual AHA representative Air Force to a game three that was lost by only a goal. And how many people did they get for their two playoff games at home? 479 and 351.

Is it realistic to think that in a couple years of getting it handed to them in Hockey East while they rebuild the team with scholarships is going to make attendance increase? Let alone increase 11x in order to fill a 5000 seat building?

They have absolutely no choice but to play on campus, as that is the only way they will be able to grow attendance. If you are going to make your fans get on a bus and drive downtown to watch, you can kiss your lofty attendance expectations goodbye. They don't have that many fans now with a good team...

(Disclaimer: I'm very biased towards RPI joining HE)

They also have one important factor that depresses attendance:

No marketing.

Ralph Baer
04-13-2012, 04:50 PM
I don't see RPI being a player again anytime soon. That ship has sailed, and it might not come home to port for a very long time, if ever.

If Union can make the FF without scholarships, than RPI can win the championship again with them. As to being a player, RPI was in the tourney a year ago.

And Connecticut can't even win the AHA.

CornwallAce
04-13-2012, 07:47 PM
There's plenty to do in Hartford, unless you're excluding illegal activities. Then, yeah, I guess there isn't much reason to go there.

Stew Leonards in Newington! Plus there's duckpin bowling :D

And don't forget the totally Gross soda at Avery's
Who doesn't love some Monster Mucus or Toxic Slime!
http://www.averysoda.com/TotallyGrossSoda.html

RSTuthill
04-13-2012, 08:26 PM
If Union can make the FF without scholarships, than RPI can win the championship again with them.
Ralph, Ralph, Ralph, you really think that Union doesn't give scholarships? Then what are those foreign student loans which never seem to get repaid?

RSTuthill
04-13-2012, 08:30 PM
RIT Winters, how much time have you spent in Hartford? How do you know they won't draw there?

RIT Winters
04-13-2012, 08:38 PM
RIT Winters, how much time have you spent in Hartford? How do you know they won't draw there?

Because having to get in a bus to drive downtown to watch your college team is just something people won't do. It's the same as not having your own barn.

Some locals will go, sure. But would that many more people go downtown that wouldn't go to UCONN's campus? Doubt it. Again, less than 500 people for both their playoff games.

RSTuthill
04-13-2012, 09:09 PM
Because having to get in a bus to drive downtown to watch your college team is just something people won't do. It's the same as not having your own barn.

Some locals will go, sure. But would that many more people go downtown that wouldn't go to UCONN's campus? Doubt it. Again, less than 500 people for both their playoff games.
You are thinking in the wrong demographic terms. Students have never been a big part of the marketing strategy for any of UConn's major sports. Students do not have many dollars in their pockets. Think corporations and the massive population of corporate employees in the Hartford area. Those people will never go out to Storrs unless Freitas is enlarged and they are playing big name schools. But they will go into the XL Center because that they do all the time.

On the attendance thing, I agree it has been abysmal. They haven't tried to market very hard (a league wide problem), the opponents do not have big name recognition, and the W-L record has not been conducive to getting a lot of people to come out. Don't even know if the students were on campus for the first round tournament games, but the league prices were higher than the RS for students, and the opponent was Canisius (need I say more?). I did go back and check the UML games, and the UConn tournament games were actually more well attended than than the UML game at Nashua (Lowell's back yard) and the Bowling Green away games at the beginning of the season.

FieldHouseFaithful
04-13-2012, 10:14 PM
I don't see RPI being a player again anytime soon. That ship has sailed, and it might not come home to port for a very long time, if ever.

http://fotos.fotoflexer.com/237c0672436277bc13e8d4acd9edf08e.jpg

Ralph Baer
04-13-2012, 11:41 PM
Ralph, Ralph, Ralph, you really think that Union doesn't give scholarships? Then what are those foreign student loans which never seem to get repaid?

I don't believe that. On the other hand, I do not know that those loans aren't being repaid. I have a hard time believing that athletes at all schools don't get preferential treatment -- except for UConn of course. :p

boblav1
04-14-2012, 01:07 AM
I did go back and check the UML games, and the UConn tournament games were actually more well attended than than the UML game at Nashua (Lowell's back yard) and the Bowling Green away games at the beginning of the season.
I believe the UML game in Nashua was a sellout. The Conway Arena only has seating of 1,050. Lowell's average attendance this season was 4,904 in 18 home games at the Tsongas.

Fishman'81
04-14-2012, 02:24 AM
While reasonable minds can differ about how much of a factor UConn can be in HE, is there really any serious doubt that they're the better choice..?

Hockey East is piling up the hardware of late... That conference is probably as high-profile as any in the country.

Furthermore, there is suddenly TV-money available to compete for against the likes of the Big Ten... This is not the time to bring in another obscure school to join Merrimack and UML. (Even though both of the latter programs have been far more successful than RPI of late.)

Adding RPI would make no sense at all at this juncture. They just don't bring anything of any particular value to the table, no matter how you slice it.

RSTuthill
04-14-2012, 10:12 AM
I don't believe that.
It was publicly stated at the time. Not a secret. I was working in Schenectady when it first started.

Ralph Baer
04-14-2012, 10:32 AM
It was publicly stated at the time. Not a secret. I was working in Schenectady when it first started.

English needs a word like the German "doch," so one can answer a question phrased negatively in an way that doesn't tend to confuse. I was trying to say that I think that Union indeed offers scholarships, and I think that they get around the restruction for American students also.

RSTuthill
04-14-2012, 01:23 PM
Ralph, as you know, engineers sometimes have tin ears. Looks like we are in violent agreement.

I have a good (American) friend whose son recently played for Union and claims they got zip, though. I also have a good friend whose son played for the 1989 Harvard championship team who claims to have paid full list price (ouch).

Patman
04-14-2012, 03:15 PM
I believe the UML game in Nashua was a sellout. The Conway Arena only has seating of 1,050. Lowell's average attendance this season was 4,904 in 18 home games at the Tsongas.

Facts have an inconvenient way of being inconvenient.

UML/UConn at Tsongas would be 3500 minimum

TonyTheTiger20
04-14-2012, 03:45 PM
I'm actually pretty surprised at the intelligent discourse in this thread. Who knew such a thing was possible.

Full disclosure: UConn is second only to BU on my list of sports hate.

I want UConn in Hockey East for selfish reasons. It would take me like 20 minutes to get to the annual BC game down here.

I don't think they would win Hockey East in the next 10 years but they have far more room for upside than Merrimack did when they joined, and look what the right combination of circumstances did for them.

UConn wouldn't be an annual doormat with scholarships. Connecticut may not exactly be Minnesota when it comes to high school talent, but there is some here. Having said that, even though everyone loves UConn hoops here (barf), a surprisingly large percentage of kids in this state hate the idea of actually attending that dump of a school.

Can't believe those attendance numbers though for the playoffs... I'm certain their women's team draws more than that once in a while.

Jim
04-16-2012, 12:07 PM
Right now, UCONN attendance isn't very good. Occassionally they put 1500 in the building, but they do no marketing for the program, and the two playoffs landed during a break so the student population was way down. And the program simply hasn't done much to attract attention by winning. Sorry but making the playoffs as an 8 seed against Canisus isn't quite the same as making it as a 4 against Boston University. And remember, too even among those who follow UCONN hockey, they had completely fallen apart down the stretch, struggling against Army, Sacred Heart, AIC...Plus we have seen this before. UCONN averaged around 7,500-8,000 when it played 1AA football, with a mediocre record over the previous 20 years. With the upgrade, attendance skyrocketed and now they average 35,000-40,000. While the numbers won't be comparable, an move to Hockey East would, I think, easily draw 2-3000 on average. No offense to our AHA partners, but BU, BC, Notre Dame are all bigger names and going to draw much more than AIC, Bentley and Mercyhurst. And I do think the upside for a UCONN program is at least as high as Merrimack, UMass-Lowell, UMass-Amherst. One thing about UCONN athletic teams is they are, for good or ill, the focus of local media. They aren't sharing the spotlight with the Red Sox, Pats, Bruins, Celtics. They seem to be the one thing that a fairly divided sports market in the state continues to rally around. In some ways, basketball isn't the model, UCONN baseball is. Last season's run got front page coverage on the hartford courant and was the lead story on the local sports reports. 2 years ago they made the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years and played in the same first round bracket with Central Connecticut. Central was making its 4th consecutive appearance and plays pretty good college baseball. But theye never get covered. But UCONN was getting front page coverage in the sports section...Central, which had beaten the Huskies, was an afterthought. That is sort of how I see UCONN Hockey in Hockey East. It will go from aggate score reporting (sometiems not even correct) to a regular event that gets regular coverage. And that combined with a marketing effort wil greatly increase attendance.

Fishman'81
04-17-2012, 02:23 AM
Yup, I agree...

UConn is the only AHA program that can actually develop any national interest. (And the same applies to any ECAC team you'd care to name, IMO.)

Jim
04-17-2012, 10:38 AM
Yup, I agree...

UConn is the only AHA program that can actually develop any national interest. (And the same applies to any ECAC team you'd care to name, IMO.) I think you really struggle to find an eastern program that would have as much upside. Harvard would,Cornell would maybe Yale or Dartmouth but they aren't leaving their Ivy bretheren, so it doesn't make sense to speak of them. RPI, or Clarkson or St lawrence or any of the other ECAC programs would have some interest among the cognisenti but I'm not sure they would have the same potetnial upside. In a sense they would be nice safe choices that are what they are. UCONN not so much but you have to think that if they took the necessary steps they would at least be pretty good, maybe better than that. And if you look at what they've done in many other sports, you have to think that they will at some point get their act together and be a solid program.