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Priceless
04-04-2013, 02:28 PM
The NCAA should give schools 1000 tickets for free to distribute to students.

hahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahaha

No seriously, you ex hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahaha

Sorry, you expect the NC$$ to give something away? For free?

hahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahha

Shirtless Guy
04-04-2013, 02:34 PM
While I'm with you on allowing schools to host regionals on campus, I don't see why only certain schools should be allowed that opportunity. Either they all should be allowed, or none should be allowed, but I have been mystified about the NCAA Hockey Committee's logic in allowing only certain schools to host.



This is not an issue. In my experience, people don't do anything at a regional other than go to hockey, drink, eat and drink. Getting back to my original point, most hockey fans won't even go to a regional if it means having to spend the night in a hotel room. If you have a regional in Omaha, it will be packed to the rafters with screaming fans if The University of Nebraska-Omaha is in the tournament. It will be Grand Rapids-level empty if The University of Nebraska-Omaha is not in the tournament, unless you drop the ticket prices to single digits.

Why not adopt a format where we can guarantee that every first round game is played in an arena that is packed to the rafters with screaming fans? The game day atmosphere is the best thing about college hockey, and for some reason, when the NCAA tournament rolls around, we try to act like it is the worst thing.As much as I'd like to see it at high seed campus site, what do we do with the second round? The NCAA likes the frozen four so they aren't going to turn that into an 8 team tournament? You can't expect every arena to hold 3-4 weekends open for the possibility of 2-3 hockey games to be played in their buildings. One of the biggest pushers for the B1G conference tournament to just be one weekend with all 6 teams going straight to the "neutral" site was so that schools like Wisconsin (pushed hard) can use the Kohl Center for High School Basketball, Volleyball, Wrestling or whatever instead of having it reserved for college hockey to appease Wisconsinites. Ohio State has also had the same problem when hosting conference playoff games, getting bumped to their old building because of Wrestling (I think?). As for your assessment of pricing, I don't really think it needs to be single digits. I think $15-20 a game could work fine, you could also offer family four packs or not have 1 tier for the whole building (a huge pet peeve of mine). I think the NCAA is very narrowminded in their approach to solving this problem. There are a ton of options. They just refuse to adjust their plans and think eventually it will improve and turn into the a smaller version of the Basketball tournament.

Alton
04-04-2013, 02:43 PM
Men's lacrosse has the quarterfinals at 2 neutral sites (2 QF on 1 day at a "North" venue and 2 QF on 1 day at a "South" venue). Hockey could do the same, and possibly avoid the problems with regional attendance (because it would be a 1-day event). If not neutral, why not on campus quarterfinals? College hockey did it for over a decade, and they can do it again. I certainly don't see why we should arrange the entire NCAA hockey tournament around Wisconsin's decision not to build a hockey rink. If they can't host, I'm sure the NCAA can find somebody who can.

CLS
04-04-2013, 04:10 PM
...

The sad fact is that the predetermined-site regionals don't work. There is nothing that can be done to make them work. We just need to call it a 20+ year experiment that has obviously failed, and go back to the drawing board. Perhaps the NCAA Hockey Committee could take a look at other 16-team bracketed tournaments that they have in Division I (e.g., Men's Lacrosse, Women's Lacrosse, Field Hockey) and see how they do things. Personally, the Men's Lacrosse format strikes me as quite reasonable.I don’t think it’s fair to say that the pre-determined site regionals haven’t worked or that it’s a 20+ year experiment that has obviously failed. I think they’ve worked fine in the east, but then I fully admit that I think having tournament games at a neutral site is a positive factor, even if it means a less than full arena. There’s a problem in the west, though I certainly wouldn’t use “haven’t worked” or “failed” to describe the situation. On what basis do you use those terms? Attendance alone? Attendance vs. capacity alone?

billmich88888
04-04-2013, 05:10 PM
In what was does the regional setup have to do with a Wisconsin hockey rink?

Shirtless Guy
04-04-2013, 05:23 PM
In what was does the regional setup have to do with a Wisconsin hockey rink?If we switch to top seed hosts, some schools might not be too happy about having to keep another weekend open for hockey games, especially at schools that have multipurpose arenas like UNO, UW, OSU, etc.

billmich88888
04-04-2013, 05:34 PM
The regional setup pre-dates the kohl center

chickod
04-05-2013, 06:55 AM
They just refuse to adjust their plans and think eventually it will improve and turn into the a smaller version of the Basketball tournament.

And they are wrong for about 8 billions reasons, all of which have been discussed here forever...

pgb-ohio
04-05-2013, 08:28 AM
If we switch to top seed hosts, some schools might not be too happy about having to keep another weekend open for hockey games, especially at schools that have multipurpose arenas like UNO, UW, OSU, etc.There are at least two important differences between the conference tournaments and NCAA play:

1. The NCAA games are single elimination. There's no need to block out three consecutive days for possible hockey games. You'd need to hold Friday OR Saturday OR Sunday open. Two of those three days could be used for something else.

2. The NCAA games come much later in the calendar than the 1st Round conference playoff games. By the last weekend in March, most of the profitable high school events competing for our venues have been completed.


...Why not adopt a format where we can guarantee that every first round game is played in an arena that is packed to the rafters with screaming fans? The game day atmosphere is the best thing about college hockey, and for some reason, when the NCAA tournament rolls around, we try to act like it is the worst thing.Appreciate your perseverance on this issue. I continue to agree with you that a Lacrosse-type format is the way to go, and hope someday that the patience will be rewarded.


Men's lacrosse has the quarterfinals at 2 neutral sites (2 QF on 1 day at a "North" venue and 2 QF on 1 day at a "South" venue). Hockey could do the same, and possibly avoid the problems with regional attendance (because it would be a 1-day event). If not neutral, why not on campus quarterfinals? College hockey did it for over a decade, and they can do it again... IMHO, having the first round on campus and the quarterfinals at neutral sites strikes a nice balance among the competing considerations. And with just a little bit of careful marketing, those quarterfinals could become a very attractive event.

Consider: Have one West site and one East site. Each venue has a double-header. Both winners go directly to the Frozen Four. Live within 150 miles? No hotel needed. Live further away? Can probably get by with a single night of lodging. It seems to me that's an event that will survive a fan's cost benefit analysis.

Another factor is that attending a regional under the current format means missing most of the rest of the regional action. OK, the ESPNU coverage isn't absolutely ideal. But in the typical year, I manage to watch at least the four region finals. It's just more attractive than booking a trip in advance to a regional site where I may or may not have a rooting interest. Under the format I propose, one could make plans far in advance to attend the Western Quarterfinals -- wherever they might be -- and still be home to watch the Eastern Quarters on his or her own TV.

billmich88888
04-05-2013, 09:33 AM
Or do one regional on a Saturday and the other on a Sunday and have to miss NONE of the other games

wolverineTrumpet
04-05-2013, 10:41 AM
Catching up after a few days, and there are a few points I want to make.


... Big problem in my opinion is hosting the regionals in cities that are non-major metros. Flights to Toledo were either impossible or insanely priced and then combine that with challenging start times, just leads to a big struggle in getting fans in the seats. I'm guessing it was the same for UND and MN going into Grand Rapids. ...
DTW (Detroit metro airport) is 50 miles from the Huntington Center in Toledo. Heck, I've always joked that flying into DTW you land in Toledo and taxi to Detroit. While some may think 50 miles is far; the Toledo airport is 20 miles from Huntington Center. Or look at many metros where the airport is far from downtown (Denver is 25 miles for example).
Grand Rapids actually has quite a few flights. While not a major metro airport, it is a decent sized commercial airport.
I still think it was ridiculous to have Toledo and Grand Rapids in the same year, and all regionals in the Eastern time zone, but I don't think that neither Toledo nore Grand Rapids could work in the future.


...Now whether or not to sell beer is certainly a valid question to ponder (personally I see no reason to NOT sell it, it's available at virtually every sporting event in the world, amateur or pro), but those who think that it is any large reason for the meager crowds are fooling themselves...
I agree that no beer isn't a reason for the meager crowds, but it could be a reason for a potential host site to consider. If we want large cities with bigger populations to draw from, then we are looking at host sites that can get a variety of events where they can sell more tickets and more concessions and sell alcohol. If I own a facility and have a choice between NCAA hockey which I can sell 2000 tickets and can't sell beer or a concert I can sell 10,000 tickets and sell alcohol, I'm picking the concert. Heck, I'll even take Disney on Ice over a 2000 ticket hockey game. All those whiney brats can get there parents to buy them slushies and popcorn.


In my experience, people don't do anything at a regional other than go to hockey, drink, eat and drink. Getting back to my original point, most hockey fans won't even go to a regional if it means having to spend the night in a hotel room.
I know I'm an exception, but I enjoy making a vacation out of a regional. The problem has been finding things to do in some towns. Like Bridgeport, or Ft. Wayne (we played indoor mini golf and watched bouncyball on tv 'cause we didn't know what else to do). Somewhere like Green Bay, I toured Lambeau, but having done that once, I don't know what I'd do if I went there again.

beaverhockey
04-05-2013, 10:59 AM
I say the #1 team in each region hosts 2 3 and 4. If #1 can't host because something else is booked at the arena or if they can't sell the place out...move it to #2. If #2 can't host...#3, you're up.

Mile High Hockey
04-05-2013, 11:02 AM
I'm not sure if this has already been discussed in the 16 pages of the thread, but here's a thought...

1) Seed teams 1-8 (two teams/seed) by East/West
2) First Round - Best of 3 series at the higher seed's home rink - Played Fri-Sun (if necessary)
3) Two "Regional Quarterfinal" locations, one east, one west - Played Fri-Sat
4) Frozen Four like normal, but played Fri-Sat

This year's tournament could have looked like this...

Initial seeding...

East
#1 Seed - Quinnipiac
#2 Seed - Lowell
#3 Seed - Boston College
#4 Seed - New Hampshire
#5 Seed - Niagara
#6 Seed - Union
#7 Seed - Wisconsin/SCSU
#8 Seed - Yale/Canisius

West
#1 Seed - Minnesota
#2 Seed - Notre Dame
#3 Seed - Miami
#4 Seed - North Dakota
#5 Seed - Denver
#6 Seed - Mankato
#7 Seed - Wisconsin/SCSU
#8 Seed - Yale/Canisius

Obviously, we'd still try and avoid intra-conference matchups in the first round, so we swap Denver with Niagara as 5 seeds, sending DU out west. The 7 and 8 seeds are interchangeable, but we'll stick with integrity (1v16/2v16...etc) as much as possible, so UW gets #7 East and SCSU gets #7 West. Yale gets #8 West, and Canisius gets #8 East. So our first round brackets look as follows...

East
#1 Quinnipiac vs. #8 Canisius (Avg. Attendance - 3,122 (101% Capacity))
#2 Lowell vs. #7 Wisconsin (Avg. Attendance - 5,246 (87% Capacity))
#3 BC vs. #6 Union (Avg. Attendance - 6,384 (81% Capacity))
#4 New Hampshire vs. #5 Denver (Avg. Attendance - 5,521 (90% Capacity))

West
#1 Minnesota vs. #8 Yale (Avg. Attendance - 9,950 (99% Capacity))
#2 Notre Dame vs. #7 SCSU (Avg. Attendance - 4,885 (98% Capacity))
#3 Miami vs. #6 Mankato (Avg. Attendance - 3,004 (94% Capacity))
#4 North Dakota vs. #5 Niagara (Avg. Attendance - 11,592 (99% Capacity))

Assuming that all series wrap up in 2 games and that all arenas are at average attendance, that equals 99,408 in attendance.

Then, for the Regional Quarterfinals the next weekend, on Friday we would have one set of Regional Finals, and on Saturday we would have the other set. The brackets would be preset (1v4, 2v3, etc.). Assuming all the same results as this past weekend, we'd have the following Regional Quarterfinals...

East
#1 Quinnipiac vs. #4 New Hampshire - Winner moves on to the Frozen Four
#2 Lowell vs. #6 Union - Winner moves on to the Frozen Four

West
#8 Yale vs. #4 North Dakota - Winner moves on to the Frozen Four
#7 SCSU vs. #3 Miami - Winner moves on to the Frozen Four

At the Frozen Four, I moved the games from Thu-Sat to Fri-Sat to give the teams an extra day to prepare as a result of the off week eliminated. The teams would have 5-6 off days to get travel in order. Another option would be to include the off week, and have the Regional Finals on Saturday-Sunday and keep the Frozen Four Thursday-Saturday. The problem there is that the Tournament now stretches 4 weeks instead of 3. In this scenario, the regular season would likely have to be shrunk 1 week (still the 34 games though) to accommodate the fact that the Conference Tournaments would be played 1 week earlier.

Either way, I would reseed for the Frozen Four, so it would look like this...

#1 Quinnipiac vs. #8 Yale
#2 Lowell vs. #7 SCSU

Now, let's say that Both #1 seeds made it, and Both #3 seeds made it. In this scenario, we'd square off East vs. West (i.e. #1 East vs. #3 West and #1 West vs. #3 East).

Anyway, that's how I'd like to see the tournament done.

FlagDUDE08
04-05-2013, 11:03 AM
I say the #1 team in each region hosts 2 3 and 4. If #1 can't host because something else is booked at the arena or if they can't sell the place out...move it to #2. If #2 can't host...#3, you're up.

Doesn't the NCAA put minimums on capacity? The last thing we need is Sacred Heart to go on a tear and then we have to have a regional in a 1,000-seat building.

pgb-ohio
04-05-2013, 11:05 AM
Or do one regional on a Saturday and the other on a Sunday and have to miss NONE of the other gamesYup; exactly what I had in mind. One site's Quarterfinals on Saturday; The other site's Quarterfinals on Sunday. Pair of games on each day. Should have been more specific.

Regarding the proceeding weekend for the Round of 16: Most fans wouldn't try watch all 8 games. I would hope that all of those games would be put in desirable timeslots for the in-house, on-campus crowd -- meaning there would be some head-to-head conflicts for the TV viewer. But spreading those games across a three day weekend could keep the conflicts to a minimum. At the very least, it would be an improvement over the current situation.

CLS
04-05-2013, 11:48 AM
Yup; exactly what I had in mind. One site's Quarterfinals on Saturday; The other site's Quarterfinals on Sunday. Pair of games on each day. Should have been more specific.

Regarding the proceeding weekend for the Round of 16: Most fans wouldn't try watch all 8 games. I would hope that all of those games would be put in desirable timeslots for the in-house, on-campus crowd -- meaning there would be some head-to-head conflicts for the TV viewer. But spreading those games across a three day weekend could keep the conflicts to a minimum. At the very least, it would be an improvement over the current situation.You may jeopardize televising of the first round games entirely. At a minimum you’d get strong pushback from ESPN, who doesn’t really want to televise the firsts round games as it is. Now you’re asking them to televise single games from eight sites, on short notice, and in some cases, from a venue that is not well suited for television. I remember watching one Quinnipiac game on TV. I don’t remember whether it was at Quinnipiac or not, but the broadcast reminded me of watching youth hockey games on a VCR. The lighting and camera angles were awful.

But . . .

Reasonable people can differ on whether the current system is so broken that it needs fixing. Of the alternatives that have been mentioned, the one currently under discussion is the best.

One other question/point. The problem that the proposals are trying to solve is much more a problem in the west than in the east, and the reasons that pgb and Alton have suggest that that’s probably the way it’ll always be. Could/should the NCAA scrap a system that works reasonably well in the east, but not in the west? Could/should the NCAA have a different system in the east and the west?

I say the #1 team in each region hosts 2 3 and 4. If #1 can't host because something else is booked at the arena or if they can't sell the place out...move it to #2. If #2 can't host...#3, you're up.
Absolutely not:mad:. The problem may not be selling the place out; it may be not enough seats. This year, for example, you’d have tried to cram the Providence Regional (which drew 6,000+) into Quinnipiac’s rink, which seats 3,000. Or you could have said sorry, Quinnipiac, you’re not big time enough, your #1 seeding earns you a trip to BC. Totally unfair to Quinnipiac, and the conspiracy theorists who were already accusing the NCAA of giving BC an easy run to the FF would have had apoplexy (though maybe that would be a good thing).:)

Alton
04-05-2013, 02:02 PM
Doesn't the NCAA put minimums on capacity? The last thing we need is Sacred Heart to go on a tear and then we have to have a regional in a 1,000-seat building.

No, the last thing we need is to have the regional at a neutral site and only get 1,000 fans in a 10,000-seat building. As a matter of fact, not only is that the last thing we need, it's also the last thing that actually happened.

billmich88888
04-05-2013, 03:48 PM
Need 8 first round games

2 on Friday 6 and 830 ..(all times eastern)
3 on Saturday. 2/430/7..(or push it around however u want)
3 on Sunday..... Same timeslots

If there are many central/mountain time zone hosts,
You can easily have 9 or 10 pm eastern starts if the local time is 8pm.

If ESPN doesn't want to do the games, syndicate them out

kingdobbs
04-05-2013, 07:16 PM
Doesn't the NCAA put minimums on capacity? The last thing we need is Sacred Heart to go on a tear and then we have to have a regional in a 1,000-seat building.

In at least one sport (baseball), the NCAA can over-ride a team as regional host (ordinarily chosen by merit) by accepting a bid with a revenue guarantee, as well as allowing a team the capability to use an alternate stadium if they are selected to host. UConn hosted a regional in baseball in 2010 at Dodd Stadium in Norwich under the first rule, as did Michigan in 2008 and Arkansas in 2006 (all of whom were number two seeds); Purdue earned a host slot in 2012 on merit which they hosted at US Steel Yard in Gary (due to stadium construction), as did Texas, who hosted a regional in Round Rock.

There's no reason the ice hockey tournament could not use a similar system of granting regionals to the top 4 seeds, but also allowing a secondary bid from another participant if a facility is either unsuitable to host, unwilling to host, or unable to host, or allowing that team to host at another stadium that isn't their home ice arena. The hypothetical Top 4 Sacred Heart here could petition the NCAA to use Bridgeport as their venue, or decline the hosting capability and allow the "next seed down" their chance to go.


One other question/point. The problem that the proposals are trying to solve is much more a problem in the west than in the east, and the reasons that pgb and Alton have suggest that that’s probably the way it’ll always be. Could/should the NCAA scrap a system that works reasonably well in the east, but not in the west? Could/should the NCAA have a different system in the east and the west?

Which speaks to this question as a plausible solution.

A possible wording of this that could be in the championship handbook.

1) The NCAA selection process entitles the top 4 teams in the final pairwise standings to host a four-team regional that feeds into the pre-selected Frozen Four.
2) These teams have the right, should they have earned the hosting bid by merit, to either (a) accept the hosting bid at their home venue, (b) decline the bid entirely, or (c) submit a plan to host at an alternate venue.
2a) If the team entitled to host cannot host due to an unsuitable facility, and cannot provide a plan to host at an alternate venue, they must decline the bid.
2b) If the team entitled to host cannot provide a guarantee of sufficient increased revenue to host at an alternate venue according to option (c), they must use their home arena or decline the bid.
2c) If the team declines the bid for any reason, including an inability to host, the right of hosting transfers to the next team seeded in that regional.
3) The NCAA may, at its discretion, accept a bid from any team scheduled to participate in the regional to use an alternate venue if it can guarantee sufficient revenue increase over a team slotted to host by merit.
4) Each team wishing to use an alternate venue must submit a bid to the NCAA before the beginning of the season, which will be either approved or rejected at that time. Teams whose preseason bids are rejected may not opt to use an alternate venue if selected, and must either host at their home ice, or decline.

So, let's use this year's regionals as an example, and outline a hypothetical:
1) They are awarded to Quinnipiac, Minnesota, UMass-Lowell, and Notre Dame.
2) East Regional: Quinnipiac has the opportunity to host in Hamden, but instead bids to use Bridgeport, asserting in a pre-season bid that they can guarantee double the attendance there. Quinnipiac keeps the bid and hosts in Bridgeport.
3) Northeast Regional: Lowell has the opportunity to host in Lowell, but with the NCAA knowing both UNH and Lowell are within easy driving distance, the NCAA opts to "hop" Lowell and put the regional in Manchester per UNH's pre-bid.
4) Midwest Regional: Notre Dame may host in South Bend, but has pre-bid to use Fort Wayne. Although South Bend is not far, Notre Dame guesses the other teams involved would not bring enough to Fort Wayne, and it might diminish their home base there. Notre Dame uses South Bend.
5) West Regional: Minnesota may host at Mariucci, but has also pre-bid to use Xcel Energy in St. Paul. Knowing that North Dakota will be in the regional, and Sioux fans are known to travel to St. Paul for the yearly WCHA tournament, Minnesota uses Xcel.

Not a bad little selection. You get a good turnout in Bridgeport, equal turnout to this year's Manchester, great turnout to St. Paul, and a good number in South Bend (better than either Toledo or Grand Rapids.

What this system lacks is any hardcoded regional balance, but the NCAA can use its discretionary power to balance the hosting regionally if so needed.

CLS
04-05-2013, 09:19 PM
That would be very interesting if you could somehow get, in your example Bridgeport, Manchester, and the Xcel to "hold the dates" without any guarantee that they'll actually get games there. That would be particularly difficult for the Xcel, who have pro sports tenants. On the other hand, at least this year, the only one that's critical would be Bridgeport, because for Minny and UML, the home rinks are viable alternatives. You might pizz some people off, because the demand would probably exceed the number of seats, but that's a risk you run with home rink first round games and trying for full houses. I personally don't like on-site first round games, but I think that this proposal and the one advanced earlier are much better than just moving the regionals to home rinks.