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beaverhockey
04-05-2013, 10:54 PM
If an arena has a pro tenant, they won't be full the WHOLE weekend. It could still work....in fact...I LOVE THIS PLAN!!!!!!!

The NIT basketball tournament uses this same plan. Kentucky couldn't host this year becuase their arena had a first round NCAA regional. The site got flipped to Robert Morris...and Bob Moe won too!

pgb-ohio
04-06-2013, 12:11 AM
You may jeopardize televising of the first round games entirely. At a minimum youíd get strong pushback from ESPN, who doesnít really want to televise the firsts round games as it is. Now youíre 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 donít 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.Fair point. My first reaction is that I'd run the risk of losing some TV coverage in exchange for Alton's plan, but this issue does merit some further thought.

Thinking out loud:

1. Under the current format, 3-4 of the first round games are only available on ESPNU tape delay. Now if you're favorite team is playing in one of those games, and you currently live out-of-market, that tape delay telecast is pretty important. But for the large majority, there isn't a great deal of difference between tape delay and no national TV coverage. So suppose the "pushback" results in national telecasts from four campuses as opposed to all eight. For most neutral fans, that's still going to be all the regional hockey they can handle. And the fact the first two rounds would be spread over two weekends might mean the average fan would actually see more of the action under the new format.

2. Even if ESPNU dropped the first round games altogether, I've gotta believe that local outlets would pick up some, or even most of those games. For those with the DirecTV Sports Package or equivalent, that would probably mean access to at least half of the first round. Granted, the game call might come from one school's broadcast crew as opposed to neutral announcers. But many times the partisan call is more entertaining the vanilla neutral version, even to opposing fans.

3. On the other hand, those of us who follow Big Ten programs or other teams with large fanbases may be less at risk for losing TV coverage than others. If nothing else, the BTN could potentially fill the gap. Fairness does require we look at this from the point of view of all D-1 Hockey Schools, not just those of us with FSN or BTN coverage to fall back on.

Will continue to evaluate...


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 thatís probably the way itíll 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?More thinking out loud:

1. Are the Eastern Regionals, as they now stand, really that outstanding? Or are they merely satisfactory? I attended the Worcester Regional in 2005. While the crowds were fairly solid, there were also lots of empty seats. That field included both BU and BC, which I would have thought was an ideal scenario for attendance purposes. OK, that was a few years ago. And of course UNH games in Manchester will be a great draw, as we've seen more recently. But year in and year out, have the Eastern crowds really grown large enough to preclude the possibility of change?

2. Just shooting from the hip, I doubt there's any sort of general rule that would prevent the East from using neutral sites while the West used campus venues. After all, Yost and Mariucci were used as regional hosts in the relatively recent past. But suppose you really used a hybrid system. Next imagine a year where Wisconsin was sent to Bridgeport to play BC, while BU was sent to Yost to play Michigan. Western fans might be satisfied, but I bet Eastern fans would object loudly to those pairings.

Still, they're good questions, which I'll continue to ponder...

Fishman'81
04-06-2013, 12:51 AM
The #1 problem is ridiculous ticket prices and forcing people to buy two day packages. And if you want to attract neutral locals, don't start at 2 pm on friday.

Agreed, and it's been that way for years and years... The casual local fan is not going to shell-out $90 to see four strange teams playing three games of a (still) rather obscure sport.

I'm still all about the TV, though... ESPNU showed nearly every game, and that sort of exposure grows the sport more than any level of regional attendance ever could.

Example: I've been running a FF pool at work for about seven years now. On Year One I enticed a mere six entrants, and this year I have 39. A big reason for this is that people will bet on anything, yes, but the fact that all games were televised locally had the gamblers watching the games, and some have even become real fans over time.

TV coverage, while perhaps resulting in odd game times, is little-by-little becoming the salvation of college hockey. Our sport needs exposure to a national audience. Regional attendance is next to meaningless by comparison.

Mike Rane
04-06-2013, 01:12 AM
Some interesting stuff here. I think a best-of-3 series with the top 8 PWR teams getting home ice seems fair. You reward those teams for their work over the entire season. Revenue goes to the NCAA, and you have full arenas for the most part. Re-seed the remaining 8 teams and do the same for the 2nd round. That round would be played this weekend.

CLS
04-06-2013, 08:46 AM
[TV discussion]

Will continue to evaluate...

No major disagreements here. Iím not familiar enough with how syndication or the BTN operates to comment.


More thinking out loud:

1. Are the Eastern Regionals, as they now stand, really that outstanding? Or are they merely satisfactory? I attended the Worcester Regional in 2005. While the crowds were fairly solid, there were also lots of empty seats. That field included both BU and BC, which I would have thought was an ideal scenario for attendance purposes. OK, that was a few years ago. And of course UNH games in Manchester will be a great draw, as we've seen more recently. But year in and year out, have the Eastern crowds really grown large enough to preclude the possibility of change?Not trying to be a wise-***, but given that weíre discussing change to an existing system, Iíd say the question really is are the Western crowds really so bad to establish the necessity for change. Itís clear that many folks do, or we wouldnít have this discussion.

As for the question posed in your first sentence, Iíd say closer to satisfactory. A fuller arena would make them better. But Iíll admit that a full arena is less important to me than other things. One example is that I think neutral ice per se is a positive for this tournament. A second example is that I think that having demand for tickets greater than number of seats is worse than empty seats in the arena. I checked the capacities for the Hockey East schools, and there were only two that could have accommodated the crowd in Providence and none that would have accommodated the crowd in Manchester. And thatís just raw numbers; I think that fairness would dictate that you need to allocate some seats to the visiting school(s), which raises the possibility of season ticket holders and students not being able to attend.

Of course that doesnít necessarily apply to Altonís plan, because the regional crowds included the fans of four schools. I checked this year, and I donít think that there would have been terrible oversold problems in the first round. Most of the would-be hosts have reasonably sized rinks. Quinnipiac might have been a problem if they had been playing a school that was closer and had a larger fan base.



2. Just shooting from the hip, I doubt there's any sort of general rule that would prevent the East from using neutral sites while the West used campus venues. After all, Yost and Mariucci were used as regional hosts in the relatively recent past. But suppose you really used a hybrid system. Next imagine a year where Wisconsin was sent to Bridgeport to play BC, while BU was sent to Yost to play Michigan. Western fans might be satisfied, but I bet Eastern fans would object loudly to those pairings.

Still, they're good questions, which I'll continue to ponder...Yes, and I remember the uproar over the Yost and Mariucci (and I think once Englestad) host sites when the host was not the top seed. One year they went to the absurdity of making Michigan use the visitors dressing room and the top seed using Michiganís, which is some indication to me that the NCAA favors neutral sites. (Mustíve been a great atmosphere dressing in a room with big ďMĒs plastered all over it and pictures of past Michigan national championship teams ). But Iíve noticed that hasnít happened since some new venues that are appropriate for a regional have come on line (arenít Green Bay and Toledo relatively new?) so I have to believe that the only reason was that that Yost etc. were the only bids.

As for your example, some eastern fans would object loudly to BU being sent to Yost to play Michigan; others would get a good laugh.;)

billmich88888
04-06-2013, 08:59 AM
No 2 out of 3

1 game single elimination all the way through

Leave the 2 out of 3 series stuff to baseball and softball

1 game knockouts are what makes (in my opinion) college postseasons more exciting than the pro's

HockeyMan2000
04-06-2013, 02:48 PM
I'm still all about the TV, though... ESPNU showed nearly every game, and that sort of exposure grows the sport more than any level of regional attendance ever could.

I always laugh at the concept of "growing the sport." We seem to have this argument every year. Some college hockey fans think this sport is going to blossom into some nationally renowned event. I hate to tell you but that's NEVER going to happen. It is a niche sport that's popular in very specific parts of the country -- but that's it. It's how it's always been and always will be. High ticket price or not, it's not even big enough to support this regional round of NCAA playoffs. And people think the sport is going to "grow" and "expand" when we're on here talking about the possibility of moving this round of playoffs back to campus sites because nobody attends it? College hockey is what it is. Better to make the whole event the best it can be instead of being an annoyance and a turn-off to the fans who ought to be attending these games in person.

ESPNU can show games from empty stadiums all day long. That doesn't mean anybody is going to watch them, or it's going to "grow the sport".

Farce Poobah
04-06-2013, 05:41 PM
ESPNU can show games from empty stadiums all day long. That doesn't mean anybody is going to watch them, or it's going to "grow the sport".

Most of the time when they show games from empty stadiums, its basketball.

chickod
04-06-2013, 08:52 PM
Some college hockey fans think this sport is going to blossom into some nationally renowned event. I hate to tell you but that's NEVER going to happen. It is a niche sport that's popular in very specific parts of the country -- but that's it. It's how it's always been and always will be.

Thank you! :)

Fishman'81
04-07-2013, 01:29 AM
You guys miss the point... Hockey is never going to be a monster money-maker (even at the NHL level) but the more exposure it gets at the college-level, the better.

All you naysayers should hit your knees and thank JCA that ESPNU exists; otherwise, there'd be no chance whatsoever to expand the fan-base. Regionals are just too provincial to do that much right now, in terms of fannies in the seats

TheEagle
04-07-2013, 01:39 AM
Not trying to be a wise-***, but given that we’re discussing change to an existing system, I’d say the question really is are the Western crowds really so bad to establish the necessity for change. It’s clear that many folks do, or we wouldn’t have this discussion.

This statement seems unfair. In the last 10 years the six most attended regionals were in Grand Forks (22,645 in 2006), Denver (22,388 in 2007), St. Paul (20,360 in 2012), Madison (19,784 in 2008), Minneapolis (19,176 in 2003), and Minneapolis (18,637 in 2005). The most attended eastern regional was Manchester (18,543 in 2004). The problems stem from having the regionals in places like Toledo, Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne, and Green Bay. I personally don't think the NCAA should have gone away from on campus regionals. I'd rotate between St. Paul/Minneapolis, Omaha, Denver, Madison, Grand Forks, and Ann Arbour for the western regionals. (Other locations could evolve.) I'm confident those regionals would be very well-attended compared to the eastern regionals. Attendance issues would be solved for western regionals. Drawing the best that the eastern regionals have drawn would be a disappointment in those places--except Ann Arbour (which drew over 13,000 in 2003). It's also kind of absurd to say we can't have on campus regionals (eliminating several good locations from hosting)--yet we have regionals that are literally minutes from a campus that are considered neutral sites. I'm not against that. I'm all for on campus regionals, but let's get rid of the hypocrisy. Replacing Toledo, Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne, and Green Bay with Madison, Omaha, Grand Forks, and Ann Arbour and replacing Albany with an eastern on campus site would take care of any attendance issues. No other changes would be necessary. I'm not sure it will happen, but more years of regional attendance = 5,000 might change the NCAA's minds.

http://inchwriters.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/attend.pdf

CLS
04-07-2013, 08:52 AM
This statement seems unfair. In the last 10 years the six most attended regionals were in Grand Forks (22,645 in 2006), Denver (22,388 in 2007), St. Paul (20,360 in 2012), Madison (19,784 in 2008), Minneapolis (19,176 in 2003), and Minneapolis (18,637 in 2005). The most attended eastern regional was Manchester (18,543 in 2004). The problems stem from having the regionals in places like Toledo, Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne, and Green Bay. I personally don't think the NCAA should have gone away from on campus regionals. I'd rotate between St. Paul/Minneapolis, Omaha, Denver, Madison, Grand Forks, and Ann Arbour for the western regionals. (Other locations could evolve.) I'm confident those regionals would be very well-attended compared to the eastern regionals. Attendance issues would be solved for western regionals. Drawing the best that the eastern regionals have drawn would be a disappointment in those places--except Ann Arbour (which drew over 13,000 in 2003). It's also kind of absurd to say we can't have on campus regionals (eliminating several good locations from hosting)--yet we have regionals that are literally minutes from a campus that are considered neutral sites. I'm not against that. I'm all for on campus regionals, but let's get rid of the hypocrisy. Replacing Toledo, Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne, and Green Bay with Madison, Omaha, Grand Forks, and Ann Arbour and replacing Albany with an eastern on campus site would take care of any attendance issues. No other changes would be necessary. I'm not sure it will happen, but more years of regional attendance = 5,000 might change the NCAA's minds.

http://inchwriters.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/attend.pdfFirst, thanks for the table of attendance figures.

As for whether or not my comment was unfair, note the context. I was commenting on a proposal that would scrap the current regional structure and instead have the first round games at the home rink of the higher seed, then have the quarterfinals at neutral sites. I said that the current structure works reasonably well in the east, and the question was posed ďIs the attendance in the eastern regionals so good that the current system couldnít be changed.Ē I responded the way I did because if someone is proposing a change, I think itís incumbent on them to establish the need for the change, not on the proponents of the current system to establish that it shouldnít be changed.

Quite frankly, the position youíre taking seems to me to be more similar to the current system than to the proposal that was being discussed. You appear to be saying keep the current regional structure, but allow for pre-assigned on-campus regional sites in the west. I personally donít like on-campus venues, but thatís a point of view worth debating. One thing I donít see is why Albany needs to be replaced with an on-campus location, when there are off-campus sites in the east that work reasonably well.

It appears to me the perfect western regional site Ė the one that nobody would object strongly to Ė would be a 9 Ė 10,000 seat arena in the Twin Cities area, but not on the UMTC campus. For some the Xcel is too big, and some object to Mariucci because it is a home rink.

HockeyMan2000
04-07-2013, 11:10 PM
All you naysayers should hit your knees and thank JCA that ESPNU exists; otherwise, there'd be no chance whatsoever to expand the fan-base.

Do you truly believe the "fan base is expanding" because ESPNU is televising a game on a Friday afternoon at 2pm with nobody there and that nobody is watching at home? Seriously?

The Rube
04-07-2013, 11:13 PM
It's a chance. Not a good chance by any means, but there is a chance. That being said, an article came out a couple months ago, and it rings so true:



http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/41810720/

chickod
04-08-2013, 08:32 AM
It's a chance. Not a good chance by any means, but there is a chance.

The movie "Slap Shot" (those of us who ACTUALLY know the game know that it was pretty much a satire) did MORE damage to hockey than 1,000,000 ESPN telecasts will boost it. The reality is, I can't tell you how many of my "friends" who hate hockey cite that movie and actually think that's what every hockey game is like. No matter how much you try to explain that football, for example, is 100 times more violent, they just have this image in their head that they can't get rid of. Then you have the late night morons always cracking jokes like "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out." We disregard that stuff because we love hockey and understand what the game really is, but you don't realize how much damage that does to the average person who just didn't grow up in an area where they play the game and thus never had a chance to appreciate it or learn anything about it. And do you think that NBC or ESPN do hockey any favors when they run their open and it features 30 seconds of nothing but people smashing into each other and sending someone flying? Instead of focusing on the skills, they focus on the violence. What do you expect someone who has never seen the game to think??? You are NEVER going to "grow the game" because unless people grew up with it, they just have a completely closed mind. Next to politics, I have need seen such obstinate reactions when it comes to people's opinion about something.

pgb-ohio
04-08-2013, 09:12 AM
In order to catch up, I'll reply to two of your posts at the same time:


Not trying to be a wise-***, but given that weíre discussing change to an existing system, Iíd say the question really is are the Western crowds really so bad to establish the necessity for change. Itís clear that many folks do, or we wouldnít have this discussion.


As for whether or not my comment was unfair, note the context. I was commenting on a proposal that would scrap the current regional structure and instead have the first round games at the home rink of the higher seed, then have the quarterfinals at neutral sites. I said that the current structure works reasonably well in the east, and the question was posed ďIs the attendance in the eastern regionals so good that the current system couldnít be changed.Ē I responded the way I did because if someone is proposing a change, I think itís incumbent on them to establish the need for the change, not on the proponents of the current system to establish that it shouldnít be changed.In other words, there's an issue as to who has the burden of proof. In rhetorical terms, that's a pretty clever point. I hadn't previously thought of it in that way. From my vantage point, however, the argument that the current system is broken seemed established beyond any reasonable doubt. Arguing that crowds at the Eastern regionals were good enough to justify the status quo, regardless of the problems in the West, felt like an affirmative defense. When asserting an affirmative defense, one bears the burden of proof. But as your comments show, there's more than one legitimate way to characterize the issue.

While it's an interesting question to us, if we focus on burden of proof we're going lose everyone else pretty quickly. We're better off just trying to identify the "best" system.


...A fuller arena would make them better. But Iíll admit that a full arena is less important to me than other things. One example is that I think neutral ice per se is a positive for this tournament. A second example is that I think that having demand for tickets greater than number of seats is worse than empty seats in the arena. I checked the capacities for the Hockey East schools, and there were only two that could have accommodated the crowd in Providence and none that would have accommodated the crowd in Manchester. And thatís just raw numbers; I think that fairness would dictate that you need to allocate some seats to the visiting school(s), which raises the possibility of season ticket holders and students not being able to attend.The problem in the West isn't "less than full" arenas. The arena at the Tampa FF was less than full. The crowds at many Western Regionals are tiny, far below any rational minimum standard. Even when the raw number of fans is higher in the NHL buildings, the percentage of empty seats is just too high. If two of the four regionals are frequently below minimum standards, that says to me the system is broken and there just has to be a better alternative. And note that as long some Eastern teams are sent West for regional play, this isn't just a Western problem. It potentially affects everyone.


Of course that doesnít necessarily apply to Altonís plan, because the regional crowds included the fans of four schools. I checked this year, and I donít think that there would have been terrible oversold problems in the first round. Most of the would-be hosts have reasonably sized rinks. Quinnipiac might have been a problem if they had been playing a school that was closer and had a larger fan base.I certainly agree that every school in the NCAA tournament should be guaranteed an allotment of tickets for its game(s), regardless of venue. But that requirement can be incorporated into any of the plans that have been discussed. No visitor's allotment? Do what it takes to create one or you lose the right to host.

Alton's hybrid plan can certainly "include" fans of both schools; it just forces the fans from lower seeds to travel to someone else's home rink in the first round. Then, in the second round, the larger venues should provide plenty of room for all. Your comment on this point is consistent with my belief that Alton's plan best matches the ticket demand that's actually out there. In communities like GB, GR & Toledo, the local demand just isn't there and realistically won't be -- at least in the middle of the college hoops post-season.


Yes, and I remember the uproar over the Yost and Mariucci (and I think once Englestad) host sites when the host was not the top seed. One year they went to the absurdity of making Michigan use the visitors dressing room and the top seed using Michiganís, which is some indication to me that the NCAA favors neutral sites. (Mustíve been a great atmosphere dressing in a room with big ďMĒs plastered all over it and pictures of past Michigan national championship teams ). But Iíve noticed that hasnít happened since some new venues that are appropriate for a regional have come on line (arenít Green Bay and Toledo relatively new?) so I have to believe that the only reason was that that Yost etc. were the only bids.Attracting bids is obviously an issue for any neutral site plan. Eliminating campus facilities from the pool of potential bidders aggravates the situation.

But THE problem with choosing campus rinks is that the host school may receive UNEARNED home ice. Under Alton's plan, the host schools have earned their home ice advantage by garnering one of the top 8 seeds. So Alton puts the games where the demand is the greatest, yet doesn't confer an unfair advantage.

Michigan using the Visitors' room at Yost is absurd, though it does make for a good war story. But again, this situation needn't arise under Alton's plan. Just limit the regional finals to neutral venues, which IIRC was his proposal all along.


It appears to me the perfect western regional site Ė the one that nobody would object strongly to Ė would be a 9 Ė 10,000 seat arena in the Twin Cities area, but not on the UMTC campus. For some the Xcel is too big, and some object to Mariucci because it is a home rink.There'd be objections. Note the upcoming BTHC tournament will alternate between St. Paul and Detroit. If the question was limited to maximizing ticket sales, St. Paul probably would have gotten all of the BT tournaments initially awarded. Again, the geographical considerations in the West are simply different than those in the East.

Hux
04-08-2013, 11:54 AM
The movie "Slap Shot" (those of us who ACTUALLY know the game know that it was pretty much a satire) did MORE damage to hockey than 1,000,000 ESPN telecasts will boost it. The reality is, I can't tell you how many of my "friends" who hate hockey cite that movie and actually think that's what every hockey game is like. No matter how much you try to explain that football, for example, is 100 times more violent, they just have this image in their head that they can't get rid of. Then you have the late night morons always cracking jokes like "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out." We disregard that stuff because we love hockey and understand what the game really is, but you don't realize how much damage that does to the average person who just didn't grow up in an area where they play the game and thus never had a chance to appreciate it or learn anything about it. And do you think that NBC or ESPN do hockey any favors when they run their open and it features 30 seconds of nothing but people smashing into each other and sending someone flying? Instead of focusing on the skills, they focus on the violence. What do you expect someone who has never seen the game to think??? You are NEVER going to "grow the game" because unless people grew up with it, they just have a completely closed mind. Next to politics, I have need seen such obstinate reactions when it comes to people's opinion about something.

Well, there are also a substantial number of people who are fans because of the fighting. It has been said many times that NASCAR's popularity is as much about the crashes as it is about the racing.

CLS
04-08-2013, 08:42 PM
Going to have to sign off. Am en route to Pittsburgh already. Weíre driving and we decided to spend a couple of days in Pennsylvania Dutch country on the way, so Iíll have only intermittent internet connectivity, and not much time to spend posting.

If the current structure, has to be changed, Iíd say:

The ďbestĒ is Altonís, modified to say that if the top seeds rink is not suitable or unavailable, that the game be moved to a neutral site near the top seed, not to the second seed.

Next is a permanent regional (or super-regional) at a place that has good results historically. Though I doubt that weíll agree on what constitutes acceptable results, Iíd say right now that, in the west, itís St. Paul.

The others are non-starters to me.

Hope everybody has a great time in Pittsbugh. Hereís to Cinderalla.

chickod
04-09-2013, 07:16 AM
Well, there are also a substantial number of people who are fans because of the fighting. It has been said many times that NASCAR's popularity is as much about the crashes as it is about the racing.

This is true...but we were discussing "growing the sport." In that scenario, I don't think many "new" fans would be too crazy about it.

davyd83
04-09-2013, 07:52 AM
The movie "Slap Shot" (those of us who ACTUALLY know the game know that it was pretty much a satire) did MORE damage to hockey than 1,000,000 ESPN telecasts will boost it. The reality is, I can't tell you how many of my "friends" who hate hockey cite that movie and actually think that's what every hockey game is like. No matter how much you try to explain that football, for example, is 100 times more violent, they just have this image in their head that they can't get rid of. Then you have the late night morons always cracking jokes like "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out." We disregard that stuff because we love hockey and understand what the game really is, but you don't realize how much damage that does to the average person who just didn't grow up in an area where they play the game and thus never had a chance to appreciate it or learn anything about it. And do you think that NBC or ESPN do hockey any favors when they run their open and it features 30 seconds of nothing but people smashing into each other and sending someone flying? Instead of focusing on the skills, they focus on the violence. What do you expect someone who has never seen the game to think??? You are NEVER going to "grow the game" because unless people grew up with it, they just have a completely closed mind. Next to politics, I have need seen such obstinate reactions when it comes to people's opinion about something.

Did you ever see the "Broad Street Bullies" play? Remember bench clearing brawls? When Slap Shot was made, though it was a bit exaggerated, it wasn't that far off, especially in the minor leagues.