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  • The New WCHA (2013-14)

    *****http://www.nmubaseball.net/uscho/WchaMap.jpg******

    The new look WCHA is outlined above. Current discussion in the NCHC Commissioner thread lead to this interesting tidbit that I felt would serve to kick start the talk of the "Like Minded" 2013-14 WCHA schools.

    Originally posted by dggoddard View Post
    ...[NCHC]24 game league schedule.
    Xcel Center in St Paul is leading candidate for conference tourney.
    Road trips to Bemidji, Anchorage & Houghton will be replaced with trips to New Hampshire, Madison & Boston.
    ...
    From searching Google, all I can find is that the WCHA agreement with the Xcel Energy Center expired in 2011. With the turbulence created this summer, I can only guess that a hand-shake agreement is in place for 2012, and for 2013 (the final year of the existing WCHA).

    The CCHA disappears (currently) for 2013-14, which leaves speculation for the following venues for the WCHA Tournament:
    - Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI - Venue with prior Championship hosting experience. If some key CCHA staff is absorbed, or WCHA staff reaches out to Olympia Entertainment, it could still be a well supported Championship weekend.
    Closest Team: Bowling Green
    Attendance Guess: Embarrassingly low.
    Best Attendance: If you misspell "Michigan Tech," or "Northern Michigan" as "Michigan," and "Michigan State"
    - Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI - Opposite side of the state with NCAA regional hosting experience. Decent area surrounding arena for things to do during a championship weekend. Griffins could pick up and continue Red Wings support of college hockey.
    Closest Team: Ferris State's Backyard
    Attendance Guess: Grand Rapids Griffins game average.
    Best Attendance: When Michigan schools are participating.
    - Resch Center, Green Bay, WI - Most centrally located for all* WCHA teams (*With easy flights in/out for UAA and UA_). Prior experience hosting NCAA regionals. Plenty of "things to do" on a Championship weekend if you like drinking. And cheese.
    Closest Team: Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech. Ferris State only if the S.S. Badger was running.
    Attendance Guess: Okay. Not going to set any records.
    Best Attendance: With UP schools playing.
    - Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL - Would make a great venue to showcase the WCHA just 2.8 miles down Higgins Ave from the B1G office, just outside the Chicago skyline, and O'Hare across the parking lot. Downside is that the arena doesn't have the greatest sight lines for hockey. Ideally, the WCHA would partner with the Chicago Wolves to promote the game (and use the Pyrotechnic show for pre-game).
    Closest Team: Bowling Green and Ferris State
    Attendance Guess: Chicago Wolves non-Saturday game average.
    Best Attendance: Marketing the hell out of how Chicago is the tourney home. Maybe double header with Wolves/Icehogs as afternoon game?
    Alternately, Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates could offer similar, with a cozier arena and no pyrotechnics.
    - Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA - This one falls into the "We're going WHERE?" category. No experience hosting NCAA or league games, but has hosted four years of AHL hockey in the past. GREAT arena that would make a change of pace for venues and has decent activities to do around the arena.
    Closest Team: Mankato
    Attendance Guess: Resch Center like.
    Best Attendance: The first few years. It's a new venue, new city, would need to strive to make fans want to return to Des Moines.


    And with that, I kick off discussion of the new WCHA.
    Last edited by aparch; 01-06-2012, 01:07 PM.
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  • #2
    Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

    I'll say this and hop out of your thread- GR needs to be marketed if you choose there. The NCAA/Van Andel does almost nothing when the regionals are there and it's reflected in the amount of locals. I'd go with Green Bay personally.
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    • #3
      Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

      This is really the only case in recorded history when "Green Bay" and "centrally located" can be used in one sentence and make sense. And for this league, it does; although it's not easy driving distancee from South Michigan/Ohio. Still the best place if it's not a rotated venue between MN and MI.
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      • #4
        Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

        Tech fans kicked this around in a thread a while back. I think NHL rinks like the Joe or the X are off the list, at least until the leagues sells out a 8-10K seat rink on a regular basis. I think it has to be within driving distance of someone's fan base or attendance will be real low. Because of that, I like Grand Rapids or Green Bay and you also avoid the needless "big city" price hikes on everything with the exception of maybe flights for fans. GB is a reasonable drive distance for 5 teams and based on the National* footprint of the new WCHA this might be the best the league can do in terms of location. GB's rink is a good facility and is easy to get in/out of for fans. Some other fans kicked around the idea of letting the league champion host, but I think that is a a logistical nightmare and some of the towns wouldn't be able to handle even 4 or 5k out of town fans and having to wait until 2-3 weeks before the event to pick a site is a sure flop.

        Ryan J

        * Word on the street is that the WCHA is going to Sioux the NaCHo over the use of the term "National" because in reality the NaCHo is only a regional league with roughly 1200 miles between its most distant members. The new WCHA will TRIPLE that at 3700 miles between Fairbanks and Bowling Green. And when UAH is added, that maximum increases to over 4000 miles (as the crow drives). UAH will survive in the WCHA on frequent flier miles alone. Every third road trip will be a freebie.
        Last edited by JohnsonsJerseys; 01-06-2012, 01:47 PM. Reason: Bad math...
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        • #5
          Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

          As soon as UW-Milwaukee add's their team then Milwaukee would be the best spot
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          • #6
            Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

            Of the choices presented, either Green Bay or Chicago/Rosemont. Personally I'd be ok with the regular season champion hosting, although if/when UAF or UAA won the regular season there would be a lot of teeth gnashing. It's bad enough when we host a home playoff series.

            Chicago would probably be the easiest in terms of travel logistics for everybody (it's a nonstop flight from AK), and since it's Chicago there's no shortage of stuff to do.
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            • #7
              Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

              Being a Northeast Wisconsin native, I've been a big advocate for the Resch Center in Green Bay. It's a great hockey venue and I think the people at PMI — who run the Resch — would put on a great weekend for college hockey fans. The people at PMI love hockey, especially at the college level with their involvement in going after NCAA regionals and working with NMU to host the Badgers.

              I think the attendance at the Resch could be pretty good if PMI goes all out and I think they would. In talking with the Green Bay Gamblers beat writer at the Press-Gazette, he thinks local fans would come out if the WCHA/PMI did some Gamblers-like promotions and marketing, such as family deals and of course a staple of all Wisconsin sporting events: cheap beer.

              I think it would be up to Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech to play hosts at the Resch, kind of like how Western Michigan, Michigan and Michigan State play host at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

              If the WCHA and PMI make this an affordable weekend in terms of tickets, hotel specials and such, this could really be a fun weekend for college hockey fans who don't want to pay big city prices.

              But that's the bias of a Wisconsin native that would love having the league champion three hours from Marquette and in his family's backyard.
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              • #8
                Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

                Originally posted by Squarebanks View Post
                Chicago would probably be the easiest in terms of travel logistics for everybody (it's a nonstop flight from AK), and since it's Chicago there's no shortage of stuff to do.
                Living in West Michigan, Chicago would have my vote! Green Bay is quite a hike from West Michigan: 6:30 to 7 hours compared to 3 - 3:30 hours. Of course, I know the three teams in the UP would prefer GB.

                On another topic about the "New" WCHA: Is this conference, which really is a "NEW" conference (it won't be the WCHA as most of us have known it anymore), going to have any regional, let alone national, television presence? Or, are we all going to be watching these teams streamed on the Internet?
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                • #9
                  Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

                  Originally posted by GopherBigGuy911 View Post
                  As soon as UW-Milwaukee add's their team then Milwaukee would be the best spot
                  If you UWM or Marquette had hockey teams, this city sure would be more fun to live in!

                  The Bradley Center is a location you may want to consider. They already host the Admirals, Bucks, and MU CBB, and would be a more central location then Chicago or Des Moines.

                  Plus, Milwaukee would be a fun place for drowning sorrows or celebrating a college hockey win, especially considering the proximity to the 3rd ward and Water Street from the Bradley Center.
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                  • #10
                    Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

                    I like Green Bay too. One thing is the size of the arena along with the fact that there are a great number of restaurants, hotels, bars and shopping very nearby, with a lot of places within walking distance of the arena. VanAndel is similar sized, but is really only convenient for Ferris and BG, and not bad for LSSU. Green Bay is about as central as it gets. And there is no beauty of playing a tourney with 5 or 6,000 in a 16,000 seat arena.
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                    • #11
                      Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

                      I don't see any reason to go with one. Rotate it, that way you'd hopefully get some people around GR, Chicago, GB, Milwaukee and you'd only be asking them to do it 2-3 times a decade vs every year. If after one or two trips around the block you find attendance is better in one place, go with it consistently but no reason to settle down and commit if multiple areas are willing to put out.

                      Other kinda quirky idea: let last year's champ choose. Lets them get a bonus and if lets say MTU wins, arguably they'd be one of the favorites to at least get to tourney the next year... Then you'd have their fanbase travelling the shortest distance possible
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                      • #12
                        Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

                        I guess tourney location is dependent on where the league decides to put it's postal code. I doubt they'd want to maintain the mailing address to the University of Denver location.

                        I forgot to include Milwaukee. Not sure how that one slipped my mind, and I had thought about including Fort Wayne, Indiana as a potential location too.
                        “Demolish the bridges behind you… then there is no choice but to build again.”

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                        • #13
                          Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

                          Originally posted by SCSU Euro View Post
                          I don't see any reason to go with one. Rotate it, that way you'd hopefully get some people around GR, Chicago, GB, Milwaukee and you'd only be asking them to do it 2-3 times a decade vs every year. If after one or two trips around the block you find attendance is better in one place, go with it consistently but no reason to settle down and commit if multiple areas are willing to put out.

                          Other kinda quirky idea: let last year's champ choose. Lets them get a bonus and if lets say MTU wins, arguably they'd be one of the favorites to at least get to tourney the next year... Then you'd have their fanbase travelling the shortest distance possible
                          That first one's not a bad idea, especially as we figure all of this out. See what markets and teams draw the best, and roll from there. In the short term, if the revolving pattern is one that repeats, it still makes it easy enough to plan for travel, too. Letting the past year's winner pick, however.. I see no way that ends well.
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                          • #14
                            Re: The New WCHA (2013-14)

                            Was wondering what you guys thought of this question I had:

                            Originally posted by aygwm2 View Post
                            ...another topic about the "New" WCHA: Is this conference, which really is a "NEW" conference (it won't be the WCHA as most of us have known it anymore), going to have any regional, let alone national, television presence? Or, are we all going to be watching these teams streamed on the Internet?
                            NMU Hockey Since 1976 ...there at the beginning.

                            Bill Crawford, LSSU radio announcer, on NMU hockey: "This is their MO right to the tee: get out shot, get out played, keep hangin' in there, just rope-a-dope it in your own zone, get it up the ice, bang it in and win the game."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by aygwm2 View Post
                              Was wondering what you guys thought of this question I had:
                              What regional networks would bite?

                              Is there a cable provider that has a strong enough presence in all/most markets? Because this would be Charter Extra/Time Warner Cable Sports territory as opposed to Fox Sports-XX or Comcast.

                              Beyond that, streaming is your best bet.
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