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  • Re: Attendance at Regionals

    Originally posted by pgb-ohio View Post
    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?
    Originally posted by beaverhockey
    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. 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).
    Last edited by CLS; 04-05-2013, 11:51 AM.

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    • Re: Attendance at Regionals

      Originally posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
      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.

      "The game of hockey, though much in vogue on the ice in New England and other parts of the United States, is not much known here."

      --The Montreal Gazette, March 4, 1875.

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      • Re: Attendance at Regionals

        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

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        • Re: Attendance at Regionals

          Originally posted by FlagDUDE08 View Post
          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.

          Originally posted by CLS View Post
          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.
          Last edited by kingdobbs; 04-05-2013, 07:38 PM.
          UConn -- Clarkson

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          • Re: Attendance at Regionals

            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.

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            • Re: Attendance at Regionals

              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!
              Last edited by beaverhockey; 04-05-2013, 11:04 PM.

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              • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                Originally posted by CLS View Post
                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...

                Comment


                • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                  Originally posted by J.D. View Post
                  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.
                  Last edited by Fishman'81; 04-06-2013, 12:55 AM.

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                  • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                    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.
                    'If a man wants to eat fried chicken, he's gotta get greasy.' - Kenny Rogers

                    Fighting Sioux Hockey: Highest NCAA Playoff Winning Percentage

                    There's no more pompous group of sports fans in the Twin Cities than hardcore followers of Gophers men's hockey. That makes it quite entertaining to see them in full pout after an unexpected elimination from the NCAA tournament. - Reusse

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                    • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                      Originally posted by pgb-ohio View Post
                      [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.

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                      • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                        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

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                        • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                          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".
                          Last edited by HockeyMan2000; 04-06-2013, 02:53 PM.

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                          • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                            Originally posted by HockeyMan2000 View Post
                            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.

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                            • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                              Originally posted by HockeyMan2000 View Post
                              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!

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                              • Re: Attendance at Regionals

                                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

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