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NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

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  • NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

    The regionals get even worse. Fargo and Sioux Falls, both hosted by North Dakota. And Allentown, PA, 162 miles from Bridgeport. Of course, the East gets its own two regionals within that tight Quadrilateral both years.

    I'm losing patience with the leadership of this sport. There are great fanbases in what we call the "West," and they're getting absolutely jilted. The NCAA tournament regional system is the worst postseason arrangement in sports, anywhere.

    I've made this argument before, and it's only getting worse. Host the first two rounds at home sites. Get rid of all of this.
    Jesus Saves

  • #2
    Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

    Originally posted by Caustic Undertow View Post
    The regionals get even worse. Fargo and Sioux Falls, both hosted by North Dakota. And Allentown, PA, 162 miles from Bridgeport. Of course, the East gets its own two regionals within that tight Quadrilateral both years.

    I'm losing patience with the leadership of this sport. There are great fanbases in what we call the "West," and they're getting absolutely jilted. The NCAA tournament regional system is the worst postseason arrangement in sports, anywhere.

    I've made this argument before, and it's only getting worse. Host the first two rounds at home sites. Get rid of all of this.
    Maybe your school should have applied to host. Maybe more western fans should show up to regionals.

    I am sure the NCAA would have preferred not to let any school host back to back years. The fact it happened means a lot more about the quality and quantity of bids for west and midwest regionals than it does with the NCAA trying to screw western teams.
    BS UMass Lowell 2015
    PhD Georgia Institute of Technology 2020

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    • #3
      Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

      So, Allentown is hosting a "west" regional?

      Edit: weyerbacher is down the road in Easton... could be worse
      BS UML '04, PhD UConn '09

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Caustic Undertow View Post
        The regionals get even worse. Fargo and Sioux Falls, both hosted by North Dakota. And Allentown, PA, 162 miles from Bridgeport. Of course, the East gets its own two regionals within that tight Quadrilateral both years.

        I'm losing patience with the leadership of this sport. There are great fanbases in what we call the "West," and they're getting absolutely jilted. The NCAA tournament regional system is the worst postseason arrangement in sports, anywhere.

        I've made this argument before, and it's only getting worse. Host the first two rounds at home sites. Get rid of all of this.
        I wouldn't mind if they got rid of the bye week and had first two rounds on campus with one game each weekend instead of two on one weekend. The old format was much better than what they are doing now.
        Originally posted by BobbyBrady
        Crosby probably wouldn't even be on BC's top two lines next year

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        • #5
          Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

          Originally posted by UML Puck Hawk View Post
          Maybe your school should have applied to host. Maybe more western fans should show up to regionals.

          I am sure the NCAA would have preferred not to let any school host back to back years. The fact it happened means a lot more about the quality and quantity of bids for west and midwest regionals than it does with the NCAA trying to screw western teams.
          Yep, exactly this. But it has to be said.... EASTERN BIAS!

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          • #6
            Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

            Originally posted by UML Puck Hawk View Post
            Maybe your school should have applied to host. Maybe more western fans should show up to regionals.

            I am sure the NCAA would have preferred not to let any school host back to back years. The fact it happened means a lot more about the quality and quantity of bids for west and midwest regionals than it does with the NCAA trying to screw western teams.
            A lot of schools would love to host, but the NCAA won't host at home sites, only near-home sites, and charges outrageous ticket prices on top of that. There's little question to me that places like UMD, Michigan, Wisconsin, et al could be interested if they were allowed to host at home. Alas, they want neutral sites that also sell well.

            Eastern people don't see a problem with this because all of the regionals are two hours or less from a dozen schools including almost the entirety of whole conferences. Things work differently out west, a constituency that consists of half the sport and should be respected. They find a neutral site somewhere that's close to nobody, host games there, and charge outrageous prices for inferior products. And I say that as someone who has actually spent significant money to take my family to a regional hours away from home.

            The obvious, logical answer is to host the first two rounds at the home sites of the higher seed, as they do in many NCAA sports. Worried about home crowds? No problem, make them earned. Your boys can host a game or two at Tsongas, a surprise high seed out of the WCHA (like Mankato a couple of years ago) gets to expose its fans to real playoff hockey instead of sending them to Indiana, North Dakota can host at the Ralph instead of dummy not-quite-home locations nearby. More fans come, the product is better, everybody is happy.

            But as long as the Boston-area folks are happy, you know, the sport must be ok.
            Jesus Saves

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            • #7
              Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

              Yeah, I'd guess that both the West and Midwest regionals being hosted by the same school each year is probably a sign that there were no other bids worth considering.

              Given the current system of host schools/conferences bidding for the regionals, they're not going to place a regional where there's no bid. Maybe you can argue there's a chicken/egg sort of problem going on with the western regionals; are there no bids because attendance has been bad? Is attendance bad because the locations are bad?

              There's no way the site selection committee or whoever is sitting in a room saying "haha let's screw the west!". The west poses logistical problems for regional sites that the east just doesn't have because of all that distance between everything out west. Presumably a lot of potential hosts have looked at the poor attendance in recent years and decided not to bid because they see it as likely to lose money.

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              • #8
                Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

                Originally posted by tape View Post
                There's no way the site selection committee or whoever is sitting in a room saying "haha let's screw the west!". The west poses logistical problems for regional sites that the east just doesn't have because of all that distance between everything out west. Presumably a lot of potential hosts have looked at the poor attendance in recent years and decided not to bid because they see it as likely to lose money.
                A plausible, reasonable response. The issue: The absence of plausible bids should tell the committee that the rules they are attempting to follow make no sense. In their criteria for choosing locations and placing teams they are BOTH trying to maximize attendance AND maintain neutrality.

                For a niche sport like this it is simply impossible to do so. The writing has been on the wall for years; the entire four-regional experiment has been a failure. Either you get home or near-home sites that are well-attended and almost always unfair to somebody (ask North Dakota, Denver, and CC what it's like to play at Yost in the tournament) or you get venues like St. Louis that are so neutral that it's too far away for anybody to show up.

                Since they moved away from actual home sites, they have tried to put regionals in places like Toledo, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Cincinnatti, and Fort Wayne. Places that are kinda sorta close to some teams. But they're not THAT close to those teams, and the ticket prices are expensive. And then they're surprised when people don't decide to drive for two hours to spend $80 for two people, plus food on-site, to watch a three-hour game that they had four days notice to attend.

                Even the places that got better attendance, like the X, were embarrassing: The X held a regional final between North Dakota and Minnesota one week after those same two teams played for a WCHA championship. The regional final is an even more important game; they drew half the fans to it. That should have been a warning siren, but the committee wasn't listening.

                So, instead, if you are a Wisconsin fan and your team makes the NCAA tournament next year after a long break, forget about going. If UMD makes it back, once again you'll be frozen out by North Dakota tickets presales (this was a real problem this season--UMD never gets to play NCAA games close to home) or you'll be shipped somewhere 18 hours away. But it will be "fair."
                Jesus Saves

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                • #9
                  Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

                  Anything west of I-95 is the midwest.

                  Signed,
                  NCAA regionals selection committee


                  PS - Does that host city in South Dakota have to rename itself "Hawks Falls" before March 2018?
                  The preceding post may contain trigger words and is not safe-space approved. <-- Virtue signaling.

                  North Dakota Hockey:

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                  • #10
                    Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

                    I hesitate to jump in here, but I have long advocated a home and home total goals for the first two rounds; and that would of necessity eliminate the bye week. First game at the lower seed on Thursday or Friday night with the second game with any sudden death OT at the higher seed Saturday or Sunday night. Packed houses and extreme intensity guaranteed. The venues in most cases would be smaller than the regional venues, but that would be OK and the effect would be partially offset by more games.

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                    • #11
                      Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

                      Originally posted by Caustic Undertow View Post
                      If UMD makes it back, once again you'll be frozen out by North Dakota tickets presales (this was a real problem this season--UMD never gets to play NCAA games close to home) or you'll be shipped somewhere 18 hours away. But it will be "fair."
                      I agree with a lot of your post, including your premise that we should go back to home sites for the first two rounds. However, this part of your argument loses a lot of its value when Duluth didn't even sell out its ticket allotment for the Fargo regional.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by UML Puck Hawk View Post
                        Maybe more western fans should show up to regionals.
                        To be fair, I think you're missing his point Or you haven't looked at a map. It's easy for Eastern fans (and I'm in the East) to say "show up." But we don't have to travel 1000 miles to a regional. I can drive to ALL of the following places in two hours or less:
                        Albany
                        Bridgeport
                        Springfield
                        Hartford
                        Providence
                        Portland
                        Manchester
                        Worcester

                        How many Lowell fans would "show up" if they had to travel to, say, Denver for a regional and then say, St. Louis in two weeks subsequently for the Frozen Four? The regional system is inherently unfair to the West because everything is so far away. They have it in North Dakota because at least they'll fill the arena. How many Mankato State fans are going to travel to Providence? How many Harvard fans went to Chicago for that matter?

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                        • #13
                          Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

                          I agree with a lot of your post, including your premise that we should go back to home sites for the first two rounds. However, this part of your argument loses a lot of its value when Duluth didn't even sell out its ticket allotment for the Fargo regional.
                          That's interesting. The headline in the News Trib suggested that finding tickets was "difficult" for fans, so perhaps there was some publicity challenge with it. Of course, we're also talking about a 4.5 hour trip with extremely short notice for an event that UMD fans are conditioned to think that they can never attend. Their turnouts for the last two FFs they attended were, in contrast, quite good.

                          To me, a high seed home site policy will build fans not only by having the games at their own arenas but by allowing them to consider, weeks and months ahead of time, the likelihood that there will be a game played that they will have the opportunity to attend. UMD fans would have been able to pencil in a home game at Amsoil in February if that had been the case; instead, they knew it was either Fargo (already "sold out") or somewhere so far away it was pointless to worry about.

                          Edit: This is a response to FS23
                          Last edited by Caustic Undertow; 04-18-2017, 02:40 PM.
                          Jesus Saves

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RSTuthill View Post
                            I hesitate to jump in here, but I have long advocated a home and home total goals for the first two rounds; and that would of necessity eliminate the bye week. First game at the lower seed on Thursday or Friday night with the second game with any sudden death OT at the higher seed Saturday or Sunday night. Packed houses and extreme intensity guaranteed. The venues in most cases would be smaller than the regional venues, but that would be OK and the effect would be partially offset by more games.
                            Total goals is stupid. I was so happy when they finally got rid of this in the 80s. The idea is to win. It shouldn't matter if you win 2-1 or 10-1.

                            I agree with your argument about venues. The fairest way would be to keep it the same in the East and go to campus sites in the West.

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                            • #15
                              Re: NCAA Hockey Administrators to western fans: Drop Dead

                              The only reason North Dakota is bidding to hold the western regionals, at somewhere other than Grand Forks, is they know they can probably sell out a site of 10-12,000 seats with its own fan base.

                              Western regionals are always going to suck for attendance because its simply too far to travel, economically, on short notice for most of the teams participating. Duluth could have bid to host at Xcel, for instance, and had first chance at getting those tickets. Heck, I suppose they could even throw some ice into the old DECC and host up in Duluth.

                              Denver could host at the Pepsi Center. UNO could host at their old arena. Lots of options, but unless people are going to show up, no incentive to do so.
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