Sunday, August 31, 2008

No Yost Regional in 2010 or 2011

Michigan bid on the 2010 and 2011 NCAA hockey regionals, but they were not selected as a host.

For 2010, the West Regional will be hosted by Minnesota at the XCel Energy Center and the Midwest Regional will be hosted by Notre Dame at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (the place Michigan and ND played at a few years back).

For 2011, the CCHA will host the West Regional at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis and the Midwest Regional will be at the Resch Center in Green Bay (and hosted by Michigan Tech).

According to Joel Maturi, who is the Ice Hockey Committee Chairman (and also just happens to be Minnesota's AD, hmm, go figure) they focused on selecting venues that have NHL-sized ice sheets (I like it) and that are neutral rinks. Because, ya know, the XCel Center is completely neutral, being seven miles from Minnesota's campus and all.

For attendance purposes, the rink in bumblefuck Indiana should be absolutely spectacular. And I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that St. Louis isn't exactly a college hockey hotbed. Who's the closest college hockey team to St. Louis? Alabama Huntsville?

So basically we want neutral sites, unless it's the chairman's school that would be getting the advantage. Nice. Michigan should start bidding for regionals using Joe Louis or the Palace rather than Yost, since it pretty clearly will be a cold day in hell before the NCAA lets us host there again. You gotta get away from campus sites, don'tchaknow, even though Minnesota, Wisconsin, NoDak and CC have all hosted at their own arena (some more than once) since we last had it at Yost.

But why have a Regional at Yost when the atmosphere would be far surpassed by the empty seats in Ft. Wayne and St. Louis?


Eric J. Burton said...

I am glad that someone else noticed this that Minnesota is getting the deck shuffled in their favor.

Becky said...


And if a regional is "hosted" by the CCHA, it should be in the state of Michigan. A regional hosted by the CCHA in Grand Rapids or Detroit, that makes sense. Not in goddamn Missouri.

(Maybe someone had difficulty with the two-letter state abbreviations? MI vs. MO?)

Becky said...

OH! And did you see where the 2012 Frozen Four is?



Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at the irony of a Michigan fan whining about where regionals are located. That is a classic given how the Wolverines have benefited from hosting regionals at Yost. If I remember correctly, the last time the Wolverines won a national title, they hosted a regional at Yost. I am sure that didn't help, right?

Anyway, just seems very hypocritical to even say anything about where regionals are placed given the undeniable fact that the Wolverines have been helped by it as well over the years.

Packer487 said...

Hell yes it's helped us. Where did you get the idea that I think it didn't?

My problem isn't that another school gets to host. I'm completely in favor of campus sites. The atmosphere will be a whole lot better, and I have questions about how the attendance will be in two of these announced regions.

My problem is that Michigan has bid at least 4 times since 2002 when we last hosted and the NCAA won't give us another regional because the other schools bitch so much about it (sorry bout your friggin luck, put in a bid).

But in the meantime, Minnesota, NoDak, CC, and Wisconsin (and probably some others) have all hosted at their home rinks (some more than once) and several (like UNH and DU) have hosted regionals right down the road from their campus, despite the NCAA talking about how they want to have "neutral" sites.

They used it as an excuse again this year, only to award Minnesota a regional at the friggin' XCel Center, because that's as neutral as it gets.

That's what I'm upset about. Don't feed us this line of bull that you're trying to get neutral sites and then throw a regional 10 minutes from Minnesota's campus.

Apparently Michigan is the only team that has ever benefited from hosting a regional. Because we're sure the only school that people seem to get up in arms about hosting the regionals.

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight. Michigan broke so many NCAA rules the last time it hosted a regional that the fines imposed caused it to lose money on hosting the event. And you're surprised the NCAA didn't jump at the chance to have that happen again?

Becky said...

Haven't they fixed some of those issues? I seem to remember one problem was that they were allowing re-entry with the ticket stubs, but even in 2003 the tickets were one-time entry. They built a new visitor's locker room -- and the two teams now enter at opposite sides of the ice -- and I thought that was to help future regional bids.

The athletic department occasionally claimed that they were fined for foul language from the students, but I never saw any proof of that.

And like packer487, I'm fine with regionals at school sites. NCAA hockey needs to have the regionals at school sites. I'm not fine with pretending that Minneapolis is a neutral site.

Eric J. Burton said...

So what are these big time violations ANON talks about?

UND was supposed to be allowed to have a regional after the logo settlement but I guess that point is mute since Minnesota got two regionals in a row. Why the hell would the CCHA have a regional in St Louis, it is close to nothing as far as NCAA hockey goes.

I guess the fans could email the NCAA enmass and ask them why they are giving the Goofs two regionals in a row? Seems that Maturi being on the NCAA hockey selection board is a conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could find the article that described the offenses. What I did find is part of an article from the Michigan Daily in 2005.

"In addition to the offensive nature of the cheer, Stevenson also cited Michigan’s inability to host an NCAA Regional as a reason to stop or change the cheer. In the 2002 NCAA Regional, Michigan upset No. 2 Denver at Yost Ice Arena, 5-3. Stevenson said that, after the game, Michigan was fined. And Michigan has not hosted a Regional at Yost since then.

A media spokesman for Tom Jacobs, the NCAA Director of Championships, said that the reason the Regionals have not been at Yost has less to do with the offensive language than the fact that having the game at Yost gives Michigan an unfair competitive advantage."

As I recall, there also were problems with financial reports not being filed with the NCAA on time. As well, tickets were sold in blocks including a student section block, which is against NCAA rules.

Anonymous said...

So why won't our anonymous friend with the big opinions identify where he or she is from?

Probably because he or she is still bitter about Michigan defeating his or her school at Yost in the NCAA tourney.

FTR, teams like Minnesota, Wisconsin, CC, UND and Denver have all benefited from having regionals at or near their campus.
Minnesota and Wisconsin have both won NC's by either hosting regionals or FF events near their campus.

This whole issue smells and to compound it by citing Michigan's lack of conformity to NCAA regs is absurd.

The west/midwest regionals have a definite lack of viable locations... now to add criteria to it is rediculous. I'm with Tim on this one- bid out of the Palace, JLA, GR etc. if you are either Michigan or MSU. Otherwise, count on a WCHA team to host at least one regional every season at or near a campus site.

I guess having the FF at Ford Field was enough for the committee in terms of having an advantage for Michigan teams.

Packer487 said...

It wouldn't shock me a bit if the "We can't host a regional because of the cya chant" thing was slightly embellished to try to get the students to cut it out.

Even the NCAA official being quoted indicated it wasn't a major factor and simply pointed to Michigan having a competitive advantage at Yost.

Plenty of other schools have hosted, but it seems Michigan is being penalized for actually taking advantage of our opportunity when we did host.

I have no sympathy for DU missing the tournament when they hosted in Denver, or when CC missed it a year or two back when they hosted. It ain't our fault that Wisconsin didn't come out of their regional this year, they still got the home crowd.

If you're getting away from campus sites, so be it. But don't shove a line of bull like "We're going for neutral sites" and then throw a regional in St. Paul.

If you're not allowing teams to have a "competitive advantage" then go to all neutral sites or take out the rule that automatically lets the host play in that regional.

If you're ok with teams having a competitive advantage (with Minnesota at XCel) then let's have some campus sites instead of the horrible selections of St. Louis and Ft. Wayne.

I don't have a problem with it either way, but let's be consistent.

I do like the idea of only playing on NHL sized rinks though.

Anonymous said...

To streaker:
My posts, which were anonymous 11:17 and 10:43, didn’t really express a “big opinion”. Rather it is more a regurgitation of information gleaned for various print media outlets.
And, as or which team I root for, it is not germane to the discussion. You are just searching for a reason to attempt to discredit me. Suffice it to say, it is not for the reason you proffered.

To packer487:
As I stated in my 10:43 post, there are multiple reasons that the NCAA made their financial sanctions. It was not strictly “the cya chant”.

Now back to the topic at hand. I do not feel that the regionals should be held at a campus site. And I believe comparing the next two regionals that Minnesota is hosting, this year at Mariucci and next year at XCel, is slightly misleading. Comparing a regional at Yost and a regional at Mariucci, under the old requirements, is apples to apples. However, a regional at Yost compared to a regional at XCel is apples to oranges. The reason for this is, I feel, two fold. First, it is an entirely different ice sheet size for the host team, NHL ice sheet as opposed to an Olympic ice sheet. Second, even though it is geographically close to the University of Minnesota campus, it is not a rink that they play and practice on every day. One in which the players know the bounces off the boards, et cetera. Would the level of discontent be as strong if one of the other Minnesota schools (Minnesota State-Mankato, Minnesota-Duluth, Bemidji St., St. Cloud St.) was hosting at XCel which, under the current guidelines, would be the arena they would host at?
Far be it for me to defend the NCAA, but as was mentioned by a few posters, it is difficult to find locations. The task of finding an arena with the restrictions of an NHL size ice sheet, attendance requirements, not having it on a campus facility, and the ability to house four teams at the same time, is a daunting one. Especially given the fact that two must be found each year, one for the Midwest Regional and one for the West Regional. However, as I stated above, I don’t believe that campus sites should host. The happy medium is a solution like Minnesota at Xcel, Michigan at the Palace, et cetera. It would allow enough fans of the host team to attend, but not prohibitively favor one team over another as I believe the on campus sites do.

Anonymous said...


I don't understand the purpose of your postings other than to raise the hair on Michigan fan's neck. Maybe your anon hockey allegiance isn't germane to the debate, but it would add some insight as to why you have chosen to counterpoint Tim's opinions. Or are you Jim Carty in drag? Regurg or not, the NCAA has a hard on for U-M hockey, be it because of the success at Yost, or the student's offensive behavior. It doesn't make their site selection decisions hold up to the smell test. Having hockey at the XCel, whether you want to admit it or not, as a possible WCHA/Gopher fan, IS an advantage. The majority of the fans are local and the travel is much easier for a host/local team like the Gophs. It is the core of my argument, since it smacks of the very thing that the NCAA is trying to point out about regionals at Yost. It may be an NHL rink, in a "neutral" setting, but barely. How any events have been hosted there? MULTIPLE events. Yost has hosted 3 regionals, period. You want to have regionals at NHL size rinks- fine. Make sure that the local teams are sent elsewhere to make it as neutral for the opponents as it (wink, nod) is for the local host team. Of course then, it wouldn't make good NC$$ $en$e, right?

Packer487 said...

I guess I don't see why it's relevant that Michigan got (allegedly) fined enough that they lost money on hosting the Regional. The NCAA clearly didn't lose money since they're the ones receiving the fines.

If Michigan is willing to bid again, why should the NCAA care? Baseball regionals routinely lose money, and yet schools bid because it gives them an advantage.

Also, if issues with Michigan hosting had to do with late paperwork and selling tickets in a block, it's hard to believe those concerns haven't been addressed.

Minnesota might not have as big of an advantage at XCel as they do at Mariucci, but it's silly to think that they aren't better off than other teams. They played 5 games at the XCel Center last year, 3 the year before, 2 the year before that. I'd be surprised if at least some of the players don't have a pretty good idea about the bounces in the boards.

Even if Michigan were hosting at The Palace or Joe Louis, you're talking about a venue that's an hour (or more) away from campus. You could probably run from Mariucci to the XCel Center in about the same amount of time it would take me to drive from Yost to the Palace.

And no, I wouldn't really care as much if it was one of the other Minnesota schools hosting there. Duluth is a couple of hours away. Bemidji is four hours away. There'd be a decent chance that Mankato wouldn't make the tournament anyway, and St. Cloud would find a way to choke in the first round anyway.

The XCel Center isn't a neutral site. It's a gorgeous facility--the nicest arena I've ever been to--but when you're legitimately within walking distance of the host's campus, it's not neutral, even if the team doesn't play there every day.

The problem with neutral sites is that they're either not neutral (like the XCel Center) or there's going to be no atmosphere (Ft. Wayne, St. Louis, Albany this year, Grand Rapids when there's not a Michigan team).

If the NCAA was truly worried about neutrality, they'd get rid of the rule that guarantees the host school admittance into the regional, if they make the tournament.

It is hard to find suitable venues in the West. I don't have a problem with them going to XCel (or even if they were to stick with campus sites). I have a problem with them saying that they're going with neutral venues (and going as far as to put regionals in St. Louis and Ft. Wayne) and then blowing smoke up our ass by presenting the XCel Center as a neutral venue. Whatever. Maybe Wisconsin should stop bidding out the Kohl Center and put some ice back in the Alliant Energy Center for a bid. I'm sure that would be perfectly neutral, yussir!

It's too bad the Cube is so small. That'd be a perfectly neutral venue for Michigan to bid with...

Eric J. Burton said...

PACKER487 is right to suggest the Xcel Energy center is a neutral site is ludicrous and silly and intellectually dishonest the Xcel Energy center it going to be full of screaming fans in maroon and gold and will be like a home game for the Goofs.

The NCAA is only looking at $ signs and it UMN AD Maturi selling the notion to the NCAA that he is going to put thousands of his universities screaming fans in the seats making for the NCAA.

The WCHA knows that the Xcel is not a neutral site as well but they are banking the all might dollar.

Becky said...

If Michigan is willing to bid again, why should the NCAA care? Baseball regionals routinely lose money, and yet schools bid because it gives them an advantage.

Years ago -- alas, I cannot find the link -- I read that the NCAA only makes money on the football bowl games, and on the men's basketball and men's ice hockey tournaments (regionals and finals). They supposedly lose money on everything else, including softball, baseball, and women's basketball.

Which makes the St. Louis and Ft. Wayne regionals (and the f#@%*ing Tampa Frozen Four) even more baffling! I'm starting to think that the NCAA is trying to kill hockey.

Packer487 said...

The good thing about Tampa is that it's pretty easy to get to, flights are cheap, the weather will be nice, there are ample hotels, the arena is beautiful from what I've heard (I've never been there myself), and there's quite a bit to do.

It's not a college hockey hotbed, but I don't think it'll be a debacle like Anaheim.

But to have a regional in Ft. Wayne or St Louis? For a regional, you're probably only going to get local fans of the game of college hockey, and fans of the participating teams. Who else is going to attend those games?

We've seen venues have problems with attendance when there's no local team involved. Who's going to attend a regional in friggin' St. Louis?

I'm as big of a fan of college hockey as anyone, but it's probably not in the travel budget (or in the vacation-time bank) for two trips in close succession. I'd be holding out for the Frozen Four, personally. Because either we win and make the Frozen Four (and I'll go), or we lose in the Regional and I'm glad I didn't shell out the money to go anyway.

If Notre Dame is hosting a regional, it should be in Chicago. Basically the same distance away, but it's easier to get to, there are nicer arenas, and there's a shitload more to do.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that "neutral site" simply depends on your own personal definition. Obviously the committee sees it as any site that isn't on a campus. By definition, they are correct. A location like XCel isn't the home ice for Minnesota, UMD, SCSU, or any other Minnesota based D1 team. It certainly isn't any more of a home ice than Detroit area locations would be for Michigan.

The distance factor being used by Packer as a point of contention is splitting hairs to a large degree. As if XCel isn't neutral because it is about 10 or 15 minutes from Minnesota's campus but a trip from Ann Arbor to Detroit (a city where many Michigan alums probably live anyway) is apparently like going from Earth to Mars.

Whether ten minutes from campus or one hour from campus, there isn't a hell of a lot of difference in regard to what is being dicussed. Let's not be a total hypocrite by acting as if there is a vast difference. Its not like this is the 1800s and people have to take a day long trip via covered wagon to travel 40 to 50 miles away (well, they might travel that way in North Dakota). A Frozen Four at Ford Field is hardly a massive trip from Ann Arbor. It may not be in Ann Arbor itself but let's not kid ourselves into acting like there is some major difference.

Eric J. Burton said...

Anon, I was actually the one that suggested on Aug 29th that the Xcel energy center is not a neutral site.
Seriously, someone needs to tell Hockey Committee Chairman Joel Maturi, who I might add is from the University of Minnesota, that the Xcell energy center in St. Paul, Minnesota is not a neutral site. The Xcel energy center is 7 miles from the campus of the University of Minnesota. You are going to be hosting a game in your back yard

Actually I am wrong; According to Google it is 7.8 mi – about 14 mins.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Maturi may be the committee chair but he hardly has unilateral power to decide what is done and what is not. It is decided by a committee of 12 people made up of hockey programs from the east and west. Maturi only has one vote which is no greater than anybody else.

Maybe critics like Goon should do their homework first so they don't look like complete fools when hinting at impropriety.

Eric J. Burton said...

Anon, why are you defending the Xcel Energy Center bid do much? It is what it is; to suggest that it is a neutral site is silly.

I have been to every final five since the WCHA moved to the Xcel energy center and to suggest that it is a neutral site is wrong, ask Maine what they thought of the Xcel energy center in 2002. There was a comment by the Maine coach about the Xcel not being neutral. That coach is right.

Eric J. Burton said...

Anon, to suggest that the Maturi doesn't have any influence on the selection process is wrong.

Packer487 sounds like you have a rodent problem on your blog.

This guys is obviously a Gopher fan spitting out word for word the crap that most Gopher fans spit out... The same old crap... the Xcel energy Center isn't a home game. We hear the same crap year after year.

Packer487 said...

You really don't see a difference between a venue that is within walking distance of campus and a venue that's 50 miles (Joe Louis) or an hour and a half (The Palace) away?

Michigan would have an advantage if they were hosting at one of those venues. It would be a pro-Michigan crowd, no doubt (unless MSU was also in that region, then it would be closer to 50-50). I'm not claiming the Joe or the Palace would somehow be "neutral", but it's also not exactly the same as comparing it to the XCel Center. Especially when the most vocal fans are probably the students, and a pretty fair portion don't have cars...

Then again, I wouldn't try to claim that the Joe was a neutral venue, and yet the NCAA is trying to call the XCel Center a neutral building.

And do you honestly think that even though Maturi has a single vote, he doesn't wield any influence over the voters? Come on.

This whole thing is stupid. Michigan's going to start bidding the Joe/Palace. Wisconsin will start bidding Milwaukee (or the Alliant Center), Sparty should start bidding Van Andel instead of Western doing it, if they're smart.

Teams will still have the home crowd advantage, just not the home rink advantage. Maybe that's better. Attendance will be assured as long as the host school makes the tourney, and the opponents have a little less to bitch about. That's all well and good.

And if that's the position, then make it known. The NCAA said last year they didn't want to close the door on campus sites. If the door is closed, then tell the schools to stop bidding their home rink. Clearly there weren't a lot of attractive "neutral ice" bids with the locations that were picked.

I'm also curious as to why Minnesota--after bidding and receiving a regional at Mariucci--would all of a sudden start bidding the XCel Center. I don't suppose their AD, who happens to be the President of the Committee, had anything to do with that decision to start bidding a neutral rink, just in case the committee happened to decide to move away from the campus sites....

Shady, shady, shady...