Jackson complains about size of crowd and conditions of the ice. Sometimes it is best to keep those thoughts to yourself. Number of people had nothing to do with the amount of goals scored. Comments disappointed me for in the past he took the high road.
More than 1/2 the seats were empty
The crowd was undeniably sparse when the game started, but started to fill in as the UNH crowd started to arrive as the second period started. I wouldn't have pegged the crowd to be as small as you say, but no where near the 8600+ reported in the official line score for both games. That would have put the crowd at about the same size as the final, which really didn't seem to be the case.
USCHO shows the same 8,049 for both games.
It doesn't seem unreasonable that 3,000 could have watched one game and 4,000 could have watched the other, plus maybe another 1,000 who stayed for both. You'd never have a crowd that was much over half full, but the number of tickets sold would suggest otherwise.
Unless the organizers think the majority of fans are going to stay for six hours and watch both games, this would seem to be another argument in favor of moving at least the first round to a home campus. You could probably draw at least 6,000 at most of the universities. I don't know what the population of, say, Schenectady is like, so maybe this wouldn't help in every case, but it's probably worth a look.
If the ticket was an all session one (both days) you were counted Saturday and Sunday. If it was a single day pass, you are counted for that day only. There are a whole bunch of Notre Dame fans (myself among them) who will be counted in today's crowd that won't be anywhere near the Huntington Center.
Also you could not draw 6000 at most campus sites. Half the arenas in the NCAA hold fewer than 4000, with many in the 2000 range. 35 total hold fewer than 5000 and only 10 hold 6000 or more. Even Yost holds fewer than 6000 after their latest renovation.
This year 2 of the top 8 (Quin and Miami) and last year 3 (Union, Ferris and Miami again) have rinks that seat far fewer than 4000. With some schools on break, Easter, or who knows what other excuses many of the first round games would occur with students sparse in numbers. I'm not saying home ice for top seeds wouldn't be a better environment (obviously it would be), I'm just noting that it would hardly mean large sellout crowds of 5 or 6000 or more at every game.
FWIW, I do believe the absolutely horrendous crowd in Grand Rapids, despite the presence of two of the sports most marquee schools, is going to be the death knell for the regional system as we see it now. Notre Dame's voice carries a lot of weight in college sports and right now that voice is pushing for a return to campus sites for early round games.
Locations and arenas have not be awarded for 2015 yet, and I look for the tourney to return to campus sites for the 1st round and quarters in a best two of three format, similar to what we had from 1989 through 1992. Look for the griping about the PWR to be ratcheted up even further among teams seeded around 9th-12th. People complain heavily about having to face a 2 seed they think is demonstrably weaker than they are despite the PWR. Imagine what folks will be saying when they have to face that team on their own ice instead of a neutral surface 200 miles from their campus.
Thanks for the info.
Edit to add: There's just about nobody sitting outside the blue lines in Toledo right now (secondhand info from a buddy at the arena). If the reported attendance yesterday was 2,988, then it will be interesting to see what they report for this game. I suspect that a good chunk of today's attendance consists of folks like yourself who hold tickets but aren't there.
which wasn't the case at least until Friday AM. Up until then, they were only selling tickets for the complete tourney at $77/ from what the box office told me. I know that single game tickets were for sale Saturday AM.
For the Toledo regional, you could pay $53 for one day or $77 for the whole weekend, but you couldn't buy tickets to a particular game on Saturday (which would have been Friday in the northeast case). If you bought a ticket, you got both games.
So whether someone bought a one-day ticket or a weekend pass, he would be counted in the attendance figures for every game that his ticket covered. Someone who was only going to watch the UNH game was thus counted as part of the first game's attendance, even if he wasn't there.
[edit for typo]
Bad timing for Jackson to be the messenger, but there are a lot of college hockey fans in this country who would have paid a reasonable price to watch these games live, yet very few of them live near Toledo, and thanks to WM and MI being out, not enough of them live near Grand Rapids either.
Somebody needs to explain why the NCAA hockey first round warrants pre-determined regionals. This is not a big money, must-see Stubhub event even in the best years when you have MN in St. Paul or MI in Detroit. Other than D-1 men's hoops, I believe the NCAA uses home hosts for many of their early round competitions. Why not home hosts for college hockey?
Maybe the NCAA needs to rethink all of its tournaments, as even their flagship men's hoops tourney has had attendance falloff. It seems they are randomly selecting sites and setting prices, without understanding the who, where and how much of their audience - essential information in professional sports management.
He made similar comments about the CCHA tournament after ND won - about how it was a tough draw the last few years and unfortunate that the game was played in a half empty building.
I don't think he is blaming the loss on the lack of crowd energy, etc. More broadly, he's venting about ND, and other teams, playing important hockey games in dead arenas (with shitty ice). He's also taking a shot at ESPN regarding the commercial breaks, which I can get behind.
learn how to prepare your team to WIN games in dead arenas. Last time I checked, someone has come out of one of these West or Midwestern regionals every year and advanced to a FF. Whatever point he is trying to make, it comes across as bad form and sour grapes. The MSU coach praised Toledo and BGSU (the host school) and his team had a similar showing on the ice.
The facts are people do not want to put the time, effort or $$$ anymore in attending one of these events if it requires a little extra to do so. The Eastern half draws well because there are almost always at least two teams and sometimes three within an hour of the arenas. Both Providence and Manchester had two teams much closer then Toledo did, and another about as far away as Miami and Notre Dame were. Everyone knew going in that Toledo (and Grand Rapids as well) were going to be graveyards.
I'm not saying the system isn't in need of tweeks, or perhaps even a whole new format. But format and dead buildings are not why Notre Dame craps their breezers whenever they are the 1 seed in a region.
Yes, it would give the Gophers an advantage. However, more people care about college hockey within 90 minutes of the Twin Cities than any other place outside of the east coast.
A St. Paul regional would have the following teams within a four hour drive: MN, UMD, MSU Mankato, SCSU, Wisconsin and North Dakota. That's 3 major hockey powers as well as a set of teams that regularly participates in the tournament.
Until Toledo and Grand Rapids can demonstrate that they can put butts in seats, they should be excluded from hosting events.
just how well. Last years, featuring both Minnesota and St Paul, failed to sell enough tickets to open the upper deck. In 2010 the regional there drew even less. I constantly hear how every regional held in the Twin Cities will sell out, especially if one of the big three WCHA fanbases is involved. It's not true. Other than for one or two marguee events in a sport (such as the FF or the WCHA Final Five in hockey) live sports just ain't the attraction they used to be. The only sport that has yet to succumb to this trend is the NFL.
despite its location relative to HE teams. If the last two regionals here are any indication, a strong HE presence with one of those teams being UNH is a requirement. I shudder to think what would have happened if the final was Wisc and DU.
Must have been watching game tape.
Campus sites would probably make sense, as would playing 2 of 3 instead of 1 and done. But the half empty arenas are partially the result of the price. I sat on the blue line at Joe Louis last weekend for $25. Better arena, better tournament, and plenty of beer vendors, for half the price.
to a regional again. Even the last one at the X in St Paul was half full both nights even with North Dakota and Minnie in the house. I would guess next year in Cincinnati and St Paul will be the same thing.
Game between UML and UNH played to almost a full house at Verizon Wireless. Paper said the attendance was 8357 and it pretty much looked that way. Two local teams, all HE regional final was the formula. Good thing both WCHA teams bowed out as the place would probably have been half empty as neither Wisc or Denver had any following here.
in my book and is a better crowd than the AHL Monarchs draw here. The streets had plenty of fans from both schools and while the UML crowd was in the minority, they were by far the loudest and most active through a really good hockey game.
tickets would have been readily available both at the door and on the streets. Neither session came within 1000 of a sellout, and Friday was nearly 2000 short. A good crowd, but far from sold out.
Basketball has a similar problem.
And St Cloud played in front of the same dead environment we did -- except we had 3 times as many fans and a band.
Campus sites are great, right? Well how about having to go to Yost or Cady or Conte or the NHC or the Tsongas Center based on the flawed reasoning of the pairwise system? I can imagine the howls of the conspiracy theory crowd the first time we play a 2nd round match at Mariucci and have to deal with B1G refs.
What ails this program (if indeed it was anything more than just playing a better team -- and for the record I DO believe there is more to it than just that) will not be cured by improved atmosphere or campus sites. Our crowd doesn't do enough to provide the margin of victory anyway. We've hardly proven to be a juggernaut home team in the nearly two full seasons of play at the CFIA.