As noted in this morning’s Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Sports Commission has put in a bid to the NCAA to host the Frozen Four at Sprint Center.
I know what your first thought is: No one in Kansas City will go to the Frozen Four because we’re so wrapped up in March Madness around here.
Well, if you think that, you, my friend, are a moron. Here are the dates of the last three Frozen Fours:
April 7 and 9, 2011
April 5 and 7, 2012
April 11 and 13, 2013
This year the Frozen Four will be in Philadelphia on April 10 and 12.
You see what I did there? I used facts to dispute a stupid statement. The Frozen Four happens AFTER the NCAA Basketball Championship. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, the timing for the Frozen Four in Kansas City is actually very good. KU and K-State’s basketball seasons are over (Mizzou’s is, for the most part, over in about mid-February and UMKC’s is over before it starts). My joke in the previous post about the Royals being 51/2 games out by the second week of April doesn’t really hold water anymore, I guess. I hope David Glass doesn’t find a way to screw that up.
I would say there are some concerns about the miniscule attendance for the Ice Breaker tournament in 2012. However, comparing potential attendance at a Frozen Four, in the second week of April, involving four teams fighting for the NCAA title to a poorly marketed, early season hockey tournament on a day when KU, KSU and MU all had football games, isn’t really a fair comparison.
KC has bid from the Frozen Four in the past.
An important thing to remember is that the NCAA has expanded the footprint of the NCAA Hockey Championship. The Frozen Four has been held in Tampa and St. Louis. Neither of those cities have NCAA Division I hockey programs. This Fall the NCAA will choose the next cycle of Frozen Fours. The NCAA sets sites in four year blocks, so they are looking at 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Who are we up against? Well, I’m not sure. Here’s what I think. The NCAA will award the Frozen Four to two Eastern cities, one Midwestern city and one city in the West.
Looking at the history, I’d say Boston, the Hub of NCAA Hockey, will get one of the four years. Boston hasn’t hosted a Frozen Four since 2004.
I think Buffalo may be on the list, too. The Sabres owner, Terry Pegula, is very involved in NCAA hockey. He’s the benefactor behind Penn State’s move to NCAA Division I hockey. Penn State’s new arena is The Pegula Ice Arena. He’s also put up his own money for HARBORcenter, a mixed use development across from First Niagara Center, which includes a two-sheet ice facility. Canisius’ Division I hockey program will play at HARBORcenter. I think the NCAA will reward his commitment to NCAA hockey. Buffalo last hosted the Frozen Four in 2003.
The Twin Cities hosts the Frozen Four about every eight years, so they are probably out this round. The Twin Cities’ next date will be 2019.
I’m going to take a guess and say the Frozen Four returns to California and one bid goes to San Jose.
My final prediction:
and a toss up between Nashville, Kansas City and Chicago.
Chicago has never hosted the Frozen Four. I think the Windy City is the stiffest competition and, if they submitted a bid, I’d guess Chicago will get it.
Want to know more about NCAA Hockey? Here’s a great post.