The fate of the 2004 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four, scheduled for April 9-11 in New Haven, Conn., remains in limbo, three weeks after the original site closed its doors.
The announcement that the New Haven Coliseum was closing came Aug. 31. Most recently, the United Hockey League’s New Haven Knights played there, but the team folded. The Coliseum also housed an Arena Football2 team.
There has not been an announcement of an alternative site for the tournament; the NCAA’s web site still lists New Haven as the site.
Yale, which lobbied hard to host the tournament, was left in an embarassing situation and stands to lose the most from the arena’s closing. The men’s hockey team moved some games there in recent years, including three last season. One, against Boston College, drew over 6,000 fans, and this season’s opener against North Dakota was scheduled to be played in the Coliseum.
Also, the men’s basketball team were able to host a first-round game in the National Invitational Tournament because of the ability to play in the larger New Haven Coliseum.
“If it works for the tournament, Yale will stay involved if the NCAA committee wants us to,” said Yale associate athletic director Wayne Dean to the New Haven Register. “We worked a long time for the bid and we’re very disappointed. It was a great community endeavor.”
The New Haven Register reports that Yale athletic director Tom Beckett entertained the notion of the school becoming a partner in the building’s operation in order to save it, but the school president was not in favor of the idea.
“Certainly if Yale and the city and the state combined their resources and put money into the building and fixed it up, it would have been a great community outreach effort on the part of Yale,” hockey coach Tim Taylor said to the Register.
The 2003 Women’s Frozen Four is set for the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center in Duluth, Minn., March 21 and 23.