It’s back to the drawing board for Yale University officials, who thought they had already sewn up the bid to host the 2004 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four for nearby New Haven Coliseum.
But, during the summer, New Haven Coliseum officials made overtures about closing down the building over economic problems. On Aug. 31, the doors officially closed.
Yale and the ECAC would still like to host the tournament, but now must find another practical venue that’s also up to NCAA standards. The NCAA has given them until Oct. 10 to report back. At that time, the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Committee will decide whether Yale’s new bid is good enough, or whether the bid process should be completely re-opened.
“The bid went to the host institution, and it’s up to them now to work out the facilities issue,” said Troy Arthur, the NCAA’s assistant director of championships. “Whether we’re re-opening the bid, or going with an alternative site, all those questions still need to be answered.”
Arthur said no is to blame for the situation.
“It caught a lot of people by surprise,” said Arthur. “The host, Yale, the ECAC, I don’t think anyone saw this as a potential issue. They’ve been very good about staying in contact and what their progress is.”
The state of Connecticut has three other viable buildings. The arena in Bridgeport, about 20 miles southwest of New Haven, is about a year old, and houses the American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Hartford, about 45 miles north of New Haven, houses the Wolfpack of the AHL. And there’s a new arena in Uncasville, Conn., at the Mohegan Sun Indian reservation and casino 50 miles east, but it’s unlikely the NCAA would allow the event to be held at a casino.