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College Hockey:
32 NCAA tournament events up for bid soon around college hockey

If you’re waiting to hear where the 2015 Frozen Four will be, you’re in for quite a wait.

Site selection announcements for NCAA events from 2015 to 2018 are scheduled for December, according to the web site for the coordinated, NCAA-wide bid process.

That means the 2015 regional and Frozen Four hosts will have only 15 to 16 months before players are taking the ice for those events. To me, that suggests a greater likelihood of familiar venues that season, places that have been already seen successful weekends.

More information about what the NCAA is looking for will come out June 17, when bid specifications are released. Bids are accepted from July 15 to Sept. 16.

The NCAA is advertising for four seasons of postseason sites in men’s and women’s hockey, Division I and Division III. That means there are 32 openings to be filled across NCAA hockey.

In Division I men’s hockey, some issues connected to the future of the regionals need to be addressed first.

Earlier this month, the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee heard ideas from coaches on changes to improve the regional atmosphere, but there was no consensus. The movement to return NCAA games to campus sites has its supporters but there also has been a good amount of pushback.

The 2014 men’s Frozen Four is in Philadelphia, with regionals in Bridgeport, Conn.; Worcester, Mass.; Cincinnati; and St. Paul, Minn.

While we wait to see which venues step forward as bidders, here are some of the details that the NCAA has already posted:

• The minimum venue capacity for Division I regionals is 5,000, while it is 3,500 for the women’s Frozen Four and 3,000 for the Division III men’s championship. The men’s Frozen Four also will have a minimum (it has been 15,000) but that detail isn’t part of the bid brochure.

• The men’s Frozen Four bid requires a minimum of 2,454 hotel room nights, 573 on the peak night. The women’s Frozen Four needs 682 room nights (168 at peak), while the D-III men’s championship needs 296 (85 at peak) and the D-III women’s championship needs 305 (85 at peak).

• The men’s Frozen Four is scheduled for April 9 and 11 in 2015, April 7 and 9 in 2016, April 6 and 8 in 2017 and April 5 and 7 in 2018.

• The women’s Frozen Four and the Division III championships all are scheduled for the same weekend in the four years covered by the bid process: March 20-22, 2015; March 18-20, 2016; March 17-19, 2017; and March 16-18, 2018. Women’s Frozen Four games are Friday and Sunday; D-III games are Friday and Saturday.

Where would you like to see these tournaments go? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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