The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four has sold out for the fourth consecutive year. The 56th annual event will be held at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York, April 10 and 12, 2003. It marks the sixth time in the last seven years that the event has sold out.
“We are obviously thrilled that the sellout streak has continued,” said Jack McDonald, director of athletics at Quinnipiac University and chair of the Division I men’s ice hockey committee. “With the attendance records that were set last year and the early sellout this year, it is obvious that college hockey continues to grow at an incredible rate.”
This will be the 10th time the semifinals and finals have been in the state of New York, the second most of any state. The state of Colorado has hosted the Men’s Frozen Four 14 times. The MAAC, Canisius and Niagara are co-hosts of
the 2003 event.
“The MAAC is proud to continue its successful relationship with the city of Buffalo and the HSBC Arena,” said Richard Ensor, commissioner of the MAAC. “We’re looking forward to the 2003 Men’s Frozen Four being another first-class event that will showcase the finest in college hockey in a great hockey venue and city.”
For the second straight year, a priority system was used during the sale and distribution of tickets. Priority was based on the number of ticket purchases made during the last six years, in ranking order (six years worth of purchases, five years, etc.). Seat locations also are arranged on a priority basis.
“The Frozen Four has become one of the biggest events in college athletics, and we’re excited about hosting it in a city that is very passionate about hockey,” said Tim Dillon, athletic director at Canisius. “We’re also expecting around 10,000 out-of-town fans so it’s an excellent opportunity for Western New York and Southern Ontario to be the center of college hockey for a weekend.”
Buffalo is hoping to build off a successful 2002 Frozen Four, which was held in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the Xcel Energy Center. Attendance records were set in 2002 for a single game (19,324 for the championship game), and three-game total (57,957). HSBC Arena, the home of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, has a capacity of 18,600.
“The awareness and coverage of college men’s ice hockey will be at an all-time high in the Greater Buffalo region, from the opening of the season to this outstanding culminating event, the Men’s Frozen Four in April,” Mike Hermann, athletic director at Niagara. “The great excitement demonstrated for the sport of college ice hockey will be contagious, and I’m confident our terrific hockey community will catch the enthusiasm and will enjoy the event. Most importantly for those of us here, I expect the Frozen Four to have tremendous spillover benefits for Western New York college hockey in years to come.”
The Men’s Frozen Four will be held at the FleetCenter in Boston in 2004, Value City Arena on the campus of Ohio State University in 2005 and the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2006.