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  1. #1
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    Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    In some recent posts on this message board, people are talking about bringing back the baseball program to ISU, as the ISU Athletic Dept., probably, is getting up to ten more million dollars per year with the new TV deal through the reformed Big 12 conference. I'm doubtful that baseball will be brought back -- why? Here are my reasons:

    • The collegiate baseball season starts in February when there still is a strong possibility of below zero temperatures in Ames. Yes, February is still the dead of Winter here in Iowa. Not practical to play baseball here during Winter weather. The NCAA isn't about to change when the season starts so long as the southern teams have their way.
    • ISU does not have the facilities to be competitive in baseball and would have to massively spend money in upgrading them.
    • The ISU baseball team never had the attendance it needed to be a viable varsity sport. Most crowds at Cap Timm Field were, at most, two or three dozen rarely breaking a hundred. The Ames High baseball team frequently draws larger crowds at Brookside Park. BTW, ISU attendance for baseball games was free of charge.

    Here are my reasons why upgrading the Cyclone ice hockey team to varsity status makes more sense:

    • Iowa is a cold weather state and the October through March season coincides with our cold weather time.
    • ISU has facilities in place to be a competitive hockey program. Hilton Coliseum is a fantastic place to see a hockey game. I know this from personal experience as I watched hockey games at Hilton when the ACHA championships were held there some years back. The Ames/ISU Ice Arena offers a ready made practice facility. All there needs to be added is a dedicated weight room at the ice arena, and offices in the Athletic Dept. office space in the Jacobsen Building.
    • For a club program, the ISU hockey team has fantastic attendance almost always exceeding 1,000 and often filling the ice arena to capacity of about 2,100. If the games are held at Hilton, I'm sure attendance will only go up as other marquee programs play ISU such as Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    The likely association (conference) the Cyclone hockey team will end up in will be the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) if upgraded. This league's current membership comprises of:

    • University of Minnesota
    • University of Wisconsin
    • U of Minn, Duluth
    • Minnesota State University
    • University of North Dakota
    • St. Cloud State University
    • Denver University
    • University of Alaska at Anchorage
    • Colorado College
    • Michigan Technical University (who dat?)

    For most of these teams, the ice hockey program is their pride and joy, so they will bring fairly large followings to Ames for home games. ISU owns a wonderful reputation in ice hockey thanks to Dr. Alan Murdoch, AKA "Dr. Hockey", the hockey team coaching staff, and the cooperation of the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau. Yeah, the team would have to travel to Anchorage, Alaska once a year, otherwise, with so many teams in neighboring states, travel should not be a problem. With all these positives vis-a-vis baseball, I really believe ice hockey is the sport to add if the ISU Athletic Dept. should choose to expand.

    Still, the hockey team will need help in reaching varsity status from sources other than the Athletic Dept. Large donors will be needed in order to show there is viable support for a varsity hockey program. Instead of trying to field a professional hockey team in Central Iowa, why not take advantage of Iowans' love of college sports and fund the upgrade of the Cyclone hockey program? I would have no problem trading some games with Wells Fargo Arena as home ice instead of Hilton if that is what would be needed in order for this upgrade to happen. There is an already established passionate following for Cyclone hockey and, if they are successful, that following can only expand. Otherwise, the hockey association in Des Moines could just donate the money and take the tax break. The ice hockey team is one the few championship traditions at ISU. Why not feature this tradition?


    Last edited by drednot57; 06-24-2010 at 02:22 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    Would love this. A major drive would need to be put in place to make this reality.



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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    You didn't mention what I consider one of the best reasons that hockey can be successful and Iowa State: recruiting. There are many prominent junior teams in the area that can be tapped for talent including the Des Moines Buccaneers, Sioux City Musketeers, Cedar Rapids Roughriders, Waterloo Blackhawks, and Coulee Region Chill (formerly North Iowa Outlaws).

    I don't think Hilton is a long-term viable option based on the number of teams that rely on the space; however, it would definitely make a great venue for rivalry games (or maybe an outdoor game at Jack Trice?). I believe ultimately Iowa State would construct an arena like the Goggin Ice Center at Miami University ($36 million, dual-sheet, standing capacity of near 4000) if hockey became a Division I sport.


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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    I always thought the Armory was dark and dingy enough to be a great place for hockey.



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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    One drawback is, no beer sales once it's not a club sport.


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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbahotep View Post
    One drawback is, no beer sales once it's not a club sport.
    Unfortunately, part of the agreement for building the Ames/ISU Ice Arena was no beer sales, so that's no difference.


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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    Many people need to slow down with this $10 million TV contract increase. Let's actually get the money before we start spending it. Personally, I'll believe the increase in revenue when it hits the AD's pocket, and until then I'll believe it's nothing more than smoke and mirrors thrown out to keep the conference together.



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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    Quote Originally Posted by Haverhill View Post
    I always thought the Armory was dark and dingy enough to be a great place for hockey.

    That would be really cool to see a game there.



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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    For comaprission here are some of the seating capacities for various arenas in NCAA D1 hockey:

    Minnesota- Mariucci Arena (10,000)
    Wisconsin- Kohl Center (15,327)
    North Dakota- Ralph Englestad Arena (11,500)
    Nebraska-Omaha- Qwest Center (14,700)
    Denver- Magnes Arena (6,026)
    Notre Dame- Joyce Center (2,713) [The new Notre Dame Ice Arena is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011 with a capacity of 5,000]
    Michigan- Yost Arena (6,637)
    Michigan State- Munn Ice Arena (6,470)
    Miami Univerity [OH]- Goggin Ice Center (2,200)
    Ohio State- OSU Ice Arena (1,200)
    Boston College- Conte Forum (7,884)
    Boston University- Agganis Arena (6,300)
    Maine- Alford Arena (5,641)



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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    MAJOR upgrades and repairs would need to be done to have hockey in Hilton.


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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    fact of the matter is, that hockey is not a sport played much in Iowa High Schools (if at all)
    Both sports are not going to be revenue makers, as we all know that Football and Mens basketball are the only sports that make revenue (women's bball might make a little)
    There is no way that hockey gets brought back over baseball, there just isn't enough following and liking of the sport throughout the state to make it possible.



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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    Iowa State needs to put any additional money it may receive from a new TV deal directly into the current sports and current facilities.

    Adding sports -- be it baseball or hockey -- is a bad idea when there is laundry list of higher-priority needs. JP has repeatedly stated that ISU won't add any new sports (or revive old ones) until all the current ones are consistently performing at a high level.



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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    Does North Dakota play in Grand Forks? If so, I've seen that facility and holy ****, it's nice.


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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    Nobody else in the Big 12 plays hockey. Everybody else in the Big 12 plays baseball. Wholeheartedly disagree here.

    That said, doing anything of the sort in regard to either sport is not a good idea until we get ourselves off using state money for the athletic department and get our other programs better facilities.




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    Re: Upgrading the Hockey Program Makes More Sense Than Bringing Back Baseball

    The chances of hockey getting bumped up are the same as the chances that baseball is brought back. Zero.



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