The NCAA just announced the next four Frozen Four locations and the NCAA regional locations for the next two years.
And Fargo’s Scheel’s Arena will be the site of the 2015 West Regional.
Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reported that North Dakota is hosting the regional and worked on the bid in conjunction with people from both Ralph Englestad and Scheel’s arenas.
I believe (though I’m not certain) that this is the closest a potential regional site has ever been to Bemidji (aside, of course, from the Division II and NAIA years when Bemidji and the John Glas Field House hosted the final four and championships… I’m talking D-I).
Assuming, of course, that BSU makes the tournament in 2015, I don’t think much effort would be made in to keeping the Beavers close to home. UND would automatically be placed there as a host and only the top four seeds are placed as close to home as a point.
Either way: It’s nice to see a regional in our area. Usually the closest is Minneapolis. Duluth still hasn’t gotten a regional yet, and UND will probably never be able to hold one at the Ralph (gee, I wonder why…) so Fargo is a good fit.
Now BSU fans just need to hope the Beavers can get a tournament bid and stay close to home next season.
Also interesting: The NCAA awarded South Bend, Ind., with the Midwest Regional. It will be at Notre Dame’s new on-campus rink, which I hear is beautiful (and looks weird on TV because it doesn’t have a single advertisement on the boards). But the NCAA has previously had a policy about not using on-campus rinks for regional sites (or at least, using the “home arenas” of a particular school). It could open the door for places like Mankato, St. Cloud, Ann Arbor or Madison to (maybe, possibly) host someday.
Looking past 2015, the NCAA also awarded a 2016 regional to St. Paul as well as the 2018 Frozen Four. Chicago will also host its first-ever Frozen Four in 2017.
Finally, the NCAA also released the list of the next four women’s Frozen Fours. Minnesota is hosting twice (because of course the Gophers need that extra advantage). Interestingly, St. Charles, Mo. — home of BSU opponent Lindenwood — will host in 2017.
NCAA MEN’S TOURNAMENT
2015 NCAA regionals
EAST: Providence, R.I.
NORTHEAST: Manchester, N.H.
MIDWEST: South Bend, Ind.
FROZEN FOUR — Boston
2016 NCAA regionals
EAST: Albany, N.Y.
NORTHEAST: Worcester, Mass.
WEST: St. Paul
FROZEN FOUR — Tampa, Fla.
2017 FROZEN FOUR — Chicago
2018 FROZEN FOUR — St. Paul
NCAA WOMEN’S FROZEN FOURS
2015 — Minneapolis
2016 — Durham, N.H.
2017 — St. Charles, Mo.
2018 — Minneapolis
Check out the Grand Forks Herald for more on this story as it develops… and we’ll be putting all their reporting in the paper and on our website as well (hey, being owned by the same newspaper company has its perks… we get to pool resources with one of the top college hockey guys in the biz).