USCHO is reporting the following change to the DIII championship, something that has long been debated and considered:
The NCAA championship games of men’s Division I and Division III will take place in the same location and on the same weekend in 2014 if NCAA committees sign off.
The Division III men’s hockey committee has approved the 2014 finale to be played at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on Friday, April 11 — the day between the Division I semifinals and championship game.
The move needs to be OKed by the Division III Championships Committee and the Division III Management Council, which next meets Oct. 15-16. The budgetary impact is expected to be one of the top questions from those groups.
Organizers with the Philadelphia bid have already signed off on adding the game to the 2014 schedule, and plans call for adding it to the bid specifications for future Frozen Fours.
It would be a big change for the D-III tournament, which, until 2008, had been almost exclusively played on campus sites. Lake Placid, N.Y., was the site of the semifinals and finals in four of the last five seasons and is scheduled to host again in 2013.
A lot of DIII enthusiasts are excited about the potential change in DIII hockey culture. I'm not. Whether at Lake Placid or campus sites, the DIII championship has always been accessible and affordable for hardcore hockey fans like me, the student bodies of the affected schools, and, more importantly, the parents of the competing students. That all changes with the hook-up with DI. Now the Big Game will be held at big cities, destinations that are expensive to get to and expensive to stay at.
For many of us, this change will inhibit, if not prevent, our ongoing attendance at the Championship. I know I for one won't be going to Phillie or other metropolises like Denver or Tampa.
That said, the 2013 weekend in Lake Placid may be my last DIII Championship....unless of course, Brockport makes it to one.