Friday, March 21, 2008

Mavericks-Gophers at the X

Next Nov. 1, that is. 

The WCHA, Minnesota State and Minnesota Duluth announced today that they are moving a pair of regular-season games to the Xcel Energy Center for what is currently being called the State of Minnesota College Hockey Showcase (they're looking for a new name). Duluth will host St. Cloud State in the first game, and Minnesota State will host Minnesota in the nightcap.

MSU and UMD are splitting the profits from the event, with the Xcel getting a cut and the WCHA getting broadcasting rights.

The event will be a home game for the Mavericks, meaning the Gophers will play just one regular-season game in Mankato next season.

In 2004, Minnesota State moved one of its regular-season games against Minnesota to the Xcel Energy Center and drew a crowd of more than 17,000.

That game made more than $130,000 for Minnesota State. The proceeds of this venture will be split between MSU and UMD. The Xcel Energy Center will also get a cut, while the WCHA will get broadcast and advertising rights.

"I think we're in a position to have the same kind of financial windfall," Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman said.

Two-game ticket package prices will be $40, $35 and $30. No single-game tickets will be sold.

The last time Minnesota State moved a home game to St. Paul, it was met with backlash in the Mankato community. Buisman said this time there have been preliminary discussions with boosters and business leaders that didn't take place before.

"We're bringing the financial aspect out to the forefront," Buisman said. "I think people understand when they realize that the money made is reinvested into the hockey program. And the long-term goal is to improve the program. … 

"We're a program that ranks eighth, ninth or 10th in terms of resources in this league, but people have expectations to outperform our resources."


Anonymous said...
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Anthony said...

shane, will season tickets holders recieve tickets to this game and if not, will season tickets be cheaper since the game is excluded from the package?

Doug said...

How many of these "home" games at the X with 19,000 Gopher fans will we have to take part in until we have the "resources" we need? Buisman has no idea what he is doing, and this program will not get over the hump until he figures it out. The Mavericks are destined for mediocrity until they get some help establishing themselves.

Chupacabra said...

Doug, I feel your pain and I couldn't agree more. But in this case, I don't think it was all MSU on this one. The WCHA has wanted this for a long time to sort of mirror what Boston does with their 'Beanpot' tourney. To be part of this will be a big deal--think of how much a team like Bemidji State would want to take part in this? Hey, I'd be more than happy to take the money from a Gopher fan if it helps our program!! It's always about the $$--think the WCHA holds the Final Five in St. Paul for any other reason?

MAVFAN said...

Yes, this is probably great for the program, but there should be some fairness in terms of season ticket holders getting a discount either on tickets for this game, or on a season ticket package. We heard the same story the last time a home game was taken away. Where did that $130,000 go? If season ticket holders don't get something, then we should be provided a full account of a) how much money the program did get as a result of this and b) what is going to be done with the money.

Shane Frederick said...

According to the press release, each team has been allotted a block of tickets that will be made available to their season ticket holders on a priority basis, and tickets for the general public will go on sale Oct. 1.

I'm not sure if that means it will be part of the season-ticket package or if it will be offered to season ticket holders first with the game being eliminated from the home package.

One thing I did not mention in the story: The Wild worked with the NHL to switch around its schedule so it could free up the date for the WCHA. They seem to like this idea a lot.

As for the finances/resources angle, stay tuned.