With Monday's announcement that the NCHC will hold its championship weekend at Target Center in Minneapolis for the next five years and the Big Ten's decision to split their first four tournaments between the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, the WCHA is left as the only conference still looking for a postseason home following the big shakeup coming a year from now.
The WCHA will hold three days of meetings in Detroit starting today and is expected to discuss the issue. Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman doesn't expect an announcement to come directly out of the meeting but the plan is to get closer to a decision.
"We have to consider what's best for the league," Buisman said.
A lot of things need to be considered, Buisman said, including proper size of venue, finances, fan and athlete experience and competition, among others.
"The biggest challenge might be trying to rectify all of those factors," he said. "Some of them are competing priorities. How do we weigh those priorities? We haven't stumbled on a solution that balances all of those qualities."
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Considering the size and popularity of the teams leaving the league as well as the geography of the revamped WCHA, there indeed seems to be no ideal location for the Final Five — or whatever the tournament will be called.
Should the league try to stay big at the start and consider going to the X and the Joe in opposite years of the Big Ten? Should it look at smaller venues in centralized, neutral sites like Duluth, Green Bay, Minneapolis, Milwaukee or the Chicago area? What about home sites, whether they're top seeds or pre-determined arenas?
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Buisman, MSU President Richard Davenport, coach Mike Hastings and former coach/special assistant to the president Troy Jutting are attending the meetings.
Other items on the agenda include finalizing the league's first regular-season schedule, travel subsidies with the Alaska schools, postseason tournament format (including first round), the future of the league office and branding and marketing.