Last week, Tom Reale of College Hockey News ran an article discussing the next round of host cities bidding for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Frozen Fours. Host cities reportedly placing bids for this cycle of Frozen Fours include Buffalo (site of the 2003 Frozen Four), St. Louis (2007), Denver (2008) and Washington D.C. (2009). In addition, newcomers Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Omaha are also planning bids. Surprising absent from the list of potential host cities? Boston.
"To date, there has been no official confirmation of a bid pending from the city of Boston. The then-Fleet Center was a somewhat unexpected snub in 2005 and was thought at the time to be an early favorite for this round of bids."
Is it getting harder for host cities to host the event multiple times in a short time frame? Perhaps. Reale does mention that the time period between a single city hosting the Frozen Four has widened since 1992. Milwaukee's span of four years (1993 and 1997), Boston's span of six years (1998 and 2004) and St. Paul's span of seven years (1994 and 2002) are the three shortest time periods between host cities hosting a Frozen Four.
However, it is not as if Boston last hosted the Frozen Four a few years ago. The city of Boston and the Fleet Center last hosted the event in 2004, an event which saw two Hockey East programs - Boston College and Maine - make the final four. That was also the last year that a Hockey East program hosted the event. Before 2004, Hockey East also hosted the Frozen Four in 2000 (Providence) and in 1998 (Boston).
If Boston isn't planning on bidding on the 2013, 2014 or 2015 Frozen Fours, that will mark an 11 year period where college hockey's penultimate weekend is not hosted by a Hockey East program. In that same time span, the Frozen Four will have been held in these far-flung outposts of college hockey: St. Louis, Washington D.C., Tampa, and now potentially Pittsburgh (Robert Morris? C'mon!), Kansas City or Omaha.
I know what you are thinking. We are living in an age where the only thing on college athletics directors' minds is the bottom line. Where cost-cutting measures are all any AD talks about, and where program travel costs and the mere existence of Division I-A men's ice hockey programs are highly scrutinized. Host the Frozen Four somewhere in the Midwest or the middle of the country to cut down on program travel costs.
That's all well and good. However if there's one area of the country that lives and breathes college hockey, it is New England. Put simply, to go 11+ years without having a Frozen Four in Hockey East country is a disservice to its 10 member programs and all of college hockey. I sincerely hope Boston puts a bid together for this round of bidding and ends up hosting a Frozen Four in 2013, 2014 or 2015.