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kiyoat

Hawk's opinions on the Summit League Tourney in SF

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Hi, guys.  Just wanted to get some UND opinions on the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls.  I realize you won't be playing there until March of 2019, but I wanted to see what you know about it and think about it.

The "SLT" has generated a lot of heated discussion with Summit League fan-bases, both positive and negative.  Some schools, like Denver and Oral Roberts dislike the fact that they have to travel so far, or dislike Sioux Falls, or think that the location should rotate for fairness.  I disagree with all of those arguments.  Sioux Falls is centrally located and has proven that they can support the tournament with NCAA-record crowds and a first-class arena that is perfect for basketball.

Many have complained that it is basically a home game for SDSU.  As a Coyote fan I hear that argument a lot.  My response to that is that Rabbits fans supporting the tournament are the primary reason for it's success.  You won't get the same level of BB fan support in any other location.  Instead of whining we need to just show up better (especially USD fans).

The argument I DO agree with is against their ticketing policy, specifically:

1. offering 2-year all-session passes.

2. offering all-session pass holders first-option on renewal.

The net result of these two policies is that Jacks fans (and to a lesser degree, Coyote fans) that buy up all the lower-bowl tickets will hold on to those tickets as long as they keep renewing.  To a school just joining the Summit, like UND, that is patently unfair IMO.  I don't know if UND will sell lots of SLT tickets to fans, but to be "boxed out" of the best seats prior to even joining doesn't seem like an appropriate model for a conference tournament.

Maybe you guys haven't given this much thought at all.  Just wondering if you have an opinion.

Go Yotes!

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7 minutes ago, kiyoat said:

Hi, guys.  Just wanted to get some UND opinions on the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls.  I realize you won't be playing there until March of 2019, but I wanted to see what you know about it and think about it.

The "SLT" has generated a lot of heated discussion with Summit League fan-bases, both positive and negative.  Some schools, like Denver and Oral Roberts dislike the fact that they have to travel so far, or dislike Sioux Falls, or think that the location should rotate for fairness.  I disagree with all of those arguments.  Sioux Falls is centrally located and has proven that they can support the tournament with NCAA-record crowds and a first-class arena that is perfect for basketball.

Many have complained that it is basically a home game for SDSU.  As a Coyote fan I hear that argument a lot.  My response to that is that Rabbits fans supporting the tournament are the primary reason for it's success.  You won't get the same level of BB fan support in any other location.  Instead of whining we need to just show up better (especially USD fans).

The argument I DO agree with is against their ticketing policy, specifically:

1. offering 2-year all-session passes.

2. offering all-session pass holders first-option on renewal.

The net result of these two policies is that Jacks fans (and to a lesser degree, Coyote fans) that buy up all the lower-bowl tickets will hold on to those tickets as long as they keep renewing.  To a school just joining the Summit, like UND, that is patently unfair IMO.  I don't know if UND will sell lots of SLT tickets to fans, but to be "boxed out" of the best seats prior to even joining doesn't seem like an appropriate model for a conference tournament.

Maybe you guys haven't given this much thought at all.  Just wondering if you have an opinion.

Go Yotes!

I don't know about others, but I had no clue they did this. I am sure UND fans would travel better to this tournament than to a tournament in Reno. The tournament favors the I-29 teams and maybe even Denver since flying from Denver to Sioux Falls is an easy flight, but fans in Fort Wayne or Macomb or Tulsa I can't see a whole bunch of them traveling for the tournament to make a "dent" in the attendance like the Dakota 4, Omaha and Denver. I would like to see them axe that rule and give all schools in the SL the same amount of tickets then whatever is leftover open it up. Can you imagine if SDSU and USD get booted out early you would have a ton of empty seats and it doesn't look good on tv especially if the title game is WIU vs IPFW.

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28 minutes ago, kiyoat said:

Hi, guys.  Just wanted to get some UND opinions on the Summit League Tournament in Sioux Falls.  I realize you won't be playing there until March of 2019, but I wanted to see what you know about it and think about it.

The "SLT" has generated a lot of heated discussion with Summit League fan-bases, both positive and negative.  Some schools, like Denver and Oral Roberts dislike the fact that they have to travel so far, or dislike Sioux Falls, or think that the location should rotate for fairness.  I disagree with all of those arguments.  Sioux Falls is centrally located and has proven that they can support the tournament with NCAA-record crowds and a first-class arena that is perfect for basketball.

Many have complained that it is basically a home game for SDSU.  As a Coyote fan I hear that argument a lot.  My response to that is that Rabbits fans supporting the tournament are the primary reason for it's success.  You won't get the same level of BB fan support in any other location.  Instead of whining we need to just show up better (especially USD fans).

The argument I DO agree with is against their ticketing policy, specifically:

1. offering 2-year all-session passes.

2. offering all-session pass holders first-option on renewal.

The net result of these two policies is that Jacks fans (and to a lesser degree, Coyote fans) that buy up all the lower-bowl tickets will hold on to those tickets as long as they keep renewing.  To a school just joining the Summit, like UND, that is patently unfair IMO.  I don't know if UND will sell lots of SLT tickets to fans, but to be "boxed out" of the best seats prior to even joining doesn't seem like an appropriate model for a conference tournament.

Maybe you guys haven't given this much thought at all.  Just wondering if you have an opinion.

Go Yotes!

Sioux Falls is perfect for the Summit. 

I'll probably end up going, although my grandparents (who are SDSU alums) will have to get over me wearing green and white (LOL)

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Yeah, I like the idea of Sioux Falls as well.  UND fans can't really complain too much because the same arena is already half sold out (by UND fans) for the hockey regional that will be played there, so we already know that UND fans can get there if they have the desire.

I'm happy that there will actually be people there.  Coming from the big sky, the bar is pretty low as far as conference tournaments are concerned.

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4 minutes ago, nodak651 said:

Yeah, I like the idea of Sioux Falls as well.  UND fans can't really complain too much because the same arena is already half sold out (by UND fans) for the hockey regional that will be played there, so we already know that UND fans can get there if they have the desire.

I'm happy that there will actually be people there.  Coming from the big sky, the bar is pretty low as far as conference tournaments are concerned.

The Big Sky was a basketball hellhole other than Weber, let's be frank for a minute.   

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The Conference Tournament should be hosted by whomever wins the regular season conference.  Period.  End of story.  It should be like that for every conference.  Period.  End of story.

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46 minutes ago, Sampson said:

The Conference Tournament should be hosted by whomever wins the regular season conference.  Period.  End of story.  It should be like that for every conference.  Period.  End of story.

I agree with this for a one-bid league like the Summit. With such a big prize for winning the tourney, a trip to the Big Dance! I think the regular season champ earned the right to every advantage to win it. SDSU has probably won 1or 2  more than they should have just because of the home court advantage. You have to be considerably better than them to knock them off in Sioux Falls. 

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4 minutes ago, nd1sufan said:

I agree with this for a one-bid league like the Summit. With such a big prize for winning the tourney, a trip to the Big Dance! I think the regular season champ earned the right to every advantage to win it. SDSU has probably won 1or 2  more than they should have just because of the home court advantage. You have to be considerably better than them to knock them off in Sioux Falls. 

For once,  agree with the trolls.  But for UND the issue is the Alerus would probably have to be used as the Ralph is reserved for hockey playoffs.

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I think for one bid leagues the ideal format would be a hybrid.  The regular season champ would host the final and get a bye into it and the neutral site has teams 2 to 9 playing for the other spot in the final. This would make the regular season very meaningful, ensure the final is in a packed arena and looking good for tv and also give the conferences best team the best chance to make the Big Dance and hopefully do a little damage there. 

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There are good arguments for either model (campus sites vs neutral site, and rotating neutral vs fixed neutral) in terms of fairness, but at the end of the day, I think conferences value the $$ and attendance to determine if the tourney is a success.

Quite frankly, the SLT has been an unquestionable success in that regard.  So much so that other mid-major conferences have tried to model their tournaments after the Summit.  (Big Sky and Horizon) last year the SLT's average attendance per session (9,978) was the best of all mid-major, and better than two high-major conferences.  Just below the P-5.

I looked at all the mid-major tournaments currently, and only five of them still follow the higher seed/campus model.  All of them are lower-attendance conferences, and they probably will get better attendance on campus overall.  There are a few that do neutral-site that probably should go back to campus due to poor attendance.

 Another thing to consider is the fact that the men/women are combined.  This is a huge boost to the women's teams (of which UND has a good one), and provides more incentive and travel cost-savings for fans.  That is something that both the Big Sky and Horizon have added to their tournaments recently.  At the end of the day, very spread-out conferences save travel expense by not doing campus sites IMO.

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The fairness thing is another story, of course.  SDSU and USD will always have an advantage in Sioux Falls for fans (The Coyotes are finally starting to take advantage of that).  I can see how it can alienate some other teams, but it has just done so well, that it isn't likely to move.

To me, the ticketing policy is totally unnecessary, inappropriate, and will be the straw that breaks the camel's back, assuming anyone complains about it.  The problem is that the fan bases that are most affected negatively also happen to be the fans that just don't support their teams very well (IUPUI, Ft. Wayne, Western Ill) or are very fickle, and only have large fan turnouts in good seasons (Denver, Omaha).  The groups that should be protesting the exclusionary ticketing policies are NDSU, UND and ORU in my opinion.

I think those groups have wrongly focused on complaining about the location, which is the one thing that absolutely will not change.

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23 hours ago, darell1976 said:

 I would like to see them axe that rule and give all schools in the SL the same amount of tickets then whatever is leftover open it up. 

To me, this is the model that would be the most fair.  The Jacks that have invested heavily into the tournament (and have made it what it is) won't want to change anything, though.

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The conference tournament in Sioux Falls every year with 2 of the better programs having a stranglehold has undoubtedly been a major factor in the instability of the conference, and why teams are looking to get out. If the conference wants to have program growth and stability, it needs to at the very least move to a rotating neutral site schedule where every team gets the opportunity to host once every however many teams are in the conference.

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1 hour ago, kiyoat said:

To me, this is the model that would be the most fair.  The Jacks that have invested heavily into the tournament (and have made it what it is) won't want to change anything, though.

A fanbase/program should in no way have any sort of factor in determining a conference tournament location. The funny thing about the Jack fans is they think they have the right to host the tournament because they "make it money", and then at the same time laugh at the notion of a program like NDSU always getting HFA advantage in the football playoffs even when seeding isn't a consideration.

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17 minutes ago, Sampson said:

The conference tournament in Sioux Falls every year with 2 of the better programs having a stranglehold has undoubtedly been a major factor in the instability of the conference, and why teams are looking to get out. If the conference wants to have program growth and stability, it needs to at the very least move to a rotating neutral site schedule where every team gets the opportunity to host once every however many teams are in the conference.

Proof of that being a cause of instability? The Summit loses teams because there are better conferences nearby. No one is leaving over the Summit tourney haha

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1 hour ago, Sampson said:

The conference tournament in Sioux Falls every year with 2 of the better programs having a stranglehold has undoubtedly been a major factor in the instability of the conference, and why teams are looking to get out. If the conference wants to have program growth and stability, it needs to at the very least move to a rotating neutral site schedule where every team gets the opportunity to host once every however many teams are in the conference.

If the tournament was moved out of Sioux Falls to a more “neutral” location like Minneapolis would that favor one school over another? Maybe it should be moved out of SD for more fairness to other schools. 

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1 hour ago, Sampson said:

A fanbase/program should in no way have any sort of factor in determining a conference tournament location. The funny thing about the Jack fans is they think they have the right to host the tournament because they "make it money", and then at the same time laugh at the notion of a program like NDSU always getting HFA advantage in the football playoffs even when seeding isn't a consideration.

Conference members want a tournament that makes money and draws fans.  The SLT has done that better than any mid-major tournament.  The Summit has tried other locations in the past, and they were total failures.  They aren't moving.  Again, focusing on moving the tournament to a crappy location that doesn't draw fans is the kind of stuff that gets conference commissioners fired.

The fact that there are loads of lower-bowl tickets that are basically already sold before you even join the conference is the real crime, IMO.

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2 minutes ago, darell1976 said:

If the tournament was moved out of Sioux Falls to a more “neutral” location like Minneapolis would that favor one school over another? Maybe it should be moved out of SD for more fairness to other schools. 

The goegraphic center of the  conference (with UND added) is basically Sioux City.  Who the Hell wants to go to Sewer City?  Omaha, maybe, but nobody cares about the Summit League in Omaha.  In Sioux Falls it's the main event.  Lots of casual fans show up there that never attend a Jacks or Coyote game the rest of the year.  Even when those two teams aren't playing there are blue and red fans showing up.  I doubt you would see that in Minneapolis or Omaha.  I guess I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Check this tool out:

http://www.geomidpoint.com/

 

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3 hours ago, Sampson said:

A fanbase/program should in no way have any sort of factor in determining a conference tournament location. The funny thing about the Jack fans is they think they have the right to host the tournament because they "make it money", and then at the same time laugh at the notion of a program like NDSU always getting HFA advantage in the football playoffs even when seeding isn't a consideration.

Sure.  Lets use your own rules.   Sioux Falls is the biggest city that has a quality arena near the geographic center of the conference.  Sioux Falls also isn't host to any campus of any of the colleges in the conference.  Seems like a logical location to me if you don't think a fanbase/program "should in no way have have any sort of factor in determining a conference tournament location."

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I'm personally excited to go to BB conference tourney in Sioux Falls.  I've watched some of the summit league tourney games on TV (thanks to Midco - now we'll get to see quarterfinal and semifinal action), and it does have the feel of being "big time."

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3 hours ago, JohnboyND7 said:

Proof of that being a cause of instability? The Summit loses teams because there are better conferences nearby. No one is leaving over the Summit tourney haha

If teams were leaving the Summit to more to "better" conferences, that would have legitimacy.  Teams aren't begging to join the Horizon, WAC, and Southland, they are begging to get out of the Summit.  The Summit btw has been a significantly better conference than the WAC and the Southland, which have been some of the worst conferences in college basketball the last few years.  Summit was a better conference than the Horizon last year and has become very comparable with more upside to it from the top heavy teams.

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2 hours ago, darell1976 said:

If the tournament was moved out of Sioux Falls to a more “neutral” location like Minneapolis would that favor one school over another? Maybe it should be moved out of SD for more fairness to other schools. 

It may help.  With much credit to the South Dakota fanbases, and specifically SDSU, they have absolutely taken over the tournament. The struggle is Douple is catoring to that location to grow the conference on a national scale, and it has helped.  Unfortunately it has alienated its very own members.  IUPUI has been trying to get out for years and finally had their name called.  

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52 minutes ago, nodak651 said:

Sure.  Lets use your own rules.   Sioux Falls is the biggest city that has a quality arena near the geographic center of the conference.  Sioux Falls also isn't host to any campus of any of the colleges in the conference.  Seems like a logical location to me if you don't think a fanbase/program "should in no way have have any sort of factor in determining a conference tournament location."

I'm not saying geographical center.  I'm saying each program, and furthermore its community, should have the option to host the tournament at a neutral location.  Fargo could host at the Scheels arena.  Omaha has several neutral site locations it could host. Every program lives in an area where there shouldn't be an issue of finding a neutral location.  Better yet?  Allow the conference winner to host.  

 

The Summit Conference has become a good smaller major program with top heavy teams.  Instead of trying to utlize that and grow the conference in ways that would attract other programs, it's catering to the South Dakota schools, conveniently accessing the North Dakota schools and Omaha.  

 

UND is coming into the Summit.  How will you feel when Fort Wayne gets poached, Western Illinois is forced to drop down to D3 which is what's rumored, Denver continues to look for a way out, and the Summit potentially loses its autobid?  The South Dakota schools and Omaha have appeal for the Missouri Valley.  The Missouri Valley doesn't want to have much at all to do with the North Dakota schools.  This is all worst case scenario, but it has been trending this way, and it isn't completely out of the realm of possibility.

 

Meanwhile, one thing is for sure, and that is there isn't really any other teams that the Summit is targeting in expansion.  UND was about the last best geographical option, and the conference have just tapped out on its best last resource.

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IPFW wants out badly, but SDSU fans are in denial.  If IPFW leaves, the whole Summit could unravel unless the Montana's, Idaho, and EWU move over.

The long term future of the conference needs  truly neutral sites in those states;  Bismarck, Rapid City, and Billings.  That will grow region wide interest in college basketball rather than giving SDSU a carte blanche ticket to the dance.

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Next to leave....  Fort Worth...   plus I thought that Oakland and Oral Roberts left complaining about Sioux Falls.  Hell, KC left for the WAC...  of course the Southland conference fell apart so Oral Bob came back, but for how long?  Plus, you have MVC and Horizon looking to grow again very soon...  next up Denver, Omaha, KC, Oral Bob or/and FW

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