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Big Sky reviewing bids for M/W tournaments for 2016-18

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This tournament should be in a western airline hub city (SLC or Denver) or Las Vegas. That is all. 

 

If it must be a predetermined or neutral site, I am disappointed that SLC is apparently not in the running.  SLC has direct flights from 4 Big Sky cities:  Missoula, Bozeman, Sacramento, and Portland.  Fargo, Denver, Phoenix, and Spokane have direct flights for 5 nearby Big Sky schools.  And it is a short drive for 3 Big Sky schools.  Perhaps most importantly, it is within spitting distance of Weber St, the one Big Sky school that really really gets behind basketball.  I may be wrong, but I assume SLC is to Weber alumni what Minneapolis-St. Paul is to North Dakota alumni.  I think having it in Weber's backyard, SLC, would be similar to the Final Five in the Gophers backyard in St. Paul.  No, I am not saying I think there would be 17,000 fans in SLC, but there may be 6,000-8,000 for games that Weber is involved with.  I figure half that at best anywhere else (except Ogden).  Since SLC isn't an option, I guess I am hoping for Ogden for all these reasons.  SLC would be a tad more "neutral".

 

Seems like Reno & Billings have the most steam right now.  Reno would be the better "destination" in my opinion.  But Reno is not easy to get to by any means.  I guess Reno would be the more enjoyable city to pass the time in between games.  I can't imagine what one would do in Billings for 3 days if your team lost the first day.  Go home I guess.  Spokane makes way more sense to me than Billings.

 

If I were to put a Top 5 out there from the sites mentioned in the article, mine would be:

  1. Ogden---Weber's home town, short drive from SLC airport which is a major hub
  2. Spokane---Short drive for 3-4 BSC teams, decent air service
  3. Billings---Selfishly, I put Billings ahead of Reno just because it would be faster to drive from GF to Billings than fly from GF to Reno
  4. Reno---Truly neutral, fun non-basketball things to do, not so easy to get there though
  5. Missoula---The Griz draw pretty good for basketball so attendance would be OK here.  Short drive for a few BSC teams

As I said, if travel costs and attendance are the two biggest factors for this tournament, then IMO SLC is the best location to satisfy both collectively for the entire conference.  Since SLC isn't option, I'd say Ogden is the way to go, although I don't really love the idea of having it at the home venue of a conference member under a "predetermined site" format. 

 

I really like the current format though.  It is certainly not perfect but it does make the entire regular season exciting, and it gives the best chance to put the league's best team in the NCAA tournament.  I imagine it is a major hassle to set things up in a week's time or less, but I still don't see why the regular season couldn't end a week earlier than it currently does, which would allow for twice as much time for everybody to get their poop in a group.

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Just because Faison could have put in a bid doesn't mean he has to.  As someone who works for a college conference and an athletic department in a separate conference, I know the ADs communicate with each other on a regular basis so it wouldn't be surprising if Faison reached out to the other ADs to see if there would be a chance of a positive vote for GF.  But he should just submit a bid so it looks good to others.

 

Of course having appropriate resources is necessary to being a successful D1 program.  Where has that not been the case?  Bubba and Brewster (2/3 of the non-hockey money-making sports at UND) are being paid sufficiently.  As is the volleyball coach.  Jones started as a D2 coach but does he deserve a raise just because the school is now D1?  As you've clearly commented, he doesn't deserve to coach the rest of this season let alone a raise.

 

Since the transition was completed UND has hired new football, women's basketball, and volleyball coaches and they're being paid appropriately.  UND paid the buyout for Mussman's contract which undoubtedly cost the University money it could have used elsewhere.  UND paid most of the cost for $4million new turf at the Alerus.  UND is building the largest indoor practice field in the country.  The way you make it sound, it's like UND is just scraping the barrel to get by.  Look how long it took for NDSU to renovate the BSA.  Just because they were athletically more successful doesn't mean they are financially more successful although their football wins have helped a lot. 

You are right, positive things are happening with our programs.  But we are still playing catch-up in some areas thanks to our mediocre transition period.  Now this whole athletic stipend deal threatens to upset the whole apple cart.  These are interesting times we are living in.

 

As for Jones and MBB, I still think there is a chance that he will get the program to where we all want it.  He is playing for his next contract, that is for sure.

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I don't know why Loveland/Greeley didn't register with me. Probably because it has Greeley connected to it and the aromatic nature of the city turns me off. eusa_sick.gif

Loveland doesn't look like a horrible option now though when I look at it closer. Although it is really not a short drive for anyone except UNC. As a major western metropolitan center, there are probably a substantial number of alumni from Big Sky schools in Denver, so that is a plus. I know Denver has the 2nd largest number of UND alums after Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Upon further review, I see that Billings does have direct flights from both SLC and Portland, so that helps their case. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around spending an extended period of time in smallish city like Billings. Seems like Denver, SLC, even Spokane would be far more interesting. Reno and the oftend discussed Las Vegas seem to make sense if someone is wanting to make it an all around vacation type experience.

My biggest concern about a predetermined site is attendance, that is why I feel it needs to be at a place where it is easy for Weber, and to a lesser extent Griz fans to get to. With a direct flight from SLC and being in the home state of both the Griz and Bobcats, perhaps Billings does fit the bill.

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Billings is analogous to Sioux Falls. Reno will be ho hum about the whole deal.

Bismarck should have bid, but state tournaments probably nixed it.

I like the civic center for basketball. Aren't they renovating it too?

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I like the civic center for basketball. Aren't they renovating it too?

 

They added a convention center on the north side of it.  I don't believe the basketball arena had any work done to it.  

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I like the civic center for basketball. Aren't they renovating it too?

 

They added a convention center on the north side of it.  I don't believe the basketball arena had any work done to it.  

 

Are you talking about the renovation that happened in the mid 90's, where they extended the south side?

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Are you talking about the renovation that happened in the mid 90's, where they extended the south side?

The Bismarck Civic Center has been putting an addition on the convention space over the past year plus.

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The Bismarck Civic Center has been putting an addition on the convention space over the past year plus.

 

Parking was terrible when I lived there, looks like the parking will be worse after their done with the exhibition center.

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Parking was terrible when I lived there, looks like the parking will be worse after their done with the exhibition center.

I've wondered about that.  I went to a trade show there last spring.  They were using the new space even though it wasn't finished.  Parking was a real challenge.  They are talking about putting a hotel west of the Civic also, which would further cut down on potential parking.

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I've wondered about that.  I went to a trade show there last spring.  They were using the new space even though it wasn't finished.  Parking was a real challenge.  They are talking about putting a hotel west of the Civic also, which would further cut down on potential parking.

 

They should have just approved Knutson's plan north of Bismarck for a 14,000 seat arena.

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They should have just approved Knutson's plan north of Bismarck for a 14,000 seat arena.

I'm sure it's too late for that now.  I wonder if they're going to have to put up a parking ramp eventually.

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Any proof behind this?

 

The foundation put in the extra $3 million to get the ball rolling, construction costs kept on accelerating and after the president's house debacle NDSU doesn't want to come in over budget again. The school has been very cautious with this project because of that fact. 

 

In most states NDSU would have used bonds and would be playing in the renovated SHAC right now but ND has to do everything the hard way. 

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Six weeks ago I heard the "short" number was way worse than that. 

 

Why doesn't someone just put a call into the president of the Foundation and ask...

 

 

 

 

 

:whistling:

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Why doesn't someone just put a call into the president of the Foundation and ask...

 

 

 

 

 

:whistling:

 

Speaking of committee's, I see they are hiring a consultant for big bucks and forming a committee just to hire the Foundation President.  LOL.  

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Speaking of committee's, I see they are hiring a consultant for big bucks and forming a committee just to hire the Foundation President.  LOL.  

They did that last time as well to the tune of nearly 6 figures.  Their current search committee put together a list of questions to figure out what went wrong and they are now going to have another committee put together to answer the questions and this is before they even start to look at hiring a new president.

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Here is part of the problem with the current format...........

 

Sacramento State could host big basketball tournament - but where?

 

Big Sky officials say the 60-year-old Hornets Nest isn’t capable of hosting the eight-team tournament. Its seating capacity of 1,102 isn’t nearly large enough, and the facilities can’t accommodate ESPN’s cameras and other equipment, said Big Sky spokesman Jon Kasper.

Mike Sophia of the Sacramento Sports Commission, which is helping the university scout locations, said all sorts of sites are under consideration –even a conference center at McClellan Park in North Highlands.

“You can build a pretty nice college basketball arena in a ballroom,” Sophia said. “We’d love to have an option for them here.”

 

Deputy Commissioner Ron Loghry said he’s in constant contact with Sacramento State officials and plans to visit the community late next week to look at prospective locations. He said the league would be open to having Sacramento State host the tournament “in Stockton or Reno” if necessary.

 When Sacramento State joined the conference in 1996, it explicitly agreed that it would find an alternative site if it ever got to host the conference tournament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is part of the problem with the current format...........

Sacramento State could host big basketball tournament - but where?

So the host schools keeps all ticket revenue and ESPN rights, but has to pay the other 7 teams $130k in total. Montana and Weber St made out like bandits the last few years.

Not that it will happen, but under this system UND would not make any money if the Betty hosted. It would have to be in the Alerus for a greater capacity.

None of this applies to the women's tournament, as Sac St can still host in the Nest.

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Just for a discussion point, here is the attendance numbers for the Big Sky championship game the last few years:

 

2014:  6294 @ Ogden

2013:  7172 @ Missoula

2012:  7042 @ Missoula

2011:  3182 @ Greeley

2010:  6308 @ Ogden

2009:  1546 @ Ogden

2008:  4113 @ Porland

 

2009 was the only year that the host school wasn't in the championship game.

 

Here is the last two years attendance for all games of the WAC tournament held in Las Vegas:

 

2014:  1284

2013:  1092

 

I worry that a Big Sky Tournament in Reno might have numbers similar that of the WAC in recent years.

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I am going to guess that the best overall chance for better attendance most years would be to have the tourney at the site of the conference winner. Some years it might not be as good depending on who wins games, but I think it is the best option overall.

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I am going to guess that the best overall chance for better attendance most years would be to have the tourney at the site of the conference winner. Some years it might not be as good depending on who wins games, but I think it is the best option overall.

Agreed.  Host team will have to win 2 games instead of 1 to make it to the championship now making it slightly tougher but I don't think attendance will be nearly as good at a neutral site.  Unless you're putting it at a very easy location for multiple fanbases to get to, the footprint of the conference is huge and you're taking away a guaranteed large crowd from the host school.

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I am going to guess that the best overall chance for better attendance most years would be to have the tourney at the site of the conference winner. Some years it might not be as good depending on who wins games, but I think it is the best option overall.

 

Some conference tournaments for other conferences have the winner of the regular season title host the following year.  Sure there is a possibility that the host school may not make it the following year, but at least it is at a host schools site and there would be a year to figure things out logistically. Might be an option I guess.

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Let's face it , since the conference is so spread out the schools on the edges probably aren't good options for permanent sites.  A also don't think there are a lot of locations that  are handy to more than just a few schools anyway . There isn't a real ideal location possible.   I would go with the winner of the conference gets to host it even though it doesn't allow for a lot of planning, or the winner of the conference gets to host it the next year.  At least either way the winner of the conference gets some reward.   All things considered ,I would go with the winner of the conference getting  to host it the next year.

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