College Cup

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College Cup

Post by thepuck on Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:33 pm

So I was fruitlessly searching for a game tracker for the Pepperdine game today and I came along the host sites for the College cups for the next couple years. I noticed that It's in College Station TX this year, will be in Cary, NC next year and the possible site for the 2009 college cup will be in College Station once again. I remembered that in 2005, when we won it all it was in College Station and looked at the past couple years and noticed that the College cup was in College Station in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Texas A&M will host it once again in 2009. As far back as I can tell Cary, NC and University of Texas were the only other two to host the Cup in the recent past.

My question is Why isn't the College Cup hosted in a variety of sites across the nation? I realize that capacity of stadiums is a factor in the decision but there's got to more stadiums then the three the NCAA has been using for the past couple years. With MLS ending fairly soon why doesn't the NCAA use some of the soccer only stadiums that have been recently built? One stadium that comes to mind is Home Depot Center in LA. I'm aware that Chivas is still playing there but I wouldn't think it'd be too hard to schedule. An even better option might be Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Colorado. According to their website they have a "24-field, fully-lit professional soccer complex". So they could have some of the early rounds simultaneous on these other fields and have the semi-finals and finals in the main stadium.

Anyway, I'm by no means an expert on the NCAA or Womens soccer but it just doesn't seem to make much sense to me to have two regions dominate the College Cup. Having it in a variety of sites across the nation might bring some interest to game across the nation. I know there's some very knowledgeable members of this board and if anybody could shed some light on this for me it'd be greatly appreciated.

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Re: College Cup

Post by Geezaldinho on Sun Nov 04, 2007 4:53 pm

I'll give it a shot.

The NCAA in all its wisdom decided that Stadiums for the College cup need to have 10,000 or more seats. Also, I believe that the host institution has to guarantee certain gate receipts for the games. In North Carolina, I think UNC, NC State, and Duke are sharing the liability for the gate, The Texas schools are rich enough foot the bill themselves.

I don't think that any game in college cup history has had more than 6 or 7 thousand. I believe UP would host if the allowed stadium seating levels were around there. We Sold out the first College Cup, when stadiums could be smaller.I'm pretty sure they would modify Merlo. I think Merlo is projected to increase in capacity at some point, but never to 10,000.

I suppose it's possible to Join with Portland State and have games at Civic if it becomes Soccer only and grass, but I bet the University would rather host at Merlo.

Since UP has never lost a game in Texas,and won both Championships there, I'm fine with College Cup games there for now.

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Re: College Cup

Post by VillaGorilla on Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:37 pm

Another criterion which I imagine comes into play is weather. The Cup is held in December, so I think the Northeast and Midwest would be ruled out. I'm sure the weather at that time of year is part of the reason for having it in Texas.

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Re: College Cup

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:02 pm

Somewhere in NCAA Championship Committee minutes, I read that there was a study of other areas of the country and the conclusion was that weather in those other areas would not rule out having championships there.

The real issue for me is that it is not a fair event if a championship is played on a team's home field. Home field gives a team a significant and statistically demonstrable advantage.

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Re: College Cup

Post by Geezaldinho on Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:40 pm

I agree, though Technically NC state, not UNC is the host of record next year, along with the local soccer clubs.

They keep rotating the official host between Duke, UNC, and NC State. They are about 30 miles apart.

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Re: College Cup

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:11 pm

I'm thinking more about this year at College Station. With its fan base, much like the Pilots', Texas A&M will have a huge advantage this year if it makes it to the Final Four. I even wonder how many tickets will be available for "outsiders," other than those allocated to the teams. I ordered mine a long time ago, as part of my annual ritual showing of confidence to the Soccer Gods. But will those who haven't pre-ordered tickets be able to get them or will they all go to A&M fans?

Home Depot Center might be great. But, when the Pilots won at College Station, the original plan had been for the Final Four that year to be at Home Depot Center. There was a "last minute" glitch, which resulted in the event going to College Station. (For those of you who have heard about it, this is why accommodations for fans and teams at College Station [not referring to the Pilots' accommodations, which were great] were not completely adequate.) My guess is that the Home Depot Center's cost is too high.

By the way, the Pilots have not always won in Texas. They won at College Station and they won at Austin, but they did not win the year they were at the Final Four at SMU in Dallas.

What I really would love would be for Multnomah Stadium (the stadium presently known as "PGE Park") to be converted to a pure soccer stadium, with a permanent grass field and with its anchor home team being a WUSA (or whatever they'll call it) team. It's a very intimate stadium for soccer viewing, as we know from past World Cup events there. It would be fantastic for a Final Four. My only concern: Would a WUSA team with a home base at Multnomah Stadium divert attention from the Pilots at Merlo?

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Re: College Cup

Post by FANatic on Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:51 pm

Some very interesting comments, UPSoccerFanatic. I just read that UNC won their last two titles, in 2003 and 2006, in Gary, N.C.. It may not be their home turf, however, they must be fairly comfortable on it, I would guess. And their fans would far and away drown out any other team's fans except probably Duke or N.C. State. In other words, they're already too darn good. They don't need a BIG advantage to boot!

I love your "Multnomah Stadium" idea. However, one thing about it does bother me. It would be a huge advantage for the Pilots if they made the Final Four there. I'm guessing similiar to that mentioned above about UNC and the facility in Gary.

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Re: College Cup

Post by UPSoccerFanatic on Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:18 pm

Here's the word on the rules for selecting the first/second round sites:

The NCAA did make “operational” changes for this year (but did not officially change any rules). All #1 seeds should host first and second rounds, even if there is no other qualifying school within 350 miles. Essentially, this year that should protect home field advantage for the #1 seeds that earned it. That said, there is no guarantee on what will actually happen. There is one other scenario in which the Pilots could host the first two rounds even if we do not receive a #1 seed….if there are a number of other schools in the same situation (with no other schools within 350 miles) then the NCAA can be subjective as to which school(s) would host.

This doesn't give me a lot of cause for optimism. If the Tournament Committee follows the RPI closely, the Pilots probably won't get a #1 seed. If the Committee, appropriately based on my work on the RPI, treats the RPI only as useful to bunch teams into pods of roughly equivalent teams (I believe teams 1 to 13 would be roughly equivalent from a statistical perspective), then the Pilots may have a chance based on a review of the other evaluation criteria. I haven't gone through those criteria to see how we would fare if the RPI isn't decisive.

Another consideration the Tournament Committee will have to deal with is the high number of west coast teams that are near the top of the RPI -- UCLA, USC, Stanford, Portland, San Diego. It will be very hard for the Committee to have anywhere near all those teams as initial round hosts.

But, Portland State is in the Big Sky Tournament. The regular season winner was Sacramento State, to whom the Vikings lost 1-0. Our best hope for opening round games here probably is for the Vikings to win the Big Sky.

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