NCAA ex­pects high at­ten­dance

Tick­ets for sin­gle ses­sions avail­able

The Buffalo News - - HOCKEY -

With the Frozen Four com­ing to Buf­falo in a month, or­ga­niz­ers say about 14,000 tick­ets have been sold and they ex­pect KeyBank Cen­ter to be sold out or close to ca­pac­ity.

The NCAA men’s hockey semi­fi­nals are sched­uled for April 11 at 5 and 8:30 with the cham­pi­onship game set for April 13 at 8.

“We’re try­ing to make sure peo­ple know that tick­ets are avail­able and af­ford­able and we’d love to have every­body come out,” said Mark Bedics, the NCAA di­rec­tor of me­dia co­or­di­na­tion and cham­pi­onships. “We typ­i­cally sell out or re­ally close and don’t see a rea­son why this year would be any­thing else.”

The bracket will be re­vealed March 24 with re­gional semi­fi­nals and fi­nals tak­ing place March 29-31 in Providence, R.I.; Fargo, N.D.; Manch­ester, N.H., and Al­len­town, Pa. The win­ners move to the Frozen Four.

Bedics noted that at­ten­dance at the Frozen Four is team de­pen­dent.

“If UMass makes it for the first time, it would have a huge im­pact,” he said. “If North Dakota makes a run, they have a huge fan base. Quin­nip­iac is trend­ing well.

“When we’re in Bos­ton with the amount of schools so close and the amount of col­lege hockey fans, it sells out right away. It’s one of those things where some peo­ple don’t know that it’s hap­pen­ing and some peo­ple might think that it’s sold out.”

All ses­sion tick­ets are listed from $224 to $650. The Frozen Four re­cently start­ing sell­ing sin­gle ses­sion tick­ets. Tick­ets for in­di­vid­ual ses­sions (ei­ther the two semi­fi­nals or the fi­nal) are $120 for adults and $25 for kids. Fam­ily Packs for four peo­ple for the semi­fi­nals are $300.

The Frozen Four comes to Buf­falo on the heels of dis­ap­point­ing at­ten­dance and com­plaints of high prices for tick­ets and ticket pack­ages for the 2018 World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship in De­cem­ber 2017 and Jan­uary 2018.

“We’ve heard the same thing,” he said. “But Buf­falo does a tremen­dous job host­ing NCAA cham­pi­onships. That’s what we’re ex­cited about. When the MAAC hosts bas­ket­ball, there is a good turnout. There was a good turnout (for the Frozen Four in Buf­falo) in 2003.

file photo “The other piece of the puz­zle is the qual­ity of hockey is un­be­liev­able. Jack Eichel was in the event in 2015. It’s go­ing to be house­hold names play­ing in the event. The World Ju­niors is great, but this is ob­vi­ously a higher cal­iber. In the past, there’s been sev­eral play­ers in a game on Satur­day and then play with an NHL club on Thurs­day. That’s the level of the stu­den­tath­lete player we’re bring­ing.”

In­for­ma­tion on tick­ets is avail­able at www.ncaa.com/ frozen­four.

James P. McCoy/Buf­falo News file photo

The NCAA Frozen Four logo will once again be ap­plied to the KeyBank Cen­ter ice in less than a month. The semi­fi­nals are April 11 and the fi­nal is April 13.

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