Twenty years is a long time to wait for anything, but for college hockey fans that’s close to an eternity. That long period suffering could come to an end for collegiate hockey fans in Metro Detroit now that Ford Field has been chosen as one of six finalists to host the Frozen Four in either 2010 or 2011.
The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), based in Farmington Hills, would host the event and if it were to sell out, a crowd of 65,000-plus would more than triple the previous record attendance for the championship game.
The Frozen Four would be another jewel in the sports crown of Metro Detroit that also includes the 2009 NCAA Basketball Final Four, 2006 Super Bowl, 2005 MLB All-Star Game, and most recently the 2004 Ryder Cup last summer.
Also making the grade for upcoming Frozen Four’s was Boston’s TD Bank North Garden, Philadelphia’s Wachovia Center, St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center, Tampa’s St. Pete Times Forum, and the MCI Center in Washington, D.C.
The Palace of Auburn Hills was one of five disappointed hopefuls ruled out in the last round of cuts.
The last time the Frozen Four was held in Motown was at the Joe Louis Arena in 1990 when the Wisconsin Badgers beat the Colgate Raiders for their fifth national title.
The NCAA will visit all six locations prior to each cities formal presentation to the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee on June 7-10 in Indianapolis. The committee will then forward its recommendations for 2009, 2010, and 2011 to the Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet for approval on September 20-22 back in Indianapolis.
The next three Frozen Fours have already been determined with the 2006 event taking place at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, the 2007 finals at the Savvis Center in St. Louis and in 2008 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.