EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

August 15, 2011

Another outdoor college hockey game? Spare me

(Continued)

It's hard to get excited for these types of events when they're not special anymore.

If you're a Michigan fan, January will mark your third outdoor game in just under two years.

It's out of control.

I get that it draws a lot of attention to the sport, and I'm all for that. I get that it puts more eyes, especially on college hockey, than anyone could ever imagine.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 34,000 people watched BC and BU play at Fenway in 2009. If that game were held at Agganis or Conte, there would be maybe 7,000 fans (depending on the building).

You can't beat the publicity ... for now.

How long is it going to last before the bubble breaks? How many times can college and pro hockey go to this well before it dries up?

At some point, and I'm not sure when, some team or league is going to shell out big money to rent a place like Fenway Park — assuming the Fenway Sports Group isn't helping with rental fees — with hopes of another 30-something thousand fans cramming into a cold, snowy ballpark in the middle of January to watch a college hockey game.

And you know what will happen?

No one will show up. Maybe 10-or-so thousand people. Whoever is running the show is going to take a beating on it. Then, maybe the madness will stop.

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