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JerseyJoey

General Crowd Observations

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Interesting about the Iowa turnout -- the Hawkeye basketball team had a pretty good season and were playing in Brooklyn for the first set of regional games, so I was wondering if any fans would splurge on a trip to NYC for basketball and wrestling... although I'm not sure how much overlap there is between college basketball and wrestling fans. :)

 

As far as rotating the venue for nationals, I think it's a great idea. Keeping it in a fixed location every year couldn't be worse for the sport. College baseball has been shrinking in both popularity and diversity, and keeping its championship location in Omaha certainly isn't doing baseball any favors. Plus, early rounds in baseball are held regionally, which would be like wrestling having its national championship rounds up to quarterfinals plus all the consi rounds in different locations, then having semis and finals in the same location each year. Terrible idea.

 

There will always be great fan turnout in the midwest, but this year's tournament in NYC had to be good for the sport's exposure and development. I imagine there were a number of fans at the prep level and below, as well as folks who might have  been new to the sport but went (or tuned-in and went) because their dumb basketball team either didn't make the tournament or was eliminated.  I would love to see nationals make its way to places like Denver or Seattle, as mentioned, as well as LA, SF, Portland, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Phoenix. Great for exposure while showing programs out west that they matter, too.

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Interesting about the Iowa turnout -- the Hawkeye basketball team had a pretty good season and were playing in Brooklyn for the first set of regional games, so I was wondering if any fans would splurge on a trip to NYC for basketball and wrestling... although I'm not sure how much overlap there is between college basketball and wrestling fans. :)

 

 

My grad degree is from Lehigh.  Undergrad from Temple.  I made it over to the Iowa-Temple game between the Friday wrestling sessions.  Saw a few Hawkeye fans that did the same.  Focused on Lehigh, I left after the 141 R16 wrestlebacks (Randy Cruz match) and made it just in time for tip-off.  Even though the game went into OT, the 8pm starts left plenty of time to get back and grab dinner prior to the blood round.

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Omaha, NE and the college world series go hand in hand. It is a 2 week tailgating festival with packed crowds each day. Teams and fans love coming to Omaha every year even when their team does not qualify. ESPN and Omaha have built an outstanding tournament that is as popular now as ever. The comment above about college baseball dwindling because of the tournament being held in Omaha every year is ludicrous. Try attending the CWS sometime and we the passion of the fans from all over the country. The CWS and college baseball are doing great and having the series in Omaha makes it even more special. I could not disagree more with the above post.

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My biggest gripe was the replay on the main screen. Why didn't they just inset them like the coaches? A lot of us down low had to rely on the video for a good view and the showed replays while action was going on.

 

Obviously, not a big issue over all.

 

As to the awards podium, there really wasn't a good place for it. I was a small part of the discussion of what to do with it (mostly just listening). It wasn't that non-wrestling people made the decision, it was more that a lot more seats opened up for the finals than was originally realized. You might have noticed that there was no backdrop for the photos as is usually the case. They actually had made one. It needs to be 10 feet high (about 3 feet for the height of the podium plus 6 or so for the winner.) There isn't anywhere in the arena with 10 feet below the seats other than maybe at the voms (corner exits from the floor). The voms are used to let the wrestlers enter so that wasn't an option. The head table was down in the one end zone and they did some light show in the area in front of the table plus the runways and there were seats on the other three sides of the platform. The only way to have gotten more podium room would have been to eliminate some of the show aspects or some seats. One option briefly considered was to just present the placewinners on the mat and do podium shots in the back of the arena.

 

 

 

When they were setting up between session 5 and 6 and putting the podium there, I was like that's a terrible spot.  UNLESS, they have a banner behind them, which I certainly assumed they were going to do.....god forbid you raise and lower the banner each time you present the awards between matches.  Reminds me of PA states a few years ago when you'd get all the kids making dumb-ass faces while guys are on the podium getting awards.  Very bush-league on the part of NCAA wrestling/MSG to not do something as simple as that....

Edited by pipewrench

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I lived it and it sucks... there was a saying that I've heard something like "chocolate melts".  That said, the commenters have really turned it around. We heard more about Mymar and Nashon's technical skill then their athleticism. Small steps.

That's the worst to me.  I've always hated how every black athlete is 'athletic' whether they actually are or not.  Meanwhile the athletic white wrestlers get no credit for athleticism.  The runner-up to me is how every black wrestler gets compared only to other black wrestlers.  

 

I think stalling is far more influenced by fan attitudes and yelling then by skin color, but it is influenced some.  I always thought Teyon Ware was a bit of a staller naturally, but he got hit more and booed more than a comparative white wrestler would have.  

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having the tournament in a permanent location is a terrible idea. even if MSG's production completely sucked and St Louis is theoretically perfect. a permanent location is just a stupid. you want new cities to try new things so the event is constantly improving and evolving. learn from the previous events keep what works and ditch what doesnt. it also does not need permanent infrastructure besides a large, quality arena, that many, many cities has. there is no reason not to move the event to different cities where there are lots of wrestlers and wrestling fans. 

 

also far more national qualifiers and their families live within a 2 to 3 hour drive to NYC than St Lous. Missouri may be centrally located on a map of the continental united states, but its not close to the majority of NCAA wrestlers or D1 schools. 

 

I'm happy that people like going to St Louis and that the event is well done when it is held there, but making it the permanent home of the NCAA tournament would be unconscionably dumb. 

 

regarding the crowds, I thought they were great.

 

  • Penn State had easily the biggest crowd and they were great. cheered everyone but of course went nuts for their team. 
  • Cornell had a large and vocal crew. I sat on the other side of the Ohio State and Virginia Tech fans but they were also in full force and making lots of noise.
  • Plenty of Okie State fans were close to me and represented well.
  • Nebraska seemed to travel very well for being so far away
  • Iowa and Minnesota fans were next to each other and maybe there weren't as many as in previous tournaments but they made plenty of noise when their wrestlers were on the mats.
  • I actually thought Rutgers and Lehigh would have more fans (I sat in a small Lehigh section). Those who were there still made a good showing.
  • didn't see as many Michigan or Illinois fans as I thought given the number of alumni in the area

best crowd moment to me by a lot was the standing ovation for Terao after her LOST his 3rd place bout. just a really great moment. 

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When they were setting up between session 5 and 6 and putting the podium there, I was like that's a terrible spot.  UNLESS, they have a banner behind them, which I certainly assumed they were going to do.....god forbid you raise and lower the banner each time you present the awards between matches.  Reminds me of PA states a few years ago when you'd get all the kids making dumb-ass faces while guys are on the podium getting awards.  Very bush-league on the part of NCAA wrestling/MSG to not do something as simple as that....

As I said, they had made a backdrop. It was out in the back area near original mat 2. I know they were talking about bringing it in each time. I was surprised when it wasn't there after having made it. It's very possible that when we see the finished podium podium photos that they can air brush out the crowd. I've seen podium shots from kids tournaments where they photoshop kids IN when they aren't there for the original shot.

 

BTW- you can still order tickets- http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/0600505DCFC9723F

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Omaha, NE and the college world series go hand in hand. It is a 2 week tailgating festival with packed crowds each day. Teams and fans love coming to Omaha every year even when their team does not qualify. ESPN and Omaha have built an outstanding tournament that is as popular now as ever. The comment above about college baseball dwindling because of the tournament being held in Omaha every year is ludicrous. Try attending the CWS sometime and we the passion of the fans from all over the country. The CWS and college baseball are doing great and having the series in Omaha makes it even more special. I could not disagree more with the above post.

 

I don't doubt that the CWS is a great time. The question is whether having it in the same location every year is good for the sport.  Average attendance at the CWS has been flat if not slightly down since 1996, despite a whole lot of marketing dollars from the city of Omaha, venue & capacity upgrades and the excitement that comes with running the event in tandem with the MLB draft. 

 

A more apt comparison might be college softball. The CS championships have been locked into the same city for over a quarter century now.  Has the single-location strategy helped grow the sport at all?  (Serious question, I don't know if it has or not)

Edited by pamela

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Des Moines did a great job. The performance of the national anthem was the best ever!  But someone decided to put 2-3000 seats too few in the arena.

 

Oklahoma City just doesn't do a good job. Every time it is a surprise  to the restaurants that something is going on (OK in NYC, probably OK in Philly, Maybe Cleveland or St Louis, not a city of 620,000.)

 

Omaha was alright but the insult to the sport by the AD at UNO makes the place unacceptable.

 

If the folks west of Indiana (the nations population Median) want the tournament to be in St Louis every other year (even though it is no longer an American Airlines Hub) that's fine, if they want to try Kansas City, or Minneapolis area again fine. If they want to try Denver, Phoenix, Dallas or someone on the Pacific Coast. fine.

 

But the Tournament needs to be in the eastern half of the country in Even Years. No matter the numbers published, NYC and Philly clearly had the most butts in the seats. Pitt and DC will have great attendance if given the chance. Hopefully, probably, Cleveland 

Edited by RichB

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having the tournament in a permanent location is a terrible idea. even if MSG's production completely sucked and St Louis is theoretically perfect. a permanent location is just a stupid. you want new cities to try new things so the event is constantly improving and evolving. learn from the previous events keep what works and ditch what doesnt. it also does not need permanent infrastructure besides a large, quality arena, that many, many cities has. there is no reason not to move the event to different cities where there are lots of wrestlers and wrestling fans. 

 

also far more national qualifiers and their families live within a 2 to 3 hour drive to NYC than St Lous. Missouri may be centrally located on a map of the continental united states, but its not close to the majority of NCAA wrestlers or D1 schools. 

 

I'm happy that people like going to St Louis and that the event is well done when it is held there, but making it the permanent home of the NCAA tournament would be unconscionably dumb. 

 

regarding the crowds, I thought they were great.

 

  • Penn State had easily the biggest crowd and they were great. cheered everyone but of course went nuts for their team. 
  • Cornell had a large and vocal crew. I sat on the other side of the Ohio State and Virginia Tech fans but they were also in full force and making lots of noise.
  • Plenty of Okie State fans were close to me and represented well.
  • Nebraska seemed to travel very well for being so far away
  • Iowa and Minnesota fans were next to each other and maybe there weren't as many as in previous tournaments but they made plenty of noise when their wrestlers were on the mats.
  • I actually thought Rutgers and Lehigh would have more fans (I sat in a small Lehigh section). Those who were there still made a good showing.
  • didn't see as many Michigan or Illinois fans as I thought given the number of alumni in the area

best crowd moment to me by a lot was the standing ovation for Terao after her LOST his 3rd place bout. just a really great moment. 

 

VT crowd was awesome to see. This year at the FS worlds, Nebraska took over the place by Saturday (when JB and Green competed). I was amazed by how many of them showed up, They seem to travel well.

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Just don't ever put it in Detroit again.  Miserable experience.  No hotels close by.  No restaurants close by.  No convention hall for fan experience so we were in a tent in the parking lot.  Mid March weather had it in the 20s daily.  I don't understand how that bid got accepted.  

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Denver would be a great host city.

I think Denver would be an outstanding city for the tournament, considering it has a great downtown area (Lodo) that has been restored and growing.  There is plenty of accessible places walking distance to the   arena.  To add there are plenty of hotels and weekend rentals that are around to make it a great experience.  It hosted the NCAA Frozen Four back in 2007, so it has had a college crowd there.  It's also next to the Auraria neighborhood which is host to 3 college campuses.  Last, it is only an hour from OTC in Colorado Springs.  Tours there are only $5 and would be a great place to take younger kids to see where Olympic hopefuls train.  

Edited by NickyTheEar

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Manhattan was tremendous! We're Gopher fans & went early to experience the city for a few days. Aside from the fact that everything cost a lot, we thought this was the best finals site ever (been going since 2003 - KC). Bazillions of things to see, great food, convenient transportation. New Yorkers were friendly & helpful to visiting midwesterners. The event has seemed to challenge the capacity of some host cities, but not New York.  Let's return to MSG every 5 years!

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That's the worst to me.  I've always hated how every black athlete is 'athletic' whether they actually are or not.  Meanwhile the athletic white wrestlers get no credit for athleticism.  The runner-up to me is how every black wrestler gets compared only to other black wrestlers.  

 

I think stalling is far more influenced by fan attitudes and yelling then by skin color, but it is influenced some.  I always thought Teyon Ware was a bit of a staller naturally, but he got hit more and booed more than a comparative white wrestler would have.

I think American wrestling culture place a high value on conditioning (perhaps to our detriment internationally but that's another issue). It seems that stalling can be tolerated provided you don't look tired while stalling.

 

I think there is a multitude of factors that make every situation unique- Teams, reputation, coaches, situations, fans, opponent, etc. Having said that, I wonder sometimes.

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Denver, unfortunately, probably doesn't have the floor space in the right way for the NCAA Division I Championships. Pespi Center is a great place and the area in Denver is awesome, but I think the ice sheet area and the stands are really close to the action and too tight for it to work. They get 10 in there for Colorado states, but the mats are right against the hockey boards -- 

 

I'd love it, but I think their floorspace is too narrow. 

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Personally, i don't care where they have them in the future, as long as they never go back to NYC.

 

With the exception of the 9/11 memorial museum and the wrestling, which was the best wrestling i have seen in my 15 years of attendance, i did not enjoy anything NYC had to offer.

 

Let me start by saying that my annual trip to the NCAA is the only vacation i get as an educator, wrestling coach, and father.  So, when i go to the NCAA tournament i go for the complete wrestling fan experience.  NYC did not offer that in the least.  The city pretty much swallowed the tournament up.  Over the years, i have enjoyed the host cities honoring the tournament.  When you check into the hotels their are posters, rooms keys, fan guides for the tournament.  The streets are lined with flags , etc.   The city showcases the event.  NYC offered none of that experience for wrestling fans.  

 

Just my opinion.......

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When you check into the hotels their are posters, rooms keys, fan guides for the tournament.  The streets are lined with flags , etc.   The city showcases the event.  NYC offered none of that experience for wrestling fans.  

 

Just my opinion.......

just my opinion but this has to been the lamest complaint I have ever heard. 

 

not enough flags and our hotel room keys didn't have pictures of wrestlers on them!

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I was trying to keep it strictly to the city hosting the event.  In every city that has hosted the NCAA that i have attended, our tournament was promoted and advertised.  Sorry if you are to tough for a lame comment like that, but it is just my observation.  

 

How about this, the amount of trash, homeless people, mentally ill, and drug use i saw to and from the arena was enough to make it unattractive for me.

 

That better?

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Denver, unfortunately, probably doesn't have the floor space in the right way for the NCAA Division I Championships. Pespi Center is a great place and the area in Denver is awesome, but I think the ice sheet area and the stands are really close to the action and too tight for it to work. They get 10 in there for Colorado states, but the mats are right against the hockey boards -- 

 

I'd love it, but I think their floorspace is too narrow. 

That was the one thing I was afraid of was the space between the wall and the mats, I knew it was a tight fit but not that tight.  

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