Big 10 Decision Leaves Xcel Open

The future of the WCHA Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center became a question mark when the Big 10 announced that it was creating a men’s hockey league.

Would the Xcel Center ditch the WCHA in favor of hosting the Big 10 on the same weekend?

Well, for now, it appears that’s not an issue. The Wisconsin State Journal reported this weekend that the Big 10 has decided to play its league championship at the home venue of the highest seed.

That means that the Xcel Center is likely still there for the WCHA, if it wants.

Even though the hometown Gophers will no longer be in the league, I still believe that this is the best option. Minneapolis/St. Paul remains a very central, very accessible location for the league. And on top of that, many of the WCHA schools have huge alumni bases in the Twin Cities.

It’s good for the hometown fans. It’s good for many of the grads who have moved on. It can hold more people than any league venues and maximize profits. And with the Big 10’s decision, it would appear that option is still on the table.

13 Responses

  1. Irish

    I think it’s great that the Final Five might still be played at the Xcel. However, I can’t help but feel like this is the first step of the WCHA being treated like a second class citizen by getting the “you can use it as long as the Big 10 aren’t” mentality.

  2. I still haven’t figured out why the Big Ten hockey league is such a good idea for schools that heavily favor football and basketball. I know they have their own network, but who will be watching? As for the WCHA, it appears that this year’s tournament did just fine without the “big boys.”

    1. Mike

      It is in the Big Ten constitution that if 6 teams field a team in a certain sport they must play in the Big Ten. I think it would take a lot to change they and I do not think the Big Ten even considered changing that. Was not really even a decision once Penn State decided to start a Hockey team.

      1. Walrus

        Uh huh, those comments are PG compared to what many Gopher and Badger fans said of their own move to the Big Ten. I mean really, those large schools athletic departments are so conceited that they’re totally destroying the CCHA, which ripples all across college hockey, to play against mighty Penn State’s club team.

      2. onesioux

        Oh great and all powerful Big 10 conference, best of luck and thank you for thinking only of yourselves, and trying to fill an additional 5 hours a week of your conference’s tv station with live programming at the expense of hockey programs across the midwest. I really hope things work out and your member schools get some extra revenue out of this. It is obvious that your starving institutions of Wisco/Mich/MSU/Gordon Gee U/PSU/and the other UofM need a little extra cash more than schools like Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Lake Superior, Ferris State, Northern Michigan, Ala-Huntsville, MT, Mankato, Bemidji and Duluth (all of which your greedy conference will surely affect in some way) do.
        Is that better?

  3. NDRocket

    I get a kick out of all of the people predicting the demise of the WCHA because of the new Big 10. Do you think the players on the WCHA teams care? They’re not playing hockey to be in the WCHA, they’re playing to win a National Championship. Who cares about the Big 10.

  4. dead_rabbit

    I’m hoping that Omaha will get to host a few F5s. It’s definitely more centrally located for all teams in the league (AA and fans will have to get on a plane no matter what), it’s a great hockey venue, and going to St Paul EVERY year is getting a little old.

    1. SiouxperKev

      Rabbit: You go to school with Ms. Teen South Carolina (where they dont have maps)? The CLOSET school to Omaha (besides UNO) is 300 miles away. 5 teams can drive to Xcel in those 300 miles (and change).

  5. John

    I doubt the Gophers will be the number one seed in the Big 10 any time soon. I hope they keep playng the final 5 at the Xcel or even move it over to the Target Center.

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