Since this story came out about UND preparing to bid to host a regional in Fargo, I’ve heard lots of questions and ideas for other venues where UND should try to host a regional.
Two of them I’ve heard: Minneapolis/St. Paul or Winnipeg.
Below, I list why I don’t think they are viable options.
1. Minneapolis/St. Paul
If UND made the NCAAs, it would automatically be placed here (if it’s the host). The NCAA also would do everything it could to keep Minnesota here (if it makes the tournament). So, essentially, UND would be bidding for a regional to try to play against Minnesota in the Twin Cities. Since the main goal of bidding for a regional is to give your team some sort of advantage, I don’t know how great of an idea it would be. It would basically place you against your rival in their backyard. You don’t see New Hampshire bid to host a regional in Boston.
I think it would be an extreme longshot for the NCAA to grant a regional outside of the United States. It would create a lot of possible logistical problems. It’s possible that there could be problems with players traveling to Canada for various reasons (not having a passport being one). Since you have no idea which teams could get sent up there at the beginning of the season, it might be too big of a headache for the NCAA to consider as a viable option at this point.
Some people have mentioned the smaller venue (5,000 seats) being a problem for Fargo to earn a bid. That is a legit concern. UND’s response will be that half of the regionals right now are not drawing 5,000.
A Fargo regional also could be a draw for St. Cloud State, Minnesota and Minnesota State-Mankato fans, as Fargo is a fairly easy drive for all of those programs (something the NCAA will like to hear).
So, there are pros and cons to UND’s Fargo bid. As for picking Scheels Arena for the venue? I think that’s really UND’s only legitimate option under the current NCAA setup.