Dear WCHA Women’s Hockey,
We’ve been friends for several years now and it’s been wonderful watching some of the best and most dominant women’s hockey teams in the country under the umbrella of the WCHA. But this weekend’s Final Face-Off left me a little blue.
I spent my Saturday at the Ralph Engelstad Arena watching a two quality women’s hockey games, but I was still left wanting something a little more. During intermission I wondered why there weren’t any intermission games. No videos before or after honoring previous winners or highlighting the successes or WCHA alumni, coaching staff or programs. How about highlighting the WCHA nominees for the Patty Kaz award? WCHA women’s hockey has so much to be proud of. Why not showcase it?
If you walked around the arena, it didn’t make you feel as if you were in a tournament atmosphere. I know these are little things that might cost a little money and time, but I think it’s worth creating a fan atmosphere.
Maybe the lack of fan engagement is a dollar and cents situation. And I get it, the Final Face-Off can’t be compared to the money or atmosphere of the WCHA Final Five, but the WCHA can do better for women’s hockey. It has to do better. You should strive to be like the Final Five of yester-year even if it seems like an impossible goal. In the same way you ask student-athletes to elevate their game on ice and in the classroom, I’m asking you to do the same for the fan experience.
I applaud the effort to offer the free youth clinic on Saturday morning. I can appreciate the fact that this was an excellent opportunity to advance girls’ hockey. I hope the attendees had an unforgettable experience.
An event such as the Final Face-Off has two opportunities: help grow girls’ hockey and increase and sustain the fan base. You have an exceptional product on the ice. Make the event unforgettable for fans, not just the players.
Jackie – a WCHA women’s hockey fan