It turns out that Boston, Massachusetts is a bit too frozen for the Frozen Four.
The winter of 2014-15 dumped historic amounts of snow in the northeast, and the hardest hit areas of New England have collected over 100 inches of the white stuff.
Boston Logan Airport has received 110.6 inches of snow this winter, and the persistent cold weather has prevented any meaningful snowmelt. The city recorded 28 consecutive days with lows 20 degrees or colder, from Jan. 25 through Feb. 21 (inclusive), breaking the all-time record of 27 consecutive days set Jan. 12 through Feb. 7, 1881.
Despite the weather, the NCAA held off on making a final decision whether to move the 2015 Frozen Four from TD Garden (Boston, Massachusetts). Tournament officials were hoping that enough snow would melt during the month of March to keep the event in Beantown.
“(The snow melt) didn’t happen quickly enough, so we had to go to ‘Plan B’,” one tournament official said (speaking on condition of anonymity). “And so we looked at what the regionals did last weekend, and one of them (the NCAA West Regional in Fargo, North Dakota) was over capacity. That seemed to make the most sense.”
But TD Garden in Boston seats over 17,000 for hockey games, while SCHEELS Arena in Fargo tops out at 5,000. That was a problem for the NCAA.
“Yeah, we couldn’t squeeze everyone into the USHL rink,” my source said. “And then someone else on the committee remembered that Fargo also has a football team.”
That football team would be the North Dakota State University Bison, the four-time defending NCAA Division I-FCS National Champions (2011-2014). The Bison play in the Fargodome in front of 19,000 fans for every home football game. Local officials know they have a tall task ahead of them putting an ice sheet over the turf, but they’re up for it.
A news conference to formally announce re-ticketing procedures for next weekend’s games (April 9th and 11th) and further explain the rationale behind this unique development is scheduled to air at 4:01 p.m. Eastern time today (April 1st) on ESPNU.