NCAA Considering Changes To Lacrosse Final Four In Order To Boost Declining Attendance
NCAA Associate Dir of Championships & Alliances Anthony Holman said that the body is considering "possible changes" to its men's lacrosse championship weekend, according to John Jiloty of INSIDE LACROSSE. Those changes include "lowering ticket prices, moving the NCAA Quarterfinals back on campus to higher seeds and looking into different dates and times for the event, the latter tying in with ESPN's continually advancing coverage of college lacrosse." The event "sits at an important crossroads, after the NCAA decided not to select the locations" of the '17-18 Final Fours last December. The event has seen attendance decline in each of the past seven seasons. Lincoln Financial Field will host the '15-16 events, and Holman said that the NCAA Men’s D-I Lacrosse Committee will meet in August to "determine whether changes should be made to the bid process," in advance of naming the '17-18 sites. Holman said that the NCAA "met with key 'stakeholders' on Sunday of championship weekend in Baltimore for three hours to discuss possible changes." Analysis of the event "falls in two categories: what can change" for '15-16 in Philadelphia and then the "more long-term changes that would start with this next bid cycle" for the '17-18 championship weekends. The NCAA is "going to lower prices" starting in '15. The cheapest all-session ticket for '15 is $50, and the NCAA "will also be offering a family-friendly $99 package for Saturday’s semifinal double-header" that includes four endzone tickets, four hot dogs, four drinks and parking. Venue size has "been another frequently mentioned component." The current minimum venue size is 40,000, and Holman said that the NCAA "could look into lowering that requirement." However, Holman said that due to the cost implications of double travel, it is "unlikely that the event will split so that the semifinals are one weekend and the finals the next" (INSIDELACROSSE.com, 6/2).