NCHC 2016-17 Year In Review: Postseason Revenue Down, But League Still Projecting Surplus

The NCHC issued its 2016-17 season in review on Thursday. You can read the whole report here.

Below are my highlights from this year’s report:

  • The NCHC is again projecting a budget surplus for the 2016-17 year, though final numbers will not be known until the current league fiscal year concludes Aug. 31. Revenue from the NCHC tournament was down eight percent in 2016-17, however, the league generated new revenue through the College Hockey Showdown between North Dakota and Boston College at Madison Square Garden in New York. The league also gained a couple new corporate sponsors such as Mills Fleet Farm, Preferred One Insurance and X-Games, which created new revenue.
  • NCHC.tv revenue grew by 16 percent in 2016-17 with 85 percent of that revenue distributed back to the schools based on subscribers.
  • Starting in 2018-19, NCHC teams will wrap up the regular season by playing against their rivalry partner (so UMD will play St. Cloud State) alternating home and away each season. This should lessen the travel burden prior to the postseason. The league is also looking to lessen the travel burden for schools while remaining financially responsible during the league quarterfinals and Frozen Faceoff.
  • The NCHC plans to make a decision on the future of the NCHC Frozen Faceoff later this summer and the NCHC isn’t just discussing the location, but the tournament’s “overall structure” as well. The league is entering the final year of its contract with the Target Center for the Frozen Faceoff. Target Center is undergoing a number of renovations (including installing a new ice floor and refrigeration system). While not mentioned in the report, the Xcel Energy Center is also rumored to be in play for the league. 
  • Starting in 2017-18, players will no longer take part in voting for all-conference and individual league awards. It will be handled solely by the coaches.
  • With a limited officiating staff at the moment, the conference is going to seek out new referees who are interested, available and qualified to work NCHC games, as well as assess its current crop of linesmen to make sure there are enough for each geographic location. 
  • League is looking at options for speeding up video reviews. That could include getting the supervisors up in the booth involved.