Pittsburgh -- Robert Morris University's bid to host college hockey's showcase event has moved one step closer to reality. The city of Pittsburgh has been named a finalist to host the NCAA Division I Men's Frozen Four in either 2013 or 2014.
RMU, in conjunction with VisitPittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL), would host the event at the new home of the defending Stanley Cup Championships, the CONSOL Energy Center, set to open this fall.
"Being a finalist to host this prestigious event means we're one of a handful of cities whose bid stood out and the NCAA is considering," RMU Director of Athletics Craig Coleman said. "We believe our partnership with VisitPittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Penguins and CONSOL Energy Center is a strong asset, and fortunately the NCAA agrees."
"Being named a finalist means we're one step closer to achieving our goal of hosting the premier college hockey event in the nation," Colonial Head Men's Ice Hockey Coach Derek Schooley said. "This is very exciting for the Robert Morris hockey program and the local hockey community."
If Pittsburgh is awarded the Frozen Four, it would mark the first major team sport in NCAA history to conduct its national championship in the city.
"We are excited that Robert Morris has been named a finalist to bring the NCAA Frozen Four to Pittsburgh and CONSOL Energy Center in 2013 or 2014," said David Morehouse, president of the Pittsburgh Penguins. "The Penguins continue to offer their full support to Robert Morris and VisitPittsburgh as they near their goal of bringing this great NCAA hockey event to our city."
"The CONSOL Energy Staff is thrilled to know that we are a finalist to bring the NCAA Frozen Four to the city of Pittsburgh," said CONSOL Energy Center General Manager Jay Roberts. "We're looking forward to even better news in the future that we will be the NCAA's choice to host this event."
The Frozen Four has sold out every year since 1993, and over 72,000 attended the event at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., last month. In the 2010 championship game between Wisconsin and eventual national champion Boston College, an indoor ice hockey record of 37,592 attended the contest.
"VisitPittsburgh is ecstatic to be among the contenders for the 2013 or 2014 Frozen Four, the national championship for NCAA Division I men's ice hockey," said Craig Davis, Vice President for Sales and Marketing of VisitPittsburgh.
"This exciting event will bring over 17,000 players and spectators and an estimated economic impact of over $10 million to Pittsburgh. Our stellar facilities, including the soon to be completed CONSOL Energy Center, and our attractive amenities will help create a wonderful experience for the student-athletes, their familes and fans."
The NCAA will announce the host cities for the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Frozen Four next month.