The Quinnipiac Athletics brand is on the rise.
While education certainly plays a role, priding in the success of the hockey teams and the pursuit of positive publicity via hosting athletic events is the university’s most recent tactic.
Quinnipiac and the town of Hamden was chosen to host the Frozen Four in November 2012. With the games played at High Point Solutions Arena this past weekend, the positive effects were evident.
Outside of TD Bank Sports Center, the Frozen Four logo was stamped on the windows looking into the arena. Next to it were the logos for Wisconsin, Mercyhurst, Minnesota, and Clarkson, the teams that competed in the 2014 NCAA Women’s Frozen Four.
At an outside glance, there is little difference to the arena. After entering, almost everything Quinnipiac ceases to exist. The only things to identify the school by are the rafters and two small logos on the ice with the Bobcat symbol. Otherwise, it epitomizes the title of a neutral site.
Stepping inside the rink reveals the up-and-coming nature Quinnipiac sells itself on. Through the doors into the ice arena, visitors saw the state-of-the-art technology and high-quality ice found at a professional team’s complex, not on a college campus.
Assistant Director of Facilities Jon Terry was one of the members in charge of modifying the ice. He and his staff used 130 gallons of white paint to mask the normal center ice Bobcat display. The mesh Frozen Four logo was then placed on top of the white-out. In addition, two smaller mesh NCAA and Quinnipiac logos each were added to the arrangement.
It is not much, but those school logos are enough to jog any viewers memory. With numerous media outlets in attendance, the audience for the games expanded to much more than those physically present. When they saw the ice on television, the logos would be there to remind them Quinnipiac provided some of the best playing and viewing conditions in the country. Having the best facilities certainly appeals to prospective athletes, but also parents who want their child to be at a school heading down the right path.
“So many compliments I got about the building and what a beautiful campus,” Executive Director of TD Bank Sports Center Eric Grgurich said. “Just getting the Quinnipiac name out there gets a lot of new people seeing what we got going on here on campus.”
The atmosphere was as exciting as the sport can get. Clarkson defeated the Golden Gophers 5-4 in an exciting championship game. The audience was comprised of a multitude of different people. Fans for Clarkson outnumbered all the rest, but there was a Minnesota presence. There was even an RV in the parking lot. To accommodate the visitors, seniors living on York Hill had to move their cars to the parking garage.
With an influx of visitors brings business, something no town will turn down. If fans like those in the RV were staying multiple nights they would have to spend their money at local establishments.
“For the commerce in the area its fantastic,” Grgurich said. “They’re staying at hotels, eating restaurants, and buying gas in Hamden.”
The event elevated Quinnipiac’s status as a rising university to an even more diverse population than the northern region. Grgurich also noted attendees came from various other states in the midwest and even Canada. According to Terry, the story had even made its way to the national news level.
“I know the ‘Today Show’ had a ticker going across talking about the thousands that will be descending upon Hamden, Connecticut, for the tournament,” Terry said. “I think it’s an exciting thing for Quinnipiac and for the town of Hamden. I think it’s been a good event.”
In the pursuit of becoming a nationally prominent university, Quinnipiac will move toward that goal if it continues to boast its athletics and brand its logos at national tournaments such as the Frozen Four.