If you follow the MCLA, you probably know that this is the last year the tournament will be held in Denver, Colorado, at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park complex. Let’s see where it can wander to next!
On February 7th, the MCLA released the criteria for bids to host the 2012 MCLA tournament. The criteria are comprehensive, approachable, and realistic. All bids must be submitted for consideration by April 1, 2011. You can read the full press release about the search for bids here.
This search for bids, and the transparent, comprehensive approach the league has taken, is a masterful stroke by the MCLA. There should be an increase in the number of potentially acceptable sites proposing to host the event. An increase in proposals means an increase in each bid’s competitiveness, which means that WE ALL win with a more professional and exciting MCLA Tournament week.
So now to the fun part: Where will the MCLA Tournament take it’s talents in 2012?
This is the first step in a longer process, but let’s take a very superficial look at potential cities to host the tournament.
I have one major criterion that I used to narrow down potential host cities:
MUST be a city with a major hub airport (of the four major airlines, Delta, Southwest, United, American) or reasonably be considered a suburb of one of those cities (e.g. Arlington to Dallas).
This is crucial because the MCLA serves such a disparate base of teams in both financial and geographic terms. The city must be easily reachable either by road (interstate) or by plane. Hub cities not only provide the greatest amount of cost effective flight options, they also will surely have the necessary hotel infrastructure to accommodate all teams and fans. It should be noted the MCLA Tournament has never been held at a site that is not situated in a major hub city.
You can find my super-scientific resource for hub cities here.
Can/Should this City host the 2012 MCLA Tournament?
- Atlanta – Yes
- Memphis – No
- Dallas – It can, but shouldn’t, had it in 2008, No
- Salt Lake City – Yes
- Los Angeles – Yes
- Washington, DC – Potentially should, but no sites to make it feasible, so No
- Detroit - Hmmmm…geographically not awful, but are there any sites? No
- New York City – No (We’ll explain the Far East Coast cities below)
- Minneapolis – Same as Dallas, No
- Chicago – Yes
- Miami – Heck No
- Denver – Same as Minneapolis and Dallas, No
- San Francisco – Yes
Why No on the Far East Coast cities like NYC? It’s Old Lax country. You’ve got no buzz about a virtual varsity league. They don’t even know what that phrase means. Good luck advertising that event. Also, you’ve got a three hour time LOSS for a bunch of teams, as opposed to a three hour time GAIN if you move West. Yes I know it’s a week long tournament. But I am lazy and I live on the West Coast. (See how the argument for the tournament site can be petty?)
There have also been tangential discussions about a potential bid in Seattle. While being truly lazy and located in the Pacific Northwest, I can still be somewhat objective and realize that no one outside of the PNCLL representatives will be happy about a Pacific Northwest bid. Let’s nip that in the bud right here right now.
OK, so after a pretty-darn reasonable trimming of sites based on logistical feasibility and past hosting duties, you’re left with this list of potential sites:
- Atlanta, GA
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Los Angeles, CA
- Chicago, IL
- San Francisco, CA
All five of those cities are burgeoning lacrosse communities. They all have airports that offer a variety of cost-effective flight options for all MCLA teams. They are all located nearby major MCLA fanbases that can support the event and bring others. And they are all pretty cool cities. There’s a lot that goes into this decision, and I am really excited at the way the league is approaching the search for potential sites.
(I could also be convinced on Detroit if there’s a site that I don’t know about in the area.)
But outside of those 5 potential sites, I don’t know of any other cities that really make sense for the MCLA.
If Vegas had odds on this, I’d bet a whole lotta money on the 2012 MCLA Tournament being in one of those five cities. You think I’m crazy? Let me know why.