As one of my DU buddies noted this week, "Its starting to sound like as many people hate you in Alaska as North Dakota. Good job."
UAA Fan: I love how our tightfisted, dumbass athletic department does almost nothing to promote this team and find ways to effectively put people in the stands.
dg: UAA Fan raises an interesting question and I'm sure the solutions are very complex. I think that "calling out" the UAA Athletic Department is both fair and warranted. Somebody has to take responsibility for the empty seats and the fact that the program hasn't hosted a home playoff series since joining the WCHA.
It seems like you finally have a coach who "gets it," so that is the first and most important step.
From listening to the UAA fans over the past couple of years, the Aces have grabbed the lead in the Anchorage market by winning and aggressively marketing. Most Athletic Departments are very weak in marketing and are more interested in fund raising and meeting budgets. DU and the Colorado Avalanche have a great relationship that includes players, administrators and coaches that have ties to both organizations.
If I was at UAA I'd be looking at ways to work with the Aces to develop junior hockey, get a first class facility built and build the hockey fan base in Alaska.
Someone told a story this month on the USCHO message board of hockey coach Shawn Walsh arriving at Maine and walking around the dorms and cafeterias with a bullhorn challenging the students to attend the games and make noise.
There are so many things the UAA Alumni, students and supporters of the program can also do to help the program. The only limits are your imagination. This DU report was submitted to the University of Nebraska Omaha's Athletic Department this week and it offers many ideas to build bonds between the athletic teams and the community.
These are only my ideas and suggestions. If you have other ideas, suggestions or thoughts post them below. If you think I'm full of crap, let me have it. Like I tell the DU fans "I'm a resource, use me." ;-)