The NCAA announced the future sites for Frozen Four for 2015 through 2018 today, as well as regional sites for 2015 and 2016 via YouTube. You can see their video here.
First up, the Frozen Four sites:
2015- Boston. After spending 11 years in exile for the half-hearted job they did in hosting the 2004 Frozen Four, Boston is finally allowed to host another one. Boston is one of the main hubs of the college hockey world, and I think everyone agreed that it was time for them to get another shot.
2016-Tampa. Tampa hosted the Frozen Four recently in 2012, but by all accounts, did a great job, and nearly everyone that went seemed eager to have Tampa host again.
2017-Chicago. The United Center in Chicago will host their first ever Frozen Four. This will be the biggest city to ever host a Frozen Four, and is pretty easy travel for most everybody in the west.
2018-St. Paul. The Minneapolis/St. Paul area is the other main hub of college hockey, along with Boston, and the XCel Center always does a nice job hosting these. They most recently hosted in 2011, but I don't think anyone will complain about going back there.
Overall, I think the NCAA got things right this time around. They hit the two traditional spots. Went with one recent host that everybody liked and wants to travel to, and experimented with one new venue. That's a pretty solid model for the NCAA to follow for future venue selections.
And here are the regional sites for 2015 and 2016.
East: Providence, RI Northeast: Manchester, NH West: Fargo, ND Midwest: South Bend, IN
The two eastern regionals are retreads, but pretty reliable ones. The Scheel's Arena in Fargo is a nice choice, given the limitations of wanting "neutral sites". It's a nice arena, and travel isn't terrible for that region of the country. The Compton Family Arena is South Bend is baffling. I know it's a great arena and the NCAA is desperate for attendance at the Midwest regional, but the NCAA has held firm on their rule that teams can't host on their home rink. I guess Notre Dame gets an exception though, which makes the "no home venues" rule all the dumber.
East: Albany, NY Northeast: Worcester, MA West: St. Paul, MN Midwest: Cincinnati, OH
Again, the eastern regionals are retreads, but reliable, if painfully unexciting, ones. I'm not a huge fan of the XCel Center as a regional site because the size of the building tends to make ticket prices way too high. Minnesota-Duluth bid to host at AmSoil Arena, and the only thing really holding that back was the no home venues rule, which as we learned, is only selectively enforced. But there's the potential for big $$$ if Minnesota makes the tournament and plays at the X, and that seems to have won out. I won't say much about Cincinnati because nobody is going to that regional anyway.