Apr 17 2024

NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Regional Tournament Generates $1.2 Million Economic Impact in Western Massachusetts

Springfield, MA - April 16, 2024 - The MassMutual Center proudly hosted its first NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey regional tournament – marking a significant milestone for Springfield and Western Massachusetts. The tournament, which featured powerhouse teams including the University of Denver, University of Massachusetts, Cornell, and the University of Maine, proved to be a resounding success, drawing capacity crowds and generating substantial economic benefits for the local community. 

 The economic impact of the tournament was significant, with an estimated $1.2 million injected into the Springfield economy. Over 500 hotel rooms in Springfield were sold during the tournament, showcasing the city's hospitality and accommodation capabilities. The tournament saw over 11,000 paid tickets sold, demonstrating the immense popularity and enthusiasm for hockey in the region. 

 The tournament's success was made possible through the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders. The organizing committee, comprising of the MassMutual Center, American International College, and the University of Massachusetts worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth execution of the event. The support from the Business Improvement District (BID), Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (GSCVB), and local restaurants such as White Lion Brewing, Nadim’s, Walburgers, Jackelope Brewing Company, and Theodore’s, further contributed to the tournament's success. 

 The tournament was not only about hockey; it was a celebration of sports and community spirit. The Fanfest, held in the MassMutual Center Convention Center, offered many activities for attendees, including interactive experiences with the Forest Park Zoo and Basketball Hall of Fame. Partnering with the Thunderbirds, attendees also enjoyed life-size masks and slapshot inflatables. 

 Sean Dolan, General Manager of MassMutual Center, expressed his excitement about the positive collaborations with AIC and UMass leading up to the event. "It was truly thrilling for the MassMutual Center to host our first-ever NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey regional tournament," said Dolan. "We are grateful for the support from so many of our community partners and we are looking forward to hosting similar events in the future." 

 Reflecting on the event, AIC’s Associate Athletic Director, Michael Lavato, added, "It was a truly great experience for the city of Springfield to host an event like this, we are very proud that AIC is a member of the Springfield Community, to help bring this type of event and economic impact to the area is amazing and we hope to do this again in the near future." 

 “It was a great experience to collaborate with the MassMutual Center and American International College to play host to the NCAA Regional event in Springfield. Western Massachusetts is full of hockey fans and that was showcased throughout the tournament weekend. We look forward to working together to host similar events in the future,” said University of Massachusetts Deputy Athletic Director for External Operations Jeff Smith. 

 After Denver won the Springfield regional, they went to the Frozen Four - where they defeated Boston College to win the 2024 Men’s Hockey National Championship. 

Looking ahead, MassMutual Center aims to become a premier destination for the NCAA tournament. The center's state-of-the-art facilities and the city's vibrant atmosphere position Springfield as an ideal host for future collegiate sporting events. 

For more information about MassMutual Center, please visit www.massmutualcenter.com. Explore the wonders of Western Massachusetts at www.explorewesternmass.com.  


About MassMutual Center 

MassMutual Center is managed by the entertainment and hospitality industry leader, MGM Springfield, and owned by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. MassMutual Center is Western Massachusetts’ most diverse function space with over 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space including a 40,000 sq. ft. flexible exhibit hall, five fully-functional meeting rooms, a 15,000 sq. ft. ballroom, and an 8,000-seat arena. The facility is the proud home to the AHL Springfield Thunderbirds and American International College D1 Men’s Hockey team, in addition to hosting family shows, concerts, meetings, social and corporate functions, sporting events and more. 


About the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) 

The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority owns and oversees the operations of the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA, the Boston Common Parking Garage, The Lawn On D Powered by Citizens Bank, and The Lot On D. The MCCA's mission is to generate significant regional economic activity by attracting conventions, tradeshows, and other events to its world-class facilities while maximizing the investment return for the residents and businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.