Plans have changed for many major sporting events over the past year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but hockey fans in Pittsburgh can rest easy knowing that plans to host the 2021 Frozen Four at PPG Paints Arena are still in motion after an announcement from hosting organizations SportsPITTSBURGH and Robert Morris University this past Friday afternoon.
“While the Men’s Frozen Four may look different this year, the NCAA has the utmost confidence in SportsPITTSBURGH, Robert Morris University and the City of Pittsburgh to host a safe, competitive and memorable championship at PPG Paints Arena,” NCAA Director of Championships & Alliances Kristin Fasbender said. “Pittsburgh has developed a well-deserved reputation of hosting NCAA Championships and ensuring that our students-athletes have a great experience.”
That “deserving reputation” comes after eight NCAA championships were hosted in Pittsburgh from 2018-2019 including the 2019 D-I Wrestling Championship and 2019 D-I Volleyball Championship, both hosted at PPG Paints Arena. SportsPITTSBURGH agreed to host 22 NCAA preliminary and championship events in the city from 2018-2022, the most of any city in the United States. Two events fell victim to the pandemic last year, the D-III Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championship and the D-II Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Regional.
“The entire Pittsburgh community is grateful to the NCAA for its continued confidence in our city to host championship events,” SportsPITTSBURGH Executive Director Jennifer Hawkins said. “A lot of planning and teamwork have taken place throughout the last few months. Backed by the Pittsburgh Global Health (PGH) & Safety Commitment, we continue to work with state, county and city officials on an event plan that allows us to safely welcome the student-athletes, coaches and families to Pittsburgh.
“It’s fitting that we return to hosting a major sports event alongside key partners such as the NCAA, Robert Morris University and PPG Paints Arena. I’m looking forward to seeing another championship trophy hoisted in Pittsburgh.”
The men’s hockey program at Robert Morris University, the co-host organization of the championship, is currently in the midst of their best season in five years as they sit with a 14-5 (10-3-1) record. They’ve jumped in and out of the USCHO rankings this year, and currently sit at No. 19 in the country.
“Robert Morris University is proud to again partner with SportsPITTSBURGH and PPG Paints Arena and play host to the NCAA Division I Men’s Frozen Four,” RMU Director of Athletics Chris King said. “Pittsburgh is a hockey town, and there’s no better setting for this prestigious championship than our legendary sports city.”
As for seating, the press release from SportsPITTSBURGH stated, “Due to current state capacity restrictions on indoor events, ticket purchase opportunities are currently on hold. Timely updates will be provided at sportspittsburgh.com/frozenfour as more information becomes available.”
The Frozen Four is set to start on April 8th, with the Championship taking place on April 10th.