The last time that upstate New York hosted the quarterfinals round of the NCAA Tournament was in 2008 when Schoellkopf Field featured Syracuse, Notre Dame, Duke, and Ohio State. The Cornell regional saw a paltry 6,121 folks walk through the gates to see three seeded teams -- including top-seeded Duke and local draw Syracuse -- fight it out for a spot in the semifinals at Gillette Stadium. The NCAA hasn't returned to that area of the country for the quarterfinals since, instead using Hofstra and Stony Brook as New York's only hosting sites. That may change in the near future, though.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has submitted a number of bids to host several high-profile NCAA events, including the Division I men's lacrosse quarterfinals at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., home of the NFL's Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Business First has reported.
Using member schools Niagara and Canisius as the lead, the MAAC is seeking to host the quarterfinals at Ralph Wilson, just outside Buffalo, in a window between the 2014-15 and 2017-18 academic years. It would mark the first time NCAA quarterfinals would be held in the Buffalo Niagara region.
A quarterfinal pod in Buffalo wouldn't be out of the question. Just last year, the NCAA hosted a pair of Division I men's quarterfinals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the first time the games had been held off the east coast of the United States. More than 7,700 fans attended.
Delaware and Hofstra will serve as quarterfinals venues in 2014, but the NCAA will name finalist sites for the 2015-2018 seasons in the near future.
Buffalo is an interesting potential destination as a quarterfinalist host. The city's location is situated between the Central New York hotbed and the growing heat of the game in the near-Midwest, as well as holding proximity to the game's development center in southern Canada. Buffalo, however, is an outpost in many respects, especially for those south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The chances for the MAAC to host the event in Orchard Park may turn on where the NCAA situates the complementary regional.