List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

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cvdwightw
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List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by cvdwightw »

So I went back over the 2009 ICT host requirements (cached, as the current list is apparently gone) and I've concluded one thing: if NAQT is willing to host things in a hotel (and thus not designate a campus as official "host" school), then no school submitted an acceptable bid. Because I thought there was this "10 game staff per host school" policy and unless NAQT is training hotel employees I don't think the hotel is providing 10 staff.

If I remember things correctly, NAQT had a hard time finding hosts in both 2007 and 2008. So then, there's some kind of serious problem with NAQT's hosting requirements that are making teams not want to bid, which is odd since I don't think that they've substantially changed since back when they could get teams to host (except that the staff requirement has decreased). ACF has not appeared to have these problems, despite a similar financial incentive for hosting (actually, larger programs would do better financially by bidding on ICT than ACF Nats). Therefore I have to conclude the following: teams either don't want to host ICT or don't have the staff to host ICT. Given the former, I'm not sure what NAQT can do. Given the latter, which now seems laughable since NAQT is in all likelihood waiving the staff requirement for the hotel, I think it's up to the circuit to try to suggest some reasonable places to host ICT, and then see if those places would be willing to host ICT in future years.

I'll start it off by suggesting some sort of Stanford/Berkeley Bay Area bid. A reasonable number of teams would be within not-ridiculously-long drives, there's a decent public transportation system, a number of NAQT members (at least Yaphe, Hoppes, Bruce) are in the area and likely to be there a year from now, a reasonable number of staff would be within driving distance, and the people who have attended/are attending Cardinal Classic can correct me, but don't think flights to the area are prohibitively expensive. Either school contains a growing, thriving program that would likely be able to both play a number of competitive teams and (at least combined) fit the "10 game staff per host" requirement.

I'm not going to knock the whole playing-in-a-hotel business until I've tried it (people who've played HSNCT in a hotel can bash it for me if they wish), but it seems that the idea of a collegiate tournament being hosted at someplace other than a college just doesn't fit right. So post some places where you'd like to see ICT 2010, and maybe those schools will hear you and put in a bid.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Matt Weiner »

Doubling the staff requirement by using clocks causes constant problems with finding SCT and ICT hosts, getting enough people to staff the tournament for a reasonable amount of money, and making sure (at the SCT level) that the games actually run competently. Finding a host for ACF Nationals is a fairly smooth process, because even if it were the size of the ICT, we're talking about 32 staffers, not 70 or more. I will reiterate that I think timed quizbowl is not inherently illegitimate and, from a gameplay-fairness perspective, it's a low priority for me regarding what I might want NAQT to change. However, in terms of the effect is has on tournament logistics, I think the problems that the clock causes in terms of finding competent SCT staff and an ICT location far outweigh any benefit it allegedly provides to tournament speed, and NAQT should consider abandoning the timed format for this reason alone.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Important Bird Area »

I'm not sure a Stanford/Berkeley ICT is in fact a great idea; it is my impression that the Los Angeles ICT in 2003 generated substantial complaint from midwestern and east coast teams.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by grapesmoker »

Timed quizbowl is not inherently illegitimate, but the logistical nightmare of staffing such an event is obvious to everyone. The number one thing NAQT could do to relieve staffing pressure is to dump the clock; it's obviously a gimmick and is in no way necessary for a quizbowl match.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

Matt Weiner wrote:However, in terms of the effect is has on tournament logistics, I think the problems that the clock causes in terms of finding competent SCT staff and an ICT location far outweigh any benefit it allegedly provides to tournament speed, and NAQT should consider abandoning the timed format for this reason alone.
I think that there may be substantial truth to this point with regard to finding SCT hosts, but it hasn't been our experience with respect to the ICT.

Several years ago, when we were requiring hosts to provide 25 staffers, some potential sites did tell us that there was no way that they could meet that requirement. However, when we lowered it to 10 staffers, that didn't cause a corresponding increase in the number of bids. To the best of my knowledge, no school has told NAQT in the last two years that they would love to host the ICT, but couldn't come up with ten staffers.

It's possible that club leaders are thinking, "We'd love to host, but there's no way NAQT would accept our bid since they'd never find enough local staffers." If that's the case, we'd love to hear about it. Or, alternately, put in a bid anyway (I don't think the procedure is that onerous) and let us make up our minds about it.

In terms of this year's bids, we received four bids from schools and a large number from hotels (all over the U.S.) By and large, the hotel bids were not very good, generally because they were too expensive and didn't have very good game rooms.

Among the schools that bid, one in the Bay Area looked very promising, but it was being made by a former quiz bowler, rather than a club, and he couldn't get the administration to support him. Another came in only a few days ago, too late for serious consideration. A third was from a university itself (as distinct from a quiz bowl club) and had a lot going for it (except for mandatory car rental), but they couldn't actually commit to the rooms we needed. The fourth was pretty good in most respects (including a plethora of local staff), but had very expensive airline tickets, not a huge number of local teams, and was in a city that (if the bidders will forgive me), was not likely to be high on people's list of preferred cities to visit.

Weighing all of the options, we decided that the best choice was the Hyatt Regency DFW. We are in no way "giving up" on colleges or universities as hosts; we hope to be back at an educational institution in 2010.

That said, I encourage people to give us the benefit of the doubt on this; feel free to flame us as much as you want on 4/5 if you think the site was terrible or the tournament a disaster, but my suspicion is that people will very much enjoy playing for the NAQT national championship at this site. Here are a few positives:

1. Dallas is a major hub; if you have to fly, you can probably get pretty cheap tickets. I'm flying from Minneapolis for $189.

2. Dallas is a major city. If you want to go someplace you haven't been, there's almost something that you'll enjoy doing in Dallas. The reaction to the Minneapolis ICT sensitized us to this point.

3. The games will take place in a single building. Minimal travel time; maximum efficiency. We even have pretty good intrabuilding room allocation to the brackets.

4. No car rental is required, or even helpful. No public transportation is required. Admittedly, you'll need to rent a car if you want to visit Dallas proper.

5. The games are in the same building as the hotel; this will let everybody sleep in another 15-20 minutes on Saturday morning.

6. The hotel rate is lower than the rate at past ICT hotels.

7. The game rooms are really quite nice. Some are being played in large parlors and most are in actual meeting rooms. There won't be any of the cramped "we took the bed out" rooms that we have to use at the HSNCT.

8. The time change should be of roughly equal magnitude for teams from both coasts.

We'll be posting a call for 2010 ICT hosts after the completion of this year's Sectionals; we hope that we will receive more bids in the past. If anybody has any questions about how NAQT would view the suitability of their campus or building, please don't hesitate to e-mail us at [email protected] to ask.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

cvdwightw wrote:So I went back over the 2009 ICT host requirements (cached, as the current list is apparently gone) and I've concluded one thing: if NAQT is willing to host things in a hotel (and thus not designate a campus as official "host" school), then no school submitted an acceptable bid. Because I thought there was this "10 game staff per host school" policy and unless NAQT is training hotel employees I don't think the hotel is providing 10 staff.
The hotel is not, in fact, providing 10 staff.

The list of host requirements may be found here:

http://www.naqt.com/ict/2009/host-call.html

I would not say that "no school submitted an acceptable bid"; I would say that NAQT weighed the various options and, in this particular case, decided that this bid was likely to result in a better overall tournament experience. In no way, however, should that be interpreted along the lines of, "NAQT thinks that hotels are fundamentally better hosts than colleges or universities."

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by grapesmoker »

R., the problem with the Minneapolis ICT was not that it was in Minneapolis per se, a fine city to which I have no objection, but rather that Minneapolis was incredibly painful and/or expensive to get to. Having the tournament in Dallas simplifies some aspects of that since Dallas is much more accessible, but I suspect it will greatly reduce the number of staffers that teams can bring since very few teams will actually be able to drive there.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

grapesmoker wrote:R., the problem with the Minneapolis ICT was not that it was in Minneapolis per se, a fine city to which I have no objection, but rather that Minneapolis was incredibly painful and/or expensive to get to. Having the tournament in Dallas simplifies some aspects of that since Dallas is much more accessible, but I suspect it will greatly reduce the number of staffers that teams can bring since very few teams will actually be able to drive there.
Yeah, while I (obviously) didn't attend Minneapolis ICT, it's important to differentiate between this and, for example, PAC. The tremendous majority of attendees, and, I'd argue, all the attendees whose opinions should be considered, are at ICT to play quizbowl, not to sightsee. If a wasteland with a hotel in it cost five bucks for everyone to get to, it would be the consensus pick over Amsterdam (or, more realistically, Vegas or somewhere).

And really, the time change argument applies equally to like any location in Mountain or Central.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

grapesmoker wrote:R., the problem with the Minneapolis ICT was not that it was in Minneapolis per se, a fine city to which I have no objection, but rather that Minneapolis was incredibly painful and/or expensive to get to. Having the tournament in Dallas simplifies some aspects of that since Dallas is much more accessible, but I suspect it will greatly reduce the number of staffers that teams can bring since very few teams will actually be able to drive there.
This wasn't my overall view of the reaction to the choice of Minneapolis; the primary criticism that I remember hearing and responding to was that people were just not very interested in going to Minneapolis. Certainly that is the primary "lesson" that our ICT selection committee took away from that year. People did complain about the cost, but no more than in an average year.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Matt Weiner »

rhentzel wrote:This wasn't my overall view of the reaction to the choice of Minneapolis; the primary criticism that I remember hearing and responding to was that people were just not very interested in going to Minneapolis. Certainly that is the primary "lesson" that our ICT selection committee took away from that year.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

everyday847 wrote:Yeah, while I (obviously) didn't attend Minneapolis ICT, it's important to differentiate between this and, for example, PAC. The tremendous majority of attendees, and, I'd argue, all the attendees whose opinions should be considered, are at ICT to play quizbowl, not to sightsee. If a wasteland with a hotel in it cost five bucks for everyone to get to, it would be the consensus pick over Amsterdam (or, more realistically, Vegas or somewhere).
I would really like to think that this was the case; it would make site selection easier and jibes with my view of the ICT (or any national championship event) should be about.

That said, that really wasn't the impression that we were left with after the Minneapolis ICT. In my opinion, it was a great site for quiz bowl: major airport, public transportation, lots of local staff, only two buildings needed, nearby rooms, supportive club, supportive student union, etc. But we received a lot of criticism from teams who didn't find Minneapolis exciting.

It's possible that we placed too great an emphasis on that criticism and, in fact, should have heard it as prefaced by, "I think I'll enjoy this site a lot, but . . ." But we didn't. If the opinions expressed by yourself and Jerry are, in fact, the majority view and NAQT should give minimal weight to the "tourism" value of a city, we would like to hear that, preferably repeatedly, generally, and emphatically from across the spectrum of ICT-bound teams. Anything that makes the site selection process easier is good.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

I would say that it shouldn't much matter if there's a cadre of teams that loudly protest the view that I just expressed and demand that ICT be in a tourist haven. They can play tourist on their own dime, not on mine.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by magin »

I can speak for the 2007 Maryland team when I say that the cost of travel to Minneapolis was the only factor that prevented us from accepting our ICT bid; I suspect that this was true of other clubs as well. I would conjecture that for almost all clubs, cost and ease of travel are the most important factors for traveling to national tournaments, by far.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by cvdwightw »

My starting point was based on the assumption that given the tradition that college tournaments are held on college campuses (even CBI seemed to agree with this, though they probably would have moved if they didn't have the ACUI contract), that NAQT would give strong preference to a university club submitting a strong bid (due to things like circuit experience, enthusiasm, and staffing) over an similarly-strong bid from somewhere not affiliated with a university club. I will take NAQT's word that the bid received from the Dallas site was significantly stronger than any of the university club bids, and I will probably enjoy ICT regardless of where it ends up.

Perhaps one of the post-ICT survey questions (once we've all had the chance to sample what a non-college site can do) can be whether teams have a significant preference for one or the other (college or non-college site) and what factors are very important/somewhat important/somewhat unimportant/not at all important on what a team looks for in an ICT site. I highly suspect that for ICT, at least, "how much does it cost to get/stay there" is far more important than "what kinds of things are there to do there" or even "what kind of food is nearby, how long does it take to get it, and how much is it".

My hope was that by starting this thread people could start to brainstorm good sites for future ICTs and encourage those sites to submit bids that we know would be supported by a decent-sized portion of the community. What we don't want is another situation like in 2003 or 2007 where a bunch of interested teams declined bids for whatever reason (prohibitive cost, not interested in the city, or what have you).
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

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if...NAQT should give minimal weight to the "tourism" value of a city, we would like to hear that, preferably repeatedly, generally, and emphatically from across the spectrum of ICT-bound teams. Anything that makes the site selection process easier is good.
I'm more than happy with having every quiz bowl national tournament in a city like Chicago since it's usually cheap to travel to and the city itself with all sorts of hotels and tourist sites is easily accessible via public transportation. A city like St. Louis is great too because the tournament site, the airport, the major tourism sites, and the downtown hotels where teams were likely to stay all happen to be connected via the same reliable and cheap public transit. Dallas, on the other hand, seems to have little going for it in tourism value because like you say teams can't get out without renting a car and the entire site is going to be contained around the airport. To choose a new city but not give teams realistic access to the city negates the entire tourism value. Tourism matters as a slight bonus, but only if the tourist activities themselves are easily accessible.

Most importantly though, approximately 50% of our team's limited budget is spent on nationals each year. It takes us at least a tournament and a half in hosting to make up for nationals costs. Keeping costs as low as possible is our primary goal on these trips so that we can attend more tournaments with the 15-20 people who show up to practices regularly and not just 4 team members. Having neat tourist sites to check out is an added bonus, but our decision on whether or not to attend a national tournament is primarily financial, not touristy. I suspect this is true for the vast majority of teams without unlimited funding.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

cvdwightw wrote:My hope was that by starting this thread people could start to brainstorm good sites for future ICTs and encourage those sites to submit bids that we know would be supported by a decent-sized portion of the community. What we don't want is another situation like in 2003 or 2007 where a bunch of interested teams declined bids for whatever reason (prohibitive cost, not interested in the city, or what have you).
NAQT would be very interested in information about sites people would like to have an ICT.

That said, the initial feedback to this thread is that people want to have the tournament where it's cheap and everything else is of secondary--if not negligible--concern. If that's the case, should NAQT basically make its decision by adding up the projected travel, lodging, and registration cost for a representative field (say, that of the previous year's tournament) and simply choose the site the minimizes the total cost to participating teams? In many ways, we would like to have an objective metric like that that obviated the need for us to weigh factors like "tourism value," "convenience," "game room quality," and the like.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by grapesmoker »

rhentzel wrote:If the opinions expressed by yourself and Jerry are, in fact, the majority view and NAQT should give minimal weight to the "tourism" value of a city, we would like to hear that, preferably repeatedly, generally, and emphatically from across the spectrum of ICT-bound teams.
Since I have no way of knowing what all teams think, I can only speak for what I know to be true of myself and those with whom I made that trip, and on that point I can unequivocally say that tourism was entirely beside the point. We had a very limited amount of time in the city and taking advantage of sightseeing opportunities was the least of our concerns. Everyone I spoke to about the Minneapolis trip agreed that the problem was the cost and relative difficulty of getting there.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

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rhentzel wrote:That said, the initial feedback to this thread is that people want to have the tournament where it's cheap and everything else is of secondary--if not negligible--concern.
Ok, that's a concern to me as a player, because what it tells me is that if you think unquantifiable benefits of "tourism" are going to somehow outweigh cost to the players, then there are going to be many ICTs in hard-to-get-to locations. If it costs $400 per person to get to ICT, then many teams won't go.
If that's the case, should NAQT basically make its decision by adding up the projected travel, lodging, and registration cost for a representative field (say, that of the previous year's tournament) and simply choose the site the minimizes the total cost to participating teams? In many ways, we would like to have an objective metric like that that obviated the need for us to weigh factors like "tourism value," "convenience," "game room quality," and the like.
I don't understand why "game room quality" (whatever that is) should somehow conflict with convenience and cheapness of location. Again, I encourage you to take my suggestion about the clock seriously; the clock literally doubles the number of staff required to run the tournament. If you got rid of the clock, chances are your staffing issues would be resolved no matter what the location. What makes you think that you'll have an easier time finding staff in Dallas than Chicago, for example? I don't care if ICT is in Chicago every year because it's easy for everyone to get to and much cheaper than most other places.

Also, regarding staffing: asking for even 10 people from the club can be near impossible for any club that wants to field a team. The only team that can consistently supply that amount of people is Chicago and they don't need to host because they have a budget of infinity dollars.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by at your pleasure »

What about any quizbowl-playing school in New York( I've heard things about Yeshiva University having a team, and Columbia presumably has one since they're hosting something this year)? it should not be hard at all to get from JFK(notable major hub) to Manhattan, ticket prices can't be all that awful, and necessary services will be easily available.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

grapesmoker wrote:I don't understand why "game room quality" (whatever that is) should somehow conflict with convenience and cheapness of location.
Would you be happy playing the ICT entirely in regular hotel rooms from which the bed had been removed and card tables brought in? That is, like the smaller converted hotel rooms used at the 2008 HSNCT?

To me, I see a significant difference between the quality of the games and the tournament experience in those rooms versus those in large classrooms or meeting rooms that have ample space for all participants and any possible audience. And proper ventilation, better tables, etc.

Those are, admittedly, the extremes of the situation, but I see a clear difference and one for which I expect many teams would be willing to pay some amount of money to opt for the better rooms. Perhaps not a lot of money, but certainly some.

If people are, in fact, fine with the converted hotel rooms as game rooms, we can probably swing a Chicago ICT in the near future even if no school bids.
Again, I encourage you to take my suggestion about the clock seriously; the clock literally doubles the number of staff required to run the tournament. If you got rid of the clock, chances are your staffing issues would be resolved no matter what the location. What makes you think that you'll have an easier time finding staff in Dallas than Chicago, for example?
In my opinion, staffing hasn't been the primary problem with finding a good ICT site. It's true that it would be much easier to staff the tournament if the threshold were halved, but I don't think that's the main stumbling block. I also don't think that it's easier to find people in Dallas than Chicago; if I said something that implied that, I repudiate it. Our decision to put the ICT in Dallas was predicated on the decision that we could get enough staff, not that it was the best possible location for getting staff.
I don't care if ICT is in Chicago every year because it's easy for everyone to get to and much cheaper than most other places.
NAQT would very much like to have an ICT in Chicago and would consider having it in Chicago every year if players approved; certainly that's the model we take with our high school championship.

We didn't receive any bids from Chicago-area schools this year, but would have given any such bid serious consideration. We received lots of bids from Chicago hotels, but the only affordable one would have required us to shift the date to ACF Nationals weekend. But we rejected some that didn't have any actual meeting space, only converted hotel rooms, so we could perhaps reconsider those for coming years. Or, better yet, we'd like to receive one or more bids from Chicago-area schools.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by grapesmoker »

rhentzel wrote:Would you be happy playing the ICT entirely in regular hotel rooms from which the bed had been removed and card tables brought in? That is, like the smaller converted hotel rooms used at the 2008 HSNCT?

To me, I see a significant difference between the quality of the games and the tournament experience in those rooms versus those in large classrooms or meeting rooms that have ample space for all participants and any possible audience. And proper ventilation, better tables, etc.
I'm not sure how the games could be all that different. I've played quizbowl for hours at a time in moving vehicles while driving, so to me it makes very little difference what kind of room I'm in.
If people are, in fact, fine with the converted hotel rooms as game rooms, we can probably swing a Chicago ICT in the near future even if no school bids.
Isn't the ICT in Dallas already being run in a hotel? It seems like whatever people think you have already made that call anyway.
In my opinion, staffing hasn't been the primary problem with finding a good ICT site. It's true that it would be much easier to staff the tournament if the threshold were halved, but I don't think that's the main stumbling block. I also don't think that it's easier to find people in Dallas than Chicago; if I said something that implied that, I repudiate it. Our decision to put the ICT in Dallas was predicated on the decision that we could get enough staff, not that it was the best possible location for getting staff.
I mean, there are only 3 axes that I would use to decide tournament hosting. They are staffing availability, room availability, and cost to teams of getting there. Looks like staffing is not an issue, and cost is optimized in Chicago. That leaves room availability as the sticking point, and yeah, you're going to have problems when your requirements are 32 rooms plus an assembly hall that can hold upwards of 300 people.
We didn't receive any bids from Chicago-area schools this year, but would have given any such bid serious consideration. We received lots of bids from Chicago hotels, but the only affordable one would have required us to shift the date to ACF Nationals weekend. But we rejected some that didn't have any actual meeting space, only converted hotel rooms, so we could perhaps reconsider those for coming years. Or, better yet, we'd like to receive one or more bids from Chicago-area schools.
I think the idea that a Chicago-area club is going to bid to host ICT is becoming less and less probable over time. Clubs just don't have those kinds of resources, and almost no club can get 32 rooms from the administration. Maybe you're already doing this, but I think NAQT should just approach various institutions and try to work out a deal with them rather than rely on clubs to make bids.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

grapesmoker wrote:
If people are, in fact, fine with the converted hotel rooms as game rooms, we can probably swing a Chicago ICT in the near future even if no school bids.
Isn't the ICT in Dallas already being run in a hotel? It seems like whatever people think you have already made that call anyway.
But not in converted hotel rooms; one of the attractive things about the Hyatt Regency DFW bid was that we would be getting real meeting rooms and large parlors rather than converted sleeping rooms. So, no, from our point of view we have not made that call.
I mean, there are only 3 axes that I would use to decide tournament hosting. They are staffing availability, room availability, and cost to teams of getting there. Looks like staffing is not an issue, and cost is optimized in Chicago. That leaves room availability as the sticking point, and yeah, you're going to have problems when your requirements are 32 rooms plus an assembly hall that can hold upwards of 300 people.
How would you react to having the DI and DII ICTs at different locations (potentially in different cities) on the same weekend?
I think the idea that a Chicago-area club is going to bid to host ICT is becoming less and less probable over time. Clubs just don't have those kinds of resources, and almost no club can get 32 rooms from the administration. Maybe you're already doing this, but I think NAQT should just approach various institutions and try to work out a deal with them rather than rely on clubs to make bids.
If there are any consensus "preferred locations" that emerge from this thread, we will certainly plan on doing that.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I have brought this up before in conversation with some fellow circuit members, but I guess here's where the best place to publicly discuss it would be:
NAQT has a gigantic high school market out there, with 176 teams attending Nationals, and hundreds more playing on their questions throughout the season consistently, using their practice materials, and some of those schools using NAQT sets to run their invitationals. R., do you think that given your huge market there, it would be feasible to approach some of your loyal high school customers with hosting experience to run an ICT? For instance, I estimate you need something under 40 rooms to run an ICT. I would be shocked if a large suburban high school like TJ Magnet, North Kansas City, New Trier, whoever, wouldn't be able to both provide you with ample room and some staffers from their active quizbowl programs, and a location that is near enough to a major airport to be feasible for transportation. Why hasn't this option been looked into more thoroughly?
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

I also wanted to note that, in my opinion, the ICT location that we chose was the one that minimized the overall cost to participating teams among our choices. I'm pleased by the fact that it is a very convenient site with very nice rooms and that it offers tourism options to teams willing to pay to rent a car, but, overall, we did consider teams' travel and lodging costs to be a very important factor and the site we chose was the one that minimized it.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by grapesmoker »

rhentzel wrote:But not in converted hotel rooms; one of the attractive things about the Hyatt Regency DFW bid was that we would be getting real meeting rooms and large parlors rather than converted sleeping rooms. So, no, from our point of view we have not made that call.
Fair enough; I thought that we were talking about rooms in the style of HSNCT, which were fine by me.
How would you react to having the DI and DII ICTs at different locations (potentially in different cities) on the same weekend?
I think this is not a good idea. Younger teams can benefit from being around the DI teams during tournament time because those teams provide both moral support and some level of knowledge about how to play the tournament. Furthermore, many DII teams may be unable to rent cars which would make transportation even more problematic.
If there are any consensus "preferred locations" that emerge from this thread, we will certainly plan on doing that.
I would propose Chicago as a prime location for next year's ICT; we already know it works logistically, and according to what I know about the active clubs in Illinois, they could bring quite a few staffers.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:I would be shocked if a large suburban high school like TJ Magnet, North Kansas City, New Trier, whoever, wouldn't be able to both provide you with ample room and some staffers from their active quizbowl programs, and a location that is near enough to a major airport to be feasible for transportation. Why hasn't this option been looked into more thoroughly?
We've looked at a few high school sites, but they just haven't worked out (though not for any reason intrinsic to their being high schools).

In all honesty, the answer is probably a combination of the fact that they haven't bid and the expectation that many players feel similarly to Dwight that, "it seems that the idea of a collegiate tournament being hosted at someplace other than a college just doesn't fit right."

NAQT would be happy to entertain bids from high schools for future ICTs; we certainly consider them to fall under the "other institutions" mentioned in our ICT Host Call. Any place that can provide the 34 rooms, auditorium, and some trained staffers is already doing quite well in terms of meeting our needs.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Demonic Leftovers »

Speaking for Chicago we would of course love to see ICT held in Chicago. Our school could not host a tournament of such size however as we can't get enough rooms. I do agree that cost and ease of travel need to be the primary concerns for any national tournament location. If we are using hotels what would be wrong with using any of the hotels that have successfully hosted HSNCT in Chicago in the past for ICT?
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

grapesmoker wrote:
How would you react to having the DI and DII ICTs at different locations (potentially in different cities) on the same weekend?
I think this is not a good idea. Younger teams can benefit from being around the DI teams during tournament time because those teams provide both moral support and some level of knowledge about how to play the tournament. Furthermore, many DII teams may be unable to rent cars which would make transportation even more problematic.
Also, I'm not sending away four people, likely younger than I am, to another city where I can't be responsible for them. Won't do it.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

How are you responsible for the actions of 4 other college students who are adults to begin with?
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

grapesmoker wrote:
If there are any consensus "preferred locations" that emerge from this thread, we will certainly plan on doing that.
I would propose Chicago as a prime location for next year's ICT; we already know it works logistically, and according to what I know about the active clubs in Illinois, they could bring quite a few staffers.
We did work very hard to try to make a Chicago location work this year; I personally did site visits at five hotels and reviewed proposals from about a dozen more. Trust me when I say that we are well aware that Chicago is probably the premier location for a national quiz bowl championship. If we can make it work one of these years, we will.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

dseal wrote:Speaking for Chicago we would of course love to see ICT held in Chicago. Our school could not host a tournament of such size however as we can't get enough rooms. I do agree that cost and ease of travel need to be the primary concerns for any national tournament location. If we are using hotels what would be wrong with using any of the hotels that have successfully hosted HSNCT in Chicago in the past for ICT?
In principle, nothing. In fact, we solicited bids from all of them.

In practice, however, they either weren't available on an acceptable weekend (i.e., not ACF Nationals) or wanted too much money. The larger size of the HSNCT reduces the average meeting room cost considerably. This effect is magnified by the presence of coaches and parents who produce revenue for the hotel allowing them to discount the meeting space even more.

The ICT's comparatively small guest room pickup makes it difficult to bargain effectively. In fact, we probably would not have been able to afford the Hyatt Regency DFW were it not for "the current economic climate."

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:How are you responsible for the actions of 4 other college students who are adults to begin with?
Nothing forces me to assume that responsibility, but I'm in charge of the organization that's the reason that they're there, and I'm telling them to go there. I see nothing wrong with assuming it.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Kyle »

everyday847 wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:How are you responsible for the actions of 4 other college students who are adults to begin with?
Nothing forces me to assume that responsibility, but I'm in charge of the organization that's the reason that they're there, and I'm telling them to go there. I see nothing wrong with assuming it.
I'm pretty sure our freshmen would be able to take care of themselves and not get arrested or otherwise into trouble without Andy's mature supervision. But inasmuch as they see themselves as part of the larger Harvard team they practice with week in and week out, they should be traveling to a national tournament with the team as a whole rather than by themselves.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Susan »

If people are really interested in having the ICT in Chicago (and why wouldn't they be?!), I think it would be worthwhile for some of us from Chicago-based schools to see if we can make this a possibility for 2010 (or some future date). While I think the room problems that we have at UChicago are pretty much insurmountable, we would certainly be happy to provide some staff for a tournament hosted in town. Furthermore, I (and, probably, some of my teammates) would be happy to help people from other schools figure out how to get this hosted on their campuses. Mike Sorice or Michael Arnold, if you're reading this--is there any way of getting in touch with the guys who played the WIRED event with you? Northwestern, your club has done a great job hosting national tournaments in the past (TRASHionals and ACF Nats), though I understand you have room reservation problems these days--is there any way we can help you sell this to your administration or student activities people?
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Kyle wrote:
everyday847 wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:How are you responsible for the actions of 4 other college students who are adults to begin with?
Nothing forces me to assume that responsibility, but I'm in charge of the organization that's the reason that they're there, and I'm telling them to go there. I see nothing wrong with assuming it.
I'm pretty sure our freshmen would be able to take care of themselves and not get arrested or otherwise into trouble without Andy's mature supervision. But inasmuch as they see themselves as part of the larger Harvard team they practice with week in and week out, they should be traveling to a national tournament with the team as a whole rather than by themselves.
Yeah, the latter is certainly the primary reason. But the former stands whether or not they're unable to take care of themselves.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rylltraka »

My experience is that a weekend or one-day tournament at any significant distance provides no opportunity to sightsee, even if people wished to do it. Cost and accessibility are my major concerns - USC declined the Minnesota ICT bid because of cost and timing issues.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Also, I forgot to throw out there where I would like to see ICT, but I'll join the chorus for Chicago next year. I think I'm not alone in saying I think the San Francisco Bay area would be a very bad idea for lots of people.
However, I would like to drive this point home further - I would have far less of a problem with any potentially inconvenient ICT host if NAQT at least announced it much earlier in the year so we can reasonably plan to hold enough tournaments to properly fundraise. I think this is part of the frustration people have right now with ICT, there was no way for us to know for sure where it will be until, well, now. If we had known in, like, October, everyone who does not have a whole lot of money would be in a much better position when it comes to figuring out plane tickets, how much to expect to spend, etc.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Captain Sinico »

myamphigory wrote:Mike Sorice or Michael Arnold, if you're reading this--is there any way of getting in touch with the guys who played the WIRED event with you?
Possibly. One of them was from Northwestern, so we presumably don't get anything new from him as we're already in contact with Northwestern. I think I might have the dude from IIT's e-mail address, though.
I'd like to add that I think Susan's vision here is a winning one. Hopefully, a Chicago-area school with rooms can bid and staffers can be provided from the other schools/their alumni. I have to believe we'd be able to contribute something to that. We'd love to bid ourselves, but I don't think we're in a good location, given that it costs a ton to fly here and flying nearby entails car rental.
I'd also like to add that cost and convenience are of primary concern to us, as well. Since we basically show up around when ICT begins and leave pretty much right after, we have very little interest in the aesthetic properties of the location; I don't think we're alone in that. Somewhat contrary to what's being said, though, I think having adequate rooms (i.e. ones bigger and more suitable than the converts used for HSNCT; it seems that a lot of people don't understand that most HSNCT games are played in just ordinary hotel rooms with the beds taken out and that's not much fun for anyone) is a consideration somewhat less important than staff quality, but greatly more important than tourism.

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rhentzel wrote:This wasn't my overall view of the reaction to the choice of Minneapolis; the primary criticism that I remember hearing and responding to was that people were just not very interested in going to Minneapolis. Certainly that is the primary "lesson" that our ICT selection committee took away from that year.
Unbelievable.
Man, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that post is an empty quote that doesn't make a point... but that'd be against rules that Matt Weiner himself imposed, so...
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Mike Bentley »

Eh, I'd probably rather see the tournament at a Chicago hotel rather than a Chicago university if the costs for renting both places were comparable. I guess it's possible that there are Chicago universities in locations near cheap hotels and easily accessible via public transportation, but I don't hold out the highest hopes in that regard. Tournaments at the University of Chicago, for instance, pretty much mandate buying a rental car if you don't want to pay for a super-expensive hotel room.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Captain Sinico »

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:...Tournaments at the University of Chicago, for instance, pretty much mandate buying a rental car if you don't want to pay for a super-expensive hotel room.
I mean, that shouldn't be true. Every university in Chicago should be reachable in a fairly straightforward way by train or, at worst, train and bus.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by BobGHHS »

Cleveland is a complete shithole with not a lot to do, but I could see CWRU able to have 10 or more staff and host, if Steven could get the rooms and things for whatever weekend would be picked. That is, if they had any desire to host. It was the first thing that popped in my head.

We're pretty cheap to fly into from anywhere, and northeast Ohio definitely has a great group of staff people to pick from. Not to mention we could probably grab a few from Michigan and the Pittsburgh areas as well.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by fleurdelivre »

Anti-Climacus wrote:What about any quizbowl-playing school in New York( I've heard things about Yeshiva University having a team, and Columbia presumably has one since they're hosting something this year)? it should not be hard at all to get from JFK(notable major hub) to Manhattan, ticket prices can't be all that awful, and necessary services will be easily available.
If we're talking about total convenience and costs here, you're either going to be needing some pretty expensive hotel rooms or facing a fairly long commute between the tourney site and wherever you're sleeping. Also, Columbia comes to some tourneys but seems to have room scheduling issues (the school won't guarantee them more then three weeks out, I believe?) so they have no recent hosting experience.

I do appreciate ICT being in places I want to go, but I think the point about "tourism value" is both overstated and misrepresented. Dallas doesn't seem to be an unpleasant destination - it's that the tournament isn't in Dallas and that getting into the city is probably going to be more hassle than any team is going to go through. When ICT was in New Orleans, we did catch the trolley back into the city and got dinner in the French Quarter one night, which wasn't a major selling point for the trip but was fun nonetheless. At Penn Bowl, we traditionally had a favorite restaurant near the campus where we would plan to splurge as part of the trip - again, not the main goal, but quality time with friends after the tournament.

I don't believe that the location should need to be a destination in and of itself, but I like to be able to relax and get a good meal at the end of the day, preferably without needing a rental car and an hour to get there. THIS should perhaps be a greater consideration - proximity not to sites of interest, but to simple comforts - a hotel itself isn't unappealing, but airport hotels tend to offer none of the character or charm of the cities they serve.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by fleurdelivre »

As for the original point of the post: I like St. Louis as a destination, I remember good things being said about Nashville from the year Vandy hosted (though I was not there), tournaments in Chicago are always good, and major cities with reliable public transit are in general worthwhile to consider.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by rhentzel »

fleurdelivre wrote:I do appreciate ICT being in places I want to go, but I think the point about "tourism value" is both overstated and misrepresented. Dallas doesn't seem to be an unpleasant destination - it's that the tournament isn't in Dallas and that getting into the city is probably going to be more hassle than any team is going to go through.
If I misrepresented the tourism value of the site, I apologize. It's certainly true that the hotel is not in Dallas and people wanting to see the city will probably have to rent a car.

To my mind, though, this was actually a favorable point in the following sense: We found a site near a major airport that was very convenient for transportation and gameplay. For teams that value seeing a new city, that option is available, but they'll have to spend a little more. But people who aren't interested in doing that, don't have to pay.

It would be nice if the hotel were in downtown Dallas with major attractions walkable, but, as you know, there's typically a monetary cost associated with such a location and we didn't want to ask every ICT team to pay it.

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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

I've little doubt I'm in the extreme minority in this view, but I was disappointed in the Dallas selection only because I've been there a few times and think there's nothing interesting about the place. We are fortunate to have a healthy budget at Valencia (a CC with no intercollegiate sports), and I reward players who work hard and make the A team by heading to the ICT site on Thursday so we can enjoy the location. Of course, I understand that most programs don't have this luxury, but I at least wanted to show that it's not impossible that some teams have preferences in this regard.

But I remember Dallas's art museum to be pretty lame, and there not being a whole lot else to see in town.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Awehrman »

We've tried for several years to figure out a way for Northwestern to host ICT or HSNCT, and it just hasn't worked out for us. We've had a host of problems ranging from nearly no available staff (we've since overcome that one), issues with Spring Break and our quarter system, the limited number of rooms on campus, and a difficult room reservation system that will not allow us to reserve rooms more than a couple months in advance. I still don't think it would be impossible, though, if we twist the right arms, but it seems unlikely. One possibility that I toyed with recently was trying to acquire space on our downtown Chicago campus. We have a recently remodeled building there that would have enough game rooms, but it houses our continuing studies program, which means it has a lot of night and weekend classes that we would have to schedule around.

I do have some connections at both IIT and Loyola. My wife helped the IIT program get off the ground, but it's still a fledgling club. I don't know about the available classroom space or campus reservations, but I can check with her and see. My wife now works at Loyola University, which has no quizbowl team, but does have an enormous (and hideous) classroom building that I've long felt would be an excellent site for a large quizbowl tournament. It's about 10 stories of classrooms connected by an always running series of escalators and has a large auditorium to boot. The problem there is that with no team there is no student organization to reserve campus rooms nor anyone likely to submit a bid. This would likely mean that NAQT would have to pay Loyola for the use of the building, and I am not sure how that would work.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Kevin »

ValenciaQBowl wrote:But I remember Dallas's art museum to be pretty lame, and there not being a whole lot else to see in town.
Baseball? Six Flags (only open on weekends that time of year)?
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by olsb25 »

It seems to me that the criteria that would make a good site are:
-Cheap access by air (close to a major hub).
-Hotels nearby via cheap public transit or by foot.
-Cheap food nearby (why college campuses are generally good)
-Easy access to interesting/touristy places for people who wish to go.

I remember that when I went to HSNCT in 2006, we spent an exorbitant amount of money on food because our options were so limited being in an airport hotel, compared with St. Louis last year, when there were many great places to eat pretty close to the campus. Especially since most clubs don't have bottomless pits for bank accounts, the primary concern for NAQT should always be to minimize the cost for attending teams, without having to substantially decrease the quality.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by Brian Ulrich »

ValenciaQBowl wrote:I've little doubt I'm in the extreme minority in this view, but I was disappointed in the Dallas selection only because I've been there a few times and think there's nothing interesting about the place. We are fortunate to have a healthy budget at Valencia (a CC with no intercollegiate sports), and I reward players who work hard and make the A team by heading to the ICT site on Thursday so we can enjoy the location. Of course, I understand that most programs don't have this luxury, but I at least wanted to show that it's not impossible that some teams have preferences in this regard.

But I remember Dallas's art museum to be pretty lame, and there not being a whole lot else to see in town.
Fort Worth, however, has a huge cultural district with multiple museums and "Old West"-type sites. Or, at least, that is what I was told by the people who just interviewed me for a job there.
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Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

Post by shlack »

BobGHHS wrote:Cleveland is a complete shithole
Seconded.
BobGHHS wrote:with not a lot to do, but I could see CWRU able to have 10 or more staff and host, if Steven could get the rooms and things for whatever weekend would be picked. That is, if they had any desire to host. It was the first thing that popped in my head.

We're pretty cheap to fly into from anywhere, and northeast Ohio definitely has a great group of staff people to pick from. Not to mention we could probably grab a few from Michigan and the Pittsburgh areas as well.
Also seconded. To be serious though, any of the major rust belt cities -- Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland -- have definite economic advantages over, say, Chicago with equivalent accessibility. Airfares are incredibly cheap (especially in Pittsburgh), and there are some great hotel deals because of slack demand and oversupply from when Cleveland went crazy adding hotel rooms during the "Comeback" years. Cleveland also has direct rail access from the airport to the city and college, one of only a handful of cities in the States that have this.

They ain't Vegas, but they are huge metropolitan areas with all that entails and great food options, which I know is important for some quizbowlers in particular.
Ted Stratton
Brandeis '03

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