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RallyRabbit

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  1. Well, Asheville is an FHL desire anyway. So if that and a handful more Southern targets pan out in the next few years (Anderson, Asheville, Savannah, Hampton Roads and a few other options), W-S or not the FHL will have a southern tier. W-S to be in the SPHL, a lot of things have to happen. And I don't mean just fixes to the Annex. I mean, a lot of things have to happen. Personally, I am getting to the point that if the FHL really starts vetting cities and ownership better, then I am fine with Winston there. Thinking about Danville, Port Huron, North Shore, Watertown, Winston-Salem, Mentor, Battle Creek, and the two others that have yet to be named; and potentially Anderson, Savannah, Asheville, Salisbury .... the league actually starts look not terrible and a bit more viable. Another thought is Spruce Pine and whether it is big enough area anymore to support anything.
  2. Oh, and North Shore hasn't folded, they're back next year.
  3. Word on the Thunderbirds fan page is that two teams should be announced. I guess one is mentor.... the other is claimed to have local ownership. But not sure if that means local to NC or local to where the team is.
  4. Being from a city does not make you any expert on the city. Especially compared to someone that lives in the area still, regardless of where you are from. Regardless of what you think, the Augusta SPHL team move to Greensboro almost happened despite all the above statements. Again, size doesn't make a difference, it is lease, concessions profits and how you cover setup and break down of the rink that make or break a team. It is a complete total cost of ownership. If someone leased that coliseum for $1 and gave a team all concession profits, then a 25k seat coliseum could work for a low junior team.
  5. Both leagues should embrace who and what they are. FHL should embrace that they are equivalent to "A" or "Short Season A" in Baseball, and SPHL should just embrace that they are the "High A" league. Agreements between teams would be nice, heck, there is already a lot of movement between FHL and SPHL, so just embrace it as this point. Like it or not, the FHL fills a void. Winston-Salem is in that weird spot where they are too big for the FHL but at risk of not quite big enough for the SPHL. It is what it is. At the end of the day, the fans get to see hockey, we're entertained, the product isn't terrible. So, it works for us. Now the ticket prices are interesting. There is a bit of overhead for SPHL. Ticket prices only have to raise enough to cover enough so the owners either break even or make the profit they desire. The question is, at near current prices, the lower Annex lease, etc; can they do that. If you raise too much, fans stop coming and it'll look like the Polar Twins. If don't raise enough, the team looks like their doing well and fold (like Richmond). It is a balancing act. To be honest, if this league works out, why move. It's better for the SPHL, you have a local batch of players to fill out rosters in the area. And if they do get Asheville at some point and some other areas, and fill out the Midwest and give Watertown something to work with, maybe the FHL has a place that fits for it.
  6. Keep in mind, part of the upgrade plans for the Annex is to add a bit more seating. It should get it to right at 4000.
  7. Sir, I recognize your disdain for the FHL and I'm not saying you're wrong. I simply listed out areas that have an arena and ice plant. It'll never happen.
  8. Asheville's attempt wasn't at US Cellular Arena; that's a no-go and never will be again. It was at a building at the Western NC Agricultural Center. Not sure what they planned for boards or ice plant, but from what I understand, everything was worked out to make this happen except dates didn't line up. What Southern Market are you hearing? The only southern markets that have ice plants that could attempt this would be Greensboro, Hampton Roads, Richmond, Savannah?
  9. There are two hockey articles floating talking about the visits to two Michigan cities and Ohio. They also have a quote from league officials that targets will be midwest cities and targets of ex-established hockey cities. Some of it is word of mouth from talking with league/team personnel, so some of it can't physically be linked proven (Asheville in particular, since it fell through nothing will probably be published about it). There's a lot of chatter that they want to focus Midwest and NE; meaning leaving Winston-Salem off on an Island.
  10. What I heard: 1) Florence has said no to hockey 2) Asheville was tried but fairgrounds are not available for all needed dates 3) Akron/Canton - Rumored to be announced for '2019-20 season on May 17. 4) Traverse City, MI - Rumored to be expansion 5) Battle Creek, MI - Rumored to be expansion 6) Keep desiring Jamestown, NY and Elmira, NY as new targets. 7) Heard somewhere in SC is a target too (not Florence)
  11. I've heard the target areas are Akron/Canton, Jamestown NY, Salisbury, MD. As far a 2.5 hour drive from Winston-Salem, could be Florence or Columbia too. or Maybe even something in the Bristol or Johnson City area.
  12. People may care or not, but a local ownership group has surfaced in Winston-Salem, but, any attempted move to the SPHL is expected after next season. The annex is due to get quite a few upgrades, in particular to the playing area and a lot of building upgrades. All that is going to be sorted in the FHL until anything else happens.
  13. Suspended Indefinitely is what is published when a suspension occurs before a hearing is held with the league office after the weekend. if you notice the transactions, Monday, the suspension was defined.
  14. How about this. The SPHL fills the void of what the ECHL used to be. At first, the SPHL seemed like a joke, but to me, they have legitimized themselves. They are the Advanced-A league of pro hockey in North America. The FHL, if they can make it work, is filling a void rather unsuccessfully. If they could get their act together, then it could be a successful feeder to the SPHL. Beside the point. In my opinion, the SPHL faces a question of identity. Do you become the "Southern" league with a few northern cities. Or do you become the "Eastern" league named SPHL? I see these two things happening at this point one way or another. 1) Columbus situation solved and they come back 2) Winston-Salem redeems themselves by proving the economy has turned around enough that the area will support hockey 3) Greensboro, rejecting the Augusta franchise, it out of the picture forever. So at that point, you have very little more southern markets that are left available that could be workable: 1) Richmond - can it work 2) Baton Rogue - can the move from junior hockey At that point, you question, do you move north and try to break into divisions to start trying to contain cost and maintain teams while expanding the footprint? Personally, I think it would be nice to get a midwest division, NE division, atlantic division and southern division. Plus it would be nice to get one or two Canadian markets overall. Markets that come to mind: 1) Salisbury MD 2) Trenton NJ 3) Atlantic City NJ 4) Jamestown NY 5) Elmira NY 6) Danbury CT 7) Port Huron, MI 8) Muskegon MI 9) Danville IL 10) Chatham, ON 11) Johnstown PA Some of these markets have nothing since the ECHL left, some have really good support for older ECHL or UHL level teams and some lagged in support of FHL level teams. Danville IL may never work. Port Huron on the other hand, might. The rest pulled in solid numbers in ECHL days where budgets compared to SPHL of now (cost adjusted for the time period). Elmira and Danbury feel like no-brainers. They have the fan bases. Then, what sort of ECHL franchises are struggling? Given that they have a different model, being affiliated and part of the players union. But it seems to me, Quad City, Brampton, Adirondack, Kalamazoo could be possibilities given the numbers. Others like Manchester, Norfolk, Gwinnett, Wheeling have decisions and conditions where they seem committed despite numbers. Short of Columbus, and hard core Winston-Salem rumors, where else is the league looking to go? So the question is. What does the league want and what do the owners want?
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