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RallyRabbit

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  1. Level of hockey has nothing to do with fans in the seats, but with level of pay on the ice. The first years of the SPHL/SEHL/ACHL were pretty embarassingly bad. The SPHL is much closer to where the ECHL was in the early 2000s. The FHL is more like a UHL and early SPHL in level of play.
  2. Brand is somewhat right. There are things that would have to happen for W-S to get back to the SPHL. All in all, as long as the FHL is around, I am not sure it is worth it. The level of hockey in the FHL is very comparable to the original SPHL. And right now, that recipe is working in the market. Watertown has stabilized, Elmira and W-S are the model franchises and Danvile and Port Huron are safe. So, if the FHL is as close as they seem to be with Columbus, then that will be 6 solid markets for the league. I don't pretend to know what'll happen to Mentor. Word on the ground is that there is a potential of 6 new markets next year. If this ends up being any few of Danbury, Salisbury, Asheville, Anderson, Flint, Florence (in addition to Battle Creek). Then the league has basically solidified itself. And it basically exists in the old UHL braket of the world.
  3. For the FHL you also have to factor in controlled dates. 2 days a week plus holidays are really the only games. Leaves the buildings easily open for other things and allows players to work part time locally or do volunteer work as part of commercialization. The FHL is where the SPHL was at the beginning. Low A. It fills a void in some cities and helps the SPHL pulls players up when needed
  4. 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.
  5. Oh, and North Shore hasn't folded, they're back next year.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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)
  14. 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.
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