TimO

Potential Expansion

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It's a good reason to start a new thread, Tim. And now you're the Original Poster.

Let the discussion begin.

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1 hour ago, TimO said:

No mention of this being a new team or a relocation, but I'm going to drop this here rather than start a new thread.  

http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/sports/2017/03/31/ice-hockey-coming-wicomico-county/99862042/

SPHL and ECHL are listed, but I'd say no way ECHL touches this place. And by "semi pro" I'm just hoping it's NOT the FHL

I was surveying their Civic Center the other day and it's rather a small facility and I did read somewhere that there was intent for the FHL to try and put a team there. It would be more suitable for the FHL anyways. they would need to spend a bit of change to get it to accommodate a more professional franchise higher than the FHL where budgets run deep.

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You're probably right, PDP.

Seating capacity at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center says: Portable Ice Floor: 4,157. That's more than Pelham, but less than the smallest current arena in Knoxville at 5,000+.

Just under 6 hours from the closest current SPHL teams in Roanoke and Fayetteville. Bringing Richmond back would put the closest opponent at less than 4 hours away. Certainly within current league numbers.

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4 minutes ago, MacGuy said:

You're probably right, PDP.

Seating capacity at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center says: Portable Ice Floor: 4,157. That's more than Pelham, but less than the smallest current arena in Knoxville at 5,000+.

Just under 6 hours from the closest current SPHL teams in Roanoke and Fayetteville. Bringing Richmond back would put the closest opponent at less than 4 hours away. Certainly within current league numbers.

Yeah, but what I am seeing with Richmond is the city is acting like it's a waste. They were given the okay from state legislators to build a new arena but I do not see that happening since the A Braves moved their Richmond club to Gwinnett County. Even the Squirrels are threatening to move because of the Diamond being so old. I did read that the new ownership that brought the squirrels footed a renovation bill of $1.5 million and the RMA only ponied up $75,000. I do know that the Facebook campaign garnered 3,000 signatures but what angers me is city officials do not seem to realize that they are employed by the residents. It is their job to do what is best for the city and their people and they refuse to do that. Greensboro is a prime example. I am a Greensboro native and we will never host hockey again because our city won't fight for it and the people who run the Coliseum are arrogant jerks that need to be fired.

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Quote

“Based on the demographics, it’s a good place to set up a team,” Calpin said. ...

If'n I had a nickel for every time "demographics" was used by someone to justify pursuing a minor pro hockey franchise ("semipro" being an arcane term used by reporters who don't know which end of a puck is up), I'd have enough money to purchase an FHL franchise & move it 3 times.  The Delmarva region's taxpayers do not deserve to have their public officials duped time & again by "Sports Services" companies who come in from out of town and try to sell the dream of tax windfalls to these remote areas.  But if there's truly a chance of hockey being a popular attraction in Wicomico County, their County Executive should have Mr. Calpin digging up a Junior A franchise who can join the NAHL's East Division.  Junior hockey requires a MUCH smaller annual operating investment than minor pros, while Salisbury, MD would be in a good spot for that League's current footprint while consistent with their recent eastward expansion plans.  It would be foolish for either the SPHL or the ECHL to seriously consider putting a team on Maryland's Eastern Shore.  Leave that territory to speculators & naive public officials.

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Posted (edited)

From what I'm reading, I probably shouldn't get the hopes up for SPHL. If it's FHL, I might check it out, since it wouldn't be an overnight trip. 

I've been waiting for Richmond to get back into the league, but until recently the chances have looking noting but dismal. Just happy to have Roanoke within striking distance now.   

NAHL would be the dark horse. Time will tell on this one. 

Edited by TimO

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12 minutes ago, JMC-STL said:

If'n I had a nickel for every time "demographics" was used by someone to justify pursuing a minor pro hockey franchise ("semipro" being an arcane term used by reporters who don't know which end of a puck is up), I'd have enough money to purchase an FHL franchise & move it 3 times.  The Delmarva region's taxpayers do not deserve to have their public officials duped time & again by "Sports Services" companies who come in from out of town and try to sell the dream of tax windfalls to these remote areas.  But if there's truly a chance of hockey being a popular attraction in Wicomico County, their County Executive should have Mr. Calpin digging up a Junior A franchise who can join the NAHL's East Division.  Junior hockey requires a MUCH smaller annual operating investment than minor pros, while Salisbury, MD would be in a good spot for that League's current footprint while consistent with their recent eastward expansion plans.  It would be foolish for either the SPHL or the ECHL to seriously consider putting a team on Maryland's Eastern Shore.  Leave that territory to speculators & naive public officials.

I somewhat agree JMC but the SPHL is equivalent to A Level hockey and they do somewhat support a Low Level A ball club (even though they suck and I hate the Birds). I just can't see a small arena such as that one trying to support an annual budget of about $1 million especially in order to make that and break even would possibly require about 2,255 per game, give or take, and that's based on average ticket prices for the league.

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22 hours ago, PeeDeePride said:

I somewhat agree JMC but the SPHL is equivalent to A Level hockey and they do somewhat support a Low Level A ball club ...

Using pro baseball organizational level terms for pro hockey in North America is convenient but often misleading.  The sports are different, the histories are different, the infrastructures are different, the business models are different (though they do sometimes overlap), and hockey does not have a true "player development system" below the AHL.  So trying to predict a hockey team's potential success in a given region based on the popularity of an existing baseball team - which is greatly influenced in the minds of fans by the notion that the "kids" will someday be major leaguers - is foolhardy.  That's why I always recommend the "start small" approach to see how it goes.  Too many uncertainties in the sport of hockey at low levels for a community to invest precious resources long term, based solely on the "If you build it, they will come" theory.  That's why they haven't made the movie: "Arena Of Dreams" - it wouldn't sell in the U.S..

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considering that Danbury just went tires up, the FHL needs to tighten up it's own stuff before going out and recruiting

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On 4/2/2017 at 5:53 PM, SJSharkies4ever said:

I was surveying their Civic Center the other day and it's rather a small facility and I did read somewhere that there was intent for the FHL to try and put a team there. It would be more suitable for the FHL anyways. they would need to spend a bit of change to get it to accommodate a more professional franchise higher than the FHL where budgets run deep.

FHL?????? Spend???????

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25 minutes ago, Displaced Floridian said:

FHL?????? Spend???????

They spend ... other people's money ...

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35 minutes ago, Displaced Floridian said:

considering that Danbury just went tires up, the FHL needs to tighten up it's own stuff before going out and recruiting

Best case scenario, FHL folds and its teams join the SPHL (Like CHL did and 7 teams joined the ECHL).....they will never have more than 7 teams in a single season.

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2 hours ago, Marksmen119 said:

Best case scenario, FHL folds and its teams join the SPHL (Like CHL did and 7 teams joined the ECHL).....they will never have more than 7 teams in a single season.

Best case for which party?  Key difference with the ECHL/CHL merger was that it gave the ECHL a more balanced footprint, adding Midwest teams between their footholds on the East & West Coasts (a mix since remixed by the AHL's westward movements).  Absorbing the now-remaining FHL teams would only stretch the SPHL thin beyond the Southern core that they've established & largely maintained.  Most of the remaining FHL teams & markets aren't very far from suffering the fates of Danbury & Berlin, NY (and in recent seasons Dayton, OH & Brewster, NY & Belle Vernon, PA).  The SPHL would be better off sitting back & seeing how the new Winston-Salem team does with attendance; and if promising, carefully vet & help stand up a local ownership group to send Barry Soskin packing back north.  Otherwise, move along, there's nothing to see here.  police.gif

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Posted (edited)

34 minutes ago, JMC-STL said:

Best case for which party?  Key difference with the ECHL/CHL merger was that it gave the ECHL a more balanced footprint, adding Midwest teams between their footholds on the East & West Coasts (a mix since remixed by the AHL's westward movements).  Absorbing the now-remaining FHL teams would only stretch the SPHL thin beyond the Southern core that they've established & largely maintained.  Most of the remaining FHL teams & markets aren't very far from suffering the fates of Danbury & Berlin, NY (and in recent seasons Dayton, OH & Brewster, NY & Belle Vernon, PA).  The SPHL would be better off sitting back & seeing how the new Winston-Salem team does with attendance; and if promising, carefully vet & help stand up a local ownership group to send Barry Soskin packing back north.  Otherwise, move along, there's nothing to see here.  police.gif

Maybe I was thinking good for Peoria and Evansville....closer teams for them.....means they dont have to travel to Pensacola as much. Usually every team that goes to Peoria has to play 3 gamers each trip....just a thought. WS wont last one season regardless how many teams are in the FHL, unless they have more southern teams....they are doomed from the start otherwise.

I'm sure everyone believes the SPHL needs more than 10 teams* to provide less stress on teams and coaches to feed the ECHL. This would give the SPHL 16 teams which would be great for feeding a 27-28 team league. 

*The FHL can't get more than 6-7 teams a year and the SPHL can't get more than 10 a year.....let's make it 16 for the SP.

Edited by Marksmen119

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27 minutes ago, Marksmen119 said:

Maybe I was thinking good for Peoria and Evansville....closer teams for them.....means they dont have to travel to Pensacola as much. Usually every team that goes to Peoria has to play 3 gamers each trip....just a thought. WS wont last one season regardless how many teams are in the FHL, unless they have more southern teams....they are doomed from the start otherwise.

I'm sure everyone believes the SPHL needs more than 10 teams* to provide less stress on teams and coaches to feed the ECHL. This would give the SPHL 16 teams which would be great for feeding a 27-28 team league. 

*The FHL can't get more than 6-7 teams a year and the SPHL can't get more than 10 a year.....let's make it 16 for the SP.

It would also increase those teams' budgets to go from at or around half a million to about $1.2 million and considering those teams do not play in sufficient facilities comparable to the SPHL, and the attendance surely speaks for itself, the teams would bankrupt in the first month, if not quicker. 

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2 hours ago, Marksmen119 said:

*The FHL can't get more than 6-7 teams a year and the SPHL can't get more than 10 a year.....let's make it 16 for the SP.

Most of the FHL arenas - recreational rinks really - are too small to properly support an SPHL-caliber team.

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, JMC-STL said:

  The SPHL would be better off sitting back & seeing how the new Winston-Salem team does with attendance; and if promising, carefully vet & help stand up a local ownership group to send Barry Soskin packing back north.  Otherwise, move along, there's nothing to see here.  police.gif

http://www.carolinathunderbirds.com/history-of-ws-hockey

They come and go year to year (rather it is 1 year or 6)...doesn't matter what league they join.....they were with our league before (before I started following the SPHL). I've spoken with fans who have been around since Fayetteville joined the league in the beginning. I've also spoken to fans who were here when WS joined, vanished, and re-joined.

One person in particular, who follows many leagues (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League\QMJHL, French and American leagues, just to name a few), mentioned WS has been known to "not be able to keep a team for long"........and the link I provided shows that. Fans I have gotten to know in Fay said that WS couldnt keep up with SPHL fees. Maybe thats why they haven't tried to re-join since the 2008-09 season. 

Will just have to wait and see how the new management does. It would be great to have another team nearby. Given its history, I just don't know. Fingers crossed that they do well enough this coming season to get Combs attention and try to join again. 

 

As for Soskin, he needs to let the dream go and find a new hobby. ✌

Edited by Marksmen119

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So the league is down to 5&1/2 teams. It'll be interesting to see how long the league can afford to play the smoke & mirrors game with the Kingsville/South River/Gravenhurst/Temiscaming Knights formerly known as the Saints.

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1 hour ago, TimO said:

So the league is down to 5&1/2 teams. It'll be interesting to see how long the league can afford to play the smoke & mirrors game with the Kingsville/South River/Gravenhurst/Temiscaming Knights formerly known as the Saints.

Used to be that pro sports leagues operating in the U.S. had to maintain a minimum of 6 teams in order for foreign players to obtain work visas (or at least that was what the web populi claimed).  So even before the folding of Danbury, the St. Clair Shores team moving to Ontario in late July put the FHL below the supposed minimum of 6 U.S. franchises.  That means either: (a) the 6 minimum limit was no longer (or never) in effect; or (b) the FHL had found a loophole; or (c) the League will quietly move its remaining four teams (if they survive) to Canada before first puck drop in October.  You can feel free to add your own (d), (e), (f), etc.  :drama:

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There is a 6 team requirement within the league itself, the reasoning is just a little foggy. 2 seasons ago the Brewster team played the roll of #6 to make the league happen. Both links below mention the need for the 6th team.

 http://wlad.com/local-headlines/151711

http://www.theexaminernews.com/new-ownership-assumes-pro-hockey-team-in-brewster/

The first article in states "A team in Michigan put it in their contract that the League has to have six teams." It's unclear as to who that came from . IT gives the impression that Soskin required it before sinking his money into another franchise. However, I recall reading that McMoran arena in Port Huron put that clause in the Prowlers/Soskins lease. (PH newspaper only gives you 6 free articles so it's tough to dig that up). 

The Knights/Saints have "home" games in 4 towns across Ontario and Quebec while taking the name of the town where they will play the majority of the games.  But they DO have 6 teams... did I mention smoke & mirrors? 

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On 8/5/2017 at 8:02 AM, TimO said:

... The Knights/Saints have "home" games in 4 towns across Ontario and Quebec while taking the name of the town where they will play the majority of the games.  But they DO have 6 teams... did I mention smoke & mirrors? 

Thanks for digging up those links, TimO.  One correction to your statement above: The former Fighting Saints took the name "North Shore Knights" not "Kingsville Knights."  A tip of their helmet to the traveling road show ahead.

The 6 team thing will continue to bug me.  It's possible there were changes in U.S. immigration laws late in the second Obama Administration.  It's just as possible that Soskin & Friends found a loophole, or that they are simply hoping nobody in the USCIS offices will notice now that the new President has them busy building a wall.  :unsure:

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On 8/3/2017 at 2:11 AM, Marksmen119 said:

http://www.carolinathunderbirds.com/history-of-ws-hockey

They come and go year to year (rather it is 1 year or 6)...doesn't matter what league they join.....they were with our league before (before I started following the SPHL). I've spoken with fans who have been around since Fayetteville joined the league in the beginning. I've also spoken to fans who were here when WS joined, vanished, and re-joined.

One person in particular, who follows many leagues (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League\QMJHL, French and American leagues, just to name a few), mentioned WS has been known to "not be able to keep a team for long"........and the link I provided shows that. Fans I have gotten to know in Fay said that WS couldnt keep up with SPHL fees. Maybe thats why they haven't tried to re-join since the 2008-09 season. 

Will just have to wait and see how the new management does. It would be great to have another team nearby. Given its history, I just don't know. Fingers crossed that they do well enough this coming season to get Combs attention and try to join again. 

 

As for Soskin, he needs to let the dream go and find a new hobby. ✌

Winston is always a shaky area to play hockey. The Joel (Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum), as us locals call it, is in a bad part of Winston-Salem. It is situated on University Pkwy near the campus of Wake Forest. The problem with the main thoroughfare of U Pkwy, is there is a lot of crime and drugs associated throughout the area. I know because I usually feel uneasy about going through that area. It's from the end of downtown and extends to near the highway. The side streets and that stretch are very bad areas. The last time Winston-Salem hosted hockey was for the Twin City Cyclones (aka Pee Dee Cyclones, Augusta RiverHawks, and current Macon Mayhem). They never averaged very well (1,180 and 1,130). For the 2 little years there, the entire per game attendance for 56 games was a mere 1,154 (64,607 total attendance). Most people will NOT head to the Joel unless it is the Demon Deacs playing.

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Posted (edited)

26 minutes ago, SJSharkies4ever said:

Winston is always a shaky area to play hockey. The Joel (Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum), as us locals call it, is in a bad part of Winston-Salem. It is situated on University Pkwy near the campus of Wake Forest. The problem with the main thoroughfare of U Pkwy, is there is a lot of crime and drugs associated throughout the area. I know because I usually feel uneasy about going through that area. It's from the end of downtown and extends to near the highway. The side streets and that stretch are very bad areas. The last time Winston-Salem hosted hockey was for the Twin City Cyclones (aka Pee Dee Cyclones, Augusta RiverHawks, and current Macon Mayhem). They never averaged very well (1,180 and 1,130). For the 2 little years there, the entire per game attendance for 56 games was a mere 1,154 (64,607 total attendance). Most people will NOT head to the Joel unless it is the Demon Deacs playing.

So the bottom line is, "due to location, they will never be able to host hockey (maybe any sport) for a long period of time"?

Maybe the average attendance is ok for the FHL, to bad travel costs is a killer.

Edited by Marksmen119

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Marksmen119 said:

So the bottom line is, "due to location, they will never be able to host hockey (maybe any sport) for a long period of time"?

Maybe the average attendance is ok for the FHL, to bad travel costs is a killer.

Not exactly just location, but the fact that teams are forced to play in the Annex on the grounds because basically Wake Forest owns the Joel and the not-so wonderful location, I just cannot see hockey ever fully working in Winston unless they built a new arena somewhere in or around the vicinity of Downtown. It's just not really a smart venture to even bother. It's like my hometown of Greensboro. We have one of the 2 largest arenas in the U.S. (tied with the United Center in Chicago with a maximum capacity of 23,500 seats), and with the rink installed, boasts the largest hockey seating capacity in the U.S., and tied for the Bell Centre in Montreal (21,273 seats). We can't even get hockey back in the 'Boro because the management at the Coliseum catering to the UNCG Spartans men's basketball team and trying to keep the schedule filled with concerts and comedy shows. Our market for Greensboro would be sufficient for an NHL team. We have a large market of over 1.6 million; however, with Carolina taking up the entire NC, SC, VA market for Fox Sports, they would probably cry and oppose Greensboro. That and we didn't support that sorry team when they played in Greensboro for those 2 years.

Edited by SJSharkies4ever
typo
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