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TimO

Potential Expansion

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On 1/9/2018 at 9:06 PM, SJSharkies4ever said:

Actually, it is not. And I have read and even heard from some that a lot of tickets were actually freebies.

Greensboro itself was not going to support the team that basically said F you as they bolted to Raleigh, a city by the way, had no arena like ours. They had Dorton Arena.

I also read that Raleigh folks were not going to drive to the Boro for games, so 8-9k per game in the NHL is garbage.

Now this is the last thing I’m posting as far as this convo goes because it would be easier getting a root canal with no novicane, but just because you bought season tickets or supported them, that’s fine and you’re perogative. No one faults you for that. But the Canes left a bad taste in the mouths of a lot of people.

On a personal side note, the Canes suck and need to go back where they came from. Back to Hartford!

Sir, we're saying different things, I agree with you on everything.

Two things went wrong.  The city saw $$$ and "notoriety" for the Canes.  The locals saw their AHL franchise get shipped off.  They saw the area get ripped on ESPN and bad mouthed by the Canes organization.  The ultimate slap in the face was when the locals went to get the AHL franchise back and the Canes refused to make them an affiliate.  The Canes even refused to make the ECHL team an affiliate.  Talk about alienating the largest metro next to Raleigh.  The whole deal sucked for the local area.  The locals were sold out by the city for their teams and the Canes sold out the area that helped them.

All in all, I hope the new owners of the Canes can hold it together, because right now, the Canes in Raleigh look at lot like the Whalers in Hartford (not good numbers).

Yeah, I get you and agree.  I enjoyed the Canes when they were here, but how they treated the city and the local fans when they left; I've been unsupportive of them since and would rather see the Checkers in Charlotte... until the Thunderbirds got here.

BTW, as for can Winston get good numbers.  They had a sellout Saturday which was 3350.  Even if they sold out every game, that puts them solidly in the middle of the SPHL franchises in attendance.

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33 minutes ago, RallyRabbit said:

Sir, we're saying different things, I agree with you on everything.

Two things went wrong.  The city saw $$$ and "notoriety" for the Canes.  The locals saw their AHL franchise get shipped off.  They saw the area get ripped on ESPN and bad mouthed by the Canes organization.  The ultimate slap in the face was when the locals went to get the AHL franchise back and the Canes refused to make them an affiliate.  The Canes even refused to make the ECHL team an affiliate.  Talk about alienating the largest metro next to Raleigh.  The whole deal sucked for the local area.  The locals were sold out by the city for their teams and the Canes sold out the area that helped them.

All in all, I hope the new owners of the Canes can hold it together, because right now, the Canes in Raleigh look at lot like the Whalers in Hartford (not good numbers).

Yeah, I get you and agree.  I enjoyed the Canes when they were here, but how they treated the city and the local fans when they left; I've been unsupportive of them since and would rather see the Checkers in Charlotte... until the Thunderbirds got here.

BTW, as for can Winston get good numbers.  They had a sellout Saturday which was 3350.  Even if they sold out every game, that puts them solidly in the middle of the SPHL franchises in attendance.

If the birds do join next season you'll have a lot of Fayetteville fans come up to help fill the seats.....and standing room.

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I know we now have this talk of the Winston Salem team back in the SPHL, but I was at the Birmingham/Havoc game Sunday and there was talk from some serious Birmingham people that I do know that some of the ECHL teams that are in transition year with the league are looking at making the jump to the SPHL, especially some of the low attendance teams. Has anybody hear that talk?  I have not around the Huntsville area.

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3 hours ago, SASRACE said:

I know we now have this talk of the Winston Salem team back in the SPHL, but I was at the Birmingham/Havoc game Sunday and there was talk from some serious Birmingham people that I do know that some of the ECHL teams that are in transition year with the league are looking at making the jump to the SPHL, especially some of the low attendance teams. Has anybody hear that talk?  I have not around the Huntsville area.

Any specific teams mentioned within your earshot?  Could range from Quad Cities to Tulsa to Wichita to Norfolk to Atlanta.  Other "low attendance teams" in the ECHL would seem to stretch the SPHL even closer to a breaking point.

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From what I understand talk among the league that it trying to build more teams to go with Peoria and Evansville, so Quad City maybe in mix!

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But that's even farther North! :o Plus they're averaging over 3200 in attendance.

Indy and Cincy are in the vicinity, but they're averaging 3500+ and 5200+ respectively.

Wheeling might be a better fit, only averaging 2300 or so.

By then, you're half way to Norfolk - the ECHL bottom-dwellers at 2200+ average.

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17 minutes ago, MacGuy said:

But that's even farther North! :o Plus they're averaging over 3200 in attendance.

Indy and Cincy are in the vicinity, but they're averaging 3500+ and 5200+ respectively.

Wheeling might be a better fit, only averaging 2300 or so.

By then, you're half way to Norfolk - the ECHL bottom-dwellers at 2200+ average.

Norfolk basically already has an SPHL team, or at least they did....lol

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5 hours ago, MacGuy said:

But that's even farther North! :o Plus they're averaging over 3200 in attendance.

Indy and Cincy are in the vicinity, but they're averaging 3500+ and 5200+ respectively.

Wheeling might be a better fit, only averaging 2300 or so. ...

I only included Quad Cities because of their dwindling attendance & recent personnel moves (new rookie coach, dismissed their President/GM).  Just seems like the owners are positioning themselves for something dramatic.

Indy won't budge from the ECHL, as the owners are happy where they are & they've established a strong affiliation with the Blackhawks (playing into the fact that there are far more Chicago jerseys in the Saturday night crowd than Fuel jerseys).  And the Cincinnati ownership is proceeding year-to-year in doubt of U.S. Bank Arena remaining their home - with no other ice facility available - so I wouldn't think the SPHL BOGs would be anxious to take on such an uncertain situation.

Wheeling is the toughest to judge of them all, IMO.  Based solely on attendance, they've should've been dropped from the list of pro hockey cities many years ago.  But the most recent ownership cooperative between the local youth hockey association & the regional economic development folks seems determined to keep the pro team no matter how much money they have to sink into it every year.  Would that situation benefit from the lower cost business model of the SPHL?  Maybe.  But they could also be at a tipping point with the few remaining hockey fans in the area, with dropping down a level risking a final topple.

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Wheeling is such a unique situation, and one that I've been meaning to take a closer look at--with the things I've been trying to put together re: Huntington/Charleston over the years, I've held out hope that the stars would align so that we'd be playing regular contests against Wheeling again, in one league or another. (My occasional conversations with the Blizzard's old beat-writer almost always touch on his frustration that they still have a team, while Huntington doesn't :sad:)

I know there's a pretty good amount of cooperation between the team and the Pens, and I wonder how much that also affects their still managing to make the ECHL work. Much of the state is in the Pittsburgh sports bubble, but the northern panhandle especially. That said, I do remember that this is a team that was a premature news article away from moving to Youngstown before the current ownership group stepped in.

And what's the situation with Cincinnati? I thought the Cyclones and US Bank Arena were co-owned by Nederlander.

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1 hour ago, Aceface905 said:

... And what's the situation with Cincinnati? I thought the Cyclones and US Bank Arena were co-owned by Nederlander.

Cincinnati's U.S. Bank Arena is indeed owned by the Nederlander Organization, who also co-own the Cyclones with Anschutz Entertainment Group.  My comment above re. the Cyclones' future was simply based on fan rumblings, stemming from discussions a/b the extent (if any) of U.S. Bank Arena upgrades.  Their attendance numbers continue to surprise me - in a good way - which I prefer to attribute to their very generous two-tier ticket pricing rather than the usual claims of attendance number shuffling.

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Hey! its been a while since I've posted. Just curious if anyone has heard any expansion rumors? I would love hockey back in Biloxi. 

:edited:... Topic merged with existing one.

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Winston-Salem, NC wants in.....but has to go through the whole ceasing operations and bid for a spot in the league. I don't even know if their arena is league standards. Heard that they were trying to upgrade, but dunno in it has or will happen. Also since Barry Soskin who owns them, I doubt they will because he has ran a few teams Into the ground.

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2 hours ago, Marksmen3519 said:

Winston-Salem, NC wants in.....but has to go through the whole ceasing operations and bid for a spot in the league. I don't even know if their arena is league standards. Heard that they were trying to upgrade, but dunno in it has or will happen. Also since Barry Soskin who owns them, I doubt they will because he has ran a few teams Into the ground.

I'd like to think that they would be welcome to join but you listed two words that I think could prevent that.  Barry Soskin.  You're correct because he's ran a few teams into the ground.  With the right ownership and staffed front office, WS could make it in the SPHL.  I just hope the spike in their attendance isn't a one yr honeymoon.  It would be awesome for us since we'd have WS at a 2 1/2 hr drive and Roanoke at 3 1/5 to 4 hrs.  Not only would it re-ignite a rivalry but it would cut down on travel too.

As for the building, I think it's suitable.  

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8 hours ago, AfghanPiehole said:

I'd like to think that they would be welcome to join but you listed two words that I think could prevent that.  Barry Soskin.  You're correct because he's ran a few teams into the ground.  With the right ownership and staffed front office, WS could make it in the SPHL.  I just hope the spike in their attendance isn't a one yr honeymoon.  It would be awesome for us since we'd have WS at a 2 1/2 hr drive and Roanoke at 3 1/5 to 4 hrs.  Not only would it re-ignite a rivalry but it would cut down on travel too.

As for the building, I think it's suitable.  

Here is the economical problem with Winston-Salem. Whether the building is suitable or not, is not the main issue. The history of hockey in Winston is shaky.

Economically speaking, let's look at a significant difference between the two. The FHL average operating cost is what, 400-500k per year, compared to the SPHL of 900k to 1.2M per year. So, for time sake, let's do 500,000 versus 1,200,000. That is 140% higher than the FHL or 2.4 times higher. They would need to bring in a minimum of $42,857 per home game to cover all operating costs for the season. That's just the break-even point. Now break even attendance will vary as x would be a fluctuating variable denoting average ticket price.

By no means am I suggesting that it will fail. I am merely pointing out the realism of the business and in a market that has never been successful.

Now, according to Ticketmaster, the pricing is as follows; $18, 12, 10 & 8. If you want to grab an average pricing, that is going to be (18 + 12 + 10 + 8) / 4 = $12.00.

So, with the unverified average attendance posted for W-S of 2,191, that brings a game revenue of $26,292 on average per home game. This is a 39% loss. The 28 game schedule would bring them to $736,176 on the year. Granted, this does not include season tickets sold, concessions, merchandise and corporate partnerships. An average of 2,191 per game in the SPHL would put them at the bottom with Mississippi and Macon. It would give them, at the current average, a total of 61,348 for the season.

The sad part is, they are excited to be on the verge of breaking the FHL attendance record of 51,484, which may be big news in the FHL, but poor numbers in more respected leagues.

There are just so many factors involved that you would need a lot of paper to do all the scratch work.

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What makes up the difference in budgets between the FHL and SPHL? I know the salary cap is a little bit lower over there but that seems like a LOT of corners to cut to halve total operating costs.

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2 minutes ago, Aceface905 said:

What makes up the difference in budgets between the FHL and SPHL? I know the salary cap is a little bit lower over there but that seems like a LOT of corners to cut to halve total operating costs.

You answered your own question- a LOT of corners to cut

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I have a spec budget from the old attempted startup/scam NPHL, and I guess it was pretty much the same thing. I’ll have to pop it off whichever computer I have it on, but I remember thinking there’s no way an outfit could be profitable AND professional under this setup...

Edited by Aceface905

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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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4 hours ago, RallyRabbit said:

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?

I think the owners want less travel so their margins are better. Unless these owners own teams in multiple leagues; I doubt they'd be keen on adding teams much further away than what exists now.

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Read more : https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.delmarvanow.com/amp/99862042

The process to bring ice hockey to Delmarva has started, Wicomico County officials announced Friday.

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver announced the move along with Jim Calpin of Paramount Sports Service. Calpin’s company represents investor groups buying minor league sports teams and junior A hockey franchises.

Culver said the county is looking into having a semipro team come to Wicomico County and play 25-30 nights at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center. Officials are studying two areas to put a team in — the Southern Professional Hockey League and the ECHL, a minor league serving as the "AA" affiliate to teams in the National Hockey League.

The SPHL features many teams along the East Coast, including the Fayetteville FireAntz and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, while the ECHL, a more national-based league, is home to the Norfolk Admirals, Wheeling Nailers and Reading Royals.

Calpin said he hopes the first puck can drop by October 2018.

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@Marksmen3519 - The Delmarva Now article you linked is nearly a year old.  That "news" went silent in the subsequent weeks, and has not been resurrected or refreshed.

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Wellll, there was this at the end of the year: Stories we would love to write in 2018:thumbsup2:

Quote

Ice hockey arrives in Wicomico County

After years of speculation, there's hope that Wicomico County could one day finally host its first-ever ice hockey team.

While the excitement would focus on the new fan base and economic boost, the benefits could extend to the possibility of youth hockey opportunities, a new family-oriented activity and even the likelihood of recreational ice skating facilities for public use. 

 

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54 minutes ago, MacGuy said:

Wellll, there was this at the end of the year: Stories we would love to write in 2018. ...

That'd be a GREAT topic for this Board!  I'll start:

  • "Marksmen Shoot Their Way Out Of The Cellar To Win The President's Cup"
  • "Pensacola City Council Pledges $100M For Bay Center Improvements, Gives Ice Flyers 10-Year Lease Extension"
  • "Long-Awaited 'Kevin Swider Lane' Now Open To Local Traffic" ...
  • Haha 1

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