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09-16-2012, 06:46 PM
I in the Eye
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Originally Posted by KevFu View Post
Very well thought out. Makes sense. The one thing that I'd worry about would be: The value of the NHL supporting youth hockey in that fashion probably doesn't outweigh the cost.

Right now, the NHL has programs where teams support youth hockey, building rinks, funding leagues, etc. But basically, the NHL is paying for lots of crappy kids who won't amount to NHL talent to play hockey until the competition gets too good for them to compete. Currently, the cost of those kids is absorbed by the parents, not the league.
Hey, thanks for the response! I didn't think I'd ever share this idea, so I appreciate it...

With the idea, the parents would absorb exactly the same costs that they do today... The revenue generated from these expenditures, would go to the NHL... Where it makes it a great investment is that hockey is very much a gate revenue business... You're taking advantage of this on a much greater scale, without player costs cutting into the investment (parents are paying for the player costs - and whatever other costs - as they do now)...

I imagine that parents pay sign-up fees, as well as equipment costs, as well as I don't know... But I know it's expensive... I hear parents comment about how expensive it is all the time... Parents pay lots of money...

Just looking at jerseys... The NHL would have the minor hockey jerseys provided by the same supplier - except, "Vancouver" above the logo replaced by "Port Alberni"... It's basically, selling more NHL gear... With such an influx of new purchasers, I'd imagine that the NHL would also benefit from further volume discounts to supply the jerseys...

I don't know when parents stop paying for their children to continue with hockey, and then the league picks up the costs... If it's junior hockey, then this is when the parents would stop paying the NHL... If they do get paid, junior hockey players get paid much less than professional players, and also, gate revenue is probably much more significant than the lower levels of minor hockey... So, parents paying player costs (what they pay to see their kids on the ice) gets replaced by fans (paying at the gate to see their team on the ice)... Junior hockey is huge in Canada... The NHL gets paid every time the rink is being used, from 6 years old (parent is paying it) to the young prospect waiting to be eligible to join the NHL (fan is paying it)...

Also, since the NHL ownes the chain... the NHL alone can decide when that kid is eligible... Politics, be gone (or at least, significantly reduced)...

Crappy hockey playing kids (90% of them?), I think, can be transformed into future season ticket holders - with the right brainwashing from an early age They've already given the indication that they can be brainwashed - they joined a minor hockey league... The NHL can't let that slip, IMHO... The NHL needs to control and persuade this in a direction they want... They can also be brainwashed into exploring other careers that involve hockey... I think the key is to get kids, early, thinking about hockey being a life-long investment in entertainment, or career (be it player or somewhere along the line in the business chain - marketing? suppliers? managers? etc...)... Allow these hockey parents to have dinner with NHL players (during whatever hockey conference or camp), and have these hockey parents take pictures with these players, and have these hockey parents talking to their kids around the dinner table about how wonderful is Shane Doan, and hockey players are in general (and the kid has the same jersey as Shane Doan - "Glendale Coyotes" Minor Hockey Team - playing in an arena with the Coyotes logo on the ice (a somewhat replica of the Coyotes arena, but a mini-rink) - is a good way to plant the seed for a life long fan...

Also, another benefit is that the NHL could leverage their advertisers (for more advertising money)... The same in-rink advertisers who advertise in GM Place, could have their in-rink advertising in the mini-rink - for more money, of course... The mini-rink could be used for smaller events, rented for beer league games, etc... And the cities themselves would probably fund a good portion of the rinks - to stimulate local money spending...

Originally Posted by KevFu View Post

The NHL buying the AHL concept "works" from multiple standpoints:

#1 - franchise values: (See my PHX example). Any franchise that goes up for sale, you can automatically hold a bidding war for an NHL team among owners looking at 15 markets, instead of one. Looking for a guy to own a team in PHX is proving difficult. Instead, you'd have 1-7 guys placing bids from difference cities: SEA, QUE, HAM, KC, OKC, MIL, PHX.

#2 - By relocating some AHL teams around the US, you can maximize the "growth of the game" aspect. The AHL currently has 23 traditional markets and 7 growth markets (Norfolk, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Oklahoma City), as does the NHL (TB, FLA, DAL, ANA, SJ, CAR, NASH).

Lots of the places we're talking about as potential NHL cities don't have AHL teams? That makes no sense. If the NHL owned the AHL, they could move teams out of small northeast markets that we know we'll have fans of the game (the coverage of teams in New England and Upstate New York is way too dense), and move them to these markets and scope out the fans of places like Seattle, Portland, Kansas City, Salt Lake City. And place teams a few hours away and use affiliations to create more fans in places like Florida and Tennessee.

AHL franchises are in towns that NHL teams view as battle-ground territories for fans. Hershey (PIT/PHI/WAS), Scranton (PHI/NYC), Albany (NY/BOS) for example. The idea is you put an affiliate there, and turn that town into fans of your team (TV viewers, merchandise and occasional ticket sales).

Las Vegas (LA/ANA), Reno (SJ), Salt Lake (COL) expands their fan bases outward and creates more NHL interest.

#3 - It gives you options for a doomsday scenario if a radical reconstruction of the NHL is needed. Teams wouldn't fold or move, they'd move to the AHL. Their colors and names would be tied to the city, rather than the franchise. "You'll be back in the NHL when you get an NHL arena, Islanders. Your spot in the NHL has been transferred to QUE."

Making a 20x3 Promotion/Relegation League? Piece of cake. You could get that going in an hour if you owned the 30 AHL franchises.
OK, I'm sold on adding the "main professional farm team league" to the minor hockey idea An added benefit is that I imagine that the NHL could make a lot of money relocating these AHL teams to various North American cities - when relocation happens...

The NHL is a gate revenue business... Increase the number of gates at a rate much higher than the player costs that they need to pay out (basically, all levels below the NHL) and it's a win... IMO, the NHL should expand... just not expand at the NHL level...

In the same mini-rink, the NHL could house hockey games from 6 years old (played on a Sunday morning) to AHL (played on a Saturday night)... The sale of concessions, etc... Huge potential money maker, IMHO... and the NHL has the infrastructure, expertise, and resources to make it work, at least from the chair I am sitting in...

Last edited by I in the Eye: 09-16-2012 at 07:04 PM.
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