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SPHL-level league in the Western US

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Old
07-16-2017, 08:08 PM
  #1
Big Z Man 1990
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SPHL-level league in the Western US

As the SPHL is firmly planted in the East (with a majority of its teams in the Southeast with the possibility of adding more in the North and a name change to go along with it), there exists a gap in the Western US where there are a lot of markets hungry for minor league hockey.

Markets in the West no further east than the 4-state corridor running from Montana to NM not served by the NHL, AHL or ECHL (and to some extent, the WHL) could band together and form a new SPHL-level league, which could pick up a name which hasn't been seen in quite a while - the West Coast Hockey League. Or if you want to start fresh, go with Pacific Coast Hockey League.

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07-16-2017, 08:56 PM
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CHRDANHUTCH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Z Man 1990 View Post
As the SPHL is firmly planted in the East (with a majority of its teams in the Southeast with the possibility of adding more in the North and a name change to go along with it), there exists a gap in the Western US where there are a lot of markets hungry for minor league hockey.

Markets in the West no further east than the 4-state corridor running from Montana to NM not served by the NHL, AHL or ECHL (and to some extent, the WHL) could band together and form a new SPHL-level league, which could pick up a name which hasn't been seen in quite a while - the West Coast Hockey League. Or if you want to start fresh, go with Pacific Coast Hockey League.
again, why?

it's bad enough there aren't enough MARKETS outstanding that aren't already served by the NHL/AHL/ECHL/WHL, Z

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07-16-2017, 10:24 PM
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Captain Crash
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Where would teams play in this proposed league? It's slim pickins in the footprint you're suggesting, which is itself likely to be prohibitively big for a league of that budget. You've got a couple of spots in Montana with iffy-at-best arenas, maybe two markets in Wyoming with Casper and Cheyenne but no venues, a return of the Denver Cutthroats and maybe a swing at Colorado Springs for Colorado, and uhh Albuquerque in NM? I don't think Santa Fe has an arena. Can't imagine how this can work.

If you want to propose a new Single A level league, I'd look maybe to start in Texas and build a footprint from there.

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07-17-2017, 06:41 AM
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Big Z Man 1990
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Originally Posted by Captain Crash View Post
Where would teams play in this proposed league? It's slim pickins in the footprint you're suggesting, which is itself likely to be prohibitively big for a league of that budget. You've got a couple of spots in Montana with iffy-at-best arenas, maybe two markets in Wyoming with Casper and Cheyenne but no venues, a return of the Denver Cutthroats and maybe a swing at Colorado Springs for Colorado, and uhh Albuquerque in NM? I don't think Santa Fe has an arena. Can't imagine how this can work.

If you want to propose a new Single A level league, I'd look maybe to start in Texas and build a footprint from there.
I'm talking about the entire west.

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07-17-2017, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Z Man 1990 View Post
As the SPHL is firmly planted in the East (with a majority of its teams in the Southeast with the possibility of adding more in the North and a name change to go along with it), there exists a gap in the Western US where there are a lot of markets hungry for minor league hockey.

Markets in the West no further east than the 4-state corridor running from Montana to NM not served by the NHL, AHL or ECHL (and to some extent, the WHL) could band together and form a new SPHL-level league, which could pick up a name which hasn't been seen in quite a while - the West Coast Hockey League. Or if you want to start fresh, go with Pacific Coast Hockey League.
No offense, but it seems like every single thread of yours starts with "As the SPHL is firmly planted...", yet you wander off from the discussion.

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07-17-2017, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Z Man 1990 View Post
there exists a gap in the Western US where there are a lot of markets hungry for minor league hockey.
No, there aren't "a lot of markets hungry for minor league hockey" in that region. There aren't even suitable venues in a lot of the markets where, if properly capitalized, a minor league team might be successful. In other markets (Las Vegas, for example), a minor league team wouldn't be able to pull in nearly enough revenue to pay for an arena lease.

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07-17-2017, 03:04 PM
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JDogindy
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Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
No, there aren't "a lot of markets hungry for minor league hockey" in that region. There aren't even suitable venues in a lot of the markets where, if properly capitalized, a minor league team might be successful. In other markets (Las Vegas, for example), a minor league team wouldn't be able to pull in nearly enough revenue to pay for an arena lease.
Besides, the WPHL fiasco probably soured places on minor league hockey due to the reputation it had & places not wanting white elephant scenarios.

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07-18-2017, 12:34 PM
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Yeah, its called the AHL.

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07-18-2017, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
No, there aren't "a lot of markets hungry for minor league hockey" in that region. There aren't even suitable venues in a lot of the markets where, if properly capitalized, a minor league team might be successful. In other markets (Las Vegas, for example), a minor league team wouldn't be able to pull in nearly enough revenue to pay for an arena lease.
I'm a guy who feels like I could sell that level of hockey in those western markets you stick your nose up at. On THAT note, I think you're wrong. I can think of a couple ski towns out west where people would flock if I built a few 5K-seat arenas. (Which, yes, you're right about the venues)

HOWEVER,

...take the SPHL footprint (including the Midwest) and multiply times 3. Understand that some of the markets are well off the beaten path of, um, airlines. Um, no, this is not going to be a bus league; I should introduce you to some of my favorite mountain passes sometime. Some of those markets are, surprisingly, not cheap in which to operate compared to the Midwest or South.

I could fill 4K arenas for this, but I'd need full 8K arenas or 5.5K with substantial business/suite presence. I could find 3 of the latter. I need 6-8.

3 of the 4 truly western ECHL markets have substantial air service. As for Rapid City, it appears I'm going to have my chance to check that out this fall, and part of the attraction of going there is finding out if a market of that size can really support what they have.

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07-19-2017, 07:03 AM
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CrazyEddie20
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Originally Posted by PCSPounder View Post
I'm a guy who feels like I could sell that level of hockey in those western markets you stick your nose up at. On THAT note, I think you're wrong. I can think of a couple ski towns out west where people would flock if I built a few 5K-seat arenas. (Which, yes, you're right about the venues)

HOWEVER,

...take the SPHL footprint (including the Midwest) and multiply times 3. Understand that some of the markets are well off the beaten path of, um, airlines. Um, no, this is not going to be a bus league; I should introduce you to some of my favorite mountain passes sometime. Some of those markets are, surprisingly, not cheap in which to operate compared to the Midwest or South.

I could fill 4K arenas for this, but I'd need full 8K arenas or 5.5K with substantial business/suite presence. I could find 3 of the latter. I need 6-8.

3 of the 4 truly western ECHL markets have substantial air service. As for Rapid City, it appears I'm going to have my chance to check that out this fall, and part of the attraction of going there is finding out if a market of that size can really support what they have.
Ski towns are ski towns. After a day on the slopes, people aren't going to hockey games. They're going to apres-ski parties, out to dinner, and crashing early.

If you take the SPHL footprint and multiply it by three, and say it's not going to be a bus league and the markets aren't well served by airlines, how do you propose that the teams travel? It'll be fantastically expensive, and considering that half of the SPHL drew less than 3,000/game, unaffordable.

Any market can support anything if the team's owner is willing to throw money down a black hole. That doesn't make it successful.

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07-20-2017, 12:17 PM
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The SPHL is going to "relatively" stay in its original footprint plan. The league may have a few teams on the fringe of its footprint but that is a given. A team in southern Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois is hardly a suggestion the league is expanding outside the footprint. Likewise an SPHL team in Maryland is hardly an indicator of a northeast shift. With that said that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see the "SPHL" model outside of that footprint. It would make for a nice replacement of the circus called the FHL, but only if the market has a decent arena.

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07-20-2017, 02:36 PM
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Big Z Man 1990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightsquad View Post
The SPHL is going to "relatively" stay in its original footprint plan. The league may have a few teams on the fringe of its footprint but that is a given. A team in southern Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois is hardly a suggestion the league is expanding outside the footprint. Likewise an SPHL team in Maryland is hardly an indicator of a northeast shift. With that said that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see the "SPHL" model outside of that footprint. It would make for a nice replacement of the circus called the FHL, but only if the market has a decent arena.
The SPHL has done well replacing the ECHL in most of its southern markets and its two current Midwest markets. It could do well replacing the ECHL in other northern markets (along with changing the "Southern" in the league name to "Atlantic").

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07-20-2017, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Z Man 1990 View Post
The SPHL has done well replacing the ECHL in most of its southern markets and its two current Midwest markets. It could do well replacing the ECHL in other northern markets (along with changing the "Southern" in the league name to "Atlantic").
no, Z, WHY would you propose changing the AHL, even though there are Canadian teams in the higher two leagues, the ECHL has Brampton, correct, and most of those are in direct competition with the Canadian Junior leagues, depending on which region of Canada.... US teams preferably have only succeded in the WHL, not so much with the OHL/QMJHL.

IN fact, read back on the history of the A, and it did have variations in league name prior to 1936.

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07-20-2017, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Z Man 1990 View Post
The SPHL has done well replacing the ECHL in most of its southern markets and its two current Midwest markets. It could do well replacing the ECHL in other northern markets (along with changing the "Southern" in the league name to "Atlantic").
Depends on how far North you get. Any bottom of the barrel league will have a hard time competing with college games anywhere north of New Jersey.

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07-20-2017, 10:30 PM
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There are very few open markets west of the Mississippi that aren't served by one of the NHL, AHL, ECHL, WHL, USHL, and NAHL. The Central Hockey League which operated in your proposed region was great in the beginning merging with the WPHL but over time its markets got picked off by higher level leagues in the ECHL and AHL, and its smaller markets dropped to the NAHL, some were just bad locations and completely folded. A lot of these markets are fine with the junior teams they have, lets not forget many of the other markets in this footprint are also covered by WSHL, BCHL, and other junior teams, while not huge operations by any means those markets are well served by those teams. Also there is a limited number of "quality" arenas available with the only ones off the top of my head that are currently open with no hockey. What people fail to understand is the SPHL has found its niche in the Southeast serving markets that couldn't survive in other leagues (ECHL, CHL) and Peoria I still think will eventually leave for the ECHL again.

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