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Old
03-19-2008, 11:59 PM
  #1
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http://www.lakeerievikings.com/

The Jamestown Vikings have moved to Ohio and now are called the Lake Erie Vikings.

http://www.lakeerievikings.com/

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03-20-2008, 08:39 AM
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What historic building can the players destroy when the MAHL folds mid-season next year?

The actual location of this team is to be announced, but if it is located anywhere between Youngstown and Cleveland I don't see how it can be successful given that Cleveland has an AHL team and Youngstown has a CHL team and a junior team.

I also see that an "expansion" franchise has been awarded to Dyer, Indiana. I can't see this being a good business decision given how far this team is located from the others. Apparently the league didn't learn from its mistakes last season of being too spread out resulting in extremely high travel (fuel) costs.

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03-20-2008, 08:18 PM
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Pelts,

I too was surprised to see an MAHL team in Dyer, IN, which certainly isn't Eastern Indiana. I would have expected the MWHL to be looking to put a team in there (Dyer). It's interesting the the MAHL and the MWHL now appear to be competing for the same region. I'm not entirely certain how they'll be able to continue to call it the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League if they keep shift west like this.

I guess the MAHL moving West opens up more space for the EPHL.

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04-02-2008, 12:42 PM
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This is quite interesting.

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04-02-2008, 01:33 PM
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This is quite interesting.
What is interesting about it?

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04-02-2008, 03:43 PM
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Northeast Ohio having 2 hockey teams, when we didn't even have 1 last year.

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04-02-2008, 03:48 PM
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Northeast Ohio having 2 hockey teams, when we didn't even have 1 last year.
Is Youngstown (where there are 2 teams) not considered northeast Ohio?

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04-02-2008, 04:11 PM
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I always considered Y-town NE Ohio. Now they will have the Lake Erie Monsters, Lake Erie Viking, Youngstown Steelhounds, and Youngstown Phantoms is the two Youngstown teams don't consolidate like they were planning on doing to join either the USHL or ECHL.

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04-02-2008, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
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Is Youngstown (where there are 2 teams) not considered northeast Ohio?
To me, no. It's a little far away from here. It's closer to PA.

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04-02-2008, 06:11 PM
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look at the date...

lets look at todays date...April 2, 2008, and by my count there are only 3 teams in the MAHL for next year. Jamestown is out, no news on movalley, Valley forge obviously done, and where is wooster in all of this? as i see it these guys need to stop trying to sell franchises to line their pockets, and should let people put that money into startup costs and pay franchise costs over time interest free or something like that. if people actually wanted this A level to work, if they cared about the game, then they wouldnt be so worried about profits off the top of potential owners. just my thoughts.

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04-03-2008, 12:12 PM
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The MAHL just signed a online broadcast deal with FANZ-TV. Jamestown isnt done, they're moving to NE Ohio. So they have:

Indiana
Lake Erie
Mon Valley (?)
South Shore

From what I've gathered from several sources is that Wooster will be gone.

Also, it wouldn't shock me if Haines tries to sell the Valley Forge franchise even though he doesn't own it.

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04-03-2008, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ky born Pilot View Post
The MAHL just signed a online broadcast deal with FANZ-TV. Jamestown isnt done, they're moving to NE Ohio. So they have:

Indiana
Lake Erie
Mon Valley (?)
South Shore

From what I've gathered from several sources is that Wooster will be gone.

Also, it wouldn't shock me if Haines tries to sell the Valley Forge franchise even though he doesn't own it.
I won't go into details on how I know this, but you can expect to see other franchises being added over the next few months. They include:

Fraser,MI
Trenton,MI
Chelsea,MI
Ohio(Not sure what city)

with a franchise possibly in South Charleston, West Virginia as well.

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04-03-2008, 01:29 PM
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interesting...

those cities in michigan, and as a hockey dad in michigan i know them well, can not support a team. he may be able to get a lease, but it wont survive for so many reasons. small arenas, unrealistic operations budget for paying players, and the ice fees in the area blow their budgets out of the water. anyone remember the fraser falcons, and failed junior teams in those areas? i usualy try to remain positive about these things, but we rent ice in those buildings so when you know the community and the building coupled with the history it sounds like a gong show in the making. i wish them luck, they will need it.

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04-03-2008, 03:25 PM
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It is interesting to hear that Fraser, Chelsea, and Trenton may all have teams. Fraser is north suburban Detroit, Trenton is south suburban Detroit, and Chelsea is a town of 4,400 between Jackson and Ann Arbor. Add in Dyer, Indiana (southeast suburban Chicago), and you have four locations that might be good to operate semi-pro teams out of, because you'd be able to have a lot of good players from the area that could still hold down regular jobs and then play semi-pro hockey, too. As for supporting a fully professional minor pro team, all four of those markets are iffy.

If the Lake Erie Vikings end up in suburban Cleveland, that'd be another decent place to put a semi-professional team. The Pittsburgh area would be another good location for a semi-pro team, but Indiana, PA, is still some distance from Pittsburgh.

It'll be interesting to see if this plays out as mentioned above.

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04-03-2008, 05:30 PM
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lets do the math...

lets figure each team has a real small budget of 200K per year...thats so low it cant work in those markets, but humor me. Ice in that area runs about $250 an hour, not including clean up or staffing on game nights, so lets say a grand a night for the arena being generous again...20 home games=20grand. twenty road games with cheap busses are a grand a trip minimum even when local tripsso we have another 20grand in travel. a real cheap head coach will be 20 grand. so without salaries for the players, per diem, hotels for over nights, equipment, trainers, insurance, immigration, lets just say that player salaries equal 2 grand a week to be real low, over 4 months that another 32grand, so the total is 92 grand now. perdiem at 15 dollas a day on the road, thats another 6 grand, so were at 98grand, cheap hotels call it 5 grand, thats 103 grand. Equipment is a minimum of $500 a player so thats 10grand more. trainers and simple workmans comp is a minimum of 20grand. up to 123 now, insurance at our rink which is owned by our association is 50 grand a year for amateur hockey lets say they get the same rate, now we are at 173, immigration costs for 1 player info from the ECHL records is about 2 grand 5 years ago. lets say there are no imports, at 173grand you havents accounted for broken equipment, attorney fees, doctor fees, dentist fees, tape, jerseys, socks, laundry costs, and all the other hidden costs that you dont realize until you start operating.

Now look at the arena's and the communities. say 1000 seats at 10 buck a person average a night, and some of these buildings have no where near 1000 seats, not to mention in chelsea 1000 people would be 25% of the population an impossible number to get.

Be realistic, it is a slam together lets do it an sell the franchise operation if they dont run the numbers. i did this while talking on the phone in 15 minutes, it dont take a rocket scientist....

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04-03-2008, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by minorlife View Post
lets figure each team has a real small budget of 200K per year...thats so low it cant work in those markets, but humor me. Ice in that area runs about $250 an hour, not including clean up or staffing on game nights, so lets say a grand a night for the arena being generous again...20 home games=20grand. twenty road games with cheap busses are a grand a trip minimum even when local tripsso we have another 20grand in travel. a real cheap head coach will be 20 grand. so without salaries for the players, per diem, hotels for over nights, equipment, trainers, insurance, immigration, lets just say that player salaries equal 2 grand a week to be real low, over 4 months that another 32grand, so the total is 92 grand now. perdiem at 15 dollas a day on the road, thats another 6 grand, so were at 98grand, cheap hotels call it 5 grand, thats 103 grand. Equipment is a minimum of $500 a player so thats 10grand more. trainers and simple workmans comp is a minimum of 20grand. up to 123 now, insurance at our rink which is owned by our association is 50 grand a year for amateur hockey lets say they get the same rate, now we are at 173, immigration costs for 1 player info from the ECHL records is about 2 grand 5 years ago. lets say there are no imports, at 173grand you havents accounted for broken equipment, attorney fees, doctor fees, dentist fees, tape, jerseys, socks, laundry costs, and all the other hidden costs that you dont realize until you start operating.

Now look at the arena's and the communities. say 1000 seats at 10 buck a person average a night, and some of these buildings have no where near 1000 seats, not to mention in chelsea 1000 people would be 25% of the population an impossible number to get.

Be realistic, it is a slam together lets do it an sell the franchise operation if they dont run the numbers. i did this while talking on the phone in 15 minutes, it dont take a rocket scientist....
Great break down, and that's on the lowest end.

The people who seem to be "proponents" of "single-a hockey" seem more often than not to have big dreams, small wallets, and even smaller foresight for the costs of running the business against the actual sales potential based on the value of the product...

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04-03-2008, 11:32 PM
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Originally Posted by minorlife View Post
lets figure each team has a real small budget of 200K per year...thats so low it cant work in those markets, but humor me. Ice in that area runs about $250 an hour, not including clean up or staffing on game nights, so lets say a grand a night for the arena being generous again...20 home games=20grand. twenty road games with cheap busses are a grand a trip minimum even when local tripsso we have another 20grand in travel. a real cheap head coach will be 20 grand. so without salaries for the players, per diem, hotels for over nights, equipment, trainers, insurance, immigration, lets just say that player salaries equal 2 grand a week to be real low, over 4 months that another 32grand, so the total is 92 grand now. perdiem at 15 dollas a day on the road, thats another 6 grand, so were at 98grand, cheap hotels call it 5 grand, thats 103 grand. Equipment is a minimum of $500 a player so thats 10grand more. trainers and simple workmans comp is a minimum of 20grand. up to 123 now, insurance at our rink which is owned by our association is 50 grand a year for amateur hockey lets say they get the same rate, now we are at 173, immigration costs for 1 player info from the ECHL records is about 2 grand 5 years ago. lets say there are no imports, at 173grand you havents accounted for broken equipment, attorney fees, doctor fees, dentist fees, tape, jerseys, socks, laundry costs, and all the other hidden costs that you dont realize until you start operating.

Now look at the arena's and the communities. say 1000 seats at 10 buck a person average a night, and some of these buildings have no where near 1000 seats, not to mention in chelsea 1000 people would be 25% of the population an impossible number to get.

Be realistic, it is a slam together lets do it an sell the franchise operation if they dont run the numbers. i did this while talking on the phone in 15 minutes, it dont take a rocket scientist....
I agree with CrazyEddie20, nice quick breakdown.

The fact that Dyer, Indiana, has been announced as having a team does make it very plausible that the Michigan markets mentioned will be announced by the MAHL.

The other things that one also has to consider when looking at a market, as a team owner, is what proportion the rights do I have for board ads, zamboni ads, scoreboards ads, and other advertising around the arena? Are those rights already predominantly taken by other tenants or the arena itself? Those are all areas where important revenue is generated, and if a Single A hockey team doesn't have the possibility of having the rights to those areas and getting most of the proceeds from those, then that also really limits the viability of a market. With what I've worked with in the past, the arena did get some cut of that, but the team still got the vast majority of it. And obviously, major advertisers would get a certain number of season tickets and advertising space in the game program included.

Then there's the question of concessions and who gets what cut of that, if the team gets any cut on concessions at all.

One major expense that we haven't discussed is housing for players. At the minor pro levels, the teams generally supply apartments for the players. Now, maybe you try to find as many three-bedroom apartments as you can to improve that cost efficiency, but you're still looking at 6 or 7 team apartments (and we don't want a repeat of five players staying in one hotel room for weeks on end as was reported in newspapers after the MAHL shut down this season).

I guess, to me, a "Single A" hockey team is going to need to be able to average close to 2,000 fans a night, have a fairly compact region for the league, and then also be in an arena where they have significant opportunities for the advertising I mentioned above. In a new market in a new league, those advertisements won't start nearly as high as say a Danbury, Connecticut, will, which has shown in the past that it could have the community and corporate support to support a "Single A" hockey team. Danbury lost their UHL team because of legal issues, not because the city was lacking in support.

I would say the first place I'd look to place franchises in a "Single A" league are markets that have supported hockey before and have shown in the past they could have those 2,000 fans or so and still have some chance of corporate support. If it's a brand new market, then it's going to need to have the right arena and sufficient population. It's been my opinion that Jamestown, New York, was the minimum standard of where a "Single A" team should be even be considered. When you start working with markets that have arenas smaller than that in capacity and smaller than that in population, it does start to look "fishy."

I'm sure CrazyEddie20 would consider me a proponent of "Single A" hockey, but I'm certainly not myopic on what it'll take. I also know that it does the concept of "Single A" hockey no good whatsoever for franchises to be placed in markets where they are doomed to fail because the arena's too small, or the metro area is too small, or both.

I wish Fidel Jenkins well with the Indiana Ice Miners, but the main ice sheet cannot fit 1000 people and the town is only 15,000 people, and teams aren't getting any closer for the Ice Miners, either. What Indiana has is just perfect, though, for IUP's club team and their local youth hockey and area sports (one "sheet" is often used for other things and has turf down). If the MAHL drops to a semi-pro model, then maybe some of these markets and rumored markets have a chance.

The owners of "Single A" teams will need to be fairly local, have reasonably deep pockets to start, and have a love for hockey, because it'll be more about breaking even and providing more of a community service than raking in dollars. The reason I say fairly local is because they'll be interested in that community pride and have some existing connections in the local Chamber of Commerce (the business community in the area) to likewise help generate that community support.

If anyone else wants to get into a deeper discussion of the finances necessary to operate a legitimate "Single A" team, I'd certainly be interested in discussing that with other people and pooling our knowledge together and to really "do the math."

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04-04-2008, 12:48 AM
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The other things that one also has to consider when looking at a market, as a team owner, is what proportion the rights do I have for board ads, zamboni ads, scoreboards ads, and other advertising around the arena? Are those rights already predominantly taken by other tenants or the arena itself? Those are all areas where important revenue is generated, and if a Single A hockey team doesn't have the possibility of having the rights to those areas and getting most of the proceeds from those, then that also really limits the viability of a market. With what I've worked with in the past, the arena did get some cut of that, but the team still got the vast majority of it. And obviously, major advertisers would get a certain number of season tickets and advertising space in the game program included.

Then there's the question of concessions and who gets what cut of that, if the team gets any cut on concessions at all.
Beyond that, most of the markets that you and other proponents want to see "single-a" hockey in don't have the corporate base to bring in the revenue from advertising you are talking about. Ever been to Indiana, PA? It's even worse than Johnstown. There's no one to sell advertising to.

Even if there is, like in West Orange and Danbury, pricing and selling the sponsorship packages has a lot to do with getting the advertising in front of people, meaning getting people to attend the games. Being that most of these buildings are crap, and the hockey is, let's face it, an super-elite beer league, the attendance battle is the first battle to be won, and as was stated previously, no team is going to survive financially on attendance alone. If you can't sell the game to fans, you can't sell it to advertisers. Period. And if you can't sell it to advertisers, you can't survive at any level of hockey.

I'd love to see a legit stratification of minor league hockey, but some people have to swallow their pride and admit that it will, in a few years, be a three-level stratification, with the AHL, the ECHL, the CHL finally positioning itself as the Class-A league it is, and maybe the SPHL as a rookie-league.

This is not to slight the IHL, but between Flint and Port Huron, and another doomed-to-fail foray into Chicago, I really don't believe that league will be around in five years.

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04-04-2008, 06:46 AM
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CrazyEddie20: I have been to Indiana, PA, and played in the arena (that's how I know it doesn't have 1000). I think we are probably in agreement on that market. I suspect you assume I am and have been in total agreement with the markets that the MAHL placed teams in last season and appear to be this season. I am not and was not. I was not vocal in my disagreement, because I wanted my initial suspicions to be proven wrong. If somebody wants to try minor pro hockey in a market and lose their posterior trying, I'm not going to get upset about it. It only helps further define what will work and what will not. How many times did Edison fail before mastering the light bulb? I guess the only reason I might get a little upset is when the concept of "Single A" hockey, or as you might define it as "Rookie Class," is completely tarnished by irresponsible franchise placement and by the debacles that can follow. To me, "Single A" hockey, as these leagues are defining themselves anyway, is more about rescuing some markets that have had hockey and were considered lost (similar to what the SPHL has accomplished with some success), giving some "Double A" markets that are struggling with the costs at that level someplace to drop down to, re-establishing hockey in some past markets that could survive in a "Single A" model, and developing potential new markets (like, say, a Jamestown, New York).

I guess to me if we want to consider the Central League and the IHL as ''Single A" or "High A," as opposed to viewing the ECHL as "High AA" and the other two as "Double A," is all semantics. I do certainly believe the ECHL is above the CHL and the IHL, as we would hope "The Coast" would be with its relationships with the NHL and AHL.

So then, whether we consider the SPHL as "High A" or "Single A" or "Low A" or "Rookie Class" is, I would say, somewhat semantic, too.

These are all fairly arbitrary classifications by fans and leagues anyway. Maybe if some standards in different areas of hockey operations (including caliber of play, of course) were set out and agreed upon, then there'd be some concrete measuring sticks, like how there are supposed to be some concrete measuring sticks amongst Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III junior A amongst USA Hockey.

As of current, I think it's a somewhat semantic argument as to whether things are "Double A" or "Single A" or some stratification of those two levels. I would think that we'd all agree in the order of placement of the leagues, though.

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04-04-2008, 07:46 AM
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all excellent thoughts

let me be clear I am not trying to bash this idea or the league. what concerns me is that when these startups arrive, everything is geared toward the appearence of being a large operation. when in fact these operations must remain small and cost efficient. excellent point on housing, even cheap or traded housing, which would cost you advertising dollars and tickets, would cost you a minimum of 20 grand for the season.

the way i see it is that some people are under the mistaken belief that they can actually make money selling franchises in these cities! are you out of your #@$%#***ing mind?!!! i see this as a money grab from a guy who knows nothing about the game and is more concerned about selling franchises. hockey is not mickey d's.

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04-09-2008, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
Is Youngstown (where there are 2 teams) not considered northeast Ohio?
Yes it is... despite being about an hour away from Cleveland, Youngstown is in NE Ohio.. the same as Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Kent and Warren (among others). It is close to Pittsburgh, but not closer.

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