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AHL Schedule (EDIT: Set for release on Wed. 8/25)

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Old
09-02-2010, 04:57 PM
  #76
Rumblick
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This one's a little long :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by axecrew View Post
Rum......Lord almighty himself actually told me that very thing in a visit to Chicago about 3 years ago. He told me that down the road we could see the very scenario you just played out.
I’ve been hearing it since the merger. Still waiting.

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Originally Posted by axecrew View Post
How sad is that, denying a fan the chance to see a great player before he gets to the NHL because the owners area bunch of greedy pos's.
You seriously think AHL owners are money grubbers? Look at the attendance #’s. We’re lucky half of them haven’t sold yet.


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Originally Posted by axecrew View Post
I still think there is a way to make it work,and not kill the wallets of the owners, just don't know what it is.Although I do have an idea, because to be honest....the players in the cushy little bus league get their jocks handed to them when they get to the NHL because the travel schedule is much more like the West and they can't handle it or are unable to adapt as quick.
The players in the "cushy little bus league" helped pull the Capitals from a 70 point team to a 121 point team in three years. Another of them had the parent club win a Stanley Cup just two years ago, and two more in the seasons prior to that (Pittsburgh, Anaheim, & Carolina). I've never once heard a coach, GM, or anyone before you right here use this angle before. The logic behind this particular statement is almost Hutchian.

Having done plenty of travel on both, I can tell you buses aren’t nearly as comfortable as planes. the idea that a bus ride home from Norfolk, Adirondack or Portland isn't at least as tough as a 2-3 hour plane ride is . . . . . . well, refer to my statement in the above paragraph.


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Originally Posted by axecrew View Post
My thought is to get the NHL on board with it, explain the advantages to the eastern conference affiliates in terms of adapting to travel, and maybe have each NHL team take the affiliation fee paid by their AHL team and lower it by say 500,000 and stipulate that the money be used for their travel expenses in that season. This way the owners pay out no extra money for travel and the fans around the league get to see a variety of players they’d otherwise never see.
You want the NHL owners to give up $500,000 in real money just so their affiliates can take a few plane trips?


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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
At the AHL level, yes. I'm not talking about the NHL teams. But these teams are the part of the puppy mill, play the young talent at any cost, and oh by the way, sell ticket mentality. Much of the ownership out East, NHL or independent, doesn't think on a bigger scale. It is still the bus league, back in their own beds at the end of the night mentality.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but who exactly do you think decides who to play? If an AHL owner (or a GM in the case of the NHL-owned affiliates) is told by his NHL affiliate to play the kids, he plays the kids. If he’s told to go within a set policy, he has to abide by that policy. Teams like Chicago, Hershey and a few others have flexibility because they’ve got that type of relationship with their parent clubs. When the Bears were with Colorado, we had a stretch where the team went 0-16-2. When asked if they’d be looking for players to help the Bears at that time, the response was “we want them to develop players – winning is secondary.” At one point we had the same issue with Philly. It's part of doing business. This isn't an independent league.


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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
The Norfolk Admirals and Falcons are part of the bus league mentality. Don't travel; don't bring in Western teams. And in the case of the Falcons, use the threat of movement as a means to draw fans.
You really lose me when you put the Admirals in the mix. EVERY road game they play is a trip. The closest opponent for them is a 6-hour ride away. They’re almost NEVER in their beds by the end of the night, unless you consider that to be sunup.

BTW, the Falcons didn’t invent the practice of threatening to move, and I’m still not certain they’ll be in the league after this season.


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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
But I guess if you are saying that there are bad markets, then maybe we should move out of those markets. Why does the league allow teams to go back to failed markets?
I really think this is the key to all of it. No one can tell an owner where to put a team. If a lease deal is a good one, they go for it. If an owner wants to put his players in a position to be home at the end of the night, that’s his prerogative – he’s the one footing the bills. Anyone who purchases a franchise and puts it in a Western city knows from the jump that is travel costs are going to be higher.




The simple fact is this – the fans keep saying they want more diversity, and the owners keep voting not to travel more than necessary. As to who’s at fault, show me something in writing. I’ve heard from GM’s in both conferences and Lord David himself. Everyone says they want to travel more, but when the vote comes in, we’ve got the same schedule all over again. It’s life in the minors, and it’s not going to change unless one of us hits a Powerball.

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09-02-2010, 07:28 PM
  #77
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Rum....Thank you for that well thought out post. Correct me if I'm wrong but you are one of the people wanting a more diversified schedule right?

While I respect your opinion and your right to them.....my comments were simply my opinions and/or suggestions. In no way did i imply that I had the answers nor did I imply that I knew the answers. I simply made some suggestions and offered opinon on the topic at hand.

When the owners of the teams put money or making money ahead of what fans want, how ever small or large the number, then yes they become money grubbing pos's in my opinion. Our own owner here in Chicago made a comment 2 seasons ago after missing the playoffs in 08-09 that the season was a success. He was lambasted and taken to task by the fan base wanting to know how the hell a season in which we didn't make the playoffs could possibly be considered a success?? Of course he meant financially and was hammered in the court of public opinion for it.

Again as I stated before I'm only offering opinion/suggestions to the topic at hand......with your comments to me and or about me (hutchian comment and others), I'm not exactly sure what it is you are offering to this topic in the way of suggestions toward possible solutions.

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09-03-2010, 10:45 AM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axecrew View Post
Rum....Thank you for that well thought out post. Correct me if I'm wrong but you are one of the people wanting a more diversified schedule right?
Big time. I actually look at the road schedule more intensely than the home slate,and I'd kill to see more Western cities. I've had several discussions withMr. yingst on the topic, which is part of the reason I'm not optimistic.

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Originally Posted by axecrew View Post
While I respect your opinion and your right to them.....my comments were simply my opinions and/or suggestions. In no way did i imply that I had the answers nor did I imply that I knew the answers. I simply made some suggestions and offered opinon on the topic at hand.
Understood. I love a good back and forth discussion.


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Originally Posted by axecrew View Post
When the owners of the teams put money or making money ahead of what fans want, how ever small or large the number, then yes they become money grubbing pos's in my opinion. Our own owner here in Chicago made a comment 2 seasons ago after missing the playoffs in 08-09 that the season was a success. He was lambasted and taken to task by the fan base wanting to know how the hell a season in which we didn't make the playoffs could possibly be considered a success?? Of course he meant financially and was hammered in the court of public opinion for it.

Again as I stated before I'm only offering opinion/suggestions to the topic at hand......with your comments to me and or about me (hutchian comment and others), I'm not exactly sure what it is you are offering to this topic in the way of suggestions toward possible solutions.
Virtually every owner is going to put either making a profit or minimizing loss at the top of his agenda, and everything else is secondary. I think it's unrealistic to see it any other way. my "Hutch" comment was directed at your ideas on how the West is so myuch better at player development because of their travel, which makes no sense to me based on the facts. I didn't mean anything personal by it, and if it seemed that way, I apologize. Hutch is simply my "WTF?" default button.

Would I love to see a more diverse schedule including more travel? Absolutely. I'd love to see a conference playoff format. I'd personally like more weeknight games and a few less 3-in-3's. However, I am realistic enough to understand that, as a minor league, especially in the current economy (which isn't nearly as "recovered" as our beloved President would like you to believe), these things aren't going to happen, andyou can blame the owners, the NHL clubs, Lord David, or anyone else, I just don't see it changing anytime soon.

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09-03-2010, 01:09 PM
  #79
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I know we all like to complain about the AHL schedule, but, simply put, nothing is going to change. It is what it is, but it makes for great message board conversation. We are in the minority of die hard fans that actually want to see other teams and we all know that businesses don't cater to the minority, they cater to the masses.

That said, the AHL schedule is quite comparable to a AAA baseball league schedule. Let's look at the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs schedule. They play 150 games in a 3 divisional league with 14 teams. They play divisional rival Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 17 times so 11.3% of their schedule is played against 1 team. Is this any different than what we have in the AHL? I admit I am just a casual minor league baseball fan, so I wonder if the die hard minor league baseball fans complain about their schedule as much as we do.

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09-03-2010, 01:50 PM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
That said, the AHL schedule is quite comparable to a AAA baseball league schedule. Let's look at the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs schedule. They play 150 games in a 3 divisional league with 14 teams. They play divisional rival Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 17 times so 11.3% of their schedule is played against 1 team. Is this any different than what we have in the AHL? I admit I am just a casual minor league baseball fan, so I wonder if the die hard minor league baseball fans complain about their schedule as much as we do.
OK, but how many times do they face the other divisions? If it is more than zero, then they will see more opponents than we see in the AHL.

I'm not saying all the Western Conference teams have to see all the Eastern Conference team every year. Put them on a rotation so that every 3 years or so, each conference will have played their counter parts.

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09-03-2010, 02:24 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
OK, but how many times do they face the other divisions? If it is more than zero, then they will see more opponents than we see in the AHL.
False. Look at the Falcons who rarely travel. This season they play Syracuse, Adirondack, Albany, Charlotte, Hershey, Norfolk, Bingo and WB/S this season. That's a total of 22 games outside the division.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Majik1987
I'm not saying all the Western Conference teams have to see all the Eastern Conference team every year. Put them on a rotation so that every 3 years or so, each conference will have played their counter parts.
Again, it's great conversation here, but it isn't going to happen. Simply put the marginal AHL fan could care less if their home team is playing a divisional opponent or an out of conference one.

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09-03-2010, 02:45 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
False. Look at the Falcons who rarely travel. This season they play Syracuse, Adirondack, Albany, Charlotte, Hershey, Norfolk, Bingo and WB/S this season. That's a total of 22 games outside the division.
I assumed based on the details you gave, that there are only three divisions for this 14 team league and no conferences. Are there conferences? That's my question. If there are conferences, then how many times do they play the other conference? Even if it is one time, then it is more than many of the AHL teams get to see on a conference basis.

EDIT - I'll answer my own question. No, there are not conference alignments. All the teams play in divisions. So, if you want to draw a parrallel to the AHL discussion, the divisions are much like conferences. If the Iron Pigs only played their own division opponents for a whole year, then I think they are similar to the AHL. However, the Iron Pigs do play teams from the other divisions. In fact, my quick review seems to show that they play every other team in the league at least once home and away. So, getting back to your question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
so I wonder if the die hard minor league baseball fans complain about their schedule as much as we do.
My answer is probably not. They get to see all the teams in the league at some point during the season. That's more than what I'd realistically like for the AHL. I only want to see some Eastern Confernece opponents on a rotation so that by end of some number of years (let's say three), we in the Western Conference will have seen all of the teams in the Eastern Conference, and vice versa.

I understand why they play a large percentage against certain teams. That's inevitable. But with the remaining games, it would be nice to see the other conference.

PS - That is none against the Western Conference for the Falcons. We've been talking about play between the AHL's Eastern and Western Conference.

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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
Again, it's great conversation here, but it isn't going to happen. Simply put the marginal AHL fan could care less if their home team is playing a divisional opponent or an out of conference one.
We all understand that. But when the AHL goes to market, they have to keep in mind both the 'marginal' fan and their base (the die hard). Yes, a lot of the marketing goes toward marginal fan, but they can't take the die hard for granted. If they do that, the base could eventually leave them.


Last edited by Majik1987: 09-03-2010 at 03:15 PM.
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09-03-2010, 05:39 PM
  #83
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There are more than one AAA baseball league, so the leagues are like the AHL conferences. They don't play each other, it's more like the 90's AHL/IHL setup, except the teams are all affilaiated with MLB clubs. Buffalo fans wil see all teams in their league, but not any teams from other league. That's the same at all levels of MiLB.

MiLB players and umpires are paid a fraction of what AHLers are paid also. An avearge AAA player gets around $4,000 a month from April to Labor Day. There are exceptions- but it basically goes down $1000 a level in MILB....... anyway the players costs are much lower. The clubs are rarely owned by MLB teams, and the local owners, in the cases I'm familiar with, don't pay affiliation fees.

MY question- Is the problem that fans don't get to see all the AHL teams, or is it the fans don't get to see all the NHL farm teams? That is, would there still be a problem if it was back into an AHL/IHL type format where travel was limited, and the teams in each league played all of/only each other?

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09-03-2010, 11:31 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by RFA View Post
MY question- Is the problem that fans don't get to see all the AHL teams, or is it the fans don't get to see all the NHL farm teams? That is, would there still be a problem if it was back into an AHL/IHL type format where travel was limited, and the teams in each league played all of/only each other?
I'm not sure I understand this. All the AHL teams ARE NHL farm teams.

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09-04-2010, 12:20 AM
  #85
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Originally Posted by RFA View Post
There are more than one AAA baseball league, so the leagues are like the AHL conferences.
Except they are different leagues, meaning that there is no real expectation that they would play each other. Difference conferences in the same league, that's a different expectation.

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Originally Posted by RFA View Post
They don't play each other, it's more like the 90's AHL/IHL setup, except the teams are all affilaiated with MLB clubs. Buffalo fans wil see all teams in their league, but not any teams from other league. That's the same at all levels of MiLB.
So how does that have anything to do with the fact that many teams in the AHL's Eastern and Western Conference don't play each other? It's not reasonable to think that teams from different leagues would play each other. But the Eastern and Western Conference of the AHL are in the same league.

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Originally Posted by RFA View Post
MiLB players and umpires are paid a fraction of what AHLers are paid also. An avearge AAA player gets around $4,000 a month from April to Labor Day. There are exceptions- but it basically goes down $1000 a level in MILB....... anyway the players costs are much lower. The clubs are rarely owned by MLB teams, and the local owners, in the cases I'm familiar with, don't pay affiliation fees.
OK...

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Originally Posted by RFA View Post
MY question- Is the problem that fans don't get to see all the AHL teams, or is it the fans don't get to see all the NHL farm teams? That is, would there still be a problem if it was back into an AHL/IHL type format where travel was limited, and the teams in each league played all of/only each other?
It's all the teams in the AHL. It has nothing to do with the NHL.

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09-04-2010, 02:22 AM
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFA View Post
There are more than one AAA baseball league, so the leagues are like the AHL conferences.
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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
Except they are different leagues, meaning that there is no real expectation that they would play each other. Difference conferences in the same league, that's a different expectation.
I'm not sure there should be any expectations. Since the merger, the AHL has been going more and more to a divisional concept. The reason the playoffs went from conferences to divisions was to cut down on travel, and with teams in financial difficulties, they're doing it even more now.

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09-05-2010, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
We all understand that. But when the AHL goes to market, they have to keep in mind both the 'marginal' fan and their base (the die hard). Yes, a lot of the marketing goes toward marginal fan, but they can't take the die hard for granted. If they do that, the base could eventually leave them.
Ok, let me ask you this. How long have we been complaining about the schedule? Have they lost any of us yet?

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09-05-2010, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pelts35.com View Post
Ok, let me ask you this. How long have we been complaining about the schedule? Have they lost any of us yet?
me. I used to go to all the home games. Now, even when not traveling, if I have something better to do or I do not feel like making the 25 minute drive, the opponent is what determines if I am going to go. I will not make the drive for a Milwaukee or Rockford or Peoria game. I am more likely to attend the other division games and if, by some fluke we see a team from the other conference, i go to that game. I actually took a week of vacation to see Manchester when they played here several years ago.

Milwaukee, I skip seeing if for darn near any reason, even taking a nap!! Axe can tell you how I missed games because I took a nap. He always goes 'what happened, take a nap again?' and I go yeppers. It was only Milwaukee or Rockford or Peoria.

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09-06-2010, 12:40 PM
  #89
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Ok, let me ask you this. How long have we been complaining about the schedule? Have they lost any of us yet?
Haven't you said that you don't attend as many games as you used to?

While they haven't lost me, I might increase the number of games I go to if the same teams weren't on the scehdule over and over again. I get a half season of tickets. I start by choosing all the Saturdays and then filling in the rest. That usually gets me to see all the opponents at least once in a given season. However, if there were more opponents, I might have to either buy more individual tickets or move up to a full season.

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09-06-2010, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
Haven't you said that you don't attend as many games as you used to?

While they haven't lost me, I might increase the number of games I go to if the same teams weren't on the scehdule over and over again. I get a half season of tickets. I start by choosing all the Saturdays and then filling in the rest. That usually gets me to see all the opponents at least once in a given season. However, if there were more opponents, I might have to either buy more individual tickets or move up to a full season.
I dropped my season tickets for different circumstances, not because of the schedule. One of these circumstances is the fact that I don't think the product is as good as it was when I first started going and another is that the closest AHL team to me is now 90 minutes away instead of 30.

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09-06-2010, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Rumblick View Post
I'm not sure there should be any expectations. Since the merger, the AHL has been going more and more to a divisional concept. The reason the playoffs went from conferences to divisions was to cut down on travel, and with teams in financial difficulties, they're doing it even more now.
Rum.....in response to your previous response to me.......all good. been away and haven't been on, saw no need for 2 quotes etc.

Now to the quote here....i understand that they want to cut down on travel etc. So tell me....how'd that work out for them last year? Western conference first round:

Hamilton/Manitoba......not bad.

Abbotsford/Rochester...........kidding me right, ones on the east coast of the US, the other is on the West coast of Canada.

Chicago/Milwaukee.....best one so far

Texas/Rockford.......again kidding me right.

Not exactly sure where they were saving money? And in the west these have the possiblity of happening every year or worse....How about a Hoston/Abbotsford conference finals or the popular anyone in Texas-Oklahoma/Rochester......where would the savings be?

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09-06-2010, 11:51 PM
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Rum.....in response to your previous response to me.......all good. been away and haven't been on, saw no need for 2 quotes etc.
Cool. Hope you enjoyed the weekend. Not sure about out by you, but the weather in this region was spectacular.

As to the rest, I have no real viable explanation, but I will say this: Abbotsford subsidizes all travel to them, and I've heard (though I'm not certain) that Manitoba also does this. As for the others, if an owner sees fit to put a team in an outpost city, he, she or they have no expectation of limited travel. Anyone who puts a team in the Western Conference knows there is going to be a lot of travel, but they see this going in. The owners in the Atlantic Division have found a way around that, and I can't say I blame them. I'd be willing to bet that the owners in Charlotte may be footing some of the travel expenses of the teams visiting them.

You could also look at it as the Western owners saying "Hey, we're already traveling this far for division games and possibly subsidizing some travel from visiting teams, why add to the expense? Let's just stay in our own conference as much as possible."

I know one thing - I'd love to attend a BOG meeting and ask all of these questions (and a few others), and have the response televised. If they sold tickets to fans, they could sell out an NHL arena for something like this.


This is slightly off topic, but may explain to an extent why numbers are so bad in the East. We're in Portland last year for All - Star and we're doing some shopping at the local establishments, all within a mile of the Civic Center (and most a lot closer than that). We had our team jerseys on, and on WAY too many occasions, we were asked by patrons and employees if there was a game that night. It's the friggin All - Star Game, and you'd have thought it was a CIA convention! I've also been in some towns listening to local radio stations and heard every other team in town being advertised, but not the AHL one. If you don't get the word out, how do you expect to get people in the building??

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09-07-2010, 01:55 PM
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Cool. Hope you enjoyed the weekend. Not sure about out by you, but the weather in this region was spectacular.

As to the rest, I have no real viable explanation, but I will say this: Abbotsford subsidizes all travel to them, and I've heard (though I'm not certain) that Manitoba also does this. As for the others, if an owner sees fit to put a team in an outpost city, he, she or they have no expectation of limited travel. Anyone who puts a team in the Western Conference knows there is going to be a lot of travel, but they see this going in. The owners in the Atlantic Division have found a way around that, and I can't say I blame them. I'd be willing to bet that the owners in Charlotte may be footing some of the travel expenses of the teams visiting them.

You could also look at it as the Western owners saying "Hey, we're already traveling this far for division games and possibly subsidizing some travel from visiting teams, why add to the expense? Let's just stay in our own conference as much as possible."

I know one thing - I'd love to attend a BOG meeting and ask all of these questions (and a few others), and have the response televised. If they sold tickets to fans, they could sell out an NHL arena for something like this.


This is slightly off topic, but may explain to an extent why numbers are so bad in the East. We're in Portland last year for All - Star and we're doing some shopping at the local establishments, all within a mile of the Civic Center (and most a lot closer than that). We had our team jerseys on, and on WAY too many occasions, we were asked by patrons and employees if there was a game that night. It's the friggin All - Star Game, and you'd have thought it was a CIA convention! I've also been in some towns listening to local radio stations and heard every other team in town being advertised, but not the AHL one. If you don't get the word out, how do you expect to get people in the building??
Rum....live outside of Chicago, maybe 10-15 minutes from where the Wolves play. Weather here was and is incredible right now......mid 70's and sunny.

I know Abbotford subsidizes all travel there,I even said that I expect the people out there to grow tired of that soon and them to be another 2 yrs and done like all the rest of Calgary's recent AHL teams. And from the sounds of things it's already happening.
Manitoba, I'm not 100% sure about but I do think they subsidize some.
And I do see a valid point in your comments about the teams figuring they already travel a lot in the west, so why add to it if they don't have to.
I wish there would be some sort of Qand A with Lord Almighty, would be worth every penny to get an answer that he couldn't finesse away etc.

Advertising is a major part of attendance, here in Chicago the Wolves have to compete with the obvious choices for the entertainment dollar and so ads are very important. But most teams make a huge mistake by cutting advertising expenses instead of raising them. Radio plays no part in it here in Chicago, the Wolves have no radio deal or anything of such, but they do have a TV package here that is part of Comcast.....all 80 games + playoffs are televised and last year they started putting some of those on free tv and not cable.
What I don't understand is in towns such as say Portland, where the game isn't competing with other major sports teams. Why do they have such poor advertising like that? I don't understand, maybe they think that people will come since they have the only game in town so to speak. Doesn't make sense since you would figure that they woluld want to max out their profits with a full house, not too mention the boost it gives the players on the ice.

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09-07-2010, 07:09 PM
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mtlhddoc2
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do any of you out there have the chance to actually watch the AHL games on TV? Here in New England, we can flip on NESN and see at least a game a week, usually Providence (Boston Bruins and Red Sox own NESN - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_Sports_Network )

I think TV is huge for the AHL, the more TV exposure they can get, the better attendance will be.

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09-07-2010, 10:45 PM
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Lake Erie has 20 games a year on TV-10 on Fox Sports Ohio, and 10 on WUAB 43. Very few AHL teams have a TV deal with a satellite-delivered RSN, or a OTA TV station. Most who show any games do it through a local access cable arrangement.

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09-07-2010, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtlhddoc2 View Post
do any of you out there have the chance to actually watch the AHL games on TV? Here in New England, we can flip on NESN and see at least a game a week, usually Providence (Boston Bruins and Red Sox own NESN - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_Sports_Network )

I think TV is huge for the AHL, the more TV exposure they can get, the better attendance will be.
Providence nor Hartford are no longer televised as they once were regularly due to contracts----Providence went to Cox 3, and Hartford was the last AHL Market to do so due to the grandfathered contract from the Whaler era.....

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09-07-2010, 11:03 PM
  #97
Majik1987
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The Wolves show all their games on the Comcast Local Channel. It is part of digital basic service.

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09-08-2010, 09:44 AM
  #98
mtlhddoc2
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Hutch, when did that happen? I distinctly remember watching some AHL games on NESN last season. I cant for the life of me remember who was playing, but pretty sure it was Providence. Plus, the number of "TV Time Outs" at the games has significantly increased over the years. when I first went to games, there wasnt a single TV time out to be had except in the playoffs. Now, every time an icing is called, there is a TV time out.

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09-08-2010, 09:58 AM
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The Wolves show all their games on the Comcast Local Channel. It is part of digital basic service.
With a few of the home Saturday and/or Sunday games appearing on Over-the-Air available My50 Chicago last season. I would assume they'd keep the arrangement for this year.

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09-08-2010, 10:27 AM
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Majik1987
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With a few of the home Saturday and/or Sunday games appearing on Over-the-Air available My50 Chicago last season. I would assume they'd keep the arrangement for this year.
Good point. Forgot about that change.

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