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Hockey in Europe and growth

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Old
10-23-2011, 02:39 PM
  #76
Artemia
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Originally Posted by LatexiKledjut View Post
IIRC Latvia too.
I'd say perhaps Czech Republic too, depending on who you ask.

It's certainly not far behind soccer.

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10-24-2011, 03:14 AM
  #77
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Niche? Where are you from? Holland?

Field hockey doesn't even register on the radar anywhere. Even at the highest level it's still amateur. No money in it whatsoever. No attendance and no leagues of significance anywhere.

Hockey draws 18-19 million people into arenas every year in europe.

I'm sure it looks like hockey is niche if you live in holland, spain, etc, but the truth is the sport is regional, just like it is in USA.

Some places it barely exists, in others it's very big.
a. Flanders, so close enough :p
b. In Belgium, Field hockey has the upper hand: Men and Women national Teams do it well internationaly. Ice Hockey on the other hand, that's a lost cause. Belgians just don't dig ice.
In winter, give us some cyclo-cross. People go out in droves to see some guys biking in the mud and snow.
c. I never said it's a niche all over Europe. It's a no-brainer that in regions where you do have a wintersport tradition, certain sports -like hockey- will be popular.

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10-24-2011, 10:25 AM
  #78
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I don't get Netherlands at all. They have some of the best speed skaters, but not even 1 player in the NHL. I know it's growing, but it's still kind of odd.

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10-24-2011, 10:38 AM
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobo View Post
a. Flanders, so close enough :p
b. In Belgium, Field hockey has the upper hand: Men and Women national Teams do it well internationaly. Ice Hockey on the other hand, that's a lost cause. Belgians just don't dig ice.
In winter, give us some cyclo-cross. People go out in droves to see some guys biking in the mud and snow.
c. I never said it's a niche all over Europe. It's a no-brainer that in regions where you do have a wintersport tradition, certain sports -like hockey- will be popular.
What I've noticed is hockey is popular from the countries around it.

Looking at the European map, Belgium is surrounded by

France (Where Football is #1. Majority of hockey teams are in the Southeast region.)
Netherlands (Where Football is #1.)
England (Where Football is #1 and Cricket #2.)

That right there has a big influence over a countries sport.

Just look at Germany and the growth of hockey in their country. They're surrounded by,

Czech Republic
Switzerland
Austria
Denmark
Sweden

The only country on that list is Poland, where there isn't a big hockey craze.

But looking at this list I guess the next countries that will grow in hockey will be,

1. Italy (Especially Northern, joining the KHL is huge news.)
2. Denmark (Is already a pretty good hockey nation, but I believe they will make major improvement over the next decade.)
3. Central France (As I said the majority of teams in France are on the Suiss boarder, but I have this feeling that hockey has great potential in France. Even though it's not a major sport just yet. A lot of French people travel to Montreal and the Habs are the best thing there.)
4. Poland (They're surrounded by some of the best hockey nations in all of Europe, so there's got to be growth. Also include that a ton of Polish people live in Chicago, where hockey is their favourite sport. I sense hockey's only way is up and not down.)
5. Netherlands (It will be a matter of time where hockey will grow to the popularity of speed skating in that country.)

I'm not saying hockey will over take football in any of these countries, but I see potential as Europe's 2nd strongest sport.

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Old
10-24-2011, 10:49 AM
  #80
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I don't see why it would grow in NL. I've got some friends in NL, and basically, football is religion. If there's 1 huge sport, you don't need more. A country can work fine with just a couple of sports.

Like before, you are overrating hockey.

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10-24-2011, 10:57 AM
  #81
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And like before, you're underrating it.

I believe you're the guy who said handball is bigger in Sweden than hockey. Sorry it's hard to take your posts seriously when saying something like that.

And in Netherlands scenario, people will always change, they will never remain the same. Example is Kopitar. Slovenia is a huge football/basketball town, but did Kopitar's parents put him in junior leagues in those sports? No! He probably played them as a child, but they were different and decide to teach him ice hockey and now he's one of the best NHL players.

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Old
10-24-2011, 10:59 AM
  #82
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Originally Posted by S E P H View Post
And like before, you're underrating it.

I believe you're the guy who said handball is bigger in Sweden than hockey. Sorry it's hard to take your posts seriously when saying something like that.

And in Netherlands scenario, people will always change, they will never remain the same. Example is Kopitar. Slovenia is a huge football/basketball town, but did Kopitar's parents put him in junior leagues in those sports? No! He probably played them as a child, but they were different and decide to teach him ice hockey and now he's one of the best NHL players.
First of all, I didn't say that. I said that olympics final in handball (the handball national team is very big in Sweden, the league, not so much) would get similare ratings as the hockey final, which his since been said by more people.

Second, I ****ing live in Sweden, you live in Canada, who has more credability?

Third, being 2nd sport in Europe is still being a niche sport, compared to football, it says nothing.

You need to go away now, since you're an idiot and have no idea what you're talking about, keep living in Canada and have opinions about Europe.

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10-24-2011, 12:11 PM
  #83
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Belarus is a one country where I see potential, they seem to be putting more money into hockey these days.

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10-24-2011, 01:25 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Jonimaus View Post
First of all, I didn't say that. I said that olympics final in handball (the handball national team is very big in Sweden, the league, not so much) would get similare ratings as the hockey final, which his since been said by more people.

Second, I ****ing live in Sweden, you live in Canada, who has more credability?

Third, being 2nd sport in Europe is still being a niche sport, compared to football, it says nothing.

You need to go away now, since you're an idiot and have no idea what you're talking about, keep living in Canada and have opinions about Europe.
And you live in ONE country in Europe. LOL and then you judge based on the whole continent. And for the record am from Europe, so don't judge me as well.

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10-24-2011, 01:28 PM
  #85
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And for the record you should be the one to leave. Everyone in the last few pages have disagreed with everything you have said.

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10-24-2011, 01:33 PM
  #86
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S E P H, you got to stop thinking Hockey will ever work in Europe (except in the few odd countries already mentioned). You think France could become a hockey nation. I'm sorry to dissapoint you, France has a national league (Ligue Magnus) since the early 20th century. Most of those teams were founded pre-1967, the year of the first NHL-expansion. And still, most of the teams play for 4 or 500 spectators, sometimes even less. Why would the 21th century be any different?

And you talk about Kopitar, one Slovene who made it to the NHL. Waaw, that's not a good argument. There's one Belgian guy playing in QMJHL, does that mean there will be more following and that hockey's becoming popular? off course not, that's just luck.

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Old
10-24-2011, 02:07 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by S E P H View Post
And for the record you should be the one to leave. Everyone in the last few pages have disagreed with everything you have said.
Actually, everyone has agreed with me, maybe you need to start reading.

Now, I don't know what your beef is, I would guess that your beloved hockey is not as popular as you think, and that most people don't care about it. I don't know if I've honestly met a more disillusioned/ignorant person.

Basically, EVERYONE has been bashing you in this thread, you've barely had 1 single correct statement.

And you said "LOL YOU THINK HANDBALL IS MORE POPULAR IN SWEDEN" and then you bash me for saying "No I'm from Sweden, I know" because I'm only from 1 European country? Dude... Really?


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10-24-2011, 03:03 PM
  #88
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We would need an another ice age for hockey to become number one sport in Europe. Otherwise it's not going to happen.

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10-24-2011, 05:26 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Jonimaus View Post
Actually, everyone has agreed with me, maybe you need to start reading.

Now, I don't know what your beef is, I would guess that your beloved hockey is not as popular as you think, and that most people don't care about it. I don't know if I've honestly met a more disillusioned/ignorant person.

Basically, EVERYONE has been bashing you in this thread, you've barely had 1 single correct statement.

And you said "LOL YOU THINK HANDBALL IS MORE POPULAR IN SWEDEN" and then you bash me for saying "No I'm from Sweden, I know" because I'm only from 1 European country? Dude... Really?
I think you got it wrong, I never bashed you. I was disagreeing with you.

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10-25-2011, 01:24 AM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Artemia View Post
I'd say perhaps Czech Republic too, depending on who you ask.

It's certainly not far behind soccer.
And Slovakia?

Hockey is growing up in Belarus, mostly because their "democratic" leader, president Alexander Lukashenko is a big hockey fan.

For you who are bashing S E P H because of his positive opinions about hockey's popularity in Europe; this is hockey forum after all. Why couldn't we believe that the popularity will raise in some countries, i.e. Italy, Poland and Croatia?

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10-25-2011, 06:06 AM
  #91
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Some countries where hockey is at least taking some strides in the right direction seems to be Norway, Denmark and Slovenia. Theese countries produces better talent theese days and some sucessful players should spark some more interest there. I know that the numbers of indoor rinks is increasing in both Norway and Denmark. Slovenia has very few rinks, but at least had a increase from 7 to 11 rinks in a short span of time (acording to IIHF numbers).

Theres no reason why hockey couldn't gain more popularity in Europe, the NA-posters must however realize just how big other sports like Football, basket, rugby and handball is over here. I don't ever think we will see a day when the average sportsfan in the big countries like France, Spain, Great Brittain or Italy care about hockey. Theres better hope that hockey grows as a sport where it allready have a fothold like in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

On a sidenote, hockey is in a good place in Sweden, getting lots of media attention, have ok attendence numbers and good tv-ratings. It's the nr.2 sport in the countrie in terms of what sport people care about. The national team continues to be very popular. Handball is popular in some towns and is much cheaper to play than hockey. It would be hard to seriously make a argument that it's more popular than hockey in Sweden though. The media attention and the attendence figures for the Handball-league isn't even comparable to the hockey-league.


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Old
10-25-2011, 07:16 AM
  #92
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Originally Posted by cheerupmurray View Post
On a sidenote, hockey is in a good place in Sweden, getting lots of media attention, have ok attendence numbers and good tv-ratings. It's the nr.2 sport in the countrie in terms of what sport people care about. The national team continues to be very popular. Handball is popular in some towns and is much cheaper to play than hockey. It would be hard to seriously make a argument that it's more popular than hockey in Sweden though. The media attention and the attendence figures for the Handball-league isn't even comparable to the hockey-league.
I don't think many people said handball is even close to hockey. I would say floorball (innebandy) is more popular than handball at the moment too. But one would be CRAZY to deny that when the handball national team goes far, it gets a TON of coverage, and especially when we had our golden age as mentioned, it was competing with hockey in TV ratings for the big tournaments.

(And as I said before, I live in the Swedish handball metropole, where we have no other pro teams than 4 handball teams, 2 men 2 women )

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10-25-2011, 12:20 PM
  #93
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And when am talking about potential growth in Italy, Poland, Denmark, etc. I'm talking about decades, 10+ years when we see growth.

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10-25-2011, 12:37 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by S E P H View Post
And when am talking about potential growth in Italy, Poland, Denmark, etc. I'm talking about decades, 10+ years when we see growth.
I think it's very possible to see growth in Denmark. Even now, the team I support is very close to the danish border (taking the bridge it's like 20mins), and I know for a fact that, well, I wouldn't say a lot, but there are several danish people coming over here for the teams game. And like you said, while Denmark are obviously not contenders, they are defenitly not god awful.

I would not be surprised to see hockey gaining a bunch of popularity within a decade.

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10-25-2011, 06:18 PM
  #95
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Originally Posted by Jonimaus View Post
Actually, everyone has agreed with me, maybe you need to start reading.

Now, I don't know what your beef is, I would guess that your beloved hockey is not as popular as you think, and that most people don't care about it. I don't know if I've honestly met a more disillusioned/ignorant person.

Basically, EVERYONE has been bashing you in this thread, you've barely had 1 single correct statement.

And you said "LOL YOU THINK HANDBALL IS MORE POPULAR IN SWEDEN" and then you bash me for saying "No I'm from Sweden, I know" because I'm only from 1 European country? Dude... Really?
Jonimaus, what you need to understand is that Canadians believe, or want to believe is that Hockey is essentially the mirror sport of Soccer. Canadians want to believe that there is many other nations that have Hockey as their number one sport and this shows that Canada's gold metals are truly meaningful. By you pointing out that Sweden and other countries put other sports ahead of hockey is like a kick in the groin. It is kind of weird though as Canadians claim that hockey is Canada's game.

As for growth, if there is any it would be slow as there is debt crisis going on right now and most governments have other concerns.

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10-25-2011, 06:25 PM
  #96
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Jonimaus, what you need to understand is that Canadians believe, or want to believe is that Hockey is essentially the mirror sport of Soccer. Canadians want to believe that there is many other nations that have Hockey as their number one sport and this shows that Canada's gold metals are truly meaningful. By you pointing out that Sweden and other countries put other sports ahead of hockey is like a kick in the groin. It is kind of weird though as Canadians claim that hockey is Canada's game.

As for growth, if there is any it would be slow as there is debt crisis going on right now and most governments have other concerns.
Haha, that's actually exactly what I was thinking when I wrote the post!

Fact is, with Sweden as an example, the majority here would prefer to qualify for the football world cup (since it's actually hard in Europe), before winning olympic hockey gold any day.

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10-26-2011, 01:44 AM
  #97
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Unfortunately, hockey ranks far behind quite a number of sports in Romania. This goes for overall popularity, hence both attendance and number of players.

If we also count individual sports, then artistic gymnastics, tennis and boxing would all be in front.

Should we add team sports, then sports such as football, handball, waterpolo, rugby and even basketball and volleyball (which aren't huge in Romania) would rank ahead of hockey in my opinion.

As someone mentionned earlier, the sport is more popular within the Hungarian minority and ethnic Hungarians have formed the core of the national team for the past few years at least.

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10-26-2011, 03:02 AM
  #98
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Somewhere that I could definitely see some rapid growth in hockey is Croatia. They had a team (KHL Medvescak) join the Austrian League in 2009 and have had instant success. The team plays a few games per year in a 15,000 seat arena in Zagreb and sells it out, giving the team something like the 5th highest average attendence of all European club teams (that includes KHL). When you factor in that the team is being used to develop Croatian players and I do believe they have a youth system as well, it bodes well. Croatian players now have a hometown team in a fairly decent league to strive for, and as long as the federation keeps working on it there could be some results within a matter of years.

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10-26-2011, 04:31 AM
  #99
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Somewhere that I could definitely see some rapid growth in hockey is Croatia. They had a team (KHL Medvescak) join the Austrian League in 2009 and have had instant success. The team plays a few games per year in a 15,000 seat arena in Zagreb and sells it out, giving the team something like the 5th highest average attendence of all European club teams (that includes KHL). When you factor in that the team is being used to develop Croatian players and I do believe they have a youth system as well, it bodes well. Croatian players now have a hometown team in a fairly decent league to strive for, and as long as the federation keeps working on it there could be some results within a matter of years.
Unfortunately its not that simple.

Medveščak is typical "franchise" team. Fans, team, two big arenas, pr.. and that's about it. Only connection it has with Croatian hockey is the location of the team.

That team isn't the team that will develop our players. Med2, Zagreb and Mladost are.. but that's another story...

Medveščak did awesome things for hockey in Croatia. In 2 years the sport basically got from almost completely irrelevant to mainstream... but now we're on crossroads.. either use that hype to expand the hockey base (rinks, clubs, player pool) or be at this level.. well.. forever.

We'll see what the future brings... we have some exciting upcoming talent but that's not because of the well establishes youth system but because surprisingly a lot of parents sent their kids to play abroad from very young age. Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians and co are making the players for us..

It works in football tho.. why not in hockey

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10-26-2011, 11:57 AM
  #100
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Aside from bringing DEL teams to Hamburg and Munich (the 2nd and 3rd biggest cities) hockey isn't really growing in Germany. You have a few top teams with rich owners buying success like Berlin and Mannheim, then a whole bunch of mediocre, and a complete mess in the lower leagues who are nevertheless doing most of the thankless youth work. And about the only time hockey gets air time in the news is with catastrophes like Yaroslavl or when the rare brawl happened somewhere (with an unspoken "look at these brutes, can you imagine that in soccer?!" added).

I would say hockey was bigger in the public consciousness 20 years ago than it is today. In the mid-90s the top league DEL decided to take the guaranteed money of a pay tv contract which led to it fading out of the general media spotlight almost completely. A boring national team with no international success or big stars (compared to handball or basketball) didn't help either. Fans are unhappy with how the leagues are being run and with bland new arenas replacing their beloved venues of old.

The great showing at the 2010 WC in Germany brought a lot of goodwill. Of course the national federation and the leagues quickly wasted all of that with the usual infighting and bankruptcies.

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