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Chicago Express fold effectively immediately

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04-06-2012, 09:18 AM
  #1
cjerina
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Chicago Express fold effectively immediately

And Chicago is gone.

http://www.echl.com/chicago-withdraw...m-echl-p176989

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04-06-2012, 10:14 AM
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No Fun Shogun
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Chicago Express fold effectively immediately

Figured that this warranted a topic of its own....

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Hoffman Estates, IL - The Chicago Express have announced today that they are withdrawing from the ECHL, effectively ending the Chicago Express organization immediately.

"Although the Chicago Express are ceasing operations, on behalf of the staff and players, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all the support we received from the Village of Hoffman Estates, Global Spectrum, our business and community partners, our corporate sponsors, and especially, our fans," said team owner Craig Drecktrah. "I would also like to thank our ECHL partners, and wish good luck to those teams participating in the 2012 Kelly Cup Playoffs."
http://www.chicagoexpresshockey.com/...article_id=413

.... well, this sucks.... really enjoyed going to their games, though I guess being dead last in attendance was a bit more then they could handle financially.

Such a shame, too.... actually liked following the ECHL....

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04-06-2012, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Figured that this warranted a topic of its own....



http://www.chicagoexpresshockey.com/...article_id=413

.... well, this sucks.... really enjoyed going to their games, though I guess being dead last in attendance was a bit more then they could handle financially.

Such a shame, too.... actually liked following the ECHL....
Hate to see them fold but perhaps the Chicago area is already saturated with hockey(Blackhawks,Wolves).

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04-06-2012, 10:38 AM
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I thought the Express would last more than one season, but it never made much sense IMO to put an ECHL team in a city that already has an NHL team and an AHL team.

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04-06-2012, 10:48 AM
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Hate to see them fold but perhaps the Chicago area is already saturated with hockey(Blackhawks,Wolves).
plus several junior teams

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04-06-2012, 10:52 AM
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I thought the Express would last more than one season, but it never made much sense IMO to put an ECHL team in a city that already has an NHL team and an AHL team.
I thought there might have been a chance of it working, since the Blackhawks continue to sell out and the Wolves have always drawn well (as far as I know).

For those of you in Chicago, how did the ticket prices compare to each other?

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04-06-2012, 11:12 AM
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Got to say I am very surprised by this. They have done a good job advertising their product in the suburban papers. I thought they could fill a niche for hockey in the far western suburbs. Oh well...

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04-06-2012, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bored5000 View Post
I thought the Express would last more than one season
My thoughts exactly. Figured that with the success of the resurgent Hawks and the Wolves that the ownership would've tried to build the franchise as an even cheaper (and more convenient to get to/out from as compared to the Wolves) alternative to the big boys and accepted short-term losses with the hope that they could turn it into a longterm success, but I guess the losses in their first year were just too much.

.... which makes me wonder what was up. They averaged something like 2,000 per game, and assuming an average price of $10 per ticket that's equal to at least $20,000 per game averaged out and at least $720,000 this year in ticket sales alone. Have to imagine that they easily broke a million bucks at the end of the year after you factor in merchandise sales and then who knows how much from concessions (though that probably goes to another organization), so you'd think that would've been enough.... unless their terms with the Sears Centre was a joke, which was very possible.

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04-06-2012, 11:22 AM
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Sucks

Sorry to all the express fans. This sucks, I'm not too suprised but still it's no fun. They have some of the best looking jerseys in the league. I'll def have to get me one!

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04-06-2012, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by iamjs View Post
I thought there might have been a chance of it working, since the Blackhawks continue to sell out and the Wolves have always drawn well (as far as I know).

For those of you in Chicago, how did the ticket prices compare to each other?
Tickets were slightly cheaper than the Rockford Icehogs (which were only ~40 minutes away) or the upper bowl for the Wolves, but you got nailed for $10 parking every game. Food was equally outlandish in pricing.

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04-06-2012, 12:52 PM
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Sears Arena is poorly placed in my opinion. The wolves are right down the road on I-90. The hawks are in Chicago, the Steel (USHL) are in the near west, and wolves are in the near NW. To put a ECHL team in the far NW doesn't really make much sense. Now if there was a suitable venue in the near SW suburbs, then I'd say the ECHL would have a shot. The wolves are just too close and have a much larger following.

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04-06-2012, 02:21 PM
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Wonder what old man Martinson will do now, he was BANKING on this job.

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04-06-2012, 03:07 PM
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As others have already said, I'm not surprised that this has happened, but I am disappointed and feel for the newly-orphaned fan base (as small as it was). I just hope that next year's expansion franchises in SF and Orlando don't also follow similar "one and done" paths.

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04-06-2012, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggy2486 View Post
plus several junior teams
And a USHL team.

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04-06-2012, 05:20 PM
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And a USHL team.
And a NAHL team

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04-06-2012, 05:53 PM
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Putting an ECHL team there never made sense to me with all of the competition...but you still don't like to see it fail that badly and that quickly.

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04-06-2012, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjs View Post
I thought there might have been a chance of it working, since the Blackhawks continue to sell out and the Wolves have always drawn well (as far as I know).

For those of you in Chicago, how did the ticket prices compare to each other?
They were cheaper than the Wolves, but not enough to get me out to see them, though I considered it. I had no idea they even existed until I stumbled upon them by accident on the Internet. If they were marketing the team heavily, I sure never saw any advertising. Wolves billboards are all over the Chicago area and in ice rinks. Too many established teams in the market did them in overall, I think. ECHL teams are best designed for markets with no AHL or NHL teams.

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04-07-2012, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilrider View Post
They were cheaper than the Wolves, but not enough to get me out to see them, though I considered it. I had no idea they even existed until I stumbled upon them by accident on the Internet. If they were marketing the team heavily, I sure never saw any advertising. Wolves billboards are all over the Chicago area and in ice rinks. Too many established teams in the market did them in overall, I think. ECHL teams are best designed for markets with no AHL or NHL teams.
They had a few billboards here and there as well as the occasional radio promo (mostly advertising dollar beer/dog Fridays), but not much beyond that.

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04-07-2012, 08:10 AM
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They had a few billboards here and there as well as the occasional radio promo (mostly advertising dollar beer/dog Fridays), but not much beyond that.
I know that advertising requires money, but I have travelled to the city several times in the last few month for Hawks games and other activities, and we went to 3 Wolves games, so coming from the far northern suburbs, that is a good stretch of the Chicago area we travelled, and I never saw one advertisement. I also have the radio on all the time in the car, often The Score, and never heard one ad. I believe you that they were out there, but they clearly did not advertise enough.

The Wolves market really well, and I know championships are a big factor in a team's success, but one can't travel far around the area without seeing a Wolves ad, if not multiple. They also send a "personalized" e-mail follow-up thanking you for attending each game, and last week, I got a personal call from a real person in the Wolves offices asking how our experience was at the last game two weeks back and reminding us playoff tickets were available. That is the aggressive marketing that is needed for a minor league team to succeed in a huge sports market like Chicago, and the Wolves have been aggressive since 1994, when they arrived.

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04-07-2012, 10:41 AM
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$10 parking, t-shirts instead of jerseys on kid jersey's nite, and a lousy arena location recipe for failure-
In addition, minor teams need to be the only act in town- i.e. Phoenix Roadrunners (RIP) vs Az (Prescott) Sundogs, and Detroit Vipers (RIP) vs Kalamazoo Wings--
As to San Francisco, it has very little chance of working in my opinion-has already failed once (Spiders-RIP)-- Orlando has a better chance of making it--

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04-07-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ilrider View Post
That is the aggressive marketing that is needed for a minor league team to succeed in a huge sports market like Chicago, and the Wolves have been aggressive since 1994, when they arrived.
I remember walking into Kohls and seeing Wolves merchandise even before the first season started. Now there is little or no merchandise for minor league teams outside of the arenas.

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04-07-2012, 12:04 PM
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No Fun Shogun
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Originally Posted by IceHog1962 View Post
I remember walking into Kohls and seeing Wolves merchandise even before the first season started. Now there is little or no merchandise for minor league teams outside of the arenas.
It certainly doesn't help minor league teams in the area that the Hawks are no longer run by a fan-hating ignoramus that made people ashamed to be fans of the team for years from a merchandising perspective.

Obviously, still remember when it seemed like there were more Wolves fans then Hawks fans in the area largely due to the Wolves being on TV and the Hawks, well.... not.

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04-07-2012, 12:29 PM
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Majik1987
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They had a few billboards here and there as well as the occasional radio promo (mostly advertising dollar beer/dog Fridays), but not much beyond that.
They advertised in the Daily Herald all the time. Usually taking the banner space on the bottom of the front page of the sports section.

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04-07-2012, 01:34 PM
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They advertised in the Daily Herald all the time. Usually taking the banner space on the bottom of the front page of the sports section.
Oh, explains why no one saw the advertising then.

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04-07-2012, 02:18 PM
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Majik1987
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Oh, explains why no one saw the advertising then.


Yeah well...

If you live in the burbs, I would highly recommend the Daily Heralds' sports section over the other two Chicago rags. Much better columnists and coverage. Especially for the Blackhawks.

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