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Buying a minor league hockey team?

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Old
04-09-2012, 03:30 PM
  #26
MurrayBannerman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
The Rail Cats actually draw fairly well, and their ballpark is a major staple of the Gary community, so they're doing just fine.

Then again, I worked for the Schaumburg Flyers for a season (aka, one of the two reasons why the Northern League collapsed, the other being the Lake County Fielders, who were owned by the same dude), so my views of other independent teams might be a big slanted.

And if I were being completely honest, if I did own the rights to an AHL or ECHL franchise and wanted to stay in the general midwest area, I'd probably look long and hard and the Indianapolis market. You'd have to get rid of the Ice, as I doubt that two teams could be sustainable there, but honestly always thought that Indy, being a downright fantastic minor league town already, would actually be a great fit for either league if done right, the fact that it's already oversaturated as a pro sports market notwithstanding.
I just hate Indy so much... haha. Guess I'll never go see my team

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04-09-2012, 03:30 PM
  #27
MurrayBannerman
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Originally Posted by IU Hawks fan View Post
I've never been to the Steel Yard, but driving by it a few times it doesn't seem to be in that bad of area. I could be wrong.

As for another hockey team, there just isn't a need for a 3rd team, as the Express have shown. People don't want to spend the same amount to see 'AA' when they can see 'AAA' in Rosemont.
Most of their success in drawing is because of the fact that they are DIRECTLY off the highway. People wouldn't touch that if they had to enter deep Gary.

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04-09-2012, 03:38 PM
  #28
No Fun Shogun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayBannerman View Post
I just hate Indy so much... haha. Guess I'll never go see my team
That's too bad. It's obviously no Chicago, but Indy actually is a really nice little city.

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04-09-2012, 10:35 PM
  #29
Uncle Slick
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put the team in Vegas!

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04-09-2012, 10:49 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Not going to lie, if I was a multimillionaire, I'd seriously consider it (along with bringing a minor league or independent league baseball team to my hometown of Champaign-Urbana).
If you're going to bring something to Champaign-Urbana, how about building a nice 7000-10000 seat building and putting up the cash for U of I to go Division I in hockey, joining the Big Ten league that's coming in 2013-14?

I've always said that U of I and Northwestern should have Division I teams; UIC made it work for a decade, so U of I and Northwestern, with greater financial resources and recruiting reach, should be able to make a go of it.

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04-10-2012, 01:51 AM
  #31
No Fun Shogun
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Originally Posted by Prussian_Blue View Post
If you're going to bring something to Champaign-Urbana, how about building a nice 7000-10000 seat building and putting up the cash for U of I to go Division I in hockey, joining the Big Ten league that's coming in 2013-14?

I've always said that U of I and Northwestern should have Division I teams; UIC made it work for a decade, so U of I and Northwestern, with greater financial resources and recruiting reach, should be able to make a go of it.
I agree (except for Northwestern, as Chicagoland already has the NHL and AHL plus Northwestern doesn't really have a strong track record of athletic support), but problem is that building a hockey arena and funding a men's and women's Division I hockey program would probably come close to costing $100 million, while building a similarly sized baseball park and independent league team attached to it would probably barely crack $10 million. Not to mention that, as owner of a baseball team, I could actually slowly recoup losses with team profits, whereas that wouldn't be an option for a donation to the university.

Plus, the Illinois athletic department's turned into a massive ****show over the past decade, so I wouldn't trust them with a dime so much as millions of my hypothetical imaginary dollars.

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04-10-2012, 10:08 PM
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If I won 50k in the weekly Football Pool apart of the lottery and gaming commission.

I'd simply buy custom jerseys and sign up a team......and be the star Center beesnitches! Nah, d-man.

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04-11-2012, 12:34 AM
  #33
MurrayBannerman
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Originally Posted by WingsFan95 View Post
If I won 50k in the weekly Football Pool apart of the lottery and gaming commission.

I'd simply buy custom jerseys and sign up a team......and be the star Center beesnitches! Nah, d-man.
I still got dibs on being the logo.

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04-12-2012, 01:08 PM
  #34
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I'm in. But I don't think leagues often allow shareholder ownership. Usually needs to be a smaller group with a majority ownership who acts as a representative.

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04-14-2012, 07:47 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
The larger problem by far is keeping 5,000 people interested in covering annual operating costs.
The British soccer analogue ran into this problem... once they actually bought the club and people realized that a) they were essentially just playing a Football Manager video game, only with some random non-league club instead of one they cared about and b) that "ownership" granted them no actual privileges because they owned 1/30,000th of the team and c) everyone forgot about it just like people forget about any boring browser based video game like NationStates or whatever.

Eventually it got to the point where only 800 people were renewing their memberships

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/foot...et/8552795.stm

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04-19-2012, 09:23 PM
  #36
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This is junior A (BCHL) but is on topic - http://www.albernivalleynews.com/sports/148052655.html

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04-19-2012, 10:02 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
The British soccer analogue ran into this problem... once they actually bought the club and people realized that a) they were essentially just playing a Football Manager video game, only with some random non-league club instead of one they cared about and b) that "ownership" granted them no actual privileges because they owned 1/30,000th of the team and c) everyone forgot about it just like people forget about any boring browser based video game like NationStates or whatever.
Well see, that's usually gonna be a big problem.

A substantial discount on tickets and one free ticket for "fan appreciation" would be the ideal place to start.

After all, if you have that many people pumping money into a team, than the team can afford to lose ticket revenue to keep those people happy. I mean it's essentially a season ticket holder package but less so.

Giving your share holders a say, 40% discount on tickets is just the right thing to do.

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04-24-2012, 07:59 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Alexdaman View Post


Let's put back an ECHL team in New Orleans.
I went to a Brass game once. It was held in old municipal auditorium and it was one strange experience. There were seats where you could only see half the ice, the players came off the rink right by a beer booth. When I reminded some of them that it was a "contact sport", a couple of guys stepped off the rubber mat and headed my way. Thankfully an attentive NOLA PD was nearby and nobody got their butt kicked or shot. I did like the brass band that played jazz during the breaks.

If I win the lottery, I'm moving to Perdido Key and starting a team in Orange Beach. I'll call them the Bushwackers.

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04-24-2012, 09:09 AM
  #39
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Most minor leagues have operating caps for player costs to promote parity, but unless you have a PDC, that will be a fluctuating cost through the year. Typically, the biggest costs are operating (rent, utilities, travel, medical). You can only spend what you make or losses pile up and few people operate teams as a charity (anymore, that is).

Oh, and ECHL teams are routinely valued in the millions, not hundreds of thousands. You might be able to sneak into a lower league like the UHL or CHL for hundreds of thousands, but not the ECHL. AHL team values are also skyrocketing, and while the PDC covers a lot of player costs, travel costs grow since NHL teams don't want you transporting their valuable prospects around in date buses.

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08-18-2013, 07:36 AM
  #40
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Googling, found this thread. Fun read
I think to establish the franchise, you need to collect funds for 2 or 3 years right away. Worst case scenario - you sell it after a year.
I think if HFB users would team up with guys from other sites (and some fans of hockey with above-average income), it'd be more than plausible. Assuming you try to collect, say, 6 million (for 2 years), that would be 100 000*$60, but the assumption would be for most shareholders to hold more than one share.
Little cost would certainly interest potential low-income shareholders who would be scared off by high prices. 1000 of those is 60 000 already.

Also, I think kicking off in the CHL/SPHL would be smarter.


Last edited by fedfed: 08-18-2013 at 07:55 AM.
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08-18-2013, 02:24 PM
  #41
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I'd rather invest in Major Junior (or even leagues akin to BCHL) than minor pro.

Thing is, I'm betting ECHL and SPHL and CHL wouldn't even let a group like this sniff a contract, never mind negotiate one. The last thing these leagues want is a public entity with public accountability and public reporting. Neither do the bigs... the NFL grandfathered in Green Bay because they pretty much had to, but no group like this is allowed in the door.

So not only would I rather invest in Canadian junior, they're apparently the only leagues who would allow this kind of structure. Of course, yes, if you're covering losses, you have real problems.

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08-18-2013, 02:33 PM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCSPounder View Post
I'd rather invest in Major Junior (or even leagues akin to BCHL) than minor pro.

Thing is, I'm betting ECHL and SPHL and CHL wouldn't even let a group like this sniff a contract, never mind negotiate one. The last thing these leagues want is a public entity with public accountability and public reporting. Neither do the bigs... the NFL grandfathered in Green Bay because they pretty much had to, but no group like this is allowed in the door.

So not only would I rather invest in Canadian junior, they're apparently the only leagues who would allow this kind of structure. Of course, yes, if you're covering losses, you have real problems.
Thanks for interesting insight. I took minor pro because I thought it has a bigger chance of surviving business-wise because of large empty markets like NOLA, Houston (now that Aeros are gone), etc. However, taking into consideration how much Canadians love hockey and that (my understanding, correct me if I'm wrong) those 16-year-olds make less than pros who have families to feed and teams only travel within their province, mid-level junior in Canada could be plausible, too.

Man, do I wish that thing existed. I don't care if it's minor pro or BCHL/SJHL/AJHL/etc or NAHL/newly-compiled USPHL, but that would be a fun ride

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08-19-2013, 11:13 AM
  #43
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Just a thought, seems like of all Junior A leagues OJHL in Ontario would be the cheapest. All locations may be approached by bus in just a few hours and there's not much need in hotels, so teams don't use a lot of money on travel in comparison to the Western/Central leagues.

On the other hand, attendance figures in the OJHL are much lower.

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08-19-2013, 11:34 AM
  #44
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I'd like to buy the Cornwall Colts Jr. A team. Current ownership is (MOD edit) [ineffective] from a marketing perspective but the area has a rich hockey history (Newsy Lalonde!) and even with diminished numbers over the the past two years they still draw a decent crowd.


Last edited by LadyStanley: 08-19-2013 at 11:49 AM. Reason: natd
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08-19-2013, 12:17 PM
  #45
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Dibs on GM

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08-19-2013, 12:28 PM
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The ECHL has grown into somewhat of a big time league in the past few seasons. With all the travel involved, it is not like the days of the late 1990s when almost every southern market with an arena over 7,000 had a team.

It costs money for Florida and Orlando to bus up to Elmira, NY and Reading, PA.

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08-19-2013, 12:33 PM
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dado View Post
More than a million people own a piece of Apple.

It's not really a unique situation.
Not even remotely the same thing

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Old
08-19-2013, 01:02 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by fedfed View Post
Just a thought, seems like of all Junior A leagues OJHL in Ontario would be the cheapest. All locations may be approached by bus in just a few hours and there's not much need in hotels, so teams don't use a lot of money on travel in comparison to the Western/Central leagues.

On the other hand, attendance figures in the OJHL are much lower.
I'd be down for an OJHL team. Always wanted to get financially involved in something of the sort but absolutely do not have the capital to do this on my own.

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08-19-2013, 01:08 PM
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quo View Post
I'd like to buy the Cornwall Colts Jr. A team. Current ownership is (MOD edit) [ineffective] from a marketing perspective but the area has a rich hockey history (Newsy Lalonde!) and even with diminished numbers over the the past two years they still draw a decent crowd.
Doesn't Cornwall have LNAH team? It'd be nearly impossible for a Junior A team to compete with semi-pro team.

I thought about Brantford as the market clearly lacking Jr. hockey. It's Gretzky's hometown, has population of 100,000 which is a lot for Jr. A market, but only has an AA team.

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08-19-2013, 01:41 PM
  #50
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just an update on the high profile attempt at something similar in soccer... the MyFootballClub.co.uk group sold their team, Ebbsfleet United, deeply in dept and the verge of bankruptcy. They then went on to form some kind of investment partnership with a semi-pro team from a much lower tier, Slough Town.

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