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Why isn't Hockey big in Britain or France?

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Old
02-07-2013, 10:41 AM
  #126
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Simple - not enough rinks. I've always wanted to take it up and my skating is fine, but simply don't have the means to get to and from the nearest ice rink on a regular basis.

To illustrate the lack of facilities, when I was at uni in Edinburgh the team they were starting up managed to get squeezed in for ice time at 3am on Saturday mornings... so you can imagine how many people went to the sessions.

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02-07-2013, 10:44 AM
  #127
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
I just don't think the interest is there in London, a lot of the city is ethnic minorities and I try to say this without sounding racist but they just generally aren't interested in hockey at all. I think a London club would also struggle to afford imports because of the higher costs of living in London especially housing compared to a northern city like Sheffield.

Plus like you said they never had success in the past, my teammate once told us about when he played for Wightlink Raiders when they were still in the EPL and had a 10 game losing streak at the start of the season, and to cheer up the locker room one of the imports said "It's alright, when I played for the London Racers we didn't win a game until February"
Totally disagree, I used to go to Knights games regularly before the team folded, and the London Arena would usually have 7 - 8k, which is not bad at all for such a tiny sport in the UK. Now there is no pro team at all in London, with such a large (and young) US / Canadian / Eastern European expat population... utter insanity IMO.

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02-07-2013, 12:50 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by ukyote View Post
Totally disagree, I used to go to Knights games regularly before the team folded, and the London Arena would usually have 7 - 8k, which is not bad at all for such a tiny sport in the UK. Now there is no pro team at all in London, with such a large (and young) US / Canadian / Eastern European expat population... utter insanity IMO.
The knights, in the BISL era, when hockey was a new novelty and at the peak of its popularity with an artificially high standard due to all the imports.

Enter the EIHL era the standard drops, and so does popularity. Attendances weren't good enough to keep up with the costs of the O2, and there are no other suitable affordable rinks in London for pro hockey.

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02-08-2013, 04:00 AM
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
The knights, in the BISL era, when hockey was a new novelty and at the peak of its popularity with an artificially high standard due to all the imports.

Enter the EIHL era the standard drops, and so does popularity. Attendances weren't good enough to keep up with the costs of the O2, and there are no other suitable affordable rinks in London for pro hockey.
As somebody who lives in the city, I can tell you first hand that the population of young people from ice hockey playing countries has exploded since the ISL existed. Most of them would leap at the chance to watch hockey if it were reasonably priced, no matter what the level. I should know, I go out with a Slovak girl who misses hockey badly and several of her eastern European friends are the same. Ditto my Yankie and Canadian friends. Demand is definitely there.

As for you point about the arena, I agree on that... shame the London Arena had to go because that was about the right size. If you read my previous post you'll notice that the first thing I said was that there's a lack of rinks.

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02-08-2013, 05:13 AM
  #130
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Originally Posted by ukyote View Post
As somebody who lives in the city, I can tell you first hand that the population of young people from ice hockey playing countries has exploded since the ISL existed. Most of them would leap at the chance to watch hockey if it were reasonably priced, no matter what the level. I should know, I go out with a Slovak girl who misses hockey badly and several of her eastern European friends are the same. Ditto my Yankie and Canadian friends. Demand is definitely there.

As for you point about the arena, I agree on that... shame the London Arena had to go because that was about the right size. If you read my previous post you'll notice that the first thing I said was that there's a lack of rinks.
There are 3 rinks in London, 4 if you include Romford. That's 2 semi-pro teams, one amateur team and Haringey are supposedly getting an amateur team next season. Streatham Redskins are a semi-pro team, they're playing in a temp rink in Bristol at the moment, it's right next to the train station so not difficult to get to. Instead of complaining go watch them.

If you Londoners can prove the interest is there and start showing up to games then people might take notice and give you a pro team.

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02-08-2013, 06:07 AM
  #131
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Hey guys! How do you view this Olympic qual giving publicity to Team GB? could this be somekind of a turning point for hockey in britain? or am i just overreacting?

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02-08-2013, 06:10 AM
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
There are 3 rinks in London, 4 if you include Romford. That's 2 semi-pro teams, one amateur team and Haringey are supposedly getting an amateur team next season. Streatham Redskins are a semi-pro team, they're playing in a temp rink in Bristol at the moment, it's right next to the train station so not difficult to get to. Instead of complaining go watch them.

If you Londoners can prove the interest is there and start showing up to games then people might take notice and give you a pro team.
Wow, are you always this condescending to others with differing views...?!

Perhaps I should qualify my previous statement... I wouldn't want to go and watch an amateur team given how inaccessible all of the places you mentioned are. Bristol isn't easy to get to from anywhere in London... neither are the ice rinks in Haringey, Streatham, Romford (Essex) or Lee Valley for that matter, believe me. London is massive and proximity to public transport is everything, particularly when it takes an hour to get from one side of the city to the other. Crossharbour, in stark contrast to all of the aforementioned, is very easy to get to from just about anywhere.

When I lived in Edinburgh I happily made the slog across the city every week, with a number of north Americans, to watch the Capitals even though they lost basically every game. I wouldn't have done the same for an amateur team. Stick a professional team in London in an accessible venue and people will go, as long as it's advertised and not overpriced (as proven with the London Knights). I know quite a few people who regularly watched the Knights but could not do the same when the Racers were formed, purely because of logistical problems.

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02-08-2013, 08:19 AM
  #133
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Hey guys! How do you view this Olympic qual giving publicity to Team GB? could this be somekind of a turning point for hockey in britain? or am i just overreacting?
Unless we pull of a win or ideally two against France and Kazakhstan then I dont think it'll do too much, might get a few extra bodies in a rink the next weekend, they might stay, they might not.

This sort of thing hinges on how well the team does, for us hockey fans we know how well GB did yesterday given their opponents, but your everyday sports fan will just think "wow they sure suck" etc.

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02-08-2013, 08:34 AM
  #134
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Wow, are you always this condescending to others with differing views...?!

Perhaps I should qualify my previous statement... I wouldn't want to go and watch an amateur team given how inaccessible all of the places you mentioned are. Bristol isn't easy to get to from anywhere in London... neither are the ice rinks in Haringey, Streatham, Romford (Essex) or Lee Valley for that matter, believe me. London is massive and proximity to public transport is everything, particularly when it takes an hour to get from one side of the city to the other. Crossharbour, in stark contrast to all of the aforementioned, is very easy to get to from just about anywhere.

When I lived in Edinburgh I happily made the slog across the city every week, with a number of north Americans, to watch the Capitals even though they lost basically every game. I wouldn't have done the same for an amateur team. Stick a professional team in London in an accessible venue and people will go, as long as it's advertised and not overpriced (as proven with the London Knights). I know quite a few people who regularly watched the Knights but could not do the same when the Racers were formed, purely because of logistical problems.
He means Brixton not Bristol.

His point does stand though, if people are supposedly desperate for hockey then they'd seek out any level they can. If you dont want to watch ENL hockey, then you dont, that's your preference of course, but as you say if you and your girlfriend and friends miss hockey 'badly' as you say, you dont miss hockey that bad then no? If people dont turn up for ENL hockey that's generally £10 a head minimum in London would they turn up for Elite hockey at probably £20 a head minimum?

I understand the higher standard in product but your not going to be paying Capitals prices in London, not these days.

But this isnt a recent problem, when was the last time a professional hockey team in London lasted? It's been a long time, and not simply because of a lack of proper arenas.

I cant see an EIHL team sticking it out in London, it's professional...but I think only just, unless you find some business man willing to spend Nottingham/Belfast money and add onto that the London prices of housing for players, ice time, jesus everything is more expensive in London as of course you'll know.


For London, the best bet is that the KHL expansion really takes off, we see a London team in the Euro conference of their plan playing in the O2, perhaps it'll draw in the big three of the Elite in with them. Anything less is too little IMO.

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02-08-2013, 08:56 AM
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villevalo View Post
He means Brixton not Bristol.

His point does stand though, if people are supposedly desperate for hockey then they'd seek out any level they can. If you dont want to watch ENL hockey, then you dont, that's your preference of course, but as you say if you and your girlfriend and friends miss hockey 'badly' as you say, you dont miss hockey that bad then no? If people dont turn up for ENL hockey that's generally £10 a head minimum in London would they turn up for Elite hockey at probably £20 a head minimum?

I understand the higher standard in product but your not going to be paying Capitals prices in London, not these days.

But this isnt a recent problem, when was the last time a professional hockey team in London lasted? It's been a long time, and not simply because of a lack of proper arenas.

I cant see an EIHL team sticking it out in London, it's professional...but I think only just, unless you find some business man willing to spend Nottingham/Belfast money and add onto that the London prices of housing for players, ice time, jesus everything is more expensive in London as of course you'll know.


For London, the best bet is that the KHL expansion really takes off, we see a London team in the Euro conference of their plan playing in the O2, perhaps it'll draw in the big three of the Elite in with them. Anything less is too little IMO.
To be honest, the price isn't as important as accessibility. Most people have jobs with long hours if they live and work here, and a lot of games used to be played mid-week (not sure if that's the case now); it's no fun to spend all of your free time travelling across a massive urban sprawl to poorly connected ice rinks. That's fair enough about the Brixton thing though - I genuinely didn't know that, so thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely be going along!

Re the "desperate for hockey so you'll watch any level" argument; I can understand that, but if you weight up the things I've mentioned before with how little time / money people generally have, they will rarely invest either of those things in semi-professional sport unless it's on their doorstep, or they really are hopelessly addicted. I love lots of different sports a great deal, but there are limits to the lengths I'll go to watch low level sport live.

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02-08-2013, 08:59 AM
  #136
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Originally Posted by ukyote View Post
Wow, are you always this condescending to others with differing views...?!

Perhaps I should qualify my previous statement... I wouldn't want to go and watch an amateur team given how inaccessible all of the places you mentioned are. Bristol isn't easy to get to from anywhere in London... neither are the ice rinks in Haringey, Streatham, Romford (Essex) or Lee Valley for that matter, believe me. London is massive and proximity to public transport is everything, particularly when it takes an hour to get from one side of the city to the other. Crossharbour, in stark contrast to all of the aforementioned, is very easy to get to from just about anywhere.

When I lived in Edinburgh I happily made the slog across the city every week, with a number of north Americans, to watch the Capitals even though they lost basically every game. I wouldn't have done the same for an amateur team. Stick a professional team in London in an accessible venue and people will go, as long as it's advertised and not overpriced (as proven with the London Knights). I know quite a few people who regularly watched the Knights but could not do the same when the Racers were formed, purely because of logistical problems.
The reason I am being condescending is it is people like you who hold back the sport in this country and it is frustrating. You like hockey but don't go to games because "the standard is poor" well the standard isn't going to get better unless you actually go to games! You can't complain about the standard if you don't contribute anything. London isn't going to get a pro team when teams like Streatham are getting attendances of 100 while teams in the same league are getting 800+. You claim the interest is there so prove it.

As Villevallo said I meant Brixton not Bristol. The rink is right next to the Brixton train station, surely it is not that hard to get there? I could drive there from Reading in less than an hour. Yes some of them are inaccessible, Haringey is a pain in the ass to get to, as you mention London is a massive city so what makes you think it would be any easier to get to where the pro team is located.

I have to echo what VV said, if you don't want to watch NIHL level hockey then fine that's your choice, but if you really missed hockey as much as you say then you would go. It's only £8 for an adult ticket for Streatham games, have you ever actually seen NIHL1? It's actually a decent standard and good value for money.

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02-08-2013, 09:04 AM
  #137
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Originally Posted by Helo View Post
Hey guys! How do you view this Olympic qual giving publicity to Team GB? could this be somekind of a turning point for hockey in britain? or am i just overreacting?
It's been very positive, we got the game yesterday trending on twitter. Coming off the back of London 2012 there is lots of interest in Olympic sports, and with other Sochi qualification events going on in other sports there is a lot of media attention

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02-08-2013, 09:07 AM
  #138
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
The reason I am being condescending is it is people like you who hold back the sport in this country and it is frustrating. You like hockey but don't go to games because "the standard is poor" well the standard isn't going to get better unless you actually go to games! You can't complain about the standard if you don't contribute anything. London isn't going to get a pro team when teams like Streatham are getting attendances of 100 while teams in the same league are getting 800+. You claim the interest is there so prove it.

As Villevallo said I meant Brixton not Bristol. The rink is right next to the Brixton train station, surely it is not that hard to get there? I could drive there from Reading in less than an hour. Yes some of them are inaccessible, Haringey is a pain in the ass to get to, as you mention London is a massive city so what makes you think it would be any easier to get to where the pro team is located.

I have to echo what VV said, if you don't want to watch NIHL level hockey then fine that's your choice, but if you really missed hockey as much as you say then you would go. It's only £8 for an adult ticket for Streatham games, have you ever actually seen NIHL1? It's actually a decent standard.
You're missing my point; I did used to go... every week. Then my team disappeared and the only alternatives are very hard for me to get to on any regular basis. I'm not going to apologise for not wanting to travel 2 hours plus, all in, to pay to watch semi-pro sport.

As the other chap pointed out, you meant Brixton as opposed to Bristol in your previous post, which is much more accessible for me. I will be going along.

Sorry if I'm "holding the country back", but if "real fans" like yourself are always this hostile towards what you would call "casual fans" then it's no wonder people lose interest.

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02-08-2013, 09:15 AM
  #139
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Originally Posted by ukyote View Post
You're missing my point; I did used to go... every week. Then my team disappeared and the only alternatives are very hard for me to get to on any regular basis. I'm not going to apologise for not wanting to travel 2 hours plus, all in, to pay to watch semi-pro sport.

As the other chap pointed out, you meant Brixton as opposed to Bristol in your previous post, which is much more accessible for me. I will be going along.

Sorry if I'm "holding the country back", but if "real fans" like yourself are always this hostile towards what you would call "casual fans" then it's no wonder people lose interest.
Sorry I didn't think about the fact you used to go. I was more talking about those people who are just NHL fans and have never actually been to a game here.

I am glad we have educated you about the team in Brixton, I didn't realise you didn't know they were actually there. Streatham don't have a large fanbase but they are one of the most passionate and bring great atmosphere to games, I have a huge amount of respect for them

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02-08-2013, 09:25 AM
  #140
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To tell you the truth, given that it became too hard for me to watch hockey in this country I lost interest in the domestic game, only to return to this site when we got to this tournament in Riga... I wouldn't have found out about hockey in Brixton if I hadn't come on here. If nothing else, that should show the potential of GB's great achievement to boost numbers!

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02-08-2013, 09:41 AM
  #141
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To tell you the truth, given that it became too hard for me to watch hockey in this country I lost interest in the domestic game, only to return to this site when we got to this tournament in Riga... I wouldn't have found out about hockey in Brixton if I hadn't come on here. If nothing else, that should show the potential of GB's great achievement to boost numbers!
How did you hear about the tournament?

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02-08-2013, 09:46 AM
  #142
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To tell you the truth, given that it became too hard for me to watch hockey in this country I lost interest in the domestic game, only to return to this site when we got to this tournament in Riga... I wouldn't have found out about hockey in Brixton if I hadn't come on here. If nothing else, that should show the potential of GB's great achievement to boost numbers!
Ally Pally is also going to have senior hockey back for next season as well so might wanna keep checking on them every so often.

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02-08-2013, 09:55 AM
  #143
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
How did you hear about the tournament?
BBC.

I dip in and out of the NHL these days and will be glued to the TV during the Olympics next year (esp given the Slovak connection). North American coverage of British hockey is minimal to say the least...

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02-08-2013, 10:00 AM
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Ally Pally is also going to have senior hockey back for next season as well so might wanna keep checking on them every so often.
I think they'll only be starting in NIHL2 but might work their way up if they can get a fanbase

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02-08-2013, 11:48 AM
  #145
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I had no idea Streatham was in London.

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02-08-2013, 03:03 PM
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Why?

Traditions, coaching level(best coaches are not in hockey for sure), players talent level(almost all best players talent are in other sports).
Only region sport, not all country sport.

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02-10-2013, 06:32 AM
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I would try to answer this question with one word : Football (soccer).

That's so sad, I would like to see a good ole' hockey rivalry with GB... London Spitfires vs. Paris Revolution or something. Damn.

But before that we need a better organization, in France at least. We need big competitive clubs in big cities like Paris, Lyon or Lille (I don't see Marseille with some big hockey community but who knows...). I don't say that the Français Volants' club should be bought by Qatar or something but today, those clubs exist but still play around the third division...

Those clubs have to reach the top league (Magnus). That done, people will come to game, maybe bandwagon a little, but that's good for the visibility anyway. And people will come if the hockey is played at a decent level. Paris host a friendly Canada-France game and it was sold out.

There is hope.

PS: We need MORE ice rinks. Today we have to fight for some ice-time super late in the morning or late in the evening.

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02-23-2013, 05:54 PM
  #148
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Too busy to watch foot and drinking.

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02-25-2013, 06:35 AM
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Expats are usually a poor population to draw on. They're often transient and don't really care. Sure, some guys are interested and will watch, but among my ball-hockey playing friends I think 80% would rather curl onto the couch and watch NHL GameCenter than go and watch a live hockey game, unless it was at least Extraliga quality. That other 20% are almost entirely long-term expats, people who have married and started a family here and are interested in the development of the sport because, hey, wouldn't it be great if my son could play here on his way to the NHL?

It's frustrating because as a Londoner I see people all the time in NHL jerseys - there's some Swedes in my neighborhood and we both stare slack-jawed at each other when we walk past each other going to Sainsburys - them in their Flyers/Canucks jerseys, me in my Habs sweater. So I know there are other people besides me who like hockey. But I bet Sven and Tom wouldn't be too interested in going to Brixton, except to skate.


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02-25-2013, 08:55 AM
  #150
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Expats are usually a poor population to draw on. They're often transient and don't really care. Sure, some guys are interested and will watch, but among my ball-hockey playing friends I think 80% would rather curl onto the couch and watch NHL GameCenter than go and watch a live hockey game, unless it was at least Extraliga quality. That other 20% are almost entirely long-term expats, people who have married and started a family here and are interested in the development of the sport because, hey, wouldn't it be great if my son could play here on his way to the NHL?

It's frustrating because as a Londoner I see people all the time in NHL jerseys - there's some Swedes in my neighborhood and we both stare slack-jawed at each other when we walk past each other going to Sainsburys - them in their Flyers/Canucks jerseys, me in my Habs sweater. So I know there are other people besides me who like hockey. But I bet Sven and Tom wouldn't be too interested in going to Brixton, except to skate.
We used to get quite a few ex-pats when the London Knights existed! The difference there was the level was much higher than anything in London now.

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