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Why isn't Hockey big in Britain or France?

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Old
02-25-2013, 09:37 AM
  #151
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Originally Posted by ukyote View Post
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.
The level then was higher than anything in the entire country now.

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07-07-2013, 09:41 PM
  #152
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I've just read through all of the thread... there are a lot of non Brits commenting on why hockey isn't popular in Britain.. how you know I have no idea. Looking on IIHF and checking rink numbers/player numbers doesn't mean anything. As mention Latvia is a perfect example. The Latvian league is basically Amateur/Semi-pro if you are lucky yet they are one of the best hockey nations with just ~2.5m people. Yeah they have Dinamo Riga but even Dinamo can only have so many players on their roster... Denmark are better then GB, Norway are. Now the Norwegian league is probably on par with the EIHL - yet Norway are an Elite level nation...

Concerning France i'm sure hosting the IIHF World Champs will bring hockey into the public view. As for GB we refused to host an IIHF event because of costs ect...

We have many problems. Football/soccer isn't the problem really. Just because one sport is big doesn't mean people don't like anything else. Hockey here needs a lot more advertising and marketing. The Manchester Storm did what they did (fill the MEN arena as mentioned almost 18k, get into European Competition and beat/drew with Sparta Prague/Dynamo Moscow ect) because they had money behind them and they put the word out. People always complained that the Storm used to give away tickets to businesses.. surely a good move? if you give 500 away and 200 people keep coming back it's paying off.

I feel for the Londoner who misses his pro hockey too. I go to the Manchester Phoenix now not because I want to but because I have too. When the Storm fell, so did Ice hockey in Manchester, the Phoenix came back in the EIHL but some people (me included) can't forget the days of the MEN and the big time, it's hard to remember the Storm then go sit in Altrincham, paying more then the Storm was watching some kids play who, if I had a few months spare time to train, I could be just as good as.

The leagues are a joke here too. EIHL - EPL - NIHL. It's a waste having these 'compete' and is very stupid. The EIHL is the top. The others should accept this and work together to form better relationships. We need some form of affiliate system so the players work up to the big league. Instead we get lazy Brit players who demand way too much money and they know they can. Next point..

British players - they need to move abroad for us to get better. Look at Ben O'Connor, Rob Dowd. They need to copy these and not just sit on their local team taking away 1 a place and 2 all their money. Take a chance.

Fans. Are very very annoying. I love hockey, but even I feel outcasted by this strange breed of 'ice hockey is only for us' group who support each team. It's as if they don't want 'non hockey' fans at the games, learning the game ect. More fans = better for everybody.

Other things I noticed reading...

American Football is in fact very popular in this country. Go look on the league's home page. Its run very well and is of a good standard. Some teams get hundreds of fans attending games and it's all amateur! The NFL get's almost 2 full days of viewing time on Sky Sports when the season is on, as well as Normal TV showing a live game and the Superbowl being on National TV.

Cricket is not a big sport in this country. Just because people watch the ashes doesn't make it 'big' Cricket teams struggle and have no attendances. More people watch ice hockey per year then Cricket. Almost every cricket team survives on hand outs from England Cricket Board and they are having to take action to ensure it all doesn't go bust.

Handball probably is the worlds number 2 sport believe it or not. Go take a look at the spectator numbers and TV numbers especially.

According to the IIHF. Attendance Europe wide for Ice hockey is around 43m per year.

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07-08-2013, 01:26 AM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
watching some kids play who, if I had a few months spare time to train, I could be just as good as.
What

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07-09-2013, 07:39 AM
  #154
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
What
Lets put it this way. I went to watch the Trafford Metros v Blackburn Hawks. So NIHL Division 1. They are all most interested in trying to big stupid hits then actually play the game. It was shocking. Oh and two Trafford players decided to start fighting EACH OTHER because they had no idea what was going on!!

Obviously not all of the NIHL is like this but the overall quality is poor. Their best ambition for most of them is make the EPL which isn't all that great either. If the leagues were linked EIHL-EPL-NIHL so on we'd have greater ambition and a better setup.

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07-09-2013, 08:55 AM
  #155
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Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
Lets put it this way. I went to watch the Trafford Metros v Blackburn Hawks. So NIHL Division 1. They are all most interested in trying to big stupid hits then actually play the game. It was shocking. Oh and two Trafford players decided to start fighting EACH OTHER because they had no idea what was going on!!

Obviously not all of the NIHL is like this but the overall quality is poor. Their best ambition for most of them is make the EPL which isn't all that great either. If the leagues were linked EIHL-EPL-NIHL so on we'd have greater ambition and a better setup.
Oh, I thought you were talking about the EPL.

The quality of NIHL division 1 is far better and more professional in the southern conference. I haven't really seen NIHL in the north, but southern officials who have travelled up to Solihull, Coventry and Telford to work a few games have told me this.

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07-09-2013, 09:44 AM
  #156
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
Oh, I thought you were talking about the EPL.

The quality of NIHL division 1 is far better and more professional in the southern conference. I haven't really seen NIHL in the north, but southern officials who have travelled up to Solihull, Coventry and Telford to work a few games have told me this.
Yeah the EPL is fine. I'd like them to maybe up import levels to say 5 or even 4 on the actual ice at one time.

NIHL North is fine too just abit hit and miss. Look at Solway Sharks they are ambitious and probably aiming for the EPL eventually.

I guess my overall answer to how to make the sport better is a governing body that actually cares and gets involved like others have said.

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07-09-2013, 01:31 PM
  #157
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I still think it's ignorant to say you could be "just as good as them" if you "had a few months spare time to train"

Most of those guys have been playing since before they were 12 years old

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07-10-2013, 04:07 PM
  #158
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Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
I still think it's ignorant to say you could be "just as good as them" if you "had a few months spare time to train"

Most of those guys have been playing since before they were 12 years old
As was I. From 11. Then eventually the team secretary decided to steal all the money and the team went bust. Another story for another thread!

You must see my point. I have the Manchester Phoenix. My home team who still charge me £15 (and increase this for Playoffs) then I have the Steelers just down the road. Big arena, big team, better quality and it's usually cheaper to go!

I don't want to see teams like Manchester who drop down because of 'costs' just continue to spend the same amount and dominate. Then we have Elite league v2 where only the 'big clubs' get any say.

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08-12-2013, 01:08 AM
  #159
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As many others have said - lack of organization, lack of rinks, lack of opportunities, lack of promotion, lack of media attention.

When I was at school, hockey was not even considered a target trackable by radar, let alone determined to be off it. As for exposure, the only reason I happened to get into hockey was because I rented NHLPA '93 from a video store one time - before that, I'm not actually sure if I knew it existed.

The only reason I'm starting to play it is because I'm in the US now, where I have multiple ice and roller rinks a stone's throw away. The massive lack of inconvenience of even considering to play in the UK makes it a totally unappealing option compared to other sports. At least with a healthy framework it makes dropping your paycheck on $$$s of equipment feel like you're getting satisfactory value for money.

Until as such time someone pumps money into it, forms a decent organization, builds more rinks and starts making hockey even an option in schools, then it's destined to remain a comfortable also-ran in the UK.

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09-05-2013, 04:32 AM
  #160
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there are no arenas here in the UK

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09-05-2013, 08:20 AM
  #161
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there are no arenas here in the UK
ummm

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12-13-2013, 01:13 AM
  #162
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I think hockey could raise as popular in France as it is now in Germany. Dont know why people are so blind that they dont see fineness of hockey here?

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12-13-2013, 02:30 AM
  #163
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Originally Posted by Petitcochon View Post
I think hockey could raise as popular in France as it is now in Germany. Dont know why people are so blind that they dont see fineness of hockey here?
I bet more games like yesterday between France/GB would raise the profile. That was such great stuff that I fell asleep while watching an NHL game a few hours later.

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12-13-2013, 05:44 PM
  #164
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Originally Posted by Petitcochon View Post
I think hockey could raise as popular in France as it is now in Germany. Dont know why people are so blind that they dont see fineness of hockey here?
It would help if people didn't charge ridiculous amounts for streams to watch games.

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12-16-2013, 08:20 AM
  #165
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Originally Posted by Propane Nightmares View Post
The level then was higher than anything in the entire country now.
People will say that the London Knights failed, they did, but not because of the sport or quality of product, they played at one of the most inaccessible arenas around, from Wembley, almost an hour on the tube then on the DLR to the middle of nowhere. The London Racers out in Romford, the middle of nowhere again. Arena locations are key in London.

I live in Wembley, Iíve been to Bracknell for games, which can take up to an hour and a half driving, Iíve been to Ally pally for games for Haringey Racers and although which is 10 miles give or take as the crow flies, lovely and local. It takes about 1 hour 15 minutes by trains.

Arena location and peoples knowledge of events are the 2 key nails in the coffin. I know people who want to go but its a pain in the rear.
I only had more knowledge about Haringey Racers as they appeared on some Wowcher deals, it was cheap tickets, but its still hard to get to on a Saturday night and they got about 600 or 700 people.

I went to the 2 kings Ducks games at the O2 which were sell outs, I underestimated how many Eastern European rooted Londoners would attend, that market exists but they donít have a clue where it is on or when. The potential popularity is here.

As for a Wembley team in the Elite. Wembley is great for Central and West Londoners, brilliant tube connections, it would work a lot better than previous London teams. But people would have to generate a buzz, get the word out. You never know if it became a success, using some of the old Olympic park, like a copperbox could serve the other side of London who wouldnít attend Wembley (huge long way off, huge long shot).

But back to previous comments from yesteryear, well Wembley Arena would be great, but it would not be a full time Ice rink, they are not in abundance around here. Perhaps a temporary rink in parts of the area that need developing would have to be part of the overall plan. And there are huge sways around the Arena and Stadium ready for development or in development, itís just an old industrial area in reality in need of the continued development. For a team to be a benefit to us, well it needs to improve the grass roots level.

Or more outdoor rinks for longer in the year, not just for the xmas shopping brigade. Get kids teams to play on them during the day, shoppers would stop and have a pint and get more interest. Just a thought.

And the streaming cost is bs, someone surely has to get tv interested, not just premier sports, but BBC or ITV or Channel 5. Even just for GB games and the younger GB teams, generate some interest. Someone has to don the suit and get it sorted, if someone can sell these tv talent shows and rubbish then someone can sell Ice hockey.

Is footy the problem, no, I wouldn't think so, they are a huge market in an unbelievably size London market. I went to Wembley 3 times in the autumn, England vs Montenegro Ė full of fans fed up they canít have a pint, NFL Minnesota Vikings, full of fans loving the fact they could have a pint and Rugby Saracens, again full of fans loving the fact they could have a pint. Donít underestimate the powers of being able to have a pint, should be the marketing slogan. In reality, the laid back atmosphere, the pints, people arenít scared (families) of the stereotypical footy fan, these are all selling points, I know more people who go to non football events than footy nowadays, expensive, hassle and yeah the stereotypes puts people off.

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02-03-2014, 07:05 AM
  #166
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Credit where due, the London Racers were one of the better teams at trying to market themselves - but played out of, first, Ally Pally and then Lee Valley.

Neither are realistically suitable for a top flight team IMHO - especially in the capital, where the competition for punters pounds is higher than anywhere

Honestly, I think too many folks are simply barking up the wrong tree on this one - 'no one' wants to spend the money to build an EIHL (or perhaps even EPL...) suitable rink in London. The smarter business move is/will be housing or similar.

So before you even look at running a team, and the costs involved, you've hit a barrier - one I am not convinced can be overcome currently.

Forgetting that pretty important fact for a moment though - IMHO you'd really need two London teams; one North of the river, one South. Play on the 'rivalry' to build local interest.

Talk about ex-pats all you want; both Knights and Racers failed to build and sustain regular crowds. Without that underlying 'hardcore', no team will succeed - let alone one in the big smoke. At least with two teams playing on that North South divide they have a fighting chance via the 'bragging rights' element

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03-22-2014, 01:32 PM
  #167
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It's too rough and tumble for the Brits and French to play, and I say that only half in jest. Germans, Russians & other various Slavs, they take to it like fish out of water. It's a North American and Central/Eastern European game, that's just the way that it is.
I think the eagle as your picture makes it funnier. (just a joke)

I take it you haven't seen a rugby match before? They're usually bleeding afterwards. They have very minimal padding also. Now, I'm not saying rugby is a tougher sport than hockey. Hockey needs the padding because a puck can come on quite tight if you get hit. Also, the ice and blades are a danger.

You should watch a rugby match or even just some clips on youtube and you'll see it's fairly rough.

I think the reason why hockey isn't so popular western Europe is due to the weather. Most of the top hockey leagues have very snowy winters. Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Russia etc.

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05-28-2014, 04:27 PM
  #168
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wether this is of any interest to anyone either side of the pond?

http://www.thehockeynews.com/blog/do...a-think-again/


hockey just isnt popular enough to ever get the funding for the sport to grow over here.. not that I care personally. wouldnt want to see the NHL become a 'vogue' sport like the NFL & NBA have become recently with their yearly visits to the O2 arena and wembley.

theres 2 of us at my workplace that employs 150 in total that follow NHL and have done for years...we make do with confusing looks and questions from everyone there whenever discussing it, quite amusing

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06-27-2014, 11:26 AM
  #169
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Ironic that in Quebec hockey is like a religion yet in France it's a tiny sport? You would think parts of the UK are cold enough and it should be a lot bigger. I know it gets cold enough in France too.

Like you guys said they need more rinks and rich hockey fans donating equipment so they can play.

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06-27-2014, 11:32 AM
  #170
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Gareth, ice hockey is bigger in England than cricket?? You serious?

What about Scotland, Wales, and Ireland?

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06-27-2014, 11:59 AM
  #171
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Originally Posted by BladesofSTEELwFIRE View Post
Ironic that in Quebec hockey is like a religion yet in France it's a tiny sport? You would think parts of the UK are cold enough and it should be a lot bigger. I know it gets cold enough in France too.

Like you guys said they need more rinks and rich hockey fans donating equipment so they can play.
They aren't, except in the Scottish Highlands, where very few people actually reside

In the past 20 years it's only been cold enough once for a lake to freeze over enough to skate on it, for about 3 days


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06-27-2014, 09:45 PM
  #172
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Originally Posted by BladesofSTEELwFIRE View Post
Ironic that in Quebec hockey is like a religion yet in France it's a tiny sport? You would think parts of the UK are cold enough and it should be a lot bigger. I know it gets cold enough in France too.

Like you guys said they need more rinks and rich hockey fans donating equipment so they can play.
Both France and UK is considerably more wealthy than US and most other countries playing hockey, they don't need people "donating equipment", they just need to care, which they don't.

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06-27-2014, 09:47 PM
  #173
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Both France and UK is considerably more wealthy than US and most other countries playing hockey, they don't need people "donating equipment", they just need to care, which they don't.
What?........

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06-27-2014, 10:02 PM
  #174
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What?........
he's probably right in a sense. All the wealth in US is tied up in a small section of the population while in UK & definitely France, it's more spread out.

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06-27-2014, 11:09 PM
  #175
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They aren't, except in the Scottish Highlands, where very few people actually reside

In the past 20 years it's only been cold enough once for a lake to freeze over enough to skate on it, for about 3 days
What about that article that has been posted on here that ice hockey actually started in England? It started on frozen lakes so it must be cold enough. Even Charles Darwin was a hockey fan!

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