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Hockey Participation On Decline in North America?

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Old
04-08-2013, 04:44 PM
  #1
razor ray
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Hockey Participation On Decline in North America?

Bauer's Bright Outlook Tempered by Declining Participation:

"As a major hockey equipment maker, itís in a sport facing declining participation rates in North America.

Chief executive officer Kevin Davis needs to demonstrate he has the right game plan to counter the flat-growth trends in hockey, to execute on the companyís entries into new niches and to diversify into other sports."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...ticle10837232/

I thought Hockey was growing in both Canada and the USA? In the USA they just passed over 500k and Canada is somewhat flat but still on the growing side....what am I missing?

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04-08-2013, 04:51 PM
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LadyStanley
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Is Bauer loosing out on "official" deals with leagues (which, excepting a very few players) mandate players use specific company sticks, helmets, gloves, skates? Then yes.

But otherwise, many areas in US are expanding (see "1990 SJ" thread -- two more ice rinks in the works). In these areas cost is most likely a driving force as to selecting between similar company's product.

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04-09-2013, 12:18 AM
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Four Boilermakers
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The decline is a product of the recession and lower incomes, not a lack of interest. Hockey is one of the more expensive sports, so many cannot afford to buy the equipment or pay for ice time.

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04-09-2013, 12:21 AM
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razor ray
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 View Post
The decline is a product of the recession and lower incomes, not a lack of interest. Hockey is one of the more expensive sports, so many cannot afford to buy the equipment or pay for ice time.
I would like to see the data though. The data Hockey Canada and USA Hockey shows much different.

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04-09-2013, 01:01 AM
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It on life support in Minneapolis and st.paul.

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04-09-2013, 08:05 AM
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tarheelhockey
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People have been saying for years that the increasing price of the sport would be bad for its long term health. Well, here it is.

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04-09-2013, 08:14 AM
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Here is a link to USA Hockey's Membership statistics from 1990 to 2012:

http://www.usahockey.com/Membership_Statistics.aspx

Worth keeping in mind that these are membership stats, and not participation stats. There is a difference, though I'm not sure how large of one.

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04-09-2013, 09:48 AM
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Bauer's sales decreasing =/= participation decreasing...

It probably is though, on account of the fact that the sport is just too damn expensive. A stick and skates alone will run you $300 and that's on the cheap end. Then add in all your pads and a helmet.

And then the massive ice costs...

I've been under the opinion that the league needs to start pooling in a small portion over their annual revenue to somehow reduce costs for gear. Who knows if that decrease in cost brings you the next Crosby, Stamkos, Toews, Kane, etc.

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04-09-2013, 09:54 AM
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If it isn't going to happen this year, it will happen soon, that there will be more GTA kids being drafted in the first round of the NBA draft than in the first round of the NHL draft.

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04-09-2013, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingsfan2965 View Post
I've been under the opinion that the league needs to start pooling in a small portion over their annual revenue to somehow reduce costs for gear. Who knows if that decrease in cost brings you the next Crosby, Stamkos, Toews, Kane, etc.
Agreed 100%. The NHL needs to be proactive in subsidizing the game so that more people can participate. Participants usually become hardcore, long-term fans, and only participants have a chance (albeit, a small chance) of becoming NHL players and thereby driving up the talent pool.

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04-09-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingsfan2965 View Post
Bauer's sales decreasing =/= participation decreasing...

It probably is though, on account of the fact that the sport is just too damn expensive. A stick and skates alone will run you $300 and that's on the cheap end. Then add in all your pads and a helmet.

And then the massive ice costs...

I've been under the opinion that the league needs to start pooling in a small portion over their annual revenue to somehow reduce costs for gear. Who knows if that decrease in cost brings you the next Crosby, Stamkos, Toews, Kane, etc.
A nice thought about the reduced costs-do NFL/MLB/NBA have similar programs in place (asking seriously, I don't know).

Though pie in the sky, it would have been interesting in last CBA talks if each contract a percentage of each players contract went into said pool (kind of an escrow, but the idea of giving back to the game) to help subsidize it, with owners kicking in a set amount.

Yea I know I'm dreaming, but it's a nice thought

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04-09-2013, 10:54 AM
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If the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx turns into the proposed complex with nine ice hockey rinks, it would be great for hockey in New York.

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04-09-2013, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinalera View Post
A nice thought about the reduced costs-do NFL/MLB/NBA have similar programs in place (asking seriously, I don't know).

Though pie in the sky, it would have been interesting in last CBA talks if each contract a percentage of each players contract went into said pool (kind of an escrow, but the idea of giving back to the game) to help subsidize it, with owners kicking in a set amount.

Yea I know I'm dreaming, but it's a nice thought
I doubt it. Football in the US is like hockey in Canada... for the most part costs... while an issue, do not seem to seriously deter the masses from participating. Baseball and basketball don't have much in the way of costs (compared to hockey).

Even if it was mandated that every NHL player (player on an NHL SPC) had to put in 1% of their yearly SPC, to which the NHL clubs matched (or doubled), that would be ~18m from the players. The question then would be how to disburse it. Naturally players would want to have their home town or their minor league programs get the money... I'm not sure how much that would help the growth of hockey overall (which would be the whole idea).

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04-09-2013, 11:34 AM
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I doubt it. Football in the US is like hockey in Canada... for the most part costs... while an issue, do not seem to seriously deter the masses from participating. Baseball and basketball don't have much in the way of costs (compared to hockey).

Even if it was mandated that every NHL player (player on an NHL SPC) had to put in 1% of their yearly SPC, to which the NHL clubs matched (or doubled), that would be ~18m from the players. The question then would be how to disburse it. Naturally players would want to have their home town or their minor league programs get the money... I'm not sure how much that would help the growth of hockey overall (which would be the whole idea).
As far as dispersal, split out among 30 teams. So, (just for ease of numbers of numbers lol) if it were 30 million, 1 million dollars per team to put into local hockey teams hands (18 million would be just over 500 grand per city).

I agree there are doubts and problems though with the scenario-mine was just more "what if"

Doesn't SOUND like much, but it all adds up.

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04-09-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinalera View Post
A nice thought about the reduced costs-do NFL/MLB/NBA have similar programs in place (asking seriously, I don't know).
I know the NBA has some sort of developmental program in Africa, and Kobe Bryant funds / runs camps in China just to name a few.

Isnt there an NHL program for African Americans to be able to play? (it might not just be African Americans, but I remember they were advertising it with some ex-pro A.M's...something about inner city something or another)

Edit: Hockey Is For Everyone
http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=48311

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04-09-2013, 12:16 PM
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I see it as an investment. In fact I think my original idea was to take 5% of HRR (So 47.5% remaining for each side) and pool it into that fund.

That'd be roughly $165M in a full season. Is that a lot? Maybe, but consider how much names like Crosby, Toews, and Kane have brought in and how much names like MacKinnon, Jones, and McDavid will probably bring in. If you find more of those players eventually you're creating more money.

Not to mention you're greatly increasing your North American talent pool, which is good not only for marketing purposes, but also in case there ever comes a time when the KHL starts taking hold of some of the Russian Superstars.

EDIT: Not to mention giving kids the opportunity to play the sport is a gateway to more viewers as well, which increases revenue as a whole.

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04-09-2013, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinalera View Post
As far as dispersal, split out among 30 teams. So, (just for ease of numbers of numbers lol) if it were 30 million, 1 million dollars per team to put into local hockey teams hands (18 million would be just over 500 grand per city).

I agree there are doubts and problems though with the scenario-mine was just more "what if"

Doesn't SOUND like much, but it all adds up.
$1m a year to each team actually sounds like a hell of a lot.

You could very easily establish a free or reduced-cost youth program with that kind of cash. Or put it into bulking up the already-existing programs by covering fees and equipment on the basis of need. Or put it into new facilities in places that have an ice shortage.

Great things have been done for the sport with a lot less than $1m annual budget.

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04-09-2013, 02:34 PM
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They always encourage ice hockey but don't try to organize much around street or roller hockey which lower income households can actually afford.

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04-09-2013, 03:33 PM
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its dying in the twin cities.

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04-09-2013, 04:38 PM
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From a PR standpoint they can't spend the money on just boys. Around half the money will be spent on girls and won't contribute to talent directly. Spending at the grass roots to increase talent isn't worth it. If $18MM of the $30MM is invested in boys hockey I estimate that it will provide around 2 regular NHLers per birth year. For every Jones, MacKinnon and Drouin there are 15 other players that will be regular NHLers.

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04-09-2013, 04:39 PM
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It's totally dying, in a few decades it's going to be a shell of what it is now.
A) way too expensive for the average person to play
B) not easily accessible with all the equipment, need for rinks etc.
C) immigrant populations that are exploding with kids with little to no interest in the game vs soccer,basketball etc.

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04-09-2013, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Booom View Post
It's totally dying, in a few decades it's going to be a shell of what it is now.
A) way too expensive for the average person to play
B) not easily accessible with all the equipment, need for rinks etc.
C) immigrant populations that are exploding with kids with little to no interest in the game vs soccer,basketball etc.
Not to mention parents who are no longer interested in exposing their children to injury and the BS hockey culture with its "code" that does not protect them.

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04-09-2013, 09:22 PM
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I had a friend play high school hockey in the Portland area in the mid 80s... there were some "combined" teams, but I remember 8-12 teams at its peak. That whole thing died. So did a league in Southern Oregon. The Portland Winterhawks have revived a 4-team league this year, actually co-ed, no schools even unofficially involved.

When I lived in Boise, a few years after the Steelheads appeared, once a "public rink" was built, most of the big schools in Boise and the nearest suburb (Meridian actually being a larger school district) had a team and the distant suburbs in Canyon County shared a team. While the number of schools has grown, the number of teams have dwindled to 6, but at least still exist.

I have no to little grasp of AAA or midget or whatever the heck is going on in "club" (to borrow the youth soccer term that's also the emerging paradigm in MANY sports). It's one thing to spend a lot of money on equipment. Since teams out west practically have to travel, and since Tier III junior in America is decidedly "pay to play," the cost is just that much more. I imagine things are somewhat easier in, say, California by the measure of sheer numbers. Funny thing is, while that hurts participation, I think the emerging system improves the quality of players at the upper levels.

I don't think the NHL needs to invest in participation-based stuff. I think they should be more invested in major junior or an evolved junior system. The KHL will eventually reap rewards of their programs, and the NHL would be wise to follow. Who knows... maybe that kind of program WILL grow interest in the game overall.

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04-10-2013, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilky01 View Post
If it isn't going to happen this year, it will happen soon, that there will be more GTA kids being drafted in the first round of the NBA draft than in the first round of the NHL draft.
Currently the GTA is represented by over 60 players in the NHL. That's about 3 full teams. There is no magic up here, that stat won't be duplicated in Basketball. I know you said 1st rounders but I feel it's all relative. Hockey and the infrastructure needed to play the game is entrenched here, over 100 arenas in the GTA not counting outdoor facilities. Some major U S, NHL cities have less than 10, Toronto will never have that kind of facility advantage in a game like Basketball.

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04-10-2013, 06:28 AM
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I played basketball when I was a kid. It was fun and I enjoyed it... but at some point doesn't the realization set in that unless you grow up to be freakishly tall, you have almost no hope of ever playing professionally? At least with hockey there's no height requirement.

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