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Central Hockey League - The Slow Spin Down the Bowl Continues

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12-09-2013, 03:40 PM
  #126
mfrerkes
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Originally Posted by Hank Moody View Post
Also, there is speculation that the people who own the Thunder also purchased the Tulsa franchise in an effort to turn them into a more successful team with a higher fan base, then sell the team for a profit in a few years.
If you look at Tulsa's attendance over the pasts several years, the picture is not an encouraging one. In 2008-09, it was averaging over 5400 per game. That's a pretty healthy figure in minor league hockey. Just a year later, that dropped to 4720. It has continued to drop every year since, sliding to 4166 last season.

So far this season, the CHL lists the Oilers at 4584 per game...but I've heard anecdotal evidence which suggests that published number is being padded by a significant margin. It's very likely Tulsa is drawing no more than they were last year, perhaps even less.

The Oilers are doing quite well on the ice, but that isn't exactly making a huge difference with respect to butts in the seats. Wichita may have a difficult time turning Tulsa back into some kind of profitable venture given the long slide in their attendance and the public's lack of response to a winning team right now.

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12-09-2013, 04:29 PM
  #127
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The ECHL has a ton of issues, imo.

9) Kalamazoo. Wings attendance continues to fall despite having some decent teams. Area has so many hockey options that fan base is fragmented among many teams. Future of Kwings is in the iffy category.
(Hopefully this is taken in the tone I mean it, no hostility here!) What are you referring to as other hockey options? Being from the West Michigan area, Kalamazoo is in a bit of a spot where you're an hour from any other hockey options, save for the NCAA Western Michigan Broncos. Professionally speaking, the Komets are in Ft Wayne, which is a little over an hour, the AHL in Grand Rapids is ~1 hour, and NHL in Detroit/Chicago are hour and a half to two hours away. The biggest factor I think in falling attendance is the fact that their arena is a complete dump in a not so great area. No one wants to travel there. Kalamazoo itself is kind of nestled away in its own little hockey bubble.

On a different note, as far as turnstile vs. announced attendance, those numbers will always be different. Announced attendance is typically either tickets sold or distributed (sold+freebies, promotions, etc.), whereas turnstile is just that, who actually showed up. Show rates are typically between 60%-75% of distributed tickets. Turnstile attendance should not be used as a measure of actual business performance, Really, attendance as a whole delivers a somewhat misleading view due to the fact that it doesn't factor in any sponsorship deals, and weighs heavily on purchasing factors you on the outside aren't aware of. A team can be drawing pitifully, but if some sponsor(s) spent an exorbitant amount on a package, the team could be sitting just fine in their current spot. A team could sell out a game, but from a business perspective, the revenues from those sales could be less than a game where only half the seats are full, based on promotions and what not. A lot of factors here at play that simple attendance numbers do not address or account for. Just my two cents into the pot.

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12-09-2013, 04:33 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by mfrerkes View Post

The Oilers are doing quite well on the ice, but that isn't exactly making a huge difference with respect to butts in the seats. Wichita may have a difficult time turning Tulsa back into some kind of profitable venture given the long slide in their attendance and the public's lack of response to a winning team right now.
Minor league sports are a bit of a misnomer in this regard, as attendance rarely has much to do with actual on-field (ice, court, etc) performance. People attend as an entertainment option. Ask minor league marketers and promotions directors who they target. None will come back and say fans of their respective sport. The fans of the sport will come. They often target area families, specifically the moms who hold the purchasing power. Make Mom happy, and the family will come back.

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12-09-2013, 06:30 PM
  #129
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(Hopefully this is taken in the tone I mean it, no hostility here!) What are you referring to as other hockey options? Being from the West Michigan area, Kalamazoo is in a bit of a spot where you're an hour from any other hockey options, save for the NCAA Western Michigan Broncos. Professionally speaking, the Komets are in Ft Wayne, which is a little over an hour, the AHL in Grand Rapids is ~1 hour, and NHL in Detroit/Chicago are hour and a half to two hours away. The biggest factor I think in falling attendance is the fact that their arena is a complete dump in a not so great area. No one wants to travel there. Kalamazoo itself is kind of nestled away in its own little hockey bubble.

On a different note, as far as turnstile vs. announced attendance, those numbers will always be different. Announced attendance is typically either tickets sold or distributed (sold+freebies, promotions, etc.), whereas turnstile is just that, who actually showed up. Show rates are typically between 60%-75% of distributed tickets. Turnstile attendance should not be used as a measure of actual business performance, Really, attendance as a whole delivers a somewhat misleading view due to the fact that it doesn't factor in any sponsorship deals, and weighs heavily on purchasing factors you on the outside aren't aware of. A team can be drawing pitifully, but if some sponsor(s) spent an exorbitant amount on a package, the team could be sitting just fine in their current spot. A team could sell out a game, but from a business perspective, the revenues from those sales could be less than a game where only half the seats are full, based on promotions and what not. A lot of factors here at play that simple attendance numbers do not address or account for. Just my two cents into the pot.
No hostility sensed

With respect to Kzoo, WMU is the primary "competitor" along with high school hockey. The Wings present competition via the television.

To your point which I've "bolded", I guess I am skeptical about your claim. If a team is distributing tons of freebees (or an exhorbitant amount to sponsors), then perhaps. A show rate of 75% of paid tickets seems very low to me.

My experience shows me that announced attendance accuracy varies considerably between franchises. The Dayton Bombers used to announce near a 4000 average. After they folded, the true numbers came out. Approximately 2000 were in the seats for these games, and of those 2000, about half were paid. The Fort Wayne Komets lie like rugs on their announced figures. Toledo announced figures are reasonable. The Cincinnati Cyclones announce actual attendance in the seats (I predict almost every announced figure within 100-200 of announced). The Florida Everblades inflate their figures badly. These are just a few examples out of my experience.

Until one goes to games in an arena and has an opportunity to gauge announced figures, reliance upon published attendance figures to judge the health of a franchise isn't a very reliable method. However, if one goes to games and sees poor attendance on a regular basis, it's fair to conclude that the franchise is not doing well. I doubt that there are very many "sugar daddy" sponsors in minor league hockey who pay so much that attendance doesn't matter. I'm sure that there is an odd situation in the lower minors (everything other than the AHL) where attendance isn't very important to the viability of the franchise, but that situation would be the exception rather than the rule.


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12-09-2013, 06:51 PM
  #130
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To your point which I've "bolded", I guess I am skeptical about your claim. If a team is distributing tons of freebees (or an exhorbitant amount to sponsors), then perhaps. A show rate of 75% of paid tickets seems very low to me.

My experience shows me that announced attendance accuracy varies considerably between franchises. The Dayton Bombers used to announce near a 4000 average. After they folded, the true numbers came out. Approximately 2000 were in the seats for these games, and of those 2000, about half were paid. The Fort Wayne Komets lie like rugs on their announced figures. Toledo announced figures are reasonable. The Cincinnati Cyclones announce actual attendance in the seats (I predict almost every announced figure within 100-200 of announced). The Florida Everblades inflate their figures badly. These are just a few examples out of my experience.

Until one goes to games in an arena and has an opportunity to gauge announced figures, reliance upon published attendance figures to judge the health of a franchise isn't a very reliable method. However, if one goes to games and sees poor attendance on a regular basis, it's fair to conclude that the franchise is not doing well. I doubt that there are very many "sugar daddy" sponsors in minor league hockey who pay so much that attendance doesn't matter. I'm sure that there is an odd situation in the lower minors (everything other than the AHL) where attendance isn't very important to the viability of the franchise, but that situation would be the exception rather than the rule.
Attendance numbers from team to team are so diverse on what the report actually means. I can't speak for every team, and I think we'd all agree in reading previous post that I generalized quite a bit. Forgive me for being vague, but for a minor league team I'm familiar with, the season ticket holders don't show very well, especially later in the season. Now, there are factors here on why, but in August and late July, season tickets pretty much stop coming. It still continues to blow my mind at the amount of people that have paid for tickets to games and choose not to go for whatever reason.

That all said, I don't mean to go on record as saying all these CHL teams are doing just fine or even disagree with anyone here. In fact, it kind of surprises me how these leagues manage to stay afloat playing hockey in the cities they are in, with travel that they have, and so forth. I just wanted to point out that attendance isn't necessarily the best measure.

Lastly, sponsorships done well pay a lot more bills at these levels than I anticipated. Again, not saying they are supporting all the teams here, but a handful of sponsors can go a long way.

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12-10-2013, 09:28 AM
  #131
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Serious question for everyone, because this is brought up a lot. No-shows and comps are a part of professional sports. So, for the sake of clarity, these samples are extreme...

a) You SELL 4,000 tickets but only 2,000 people show up.

b) You SELL 2,000 tickets, GIVE AWAY 2,000 tickets and 4,000 people show up....

What should the announced attendance be for those respective games?

If you say a) 2,000 and b) 4,000....doesn't this skew perceived revenue?

If you say a) 4,000 and b) 2,000....doesn't this skew crowd size?

If you say a) 4,000 and b) 4,000....doesn't this skew both?

So what should the standard be in everyone's opinion? How should 'a' & 'b' be announced in your collective books?

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12-10-2013, 10:42 AM
  #132
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Originally Posted by LippinOff View Post
Serious question for everyone, because this is brought up a lot. No-shows and comps are a part of professional sports. So, for the sake of clarity, these samples are extreme...

a) You SELL 4,000 tickets but only 2,000 people show up.

b) You SELL 2,000 tickets, GIVE AWAY 2,000 tickets and 4,000 people show up....

What should the announced attendance be for those respective games?

If you say a) 2,000 and b) 4,000....doesn't this skew perceived revenue?

If you say a) 4,000 and b) 2,000....doesn't this skew crowd size?

If you say a) 4,000 and b) 4,000....doesn't this skew both?

So what should the standard be in everyone's opinion? How should 'a' & 'b' be announced in your collective books?
That's a difficult question--I would honestly go with the higher number, whatever it is. If you've actually sold 4,000, but only half show up, congrats--you have 4,000 peoples' worth of money! If you sell 2,000 and comp the other 2,000, then congrats--you've got 4,000 people buying concessions and making the arena less annoyed at you for hogging up another day that could be spent bringing in more money with a Keith Urban concert.

Of course I wouldn't give away 2,000 tickets, but I'm snowed in out in the boonies and not owning a hockey team, so what do I know

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12-10-2013, 11:18 AM
  #133
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So what should the standard be in everyone's opinion? How should 'a' & 'b' be announced in your collective books?
I don't know that there needs to be a standard. Even if every team gave accurate counts in terms of tickets actually sold (not comped) and published a companion butts-in-seats number...attendance figures still wouldn't provide adequate proof of financial viability.

External factors like revenue-per-ticket, parking/concession proceeds, lease costs, travel costs, and even staffing levels/compensation are huge drivers on the balance sheet. Nobody knows exactly what those variables are with every team. Even so, some owners have shown a willingness to take losses (think Port Huron in the IHL/UHL) while others cut at the very first sign of trouble (think Eric Karls, QC Mallards) despite making proclamations about having deep pockets.

There is no way to know precisely what teams are in big trouble and what teams can "skate" along with seemingly sub-standard attendance year after year. That's what makes all this attendance talk so entertaining. It's a nebulous world of statistics, comparisons, and random uncertainty.

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12-10-2013, 11:24 AM
  #134
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I don't know that there needs to be a standard. Even if every team gave accurate counts in terms of tickets actually sold (not comped) and published a companion butts-in-seats number...attendance figures still wouldn't provide adequate proof of financial viability.

External factors like revenue-per-ticket, parking/concession proceeds, lease costs, travel costs, and even staffing levels/compensation are huge drivers on the balance sheet. Nobody knows exactly what those variables are with every team. Even so, some owners have shown a willingness to take losses (think Port Huron in the IHL/UHL) while others cut at the very first sign of trouble (think Eric Karls, QC Mallards) despite making proclamations about having deep pockets.

There is no way to know precisely what teams are in big trouble and what teams can "skate" along with seemingly sub-standard attendance year after year. That's what makes all this attendance talk so entertaining. It's a nebulous world of statistics, comparisons, and random uncertainty.
This. mfrerkes has so eloquently put into words what I tried to say with much less success. Even if there was some attempt to standardize publicized attendance numbers, there would still be such a margin of disparity on what was reported that I don't think it would help much.

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12-10-2013, 11:42 AM
  #135
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This. mfrerkes has so eloquently put into words what I tried to say with much less success. Even if there was some attempt to standardize publicized attendance numbers, there would still be such a margin of disparity on what was reported that I don't think it would help much.
Unfortunately, it's usually the anecdotal stuff (staffers not getting paid, curious and abrupt front office departures, etc.) which more accurately signals an impending fold. Attendance is only an imprecise barometer for such things, and not the actual reality.

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12-10-2013, 04:46 PM
  #136
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I don't know that there needs to be a standard. Even if every team gave accurate counts in terms of tickets actually sold (not comped) and published a companion butts-in-seats number...attendance figures still wouldn't provide adequate proof of financial viability.
The MLB used to do this years ago in their boxscores. Sold tickets (and probably comped tickets) followed by a turnstyle number. I believe this was in the days of one of the strikes when there were an astonishingly large amount of no-shows. It would still be imperfect for the many reasons you stated, but at least closer to what we see now.

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12-11-2013, 11:18 AM
  #137
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The ECHL has a ton of issues, imo.

My list (in no particular order) of trouble ECHL franchises and projections for each:

1) Wheeling. Almost folded two years ago. Attendance keeps slipping. Area is economically depressed and interest in hockey has been waning for years. One more year after this season at most.

2) Elmira. Attendance is now being reported more honestly and is way down. Market just seems too small to support AA. Probably on same time frame as Wheeling

3) Reading. City purchased team a few years ago and now wants to sell. Attendance on strong downward trend. City of Reading has a 3rd world population which won't support hockey. The team in Allentown (AHL) which is taking the ice next season won't help things one bit.

Note: These 3 teams constitute a division. Trenton and Johnstown have already failed in the region and geographical isolation for Elmira and Reading is already problematic.

4) San Franciso. A bad idea to begin with. Announced attendance already sub 2000 more often than not. Could go after this season...though I have nothing to cite for this feeling.

5) Greenville. Road Warriors haven't drawn flies since the relocation from Johnstown. Deep pockets owner only thing keeping ship afloat.

6) South Carolina. Attendance keeps dropping. With folding of Columbia, Augusta and Pee Dee, SC has become a bit of a geographical outpost as well. Days appear to be numbered. A when not if.

7) Florida. Team and arena for sale. Announced attendance is a fiction. Once a bright light in all of minor league hockey, the franchise has lost its lustre and is firmly entrenched in a downward trend.

8) Stockton. Once among the league leaders in attendance (driven by freebees), the Thunder is now attracting in the announced 4000 range. The trend is awful, the city is a sewer. Always felt that the guy who bought the team a few years ago didn't do his due dilligence. The clock is ticking on this team.

9) Kalamazoo. Wings attendance continues to fall despite having some decent teams. Area has so many hockey options that fan base is fragmented among many teams. Future of Kwings is in the iffy category.

10) Las Vegas. The Wranglers have a rough market given a few alternative entertainment choices Rumors of an NHL franchise or NBA franchise continue. Would think that someday one of these leagues will give Vegas a shot. I would project the fate of the Wranglers to be similar to the Oklahoma City Barons should the NBA come to LV. If the NHL comes, then it's instant el foldo.

Others with potential problems on the horizon:

Utah and Idaho are outposts which don't draw particularly well. Gwinnett had nobody in the stands when I was there for the playoffs last season. Orlando's attendance is greatly inflated (4755 was the actual turnstile count compared to announced average of in the mid 6000s). My rooting team, the Cincinnati Cyclones, operations are completely dependent upon the success (or lack) of overall operation of the owners of US Bank Arena which owns the team. They are a very small piece in a much bigger equation.

At some point, I can't see the stronger teams in the CHL not coming under the ECHL banner. The ECHL may gain potential eastern markets if some of those markets lose AHL teams to western markets.

All said, it's a very challenging environment for AA hockey. It's been in a secular downtrend for a while and I don't this trend as being finished. I see more franchises folding in the next 10 years than I see emerging in new markets. It will be interesting to see if the SPHL tries to pick off a lot of the failing AA markets.

As stated earlier, I hope my pessimism is wrong and that AA hockey markets (as a whole) start to stabilize and that there are growth opportunities which I don't see.
From what i heard From elmira the team under the new owner is stable with the new owner money wise.

there is also a talk of Reading folding do to being up for sale .The city of reading has been constructing a new industrial park and has announced that Coke and a new subdivision of Penske Racing is moving in summer of 2014 . It been projected to provide 20 thousand jobs over the next five years for the county. Plus with Reading also building a new shopping district and a convention center near the hockey arena . Reading should be able to support the team.

As for the wheeling looks like it is failing

the capitals are looking to move a AA team into baltimore witch also would help the teams in the north east

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12-11-2013, 11:24 AM
  #138
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I don't think there will ever be an effective way to measure the financial stability of any franchise. Although there are usually signs that point to whether a franchise is in trouble or not. Such as sudden departures, or things like Arena management frustration, late bills, ect. Usually though we hear about how bad the team's book keeping was after the fold like Trenton this past year who didn't even pay their charity organizations.

While we can use attendance as one measure of a team's success it is not, nor will ever be accurate at any level of any sport. But usually we can determine that if a team's attendance is low on the stats section, they are not in the greatest shape or are looking a rough future if it isn't turned around. That said even teams with "good" attendance figures are not always safe from things like relocation... look at Houston lost their franchise due to arena lease negotiations, the arena owner didn't think hockey was necessary and the Wild were forced to move the franchise.

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12-11-2013, 03:34 PM
  #139
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Originally Posted by Royalsflagrunner77 View Post
From what i heard From elmira the team under the new owner is stable with the new owner money wise.

there is also a talk of Reading folding do to being up for sale .The city of reading has been constructing a new industrial park and has announced that Coke and a new subdivision of Penske Racing is moving in summer of 2014 . It been projected to provide 20 thousand jobs over the next five years for the county. Plus with Reading also building a new shopping district and a convention center near the hockey arena . Reading should be able to support the team.

As for the wheeling looks like it is failing

the capitals are looking to move a AA team into baltimore witch also would help the teams in the north east
Either Monumental Sports LLC has to build a new arena prior to getting any franchise, AA, or not, because 1st Mariner Arena no longer has ice, with the propensity of Verizon Center hosting those type of events, unless they buy the Royals.

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12-11-2013, 08:23 PM
  #140
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From what i heard From elmira the team under the new owner is stable with the new owner money wise.

there is also a talk of Reading folding do to being up for sale .The city of reading has been constructing a new industrial park and has announced that Coke and a new subdivision of Penske Racing is moving in summer of 2014 . It been projected to provide 20 thousand jobs over the next five years for the county. Plus with Reading also building a new shopping district and a convention center near the hockey arena . Reading should be able to support the team.

As for the wheeling looks like it is failing

the capitals are looking to move a AA team into baltimore witch also would help the teams in the north east
Sources?

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12-11-2013, 08:55 PM
  #141
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From what i heard From elmira the team under the new owner is stable with the new owner money wise.
I had forgotten that the Afrs were out of both the arena operation and team ownership. That's very good news.

If nothing else, this should buy the team some time.

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12-11-2013, 09:08 PM
  #142
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I don't think there will ever be an effective way to measure the financial stability of any franchise.

While we can use attendance as one measure of a team's success it is not, nor will ever be accurate at any level of any sport. But usually we can determine that if a team's attendance is low on the stats section, they are not in the greatest shape or are looking a rough future if it isn't turned around.
Agreed on all points.

I do think that large differences between announced and actual attendance help in one's analysis of a team. When I've been in arenas which don't even have 2000 in them and the announced figure has been 4000, it's always been a very good sign of trouble on the horizon. It's not too hard to tell if a team's announced figures deviate wildly from actual figures. Anyone who has ever gone to a game in Dayton (Bombers, Gems or Demonz....all the same) or watched the pre-suspension Cincinnati Cyclones or now defunct AHL Cincinnati Mighty Ducks can attest to this. LOL

I've always figured that the motivation for the "juicing" of attendance figures is to deceive: 1) Sponsors or potential sponsors in order to drive up sponsorship fees 2) Media outlets so that the team gets more coverage
3) Potential owners/minority investors into believing that a market/team's finances are much more solid than they actually are.

There are probably many more reasons, but these are three that make sense to me and deceit is at the core of all of them.

At the NHL level, I doubt that one needs to look no further than stubhub.com to get a very good gauge of a franchise's health. When one can score $50+ seats for $6-7 on a regular basis (like I can do for the Columbus Blue Jackets), it's hardly a reach to surmise that the team is losing a ton of money. Minor league hockey offers no such gauge, but I've found that arenas where a lot of seats (generally comps) are being given away or sold for next to nothing outside the arena is not a very healthy sign.

But, like you and others have stated, there is no foolproof way to determine how a minor league team is really doing financially. The speculation of how franchises are doing, what their real attendances are and projection of their future fates can almost be as fun as the games themselves, imo


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12-11-2013, 10:00 PM
  #143
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Sources?
sorry sorces for elmira Echl.com
Sources for Reading readingeagle.com
69news.com

Capitals baltimore rumors form capitals forum @ facebook.com

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12-12-2013, 07:48 AM
  #144
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sorry sorces for elmira Echl.com
Sources for Reading readingeagle.com
69news.com

Capitals baltimore rumors form capitals forum @ facebook.com

The Washington Capitals?

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12-13-2013, 08:38 PM
  #145
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Well I just came back from my first Brampton Beast game, well, period. There were definitely less than 1000 people in the crowd with one side of the rink almost empty. I was of about 100 people who only came because a kid in my family was playing timbits hockey during the first intermission or singing the national anthems. I had my 10 month old with me so we stayed only until I watched my nephew play in the timbits game and then had to go.

The quality of hockey itself was ok, I would have liked to stay for the rest and may consider going again. The arena experience was average. They installed a good replay scoreboard as a plus vs. the OHL, but the arena announcer was poor, ex. "Starting on forward... Also starting on forward..." Rather than LW, c, rw. Decent job with crowd participation things between whistles.

I want the franchise to succeed enough to jump to the ECHL but I think it'd take an affiliation with the Leafs for the team to survive.

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12-13-2013, 09:34 PM
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Well they posted the attendance of the Brampton at over 2,500 - being generous for the holiday season?

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12-13-2013, 11:00 PM
  #147
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Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
Either Monumental Sports LLC has to build a new arena prior to getting any franchise, AA, or not, because 1st Mariner Arena no longer has ice, with the propensity of Verizon Center hosting those type of events, unless they buy the Royals.
...except they've been hosting an annual Caps exhibition game. The bigger issue with Baltimore was the possibility of them getting a new arena, which I haven't heard about in a while.

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12-13-2013, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by AceFace905 View Post
...except they've been hosting an annual Caps exhibition game. The bigger issue with Baltimore was the possibility of them getting a new arena, which I haven't heard about in a while.
yeah, but those are just tht, exhibition games, and with the proximity of the numerous facilities, even in VA, iT'S DOUBTFUL that the ice even exists in Baltimore, even now that Washington has no intention of higher level hockey, since it enjoys the relationship w/ Hershey, and has since '05; Baltimore's return to hockey at any level is just tht, is it too close to Washington and if the Caps aren't involved at some level, is there enough of a fanbase to support an ECHL Franchise if one arrives in Baltimore, similar to what Anaheim tried w/ the Bandits until selling to the group in Cincinnati, which then, opens up the issue of the Cyclones and their on and off history, throw in Norfolk not too far away from DC as well, will a Baltimore franchise be "ignored", BC there's too many other hockey options, that's why I'm wondering if Washington is investigating the option of buying Reading, since they already serve as their affiliate.

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12-14-2013, 01:42 PM
  #149
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Originally Posted by SenorChifles View Post
Well they posted the attendance of the Brampton at over 2,500 - being generous for the holiday season?
Definitely no chance they were near that. I can believe they sold that many tickets, but lots of no shows.

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12-14-2013, 03:21 PM
  #150
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Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
yeah, but those are just tht, exhibition games, and with the proximity of the numerous facilities, even in VA, iT'S DOUBTFUL that the ice even exists in Baltimore, even now that Washington has no intention of higher level hockey, since it enjoys the relationship w/ Hershey, and has since '05; Baltimore's return to hockey at any level is just tht, is it too close to Washington and if the Caps aren't involved at some level, is there enough of a fanbase to support an ECHL Franchise if one arrives in Baltimore, similar to what Anaheim tried w/ the Bandits until selling to the group in Cincinnati, which then, opens up the issue of the Cyclones and their on and off history, throw in Norfolk not too far away from DC as well, will a Baltimore franchise be "ignored", BC there's too many other hockey options, that's why I'm wondering if Washington is investigating the option of buying Reading, since they already serve as their affiliate.
It exists in the arena, but it's terrible, and I agree unless they bring in a full-time hockey team nobody's going to put the money in to fix it--and, again, if they did, would it be more worth their while to fix the ice to a regularly playable standard, or wait until a new building is built?

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