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SPHL Mississippi Surge Suspend Operations

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Old
05-02-2014, 09:23 PM
  #1
PredsFanFromla
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SPHL Mississippi Surge Suspend Operations

http://www.pointstreak.com/news_story.html?id=149329

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Old
05-03-2014, 12:02 AM
  #2
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Shame to hear. Know that Biloxi got hit hard by Katrina and the Surge filled a void after the ECHL left town, so sad that they couldn't stay for the long haul.

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05-03-2014, 10:28 AM
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Awww... that was one of my favorite markets for a hockey team. They did a good job filling in for the Sea Wolves, and were a pretty successful team.

This one I feel sad over.

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05-06-2014, 10:32 AM
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Thats ashame for the team and fans.

But this is also a little bit worrysome for the SPHL losing the Surge and Thunder, and although theres nothing rumored about them making a move I still don't think we are out of the realm of possibility of Peoria jumping back to the ECHL.

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05-06-2014, 03:48 PM
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Unless the gap is filled, Peoria to the Coast would be the best case scenario for both them and the league.

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05-07-2014, 12:37 PM
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paul-laus
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SPHL is turning into a complete joke of a league at this point. The loss of Augusta last year, and the loss of Blomington and Mississippi Surge this year completely undoes any positives that this league achieved by reaching the 10 team benchmark that they so desperately sought for the last few years. The fact that Winston Salem is looking at the Federal League over the SPHL even though the SPHL is in there backyard speaks volumes as well. The commissioner has often talked about this league ideally being a 10-12 team loop but sadly it seems to be two steps forward and two steps back with this league.

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05-08-2014, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul-laus View Post
SPHL is turning into a complete joke of a league at this point. The loss of Augusta last year, and the loss of Blomington and Mississippi Surge this year completely undoes any positives that this league achieved by reaching the 10 team benchmark that they so desperately sought for the last few years. The fact that Winston Salem is looking at the Federal League over the SPHL even though the SPHL is in there backyard speaks volumes as well. The commissioner has often talked about this league ideally being a 10-12 team loop but sadly it seems to be two steps forward and two steps back with this league.
Well ideally every metro over 250,000 would have a hockey team. If you're paying attention to stuff under the surface it's not that surprising... Augusta was run poorly, Bloomington-Peoria was an experiment (and I'm a little surprised Peoria is still sticking it out), and Biloxi was having trouble early. They still have a solid core of stable teams, which is a lot more than I can say about the FHL. Besides, the interest between them and W-S seems to be a little one-sided. At this point I really think they're just throwing tomatoes at walls and seeing what sticks.

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05-08-2014, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by paul-laus View Post
SPHL is turning into a complete joke of a league at this point. The loss of Augusta last year, and the loss of Blomington and Mississippi Surge this year completely undoes any positives that this league achieved by reaching the 10 team benchmark that they so desperately sought for the last few years. The fact that Winston Salem is looking at the Federal League over the SPHL even though the SPHL is in there backyard speaks volumes as well. The commissioner has often talked about this league ideally being a 10-12 team loop but sadly it seems to be two steps forward and two steps back with this league.


So what you're saying is, "I'm going to call the league a 'complete joke' based on: 1) a poorly run team with devastating arena issues; 2) a market that had their third name and third league in seven seasons couple with fans annoyed at management; and 3) a market that has just died and the team was poorly run."

And it's definitely the FHL looking at Winston-Salem more than it's Winston-Salem looking at the FHL. Honestly, if I were a decision maker in W-S, I probably would go with no hockey just based on the FHL and their own history and knowing the history of the ACHL/SEHL/SPHL in Winston-Salem. That market, despite the hardcores, is probably still wincing from how badly it was burned.

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05-09-2014, 11:00 AM
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[QUOTE=FrancoRussianAlaskan;84838321]

So what you're saying is, "I'm going to call the league a 'complete joke' based on: 1) a poorly run team with devastating arena issues; 2) a market that had their third name and third league in seven seasons couple with fans annoyed at management; and 3) a market that has just died and the team was poorly run."

When the league came into existence in the mid 2000's it was met with skepticism as other leagues had just failed miserably in the region- the WHA2, SEHL, and ACHL. Over its first 5 years it started to gain some traction as a league with some legitimacy and some pretty quality hockey as far as single A goes. Attendances also seemed quite good in markets like Fayeteville and Knoxville and the league had some stable ownerships for the most part. It was around this time that Combs started talking about what his vision was for the league. A ten-twelve team loop that was regional to keep costs down. 6 years have passed and this is still a "pipe dream" for the league. The consensus was that the league would do their due diligence and not rush into markets and would really take their time and do their homework with arenas and ownership to make sure that when markets came in, they were in it for the long haul.

Using that logic and rationale, it bothers me that the SPHL which had worked hard to build its name for itself as a legitimate league, jumped the gun and were so desperate to reach their coveted 10 team benchmark that the higher-ups put no forethought into bringing in the Bloomington and Peoria markets. The truth is, the league had stagnated in terms of expansion options in the South and took a shot in the dark and missed. Due diligence and taking your time making sure owners are committed? That's what you call Bloomington's "one and done"? I don't. That's got Central Hockey League desperation written all over it. You don't think with Bloomington having gone juniors now, that Peoria isn't desperately kicking tires with the ECHL and CHL to avoid being out on an island in the SPHL? That would bring the SPHL back down to 7 teams (back to 07-08 season number of teams) and disproportionate scheduling.......again.

With no likely expansion prospects coming for next season or they likely would have been announced by now, the SPHL looks to be sputtering. What were the attendance numbers like for Louisiana this year? Think they're in it for the long haul now with their biggest rival having folded? Doubt it. So I'm gonna stick to my little theory that this league is in fact becoming a joke.

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05-09-2014, 01:23 PM
  #10
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The league was not desperate. They were all set to proceed with eight teams when Bloomington and Peoria came to them.

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05-09-2014, 01:39 PM
  #11
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[QUOTE=paul-laus;84850627]
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrancoRussianAlaskan View Post
So what you're saying is, "I'm going to call the league a 'complete joke' based on: 1) a poorly run team with devastating arena issues; 2) a market that had their third name and third league in seven seasons couple with fans annoyed at management; and 3) a market that has just died and the team was poorly run."

When the league came into existence in the mid 2000's it was met with skepticism as other leagues had just failed miserably in the region- the WHA2, SEHL, and ACHL. Over its first 5 years it started to gain some traction as a league with some legitimacy and some pretty quality hockey as far as single A goes. Attendances also seemed quite good in markets like Fayeteville and Knoxville and the league had some stable ownerships for the most part. It was around this time that Combs started talking about what his vision was for the league. A ten-twelve team loop that was regional to keep costs down. 6 years have passed and this is still a "pipe dream" for the league. The consensus was that the league would do their due diligence and not rush into markets and would really take their time and do their homework with arenas and ownership to make sure that when markets came in, they were in it for the long haul.

Using that logic and rationale, it bothers me that the SPHL which had worked hard to build its name for itself as a legitimate league, jumped the gun and were so desperate to reach their coveted 10 team benchmark that the higher-ups put no forethought into bringing in the Bloomington and Peoria markets. The truth is, the league had stagnated in terms of expansion options in the South and took a shot in the dark and missed. Due diligence and taking your time making sure owners are committed? That's what you call Bloomington's "one and done"? I don't. That's got Central Hockey League desperation written all over it. You don't think with Bloomington having gone juniors now, that Peoria isn't desperately kicking tires with the ECHL and CHL to avoid being out on an island in the SPHL? That would bring the SPHL back down to 7 teams (back to 07-08 season number of teams) and disproportionate scheduling.......again.

With no likely expansion prospects coming for next season or they likely would have been announced by now, the SPHL looks to be sputtering. What were the attendance numbers like for Louisiana this year? Think they're in it for the long haul now with their biggest rival having folded? Doubt it. So I'm gonna stick to my little theory that this league is in fact becoming a joke.
This, of course, leaves out a lot of other material - that Fayetteville traded a goalie for a block of hotel rooms and once told their players to buy sticks, tape, and laces on their own; that five of the ten teams in the league drew under 3,000 fans per game last season; that the majority of the league doesn't see the need for media or community relations personnel on the team level; that teams don't see the need to provide information to the media that regularly covers them beyond stats; and that team personnel seem to think it is good professional conduct to post on message boards.

The SPHL is what it is: a low-budget pro hockey league run and staffed by rank amateurs.

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Old
05-09-2014, 03:19 PM
  #12
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Originally Posted by CrazyEddie20 View Post
The SPHL is what it is: a low-budget pro hockey league run and staffed by rank amateurs.
I think the league has been honest about that. I think they operate the way a Southern league is expected to operate. I don't expect much more than that from them. They don't advertise to expect more than that.

Complete joke? Absolutely not. Perhaps a reminder that you can't just go into a market and keep cutting your way to happiness... though you also can't just go into a market and spend your way to happiness. Minor pro hockey is still an exercise in survival.

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05-09-2014, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FrancoRussianAlaskan View Post
The league was not desperate. They were all set to proceed with eight teams when Bloomington and Peoria came to them.
Okay, let's go with your explanation. They were happy to proceed this past season with eight teams until Peoria and Bloomington came to them. They still in an act of either no forethought or desperation as I stated earlier, took them both on and look ridiculous a year later when Bloomington walks away from them and Peoria is likely on their way too. The higher ups shouldn't give some stupid explanation every offseason about not expanding for the next season because of wanting to do their due diligence and really make sure a new market works for them and doing their homework on the owner and then go ahead and bring in markets that the majority of people could have forseen wouldn't have worked. You really think that hockey fans in Peoria were going to support single A hockey after having triple A for years? You really think that fans from disillusioned Bloomington with their third different league in short order were gonna support a team with no historical rivalries other than Peoria. A year later it reeks of Central Hockey League like desperation......

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05-12-2014, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PCSPounder View Post
I think the league has been honest about that. I think they operate the way a Southern league is expected to operate. I don't expect much more than that from them. They don't advertise to expect more than that.

Complete joke? Absolutely not. Perhaps a reminder that you can't just go into a market and keep cutting your way to happiness... though you also can't just go into a market and spend your way to happiness. Minor pro hockey is still an exercise in survival.
I don't disagree that minor league hockey often winds up being survivalist in nature, and I definitely agree you can't either spend or cut your way into the black.

That said, the league purports to be "professional" but doesn't see any value in professionalism, which turns off fans and media alike, especially when the league comes into markets where fans, sponsors, and media outlets know what professionalism means.

One element of the value of any business that is frequently overlooked in minor league hockey and almost never overlooked in any other endeavor is goodwill. If you aren't familiar, the value of good will is the value of the business less the value of the assets. Successful teams build goodwill through good community relations practices and having a professional staff.

I've yet to see an SPHL team other than Peoria and Knoxville with a professional staff. Fayetteville can't be bothered to send game notes to their opponents and have three drunk fans broadcast their games on the internet. Memphis barely has a front office. It's the same around the league: a joke.

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Old
05-15-2014, 10:39 AM
  #15
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Originally Posted by FrancoRussianAlaskan View Post
The league was not desperate. They were all set to proceed with eight teams when Bloomington and Peoria came to them.
Says the Pensacola Ice Flyers PR department, toeing the company line...

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