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St. Clair Shores, MI to FHL


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#41 minor life

 

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 05:21 AM

ECHL is only slightly more expensive than USHL.  News outlets have limited resources.  They arent spending money traveling past their local team in GR, then past Kzoo to finally get to BC unless you are a contracted advertiser.  Thats just how it works everywhere.  Advertising feeds the news room, without it, there is no one filing stories. 


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#42 kwey24

 

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:12 PM

A few years back, the USHL teams were operating in budgets between $1.2 million and $2.0 million.  That hasn't gone down.  I haven't seen any numbers from this season from a reliable source.  At that same time a few years back (about four years ago), average ECHL budgets were $2.5 million.    The big differences between most USHL teams and ECHL teams are arena rent, as many ECHL teams are in arenas more along the lines of what Sioux City and Green Bay play in and not the more standard USHL arenas of 3,000 to 4,000 seats (sometimes less).  There are the player salaries and other different costs with your players actually being employees.  ECHL teams tend to have slightly larger staffs, but not by a lot.  MinorLife might have better numbers, but there are a number of USHL head coaching gigs that are right on par with or superior to ECHL head coaching gigs.  There's a reason very few USHL head coaches move to the ECHL (and it should also be telling why Anthony Noreen moved from Youngstown to the ECHL, although that didn't turn out well).  Outside of an NHL coaching gig, AHL head coaching gig, NCAA DI head coaching gig, and many major junior head coaching gigs, there's no place better to be than the USHL (especially considering the cost of living in most USHL markets).  A smart USHL team is going to be spending quite a bit more on scouting than an ECHL team, too.  There were some USHL teams ahead of the curve on this 10 years ago and more are starting to invest similar figures. 

 

Now, USHL teams spend a fair amount less on housing than ECHL teams.  While billets get paid a little more than they used to, it's a lot less than paying for an apartment and utilities that meets PHPA standards.  You don't make money as a family billeting a player (if you're feeding them properly).

 

I'd still be inclined to estimate a USHL team is still $500,000 to $1 million less per year than most ECHL teams to operate. But, it used to be that almost every USHL team was $1 million less.  Now, that's not so.

 

It used to be that USHL budgets and SPHL budgets were kind of close, but the USHL is a fair amount ahead now (despite the SPHLers getting paid). The SPHL teams aren't in the same arms race against each other like the USHL teams.  The fight for legitimate NHL prospects is intense.  If you play a full season in the USHL, it's basically certain that you could at least play in the SPHL someday unless you really blow it. The ECHL is littered with USHLers who had average USHL careers (and move on and played NCAA DI hockey).  The SPHL has plenty of former USHLers.  Cole Gunner plays in the Fed because it works out with his Air Force stationing.  He could play in the SPHL without a shadow of a doubt. 

 

Then there's the Federal League, which is quite a bit less than the SPHL.  There are a lot less horror stories in the Fed than there used to be, thankfully. 

 

In terms of Battle Creek: TV advertising would be a huge mistake.  If you're doing ad buys, focus on radio, and make sure your getting out in the community, and be active and professional with your social media.  If paying a Grand Rapids station to come to announcement of your team (the announcement of it's existence), I would pay that, though.  Having TV there for the press announcement would be important, I'll grant that.

 

MinorLife: It's my belief that Battle Creek would average 500 fans per game in Year One in the Fed, would you agree? (Which is less than what the Revs were doing.)  It'd be my hope that that's fairly conservative, but I don't see immediate buy-in to the level the Revs were at at the end of their AAHL existence.  It would be great if BC average 650 per game, but that could be optimistic.

 

That 500 or so is basically what Danville started out with in Year One.  Over time, slowly, like Danville, I think Battle Creek could build to 850 to 900 per game (which is about all you'll fit in The Rink).  Those numbers would be on pace to be below the FHL average, which should tick over 1,000 fans per game soon.  Danville should be over 1,000 per game again, Danbury should continue to tick up back over 1,000, hopefully Port Huron stays above 1,000, Watertown should start to approach 1,000, and I anticipate Carolina is going to quickly surge to the top of the FHL in attendance.  If Cornwall operates on par with most of the rest of the FHL next year, I think it'll approach 1,000 soon and eventually surpass.  Berlin can't fit many more than 600 per game...they need to expand their rink.  Berlin needs what Watertown has. 

 

Now, these aren't huge numbers. But, in the history of Single A hockey not named the SPHL--which definitely is the equivalent of High A now--what the Fed has pulled off is exceptional. 



#43 minor life

 

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 05:26 AM

Kwey,  your budget numbers are off quite a bit.  USHL staffing requirments alone place budgets in the 2 million range on average.  Housing of players at the pro level is sometimes cheaper than billeting at junior.  Apartments are usually at least a partial trade, if not a full trade for advertising.  We had a trade in BC, and those costs were minimal.

 

I do not see BC averaging more than 200 for FHL.  The neutral site game only brought in 70 people.  A radio buy is also out of Grand Rapids.  Radio return numbers across the industry have been in decline for more than 5 years.  Sirius has taken a big chunk of the market and it becomes less effective every day. 

 

I certainly appreciate the optimism for BC, but having been there, and still visiting the area often, there is no way it works.  There are markets that might work in Michigan, but again, if you do not know the market, and do not have someone local involved, its not likely to happen.  The why of BC actually happening is because new arena owners have no clue what they are doing.


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#44 Mr Ricochet

 

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 08:22 AM

ECHL is only slightly more expensive than USHL.  News outlets have limited resources.  They arent spending money traveling past their local team in GR, then past Kzoo to finally get to BC unless you are a contracted advertiser.  Thats just how it works everywhere.  Advertising feeds the news room, without it, there is no one filing stories. 

 

This question.  Do hockey teams pay news outlets to cover them?


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#45 Mr Ricochet

 

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 08:30 AM

.  There's a reason very few USHL head coaches move to the ECHL (and it should also be telling why Anthony Noreen moved from Youngstown to the ECHL, although that didn't turn out well).  .

 


 

 

 

Curious why you say Noreen hasn't worked out in the ECHL?   I looked him up and last year his Orlando club went 33-30-9 and this year he went 36-26-10 and is up 2-1 in round 1 of the ECHL playoffs........  http://www.hockeydb.....php?pid=109206

 

Really great to hear you post the FHL arrow is pointing up.  A fun affordable brand of hockey.


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#46 minor life

 

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 09:43 AM

 

ECHL is only slightly more expensive than USHL.  News outlets have limited resources.  They arent spending money traveling past their local team in GR, then past Kzoo to finally get to BC unless you are a contracted advertiser.  Thats just how it works everywhere.  Advertising feeds the news room, without it, there is no one filing stories. 

 

This question.  Do hockey teams pay news outlets to cover them?

 

 

You don't have to pay to get coverage, but if you aren't a paying customer, you aren't getting coverage in most markets.  New outlets need advertising to exist.  If you don't buy, then they have no reason to incur expenses to cover you, and they sure aren't going to go out of their way to cover you without getting paid for it.


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#47 hydrogyrum

 

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:04 AM

 

ECHL is only slightly more expensive than USHL.  News outlets have limited resources.  They arent spending money traveling past their local team in GR, then past Kzoo to finally get to BC unless you are a contracted advertiser.  Thats just how it works everywhere.  Advertising feeds the news room, without it, there is no one filing stories. 

 

This question.  Do hockey teams pay news outlets to cover them?

 

 

Yes, Rico. Yes, yes, yes. And yes.

 

The most recent Reader's Digest has an article about dogs and cats. Following it is an ad for flea/lice medicine for dogs. This ad placement is not accidental.

 

Companies placing ads in print media specify where their ads will be placed. The publishers will comply if they want that "media broker"'s money. I taught this to my freshman composition students; another DII professor could not believe that this happened!

 

For 3 years, the Lumberjacks did not remove signage from its scoreboard advertising a local West Michigan (Grand Rapids MI) TV station. During this time, said TV station uttered not a word about the Jacks. Why? Because the Muskegon Jacks did not give 'em some loot.

 

The "fourth estate" (journalism/TV/media/et al) does not cover events unless they get some loot.



#48 hydrogyrum

 

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 10:15 AM

...  News outlets have limited resources.  They arent spending money traveling past their local team in GR, then past Kzoo to finally get to BC unless you are a contracted advertiser.  Thats just how it works everywhere.  Advertising feeds the news room, without it, there is no one filing stories. 

In West Michigan, the "media" pour money into meteorologists. This way, they can pay for the weather-people's salaries and not cut checks for real journalists.

 

If you watch a local news show in West Michigan, you'll learn a great deal about the weather down in Idaho and Missouri, but you won't learn anything about what's happening in West Michigan. It's because the TV stations are trying to pay for their plethora of meteorologists (i.e., they overspent on weathergirls/boys and give them jobs), while West Michigan viewers would really, really, really like to know what's going on.

 

To supply that info, it takes journalists--not meteorologists. So, we must rely on social media to get the real news, even though social media is often spun. Thanks to the TV stations in West MIchigan, we learn a great deal about weather conditions in Missouri, Idaho, Oklahoma, etc.

 

We only hear a few seconds' worth about sports and real news from West Michigan TV stations' news.



#49 TcFlint

 

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:04 PM

 

ECHL is only slightly more expensive than USHL.  News outlets have limited resources.  They arent spending money traveling past their local team in GR, then past Kzoo to finally get to BC unless you are a contracted advertiser.  Thats just how it works everywhere.  Advertising feeds the news room, without it, there is no one filing stories. 

 

This question.  Do hockey teams pay news outlets to cover them?

 

I certainly wish Battle Creek the best, but don't see them getting much media coverage.  Flint in the OHL is in a much different situation with 4 television stations in the market and a local newspaper.  I am not sure if the team pays for their advertising or not.  Flint is having their Orientation Camp this weekend after having the draft a couple of weeks ago.  Check out the Flint Firebirds site to see the local coverage for their draft a couple weeks ago, the naming of a new G.M. and their orientation camp this weekend:

 

http://flintfirebirds.com/


Edited by TcFlint, 22 April 2017 - 03:07 PM.

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#50 kwey24

 

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:19 AM

 

.  There's a reason very few USHL head coaches move to the ECHL (and it should also be telling why Anthony Noreen moved from Youngstown to the ECHL, although that didn't turn out well).  .

 


 

 

 

Curious why you say Noreen hasn't worked out in the ECHL?   I looked him up and last year his Orlando club went 33-30-9 and this year he went 36-26-10 and is up 2-1 in round 1 of the ECHL playoffs........  http://www.hockeydb.....php?pid=109206

 

 

 

 

Because he was fired 11 games into the season this year.



#51 kwey24

 

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 02:50 PM

Kwey,  your budget numbers are off quite a bit.  USHL staffing requirments alone place budgets in the 2 million range on average.  Housing of players at the pro level is sometimes cheaper than billeting at junior.  Apartments are usually at least a partial trade, if not a full trade for advertising.  We had a trade in BC, and those costs were minimal.

 

I do not see BC averaging more than 200 for FHL.  The neutral site game only brought in 70 people.  A radio buy is also out of Grand Rapids.  Radio return numbers across the industry have been in decline for more than 5 years.  Sirius has taken a big chunk of the market and it becomes less effective every day. 

 

I certainly appreciate the optimism for BC, but having been there, and still visiting the area often, there is no way it works.  There are markets that might work in Michigan, but again, if you do not know the market, and do not have someone local involved, its not likely to happen.  The why of BC actually happening is because new arena owners have no clue what they are doing.

I'm not sure you read my post as I intended.  I did say a few years ago that USHL budgets were in the $1.2 million to $2.0 million range, but those certainly weren't the numbers I was holding to now. 

 

Are you saying my estimates of USHL budgets tending to lag $500,000 to $1 million behind ECHL is off? 

 

Staffing for most USHL teams is not going to be higher than most ECHL teams.  The "front office" of most USHL teams is numbered at 6 to 10 people, with a good number closer to the former than the latter.  Most are not highly paid and it's why there's typically a fair amount of staff turnover amongst USHL teams.  My experience is that most ECHL teams have a handful more front office people than USHL teams.  The pay of the coaches will not be greatly different (edge to USHL head coaches for the most part, though), but the scouting will be higher with the USHL, that is true.  That said, a USHL scouting budget isn't going to completely offset the higher arena costs that ECHL teams deal with, the workers' compensation insurance, and then there's the health insurance and such that the ECHL teams pay for their players that USHL teams don't, and I'd expect an ECHL team to have to pay more in state unemployment insurance taxes (players are employees, and in most states pro athletes such as hockey players are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits in season--this is why it's important for leagues like the ECHL to have very specifically declared season starts and season ends).  There are other things that ECHL teams pay for, such as travel before and after the season for players to come and go back home, or even during the season.  There's nothing particular about travel in the USHL that should make it cost more than the ECHL, especially since the ECHL plays a longer season.  Then, of course, the players in the ECHL are paid. 

 

MinorLife,I guess I'd be interested in hearing your numbers and learn what the USHL teams are spending so much more money on than ECHL teams that I'm seemingly unaware of, aside from scouting.  Again, there are a number of things built into the ECHL model that are going to more than offset that difference by quite a bit. 



#52 Mr Ricochet

 

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 03:52 PM

 

 

.  There's a reason very few USHL head coaches move to the ECHL (and it should also be telling why Anthony Noreen moved from Youngstown to the ECHL, although that didn't turn out well).  .

 


 

 

 

Curious why you say Noreen hasn't worked out in the ECHL?   I looked him up and last year his Orlando club went 33-30-9 and this year he went 36-26-10 and is up 2-1 in round 1 of the ECHL playoffs........  http://www.hockeydb.....php?pid=109206

 

 

 

 

Because he was fired 11 games into the season this year.

 

 

Well that's enough proof for me Noreen hasn't worked out, getting fired.  ......His teams were fun to watch in the USHL, that's for sure. 


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#53 minor life

 

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 05:37 PM

Coaches in the USHL get paid a lot more than the average ECHL coach that would be the first one.  Staffing requirements under USAH rules and the salaries that come with those positions are a lot higher than ECHL, and greater in number.  Scouting budgets are far greater in the USHL than the ECHL likely ten times as big.  Arena rents are similar, and many of the other costs are similar.  Where the ECHL over takes the USHL budget wise is only in workmans comp payments.  Ask a player if they ate better on the road in the ECHL or USHL and you will see how far that ECHL per diem goes.  lol  


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