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herbst20

USHL back to Rochester?

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minor life

While nice speculation, I am told an NAHL team is likely for Rochester in 2016.

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Yeti

Compelling article about a possible expansion franchise going back to Rochester.

http://postbulletin.typepad.com/faceoff/2015/07/junior-hockey-the-ushl-may-make-a-comeback-in-rochester.html

 

Interesting stuff. It would be great to see the USHL back in Minnesota.

 

Side note, the author of that article, Jason Feldman, is a good guy to follow on Twitter. https://twitter.com/PBFeldy

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FargoForceFan

I really could see this happening and it's long over due.

 

Rochester is a perfect fit for the USHL and it's good timing with the all the renovation/expansion projects

 

While a USHL franchise struggled years ago, Rochester has really change and is changing even more in the near future. Check out the Zip Rail project : http://www.goziprail.org/

 

100 mile stretch from twin cities to/from Rochester on a high speed rail going 150-220 MPH :eeek:

 

 

 

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Mr Ricochet

I really could see this happening and it's long over due.

 

Rochester is a perfect fit for the USHL and it's good timing with the all the renovation/expansion projects

 

While a USHL franchise struggled years ago, Rochester has really change and is changing even more in the near future. Check out the Zip Rail project : http://www.goziprail.org/

 

100 mile stretch from twin cities to/from Rochester on a high speed rail going 150-220 MPH :eeek:

 

 

 

 

 

Infrastructure spending, putting people and capital to work, moving product and people efficiently, attracting business??? This is gonna be paid for with "taxes", and the fine state of Minnesota is gonna get the 17th century crowd to go along with the idea of investing in people and the commons? ......Did the 17 century plantation economy crowd fix that damn bridge in Minneapolis that COLLAPSED and plunged hundreds into the Mississippi River killing 13 HUMAN BEINGS and injuring 150? Here's photos of the 17th century. No it isn't Afghanistan, Syria or Kazakastan it is a major US city. Link

 

Love the idea of that bullet train. Hope they can get it done, against all odds.

 

Sorry for the vent. How is junior hockey doing in Minnesota? Any other junior besides Tier III? Will folks support it or is it still just HS and NHL hockey they will pay to see?

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minor life

Do you know how many MN 17 and 18 yr olds are told to not go play junior hockey in the USHL and NAHL? All of them. I get it hockey in MN is good in HS, but the establishment is delusional. Have actually had clients told by HS coaches if they don't have a D-1 commit in HS to just go D-3 or quit playing! Have had others told that HS is just as good as USHL. Not a USHL environment for success.

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Yeti

http://postbulletin.typepad.com/faceoff/2015/07/statement-from-rochester-cvb-on-potential-ushl-team-playing-at-mcc.html

 

July 21, 2015
Statement from Rochester CVB on potential USHL team playing at MCC
Posted by: Feldman
The Mayo Civic Center is undergoing a massive $79 million renovation project, expected to be completed in 2017. Part of that renovation could include the addition of a refrigeration system so that ice could be installed for hockey (and, I'm guessing, touring ice shows such as Disney On Ice-type shows), in particular a possible USHL expansion franchise.
Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Brad Jones issued a statement today that indicates the process is underway to find out what types of sports and entertainment options may be feasible and successful in Rochester.
Results of the study are expected in September.
The statement reads:
“The Rochester Convention & Visitors Bureau, in collaboration with a group of interested parties, is engaged in a feasibility study to determine which type of sports and entertainment may be successful and sustainable in the Rochester market.
The study will assist in identifying what type of facility is needed. Exploration and understanding the needs of the United States Hockey League, in addition to other sports organizations, are a component of the feasibility study.
"The results of the study are expected to be available in September. Upon completion, the outcomes will be utilized to determine if future opportunities are pursued.”
So, there we go. I guess we'll find out in roughly two months if the Civic Center is a good candidate for the USHL (and possibly other sports leagues) and vice-versa. If making the arena hockey-friendly is a possibility, that would clear -- as far as I can tell -- probably the biggest hurdle in getting the country's top junior league back in Roch.

 

 

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kwey24

Do you know how many MN 17 and 18 yr olds are told to not go play junior hockey in the USHL and NAHL? All of them. I get it hockey in MN is good in HS, but the establishment is delusional. Have actually had clients told by HS coaches if they don't have a D-1 commit in HS to just go D-3 or quit playing! Have had others told that HS is just as good as USHL. Not a USHL environment for success.

 

The coaches saying this, are they younger coaches or older coaches? I haven't had reason to speak with Minnesota high school coaches about this and all of the players that come to Iowa State to play ACHA D1 hockey have played Tier II junior hockey or were high-level Tier III junior players. Where I do know, for sure, that Minnesota high school hockey has an issue is Tier III junior hockey. Thankfully, word is getting around Minnesota that if you want to play NCAA DIII or high level ACHA hockey, you basically have to play juniors. The caliber of play in the NA3HL is helping change this a little bit.

 

The USHL to Rochester: I guess I'll wait and see. As an alum of the Ice Hawks, I'd be disappointed to see them negatively affected. I'm not so certain a USHL team would actually see much more than 2,000 fans per game. The Gophers and the Wild do have a significant draw in Rochester and I don't think anyone going to the Gophers or Wild regularly suddenly drop that and support a USHL team regularly instead. Somebody with a lot of money to burn might give the USHL in Rochester a try, but I wouldn't try it. There's no place in Minnesota that I'd try to place a USHL team. Rochester is as close as you get, but I think there's a good thing going on with having an elite Tier III team in Rochester. The Ice Hawks and North Iowa Bulls are very important to Tier III junior hockey in the Upper Midwest and setting the bar for what's possible. North Iowa is going to be unreal when it gets its new arena.

 

Geographically, Rochester works, but I still have my doubts (even though I know Rochester has grown since the Mustangs and is even wealthier).

 

As for Kansas City--that'd be an unmitigated disaster with the ECHL team there. A person might be tempted to put a team on the far west side of the Kansas side of the KC metro area, but you're battling Jayhawks athletics (good luck) and the Kansas City Chiefs (and Royals). Imagine Cedar Rapids not only competing against the University of Iowa, but also an NFL football team and an MLB team. There is no venue for a USHL team, either. KC has remarkably few ice sheets for how long it's had hockey.

 

Eau Claire, Wisconsin: Between high school hockey and the NCAA DIII team, there isn't room for a USHL team. Eau Claire's NCAA DIII roster is solid. A lot of USHL and NAHL experience, amongst other leagues. (Not a single player went straight from high school to Eau Claire.) La Crosse, Wisconsin, barely supports the Coulee Region Chill. Trust me, four times as many fans wouldn't show up there either if it jumped from NAHL to USHL.

 

Dayton: Oh...my...God. So, Dayton couldn't support an ECHL team for feces at Hara, and we expect it to support a USHL team? It'd be as bad Youngstown (in terms of fan support). If Dayton were to get a new arena that seats 4,000 to 5,000 that is more centrally located in the metro, it might be a different story (one that could include the ECHL, instead of the USHL). Without a new, centrally located arena, the USHL in Dayton is a non-starter. Heck, if I'm Bill Dadds, I'm looking into moving the FHL team to Troy, Ohio, for 2016-17. Is it truly better to have the team in Dayton instead of Troy?

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DM47

 

 

Sorry for the vent. How is junior hockey doing in Minnesota? Any other junior besides Tier III? Will folks support it or is it still just HS and NHL hockey they will pay to see?

 

 

 

I believe there are 3 NAHL teams in Minnesota. Austin Bruins, the Minnesota Magicians in Richfield and the Minnesota Wilderness in Cloquet. I feel the biggest issue with the USHL in Minnesota is competition. Everyone knows Highschool is huge. Then you have the Wild and five division 1 colleges.

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minor life

Kwey, its not just coaches, its HS AD's. Age does not matter. I get it, they have great support and great crowds, but they actually might believe they are as good as the NAHL and USHL. Crazy.

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kwey24

Kwey, its not just coaches, its HS AD's. Age does not matter. I get it, they have great support and great crowds, but they actually might believe they are as good as the NAHL and USHL. Crazy.

 

Well, as we know, those that do play in the NAHL and USHL quickly learn otherwise. Back when I used to interview players in the USHL, many of whom played Minnesota high school hockey, I never interviewed one who didn't say the USHL was a step up. In fact, the ones who played in the Upper Midwest Elite League said had they not played in the Elite League, it would have been a real big step up to the USHL.

 

Anyone who has seriously studied the rosters of NCAA DIII teams knows the value and important of playing at least Tier II hockey and being at least a top Tier III player. The only players who could step into NCAA DIII straight out of high school are the ones who, with some NAHL or USHL seasoning, could be NCAA DI players. Even many of the players with an NCAA DI scholarship in hand out of high school still desperately need a year or two or USHL development.

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gbpuckfan

Well, other than the fact that our favorite watering hole in Rochester (The Smiling Moose) was torn down for freeway work, I like the idea.

 

As for Eau Claire, Hobbs isn't the option. UWEC is planning a new place. Right now, may not have ice, but could be an option. But, yes, UWEC would be competition.

(http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/uw-eau-claire-announced-10-million-donation-for-new-event-center-b99324797z1-270033151.html).

 

As for LaCrosse, it wouldn't be at the Chill's home, it would have to be at LaCrosse Center. 6,000 seats BUT no ice. IIRC, the Sioux Falls owner offered to put in ice a few years back. In exchange, he wanted parking and concession revenues. The city told him "no" because it needed the revenues. Doesn't make sense, because it doesn't have those revenues now. But whatever. LaCrosse actually strikes me as a good idea, but city doesn't seem interested.

 

It's too bad the Wausau area rink didn't happen a few years back. That would have been great.

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minor life

gb, I completely agree on your Wausau comment. IMO it is a city that is ripe for Tier II or the USHL. In my travels I have stayed in that town many times, and the demographics are nearly perfect for something to happen there. The down town area is progressive in their marketing to younger people, and I don't think they go without a team for too much longer.

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Mr Ricochet

gb, I completely agree on your Wausau comment. IMO it is a city that is ripe for Tier II or the USHL. In my travels I have stayed in that town many times, and the demographics are nearly perfect for something to happen there. The down town area is progressive in their marketing to younger people, and I don't think they go without a team for too much longer.

 

 

They have an arena? If so how many does it seat and who plays there?

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minor life

They don't have a junior level arena. The city is a winner when they get one. Head down town on a Friday night and the place is jumping. Find a piece of property in that area, build an arena, and you have a big success on your hands.

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gbpuckfan

Rico - back in about 2010, a guy with a local sports apparel company was putting together a deal for an arena and a team. Didn't quite have it all in place before the economy dived and he lost a few investors. Gamblers were helping / looking for their WAT/CR or LIN/OMA situation. But it never came through unfortunately.

 

The city supports its Northwoods League baseball team and there really wouldn't be any competition for the winter sports market. The closet hockey team is UW Stevens Point but I don't think the Pointers draw much from Wausau.

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kwey24

Wausau would be a small USHL market, but it'd have the best chance of any Wisconsin market not named Appleton. I don't think a Wausau USHL team would make money, but it wouldn't hemorrhage money, either. I'd predict that Wausau could be Dubuque lite. (Dubuque's economy has seen significant growth in recent years, so Dubuque's corporate support would probably surpass Wausau by a bit, and the fact Dubuque proper has about 20,000 more people that Wausau would give it superior attendance. Yes, Marathon County overall has a reasonable number of people, but you're asking more of your market to have to drive a ways to go to games than Dubuque. (Although, Wisconsinites will drive a ways to do things.) Wausau with a new arena would work better than Kansas City or Dayton and especially Eau Claire.

 

To clarify on La Crosse, I wasn't saying it was under consideration for the USHL, which is the direction this seems to have gone. I was trying to use the Coulee Region Chill as Exhibit A as to the minimal potential of Eau Claire.

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FargoForceFan

Do you know how many MN 17 and 18 yr olds are told to not go play junior hockey in the USHL and NAHL? All of them. I get it hockey in MN is good in HS, but the establishment is delusional. Have actually had clients told by HS coaches if they don't have a D-1 commit in HS to just go D-3 or quit playing! Have had others told that HS is just as good as USHL. Not a USHL environment for success.

I think the majority of MN high school hockey coaches understand the importance of juniors as it relates to college hockey. I'm sure many try to protect thier turf and discourage early depatures to juniors prior to the completion of thier senior year of high school.

 

But that has nothing to do with whether or not a USHL team would or would not be successfull in Rochester, MN.

 

A USHL team in Rochester, MN really doesn't need any players from Minnesota....

Edited by FargoForceFan

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iowaninja

They don't need players for Minnesota but they do need fans to attend games

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FargoForceFan

They don't need players for Minnesota but they do need fans to attend games

If done correctly, they could average 2,500-3,000.

 

The market is there

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minor life

2500 fan average is about a half million per year loss.

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Yeti

Bump.

 

http://www.kttc.com/story/30244891/2015/10/12/proposal-to-demolish-taylor-arena-build-6200-seat-replacement-leaves-questions-about-cost-financing

 

Proposal to demolish Taylor Arena and replace with a 6,200 seat arena leaves questions about the project's cost
Posted: Oct 12, 2015 10:55 PM CDT
Taylor Arena has been a Rochester landmark since 1986, but some say its
time is up.
"Taylor Arena is currently 29 years old, almost 30 years old, said Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau
executive director Brad Jones. "A lot of the infrastructure in it is quite inadequate."
The Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to knock it down and build a 4,000 to 6,200 seat arena
in its place.
On Monday, the bureau presented their case to the city council, and said the arena could make downtown a
destination. The plan for the arena has many features, including an amphitheater right here that would
overlook Mayo Park, but city council's greatest concerns were found in the plan's numbers. The cost of the
plan­­ - and the fact the study didn't show how to pay for it all - ­­gave city council members cause for concern.
The cost - ­­$55 to $75 million depending on the arena size­­ - and the lack of a financing plan to come up with
the money left some council members apprehensive about investing, even with Taylor Arena's issues.
"We know that we have a lot of challenges there, it's not a building that meets the needs of most types of
performances today," said city councilman Michael Wojcik. "It's just a matter of if we have $30 million to
spend, is this the place where we need to spend it?"
Developers say if the arena is built, pro sports would be a near certainty to come back to the Med City. A new
United States Hockey League team would likely be the new arena's first tenant, a return to the league for
Rochester since the Mustangs folded in 2002. Rochester native and former NHL player Shjon Podein, who
played for the Mustangs in the mid 1980s, came to advocate for pro hockey's return.
"It would just bring a lot of identity to this place and people would come in and see what we have," said
Podein. "Not just through USHL, but maybe through acts that we can book against bigger venues."
With the questions about the arena's financing still up in the air, a new jewel on the Zumbro still looks to be a
long way away. However, that hasn't stopped Jones from being optimistic about how the project could
change Rochester's entertainment scene.
"Were projecting 120 events a year in the arena and about 35 of those would be hockey," said Jones. "It
would be other sports - ­­basketball, indoor soccer, indoor football­­ - a lot of different things. Then you have
concerts, entertainment, family shows, Disney Ice type shows, all of those type of things."
Jones says he would expect the project to use public funding, but that he "never intended it to be 100
percent publicly financed." The study will now head to the Destination Medical Center board for further
review.

 

 

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TheShow

I guess I'm getting mixed messages.... Is that article saying USHL is pro hockey?

 

And it amazes me the fact you can't build a structure that lasts 30 years....

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Mr Ricochet

I guess I'm getting mixed messages.... Is that article saying USHL is pro hockey?

 

And it amazes me the fact you can't build a structure that lasts 30 years....

 

 

I caught that too. The writer doesn't understand what level the USHL is........

 

I read back in this thread, some solid comments. Just doesn't seem that jrs will fly in Minnesota. Would be great for the fans and state though, especially with the USHL profile growing larger each day. ......All you sharpies, would Major Junior be a fit?

 

 

Nice find, Yeti. Thanks for posting.

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