Latvia: Hockey in Latvia

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by OscarsCards, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Rigafan Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    36
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Location:
    Europe
    To be fair they do play them at Arena Riga so there is impossible chance of a sellout really, but I see you point :laugh:
     
  2. GX Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    51
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Mogo games are free to attend. Their home arena is quite terrible, though, and, unlike Kurbads, they don't have a fan base of their own, so it's likely it would be attended by some 100-150 people only.

    With regards to hockey atmosphere and overall experience, Kurbads would be the go-to game. There's even some merch for sale at their games. Kurbads is EUR 3-4 at the gate, you can buy them online, but there's no real need for that. :)

    Here's a quick comparison of both 'arenas':
    Kurbads -
    Mogo -
     
    Rigafan likes this.
  3. OscarsCards Never go full Sabres!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    169
    Trophy Points:
    61
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cesis
    So far this season looks pretty weak, my favorites at the moment are HS Riga and I just can't wait for Continental Cup.
     
  4. GX Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    51
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Yeah, hopefully the pace picks up, it has been rather eventless. HS Riga is indeed the only one capable of producing some surprises, and showing a real fight in each game.
     
  5. turk96 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    46
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Occupation:
    Union steelworker
    Location:
    Indiana
    Thanks for the info and videos. Unfortunately, we'll only be in Riga two days before taking a few days drive to get to Tallinn, so the Mogo game is my only option. But it's a bit up in the air due to the tight time schedule. I did get tickets for the Oct. 26th Dinamo-Avangard Omsk game (6th row center, which seems to be the most desirable for some reason). Although I've seen a few KHL games in the last few years (in Prague and Helsinki), this will be the first time I've actually seen a Russian club, so looking forward to that. From what I have seen, the arena looks pretty nice. Do they sell jerseys at the game?
     
    Rigafan likes this.
  6. Rigafan Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    36
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Location:
    Europe
    The arena is great, and don't worry about your seats, every seat has a good view at Arena riga!

    Yes when you get through the doors you will see the stalls selling jerseys and everything else. Beware, just cause Latvia is cheap doesn't mean that Dinamo merch is :eek:
     
  7. turk96 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    46
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Occupation:
    Union steelworker
    Location:
    Indiana
    Ah, cool. It's just always struck me as odd that hockey arenas in most European cities generally charge more for seats a few rows up, I guess because of the view. In the US, the first row "on the glass" seats are most coveted, with prices to match. I used to have an authentic Dinamo jersey, but my dog got a hold of it in her chewing phase. I was heartbroken. Glad I can finally replace it. Very much looking forward to my trip to Latvia and Estonia, and notching another hockey game in another foreign land. Now if only I could find out anything about the Estonian "league". But it seems to be pretty under the radar on the internet.
     
    Rcknrollkillnmachine and Rigafan like this.
  8. OscarsCards Never go full Sabres!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    169
    Trophy Points:
    61
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cesis
    The number of registered hockey players in Latvia in 2016-17 season has grown to 7145 players, U20 registered players is all time high - 1921, it's a steady growth 6th season in a row.

    [​IMG]

    The intereactive version of chart can be found in here - Information about hockey in Latvia
     
    Rigafan and HungryFrank like this.
  9. BalticWarrior Registered User

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,477
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    109
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Location:
    Riga
    This is not that surprising, since the economy is recovering, the number of U20 players will increase. Its also important that new rinks are being built, because there is a problem with ice availability so its very encouraging to see new arenas built.
     
    Rigafan likes this.
  10. turk96 Registered User

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2013
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    46
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Occupation:
    Union steelworker
    Location:
    Indiana
    Had a great time at the game. Riga pulled the upset and scored the first goal in OT, so very exciting. Wonderful arena as well. And a very lively fan base. I was very impressed. riga1.JPG
     
    Kalv, Rigafan and OscarsCards like this.
  11. Mr Sniper Registered User

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    21
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Location:
    Sweden
    Can anyone tell me what Ozo Stars is? Is it a junior team with the most talanted Latvian players?
     
  12. OscarsCards Never go full Sabres!

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2013
    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    169
    Trophy Points:
    61
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Cesis
    No.
     
  13. OttawaKing Registered User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    52
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Does team Latvia have a nickname? Like team Slovenia are also known as Risi(the lynx)

    I noticed their logo has a lion and a dragon so maybe something to do with that?

    All help appreciated.
     
  14. Pardus Registered User

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    57
    Trophy Points:
    26
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Location:
    Oulu, Finland
    It's a griffin.
     
  15. GX Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    51
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Federation has been using Lion's Heart as a motto/nickname for marketing purposes for the last few years. Still, it hasn't really caught on just yet.

    Latvian jerseys have a small Coat of Arms of Latvia on front of them with two griffins on it, yes.
     
  16. Vandalay Industries Registered User

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    81
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    What is the story with Olimp Riga? They are new in the Latvain league this year but unlike the other new team in the league, HK Dinaburga, Olimp Riga did not play in the second league last year, so how come they have moved directly to the top flight?

    From the outside it looks like some money men have thrown a lot of cash into this, since the team enters with some pretty high profile names like Ervins Mustukovs, Oskars Bartulis, Aleksanders Jerofejevs and a bunch of elder - over the hill - players of some stature. All in all, definitely not just picking up from the exit of HK Lido.

    So, what is the story? Will it be a top club for years to come? What is the ambition?

    And in general: How is club hockey evolving in Latvia? Seems to go quite slow from my chair? Am I missing something? I know HK Riga is still in the KHL (and has a team in MHL as well), but other than that isn't Latvia in a slow burn mode?

    Has any new arenas/rinks been built for the past couple of years? Are any new arenas/rinks planned to be built?
     
  17. GX Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    51
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Olimp is likely a short-term (<3-4 years) project. The name sponsor is a sports betting company from Kazakhstan, which does not operate in Latvia, so it's an open question, why are they motivated spending their money here. The owner of the team, however, is a local casino/night club owner. They are certainly a contender for this year, but I doubt we'll see them sticking around for too long - once the money will stop, the team will probably end there as well.

    As the second tier league in Latvia is now a U23 junior league, there are no promotions/demotions. All teams that fill certain criteria can apply and play in the Latvian league. Olimp was formed only this summer.

    Overall, the league took a solid leap in quality and competitiveness some 5 years ago. It is continuing to grow, however, the speed is rather slow. There is more money in the local league now, so it is nice to see that there are more and more second-tier Latvian players in their prime age, who do not have to resort to playing in the likes of France, UK, Slovakia, Austria, etc, but can rather play at home and earn a decent salary. Besides the local league, yes, there is Dinamo in KHL and its youth club in MHL.

    Concerning new rinks, there are only rather small ice rinks being built at the moment. There are 3 new ones in Riga region - HK Kurbads built their own rink (700 seats) 2 years ago, around the same time a rink was opened in Mārupe. Currently a new ice rink will be built (to replace the old demolished one) near Riga city center - it will have 700 seats, a small B rink and serve as the practice rink for teams at 2021 World Championship. Outside Riga, currently there is a new ice rink being built in Rēzekne and there are plans also for Jēkabpils - which is great, as the eastern part of Latvia only had one single ice rink in Daugavpils.
     
    Marky1999 and Rigafan like this.
  18. Rigafan Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    36
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Location:
    Europe
    Regarding the Lativan league,

    How is it that teams are able to pay decent salaries now? I remember some years back the league was almost free to attend games? or very little Lats (yes lats was when i remembered) Do the teams charge a bit more now? What kind of attendance do they manage on average? I see the odd game and people are there but it doesn't look enough to be paying any salaries out.
     
  19. GX Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    51
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    It's not the ticket revenues that enable them to pay out salaries to their leading guys.

    Dinaburga, Zemgale and Liepāja are heavily funded by the local municipalities. Zemgale has an entrance fee, though, but it is small (<5 EUR; 200-250 avg attendance). They try to rely on young local guys, have a partnership with local university (giving sports scholarships) - so only 1/3 of the team would be getting a regular salary, and they clearly can't afford salaries of more established, league leading players. For Dinaburga, I would imagine only some 5 players would require a regular salary.

    Kurbads excels in marketing, because of which they have managed to get 18 sponsors (listed on homepage). Their attendance and ticket revenues are rather low (2oo people per game; EUR 3-4 ticket price). Their owner said a year ago that the main hockey team is close to breaking even, which was great news, albeit a bit surprising. They have managed to build a brand, based on which they have now established a hockey school, built an ice rink, which I would imagine are both going more or less according to the business plan, and have future development plans for their organization. Approximately half of the team have an office job with the company or are coaches at their school.

    Mogo, Olimp are owned by shady businesses and are heavily influenced by the ambitions of their owners. HS Rīga is a junior team. For Prizma, I would imagine only Brahmanis and Bērziņš get paid anything noteworthy. Must be partially funded by the logistics company behind the team.

    Another very important factor for players staying in Latvia - the 30+ guys are often getting an education. Either studying at LSPA to get a coach's certificate or anything else. And for that they have to be here, and thus can play in the local league for a smaller salary/bonuses only.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    Rigafan likes this.
  20. Rigafan Registered User

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2016
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    36
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    Location:
    Europe
    Thanks GX, very interesting to know how it all works. Its so surprising to see that teams with 200 fans and €4 ticket prices are so well backed by the local government and businesses, although people do forget how small most Latvian towns are outside of Riga so 300 people showing up isn't always that bad!

    When we talk about regular salaries, how much do you think we are talking about? any idea?
     
  21. GX Registered User

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    739
    Likes Received:
    56
    Trophy Points:
    51
    SB Cash:
    $ 100,000
    A recent interview with Muštukovs. He received:
    - EUR 40 000 in Grenoble
    - EUR 33-34 000 in EIHL
    - Olimp had a 'fantastic' offer for 19/20

    I guess most guys have to take a pay cut, though, to play in Latvia. Still, the living cost is also normally slightly cheaper and you get a chance to be with your family. Top teams have been engaging in bidding wars for specific players (i.e., Gricinskis), there are a dozen local guys rotating between French/UK/Slovakian and Latvian teams, so I would imagine the Top 10-15 guys should be in the range of EUR 2000-3000 per month. I bet some Olimp guys (namely Muštukovs or Shulakov) get more than that. If I had to guess, your average full-time professional Latvian league player (there aren't that many of them) would be getting something close to the national average - EUR 1000. So, basically, a decent salary that allows you to play hockey and cover daily expenses. Most guys, though, either have day jobs or are still juniors, so would likely only receive bonuses.
     
    Rigafan likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "358c248ada348a047a4b9bb27a146148"