Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by masterquan14, Mar 10, 2011.
Speculation about where the Vancouver Canucks American Hockey League affiliate will land should the NHL move back to Winnipeg is sure to pick up today.
CKNW has reported that talks are underway about possibly moving the Calgary Flames affiliate from Abbotsford to Chilliwack, citing a deal to move the WHL Bruins to Victoria, which is reportedly 70 per cent complete.
It was also reported that talks have also begun about the prospect of moving the Canucks affiliate to Abbotsford, as the NHL looms closer to having to relocate the moribund Phoenix Coyotes franchise to Winnipeg, current home of the AHL Moose.
The Abbotsford Heat are in the second year of a 10-year deal with the Flames.
The Canucks affiliate has been the biggest draw in terms of attendance at Heat games.
In eight regular season meetings between the Heat and Moose at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, the average fan attendance has been slightly more than 6,394. That's compared to the Heat's overall average attendance records of 3,797.
Check www.abbotsfordtimes.com for more updates.
The Victoria group has always wanted a WHL team rather than an ECHL team. They had an internal debate recently as to whether AHL (Canucks affiliate no less) or WHL would be the best choice for the city and WHL appears to have won.
I thought the Bruins were quite successful in Chilliwack? A little bit surprised to hear that they might move to Victoria, although Victoria's desire for a WHL team is well documented. Having two AHL teams so close together in Abbotsford and Chilliwack--while optimal for travel between the two--wouldn't seem to work too well logistically for gate draws, etc.
Out of curiousity, is a WHL team more expensive to buy than an ECHL team? I figure for a given location, running expenses will be roughly comparable.
Likely the ECHL; higher salaries and much higher travel (trips to Alaska...). I'm speaking just out of speculation though, someone in here would have to confirm the numbers.
They do OK, but having been to a few games, the atmosphere just isn't the same as it was back when the Chiefs were the major draw in town.
ECHL has a 80 game season. Victoria travels to Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and California (3 teams) for its games, homes of the other Western Conference teams (commercial flights). AFAIK, they would not pay any travel costs of other teams coming in.
ECHL Weekly salaries range is from $8,500 (floor) to $12,000 (ceiling) -- this season.
NHL affiliates usually cover the pay of 5-6 players (per team).
ECHL games are averaging over 4000 in attendance.
(Sorry, not up on WHL nor CHL equivalents)
I have no basis for my thoughts, but I think the expansion cost of an ECHL franchise is under/around a million. (Kinda like hundreds of millions for a NHL franchise, tens of millions for an AHL franchise. And this is about an order of magnitude smaller.)
If this move actually happens and the Jets come back can we please re-retire Hawerchuk's number so that it is done properly this time....
Thanks, LS. Just back of the enveloping...
Call it $40k/wk revenue (4k attendance, $10/ticket, 1 game/wk) vs $12k/week in (max) salary, and thrown in another $12k/wk for other expenses (based on (rough) 1:1 salary vs expense from NHL anecdotals).
It's not going to make anyone rich, and you'd better love what you're doing, but it does seem a potentially viable business model, at least at first glance.
Things could be better here - but the Bruins certainly aren't the worst off team in the league, but all things point to a possible relocation.
They still average over 3300 fans per game, (which puts them 16th in the WHL for attendance) and they have yet to win a playoff round in their 4 years. Frustrating when I think it would be worth giving them a chance to do some damage to gauge support. Not saying that I think Victoria doesn't deserve a team - it's just that there are likely better options than Chilliwack.
Back to the NHL
The timing for this all to come to a head as it has,seems to be absolutely terrible for the NHL.
If this deal does truly fall apart soon:
1. Does the NHL immediately announce that the team is moving and risk losing many (now pissed off) fans and facing possible poor playoff crowds? (and revenues they badly need)
2. Or do they find a way to just stay mum and not announce a relocation until the Coyotes season is over? (at the same time giving the heads up to True North, allowing them time to prepare)
3. Or ?
Moose --> Abby makes sense.
But the Chilliwack/Victoria shuffle is somewhat confusing. I would assume the AHL would be better off in Victoria?
I think, right now, the NHL is going to hang in there and squeeze the last little bit they can out of Phoenix. But GB did state they are running out of time. That would indicate something is....imminent
Personally, I think its only a matter of time now, given how muddled and messed up things have become down there.
There are a lot of moving pieces.
The best way for the teams to make money I think would be for Calgary to move the Heat to Red Deer or Fort McMurray and have the Moose move to Abbotsford. Red Deer would probably be the best bet I think though...Although I am sure McMurray could hold an AHL team I think it would make more sense for the Flames to have their kids closer. Edmonton should have relocated their farm team to Alberta instead of to OKC.
First Post, love the message board so far.!!
I personally think the Moose to Heat would be quite seamless just for the simple fact that it works better for both big league clubs logistically. Business wise i have no clue.
My question would be (hypothetically speaking) if Winnipeg/Manitoba gets a NHL team where would the minor league team be?
I would honestly love it to be half way between Regina and Saskatoon.
Call them the Regkatoons. (but really either of those cities would be good.)
i think they dont want to announce to early seeing they are footing the tab this year in phx,but i would also guess they dont want the new winnipeg team to go into a season unprepared either,tough call for them.when winnipeg knew they were losing their team there was tremendous support right to the end,i think for some reason that would be the opposite in phx,just a hunch
Cause there are barely enough fans to fill the building. They cannot all make it to a game the same night can they?
oh, i forgot to mention that perhaps ICE EDGE holdings was thinking about taking the Moose to Thunder Bay.
I have no knowledge of the process of selecting locations for AHL teams but I would imagine that the parent club has alot of say on where the team will be located.
ICE EDGE may buy the Moose if they can come up with the appropriate financing
I think the AHL would be a bit reluctant to lose San Antonio, a successful and very large market.
they wont want to overshadow the playoffs league-wide with this.
my guess is they pull the plug, publicly, sometime in april if they cant get this deal in phoenix to work. They will say something along the lines of "we will begin exploring our other options".
Then, after the playoffs, they will announce that the team is now in winnipeg.
Good point,do you think that there would be a possibility of San Antonio changing to a different NHL affiliate or would they still be appropriately located for the Peg, if this deal should happen.
I tend to agree,I think this whole fiasco will not be officially announced as resolved, one way or another, for a fair bit of time yet.
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