Tier 1 junior hockey in california

Discussion in 'All other USA Amateur, USHL, NAHL, USNTDP etc.' started by canucks4ever, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. canucks4ever Registered User

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    Has USA hockey ever tried to create a tier 1 or tier 2 junior hockey league in california? I wonder why they do not try and keep california kids home at ages 16-18, before they head off to college?
     
  2. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    USA Hockey has never tried to create a Tier 1 or Tier 2 junior hockey league in California. Why? Because USA Hockey Tier 1 and Tier 2 hockey rely on ticket sales and sponsorships, and there's absolutely zero market interest in supporting junior hockey in the state of California. The WSHL teams in California don't receive it, there's nowhere near enough hockey interest to leak down to junior hockey support. Juniors isn't for 16-18 at Tier 1 or Tier 2 anyways, it's mostly 18-20 year olds for those levels.

    In order for USA Hockey to create a Tier 1 league in California, they would need at least 12 markets with 3-5,000 seat arenas, each with a season ticket holder base around 1,000, and dedicated owners in every single market and that's just for Year 1. It would need to fit the standards of the USHL in every way, shape, and form or else they wouldn't do it for the sake of watering down the product they've spent thirty years building up to compete with major juniors like it is now. California doesn't have anything near that. The entire West Coast doesn't have anything near that.

    USA Hockey wouldn't create a Tier 2 league in California, they would simply have it be a division of the NAHL. Fresno Monsters were members of the NAHL, and had fairly good attendance that couldn't outweigh outrageous travel costs. There's not enough markets to form their own league, there *could* be enough throughout the entire West Coast to create a West Coast Division for the NAHL. Certainly zero chance California has enough for it's own division, let alone an entire league.
     
  3. canucks4ever Registered User

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    The absolute best 16-17 year olds are in junior though. California has over 30,000 registered hockey players and with the 2 new nhl teams being added, hockey will continue to grow in the western us.
     
  4. GrizzGreen Registered User

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    Idk man, all the American WHL teams are pretty well supported and Wenatchee is a powerhouse in the BCHL so it can definitely be done, just would need to put a team in the right area for NAHL or USHL.

    Totally agree that California isn't the correct demographic to target, AHL teams get little to no support out here (SD excluded)
     
  5. GrizzGreen Registered User

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    The absolute best 16-17 year olds are playing NTDP or in the WHL.
     
  6. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Uh, the best 16-17 year olds are in juniors, but it's only two or three per team. Average age is well over 18 (sources: USHL Draft & League Guide, Elite Prospects - United States Hockey League (USHL), and it's just freaking common knowledge).

    You're certainly confusing hockey interest and capacity and capability to support free-to-play junior hockey. Massachusetts has exponentially more interest in hockey than California. Many more teams, more fans, more people playing, and so many more rinks per capita than California, and yet zero Tier 1 teams and only one Tier 2 team that has actual attendance in the double digits. Michigan is in the same boat as Massachusetts, and yet only one Tier 1 team and zero Tier 2 teams. New York also, only one Tier 2 team and one Junior A Canadian team. Iowa has comparatively fewer kids playing with less state-wide hockey interest, and yet five Tier 1 teams. Nebraska is in the same boat as Iowa and yet has three Tier 1 teams. North Dakota is in middle, and has a Tier 1 and 2 Tier 2 teams. See the difference? It's a huge one.

    The WHL is major junior and in a pretty big turf war with USA Hockey's USHL, they wouldn't be leaving to join in. Those are occupied markets. Wenatchee left the NAHL after fighting with USA Hockey for years to go to the BCHL, so they wouldn't be leaving to join in. There's no markets that already host hockey that would join any West Coast free-to-play junior league.

    There are more AHL teams there with good support than bad. Ontario and San Diego are #3 and #4 in the league for attendance. Bakersfield is around the middle, Stockton has decent support considering the fanbase has been actively getting bent over. San José doesn't even try for attendance, they shouldn't be counted as a marker of hockey interest.
     
  7. GrizzGreen Registered User

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    Duh. I was just saying there are similar markets with interest on the west coast. The NAHL footprint doesn't make any sense for Wenatchee's conference in terms of a travel schedule which is why they're in the BC now.
     
  8. canucks4ever Registered User

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    So you think people from the rest of the country should continue to pack their bags and move to the midwest in order to advance their hockey careers? Even though registration in the us continues to go up. I Never disputed the average age of tier 1 junior players being 18, so I don't
    know why you are bringing those numbers up.
     
  9. canucks4ever Registered User

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    The comparison to Massachusetts makes no sense. They have 10 college teams, a prep school league which keeps some of their prospects home on the east coast and many tier 2 junior teams which also attempt to keep prospects at home. The qmjhl is also next door and several nhlers from new England have gone the qmjhl route. Kids from Massachusetts and Michigan have far more options.

    Anyone from California that is 16 to 19 years old is pretty much forced to pack their bags and move far away, not even remotely comparable.
     
  10. PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    After the WHL gained traction in Portland in the early 80s (born in the 70s, and I think a few years later, Ken Hodge admitted that they were pretty close to folding in the early years), there were stories in the northwest about Sacramento wanting to get into the league. This would have been around the time the NBA Kings left Kansas City for Sacramento. I'm sure the Sacramento interests enjoyed the "we're a bus league" lecture from the league.

    BTW... it wasn't just Sacramento. Anchorage showed interest. I wonder if the WHL even gave that the time of day.

    If the state of California hadn't shut down a proprietary fund often used to build arenas and stadiums, I could pinpoint probably 8 markets in the state that could probably support such a league and cut down on parental travel costs. Alas...
     
  11. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Free-to-play hockey is a business. Tier 1 and Tier 2 hockey for USA Hockey is a business. You’re suggesting they set up shop in a place that has zero verifiable interest in them. All you said is that interest is growing because of 2 NHL teams that aren’t even in California, the state you mentioned. The only thing you’ve provided for California’s capability to host hockey is that hockey participation rates are high, I provided evidence that hockey participation and interest has no impact on capacity to host junior hockey.

    There are no arenas to host a junior league. There are no owners who have come forward looking to buy junior teams. No fans support the junior teams there now. This is a fan-driven business and North America is capitalist. Junior hockey is just like everything else. If no one is buying the product, no one is going to sell it. Two teams are selling it for the whole of New England, it’s not surprising that California isn’t able to do either.

    Kids from everywhere except for the Midwest have to leave home to play in the USHL. Kids from the Northeast, unless they are drafted by the few northeast teams in the NAHL, have to leave home. Kids from Florida and Texas have to travel as far as California. Not sure why you’re on this crusade, it’s a business.

    My point was clearly about how hockey participation numbers and hockey interest has zero influence on the capacity to host junior hockey.
     
  12. canucks4ever Registered User

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    If there is no interest, then why did the ncaa just expand to arizona? California clearly is more of a hockey state than arizona will ever be. You don't think the ncaa will ever expand to california in the next 10 to 20 years?
     
  13. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Uh, College hockey and junior hockey are two completely different things, two completely different products to sell to people. Arizona State also isn’t in California. NCAA might to go California in the next 20 years, they might not. There’s been absolutely nothing concrete so far. Concrete would be news about funding accomplishments, like Illinois posts. Or NHL-sponsored feasibility studies, like the one University of Oakland has done. Or the school flat out publicly looking at ice arenas, like University of Alabama. No California schools have done any of this. NCAA hockey has no impact on the attractiveness of junior hockey to the market. Compare the number of college teams to junior teams in states like Michigan, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York. You know what the results will be.

    Your faulty logic in all of this is hockey players mean that it will pop up. Where the hockey players are has zero impact on where the teams are. The teams are where there is the demand and the market for the teams are, not the players are. The USHL had the chance to go to the East Coast and be closer to many more players than California could offer. They didn’t because they didn’t want to water down their product, since it’s a business. Expansion automatically means a poorer quality in juniors.
     
  14. canucks4ever Registered User

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    I can see where this is going, you are going to pretend to be a mr. know it all. We'll see in 5 to 10 years, if more junior hockey comes to california. I mean you seem pretty convinced it wouldnt be supported here. WSHL is your example, a junior c quality league.

    It doesnt make a difference if junior hockey and college hockey are two different things, california is a far bigger market than arizona will ever be.
     
  15. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    There are no arenas, no owners, nothing. There aren’t even any teams let alone a league. Knowing more than you doesn’t make me a know it all. If you actually knew anything, you wouldn’t be asking HFBoards, you’d either have enough hockey knowledge to answer it yourself or be in contact with those who do.

    You ask if there’s ever been an attempt to put free-to-play hockey in California. I tell you and you get mad when I tell you why. Those kinds of teams are where there are demand for them, not where the players are. Give you a number of examples and you reject them.

    USA Hockey isn’t going to put up another Tier 1 or Tier 2 league. Look up the USPHL-NCDC if you don’t believe me. USHL isn’t even expanding to Midwest markets, California is out of the question. NAHL will go most places they’re across half the country.

    I’ll leave you with this. Tier 1 and Tier 2 Junior hockey exists where there is the demand for it. It’s a business, it’s entertainment. It has absolutely nothing to do with where the players are coming from.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  16. canucks4ever Registered User

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    You are one pathetic person, you sure get an arousal dont you.

    How do you know there would be no support for junior hockey in california? If they put teams there in the next 5 years, it would make you look so stupid.
     
  17. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    There’s zero teams and there’s zero interest in teams or leagues to go there.

    Believe me, it does not arouse me to have someone throw a tantrum when I show them clear evidence of something.
     
  18. canucks4ever Registered User

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    We'll see in 5 to 10 years, i mean you must have some friends in usa hockey by the way you are talking.
     
  19. canucks4ever Registered User

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    Why are you posting on hfboards? The purpose of this forum is to create discussions and ask questions? You are entering my thread, you are the one that needs to get a life. This discussion clearly interestes you, thats why you are wasting your own time responding.
     
  20. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    It's not a matter of knowing people, it's as simple as knowing the business. If there aren't even any teams present in the entire state and there's only been one Tier 2 team in all of history, it doesn't look good. Teams are where the demand for the product is, not where the players are. There are only two junior teams in all of Minnesota because the demand for that product isn't there. The demand for other forms of hockey entertainment precede the demand for junior hockey. California has no one anywhere near them. There's not enough open markets to create an entire league and no markets that already have a team that would leave. There's barely enough for a division if markets that look like they're opening up do open up (Eugene Upgrade (?)). But an entire league for California is out of the question, there simply aren't enough available markets, available arenas, available owners, etc.
     
  21. canucks4ever Registered User

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    There are only 2 teams in Minnesota because they don't want to kill off their high school league.
     
  22. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    In the case of Minnesota, the teams have to compete with high school hockey for fans, not the other way around. And there's four teams. There's plenty of dead Minnesota NAHL teams that couldn't compete with the popular local high school teams. Minnesota high school hockey actually has the issue of kids not wanting to leave for juniors, despite being ready. There is no fear of over-expansion because "they don't want to kill off their high school league."

    For St. Cloud Blizzard, their current attendance average is 66 per game. That's high school hockey beating out juniors. Source: NAHL's St. Cloud Blizzard considered move to Marshall, East Grand Forks | Duluth News Tribune
    Canavati said that he understands that there will be plenty of competition for the entertainment dollar in St. Cloud. His son, Christian, will be a junior on the St. John's University hockey team that plays its home games across town at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

    The Brooks Center is also home for the St. Cloud State men's and women's hockey teams and the St. Cloud Apollo/Tech boys hockey team. The Cathedral boys hockey team also calls the MAC home and the St. Cloud Icebreakers are the high school girls hockey team for the three schools in the city.

    Nearby, Sartell High School and Sauk Rapids High School have boys hockey teams and the schools combine for a girls hockey team. Then there's the Granite City Lumberjacks, the NA3HL team that is calls Sauk Rapids' Sports Arena East its home.
    "We'll try to stay away from St. Cloud State's home schedule and Cathedral's ... but you can't stay away from everything," he said of having games on the same days as other area teams.

    Same thing in Cloquet for the Wilderness
    Source: WILDERNESS: Home is where the fans are | Pine Journal
    But it’s a concerted effort to connect with the community that has helped the Wilderness the most from a business standpoint.

    “(Assistant GM) Josh Petrich converted from coaching to the front office and he’s super-committed in all areas,” Boitz said. “He’s a naturally smart guy and it’s showing in our results. (Marketing Director) Jordan Lundgren is passionate about seeing us succeed. She runs all our social media and is a vital part of what we do.”

    You can see the Wilderness just about everywhere these days - reading to kids in schools, wrapping meat at sponsor B&B Market - and spreading the word about junior hockey.
    “Cloquet, as any market in Minnesota with lots of hockey competition, has a great hockey history with great facilities and great people behind it,” Frankenfeld said. “The owner (Chris Trapp) is a sharp business guy and entrepreneur and is willing to take a risk. I’m excited to see it succeed.”
     
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  23. canucks4ever Registered User

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    There are no ushl teams in Minnesota due to the popularity of their high school league, you can quote me all you want, I don't care. You are a very insecure person, it is beyond laughable.
     
  24. canucks4ever Registered User

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    I already know how popular high school hockey is in minnesota, I have no interest in reading your quotes.
     
  25. PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    When you're using "how do you know" and not following the money, you're going to lose that argument 11 out of 10 times. And there's my 110% effort for the day.

    With more seriousness... there's no building infrastructure and a philosophy (that is slowly growing beyond the Pacific coast) that public funds dare not pay for it. Even if there is interest (which I think could be manufactured), the infrastructure is spartan and miniscule at best compared to what California supports OUTDOORS. Including basketball. This is a non-starter.

    Mind you... the rumors that infrastructure is about to be constructed in Washington and Oregon would be more interesting to follow. The rumor as told to me is a bit overwhelming and less believable (talk of a junior league- probably the NAHL- AND minor professional AND college). It does seem that something will happen once interests condense.
     
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