USACHL: New Junior League?

Discussion in 'All other USA Amateur, USHL, NAHL, USNTDP etc.' started by Captain Crash, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Aero 75 Registered User

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  2. mk80 Registered User

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    Yes teams at all levels tend to inflate the numbers. As you said unfortunately we'll never know how accurate that one is.
     
  3. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    The Bus League Boyz need to consult with the FHL before they dismiss this cockamamy idea out of hand. :badidea:
     
  4. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    The biggest issues they face are the ones all small market hockey teams, minor pro or junior, have faced and will faced in the American South: ownership, geography, fan support. It would be especially difficult to get anyone else to join these three considering the ones who said no were vindicated in their decision to pass on this gongshow.

    Ownership: idiots like Kozuback, Davidson, and anyone else who thinks that hockey is an easy buck are going to burn teams the quickest. Davidson and Kozuback went in unprepared with what could've been a good idea. Owning everything goes south quick when people don't get paid. I like the European soccer method of having a season ticket holders' association owning 25%-49.9% of the team, maybe Billy D should've tried that out.

    Geography: cities are spread out, renting a cheap coach bus is +$2,000/day, and meals, hotels, adds up quick.

    Fan support: thankfully our favorite RGV Killer Bees super fan hasn't peeped his head out in a while and the board cleaned up his messages, but that's the kind of people who go to games. It's a lot of newer non-traditional hockey fans who think that junior hockey exists for any purpose other than putting kids into college and that hockey knowledge means knowing what icing is. Getting hockey to work in a place where people don't know hockey is the only thing harder than getting hockey to work in a place where people think they know hockey.
     
  5. sbkbghockey Registered User

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    This article points out something I was thinking about the other day- A Fed League type setup might be the best hope for these markets. How would fans in these markets react if they had good hockey teams and stable ownership/leagues, but weren't named the RGV Killer Bees or Laredo Bucks?

    Hockey exposure in these markets has largely been monopolized by Bill D, first with the old CHL and for a month with the USACHL. He likely owns a lot of the naming rights to teams like the Bucks. If a new owner comes in with a good team but has a different name and colors, will fans be attracted back like they were with the USACHL Bucks being branded as a "reboot"?

    The other big question- Will fans, who have no hockey experience outside of Billy D leagues, move to a new brand of hockey?

    A user who posted here frequently mentioned the RGV fan base's appetite for fights, line brawls, etc... basically Billy D's old CHL goon league (not exactly a pipline to the NHL). Even if a USHL team set up in these markets, they'd have to spend a lot of resources making new fans and re-educating previous Billy D fans on what real hockey is in the modern era. Yes fights and scraps do happen and will always likely happen but there's no guys on rosters who are only there to drop the gloves and basically there for a nightly fight card. These markets have been conditioned by Billy D leagues to reward PIMs not prospects.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  6. KKWG11 Registered User

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  7. USACHL Registered User

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  8. USACHL Registered User

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    Last edited by moderator YWGinYYZ: Dec 10, 2018
  9. GoalieEd Registered User

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    “The arena says that they believe the league will r espond to its obligations under the signed contract with the arena and will reimburse season ticket holders and any sponsorships received. ”

    Good luck with that one.....
     
  10. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Are they legally compelled to do any of it? Because Billy D definitely will be facing is share of lawsuits if he doesn't settle his debts, this would be another one to add to the list.
     
  11. GoalieEd Registered User

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    Even if they are legally compelled (I think they probably are since the remaining games will not be held) both with just be unsecured creditors in the inevitable bankruptcy.
     
  12. sbkbghockey Registered User

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    "In an official release, Sames Auto Arena says that due to unexpected issues with the USA-CHL, Laredo Bucks hockey games have been canceled for the rest of the season."

    Although most of the fault of this massive failure is the direct result of Billy D and his buddies who own/operate the USACHL, there's some blame to the local cities/venues for not doing their due diligence research. This thing was expected to be doomed from the start from almost everyone in hockey not being paid by the league. There were various problems to expect failure, at minimum because it was rushed together way too late to start an entire junior league from scratch.
     
  13. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    If they didn't expect this thing to fall apart, then the people there know less about hockey than we should've given them credit for. If you're in charge of these arenas, you have to do your due diligence and at least do a background check. Bill Davidson ran the El Paso CHL team into the ground and Kozuback bankrupted a couple cities with his arena promises and walked out with lawsuits flying everywhere. I can't believe these arenas really just got sweet talked into this.

    The league was doomed the second they couldn't get anyone past WF, Laredo, and RGV. A four team league is a joke, and they had to make a team up just to get there. They should've waited a year or two and gotten 8 good locations and not go around desperately asking people to get a team together and ready to play in the matter of months. But being idiots they rushed on through and the lasted a month. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
     
    mk80 and JungleJON like this.
  14. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    The USACHL never had a chance

    BLH article, a little late to the "End of the USACHL Party." This might be the last of the league articles, there will surely continue to be news dealing with the aftermath. Keep them coming if you got them
     
  15. BOS358 Registered User

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    Another Bus League Hockey article on the "league's" official announcement that they are "suspending operations." Let's hope the clowns involved in running this thing straight into the ground aren't allowed near another hockey rink.
     
  16. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    If the buildings and towns didn't do their due diligence the first time, they wouldn't be the first people to dive head first back in when the gongshow made it's second appearance. Maybe giving them all a good 10 months is exactly what the league needs to get its head out of its own arse. There is probably a way that a free-to-play league could work down there, it would just need about 5 more solid markets than what they have and the actual ability to pay people.
     
  17. BOS358 Registered User

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    I think the league could have survived had they not rushed the planning stages (and had competent and well-funded management, obviously), but I'd be surprised if RGV and Laredo will support another hockey league on the heels of this disaster. Those seemed to be the two best markets, and with them out of the mix for a soon-to-form hypothetical league, it would be an even bigger hill to climb.
     
  18. GoalieEd Registered User

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    As long as they have season ticket refunds, payroll, and facility bills due (and they have a lot of them) this “we will be back” is just an empty promise to buy time for the bankruptcy. No way any arena extends them any credit with this mess unsettled.
     

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  19. JDogindy Jerk

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  20. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Nope. Bill Davidson pointing fingers, but the fault lies with him. Didn't have enough money, players, or even teams for the few players they did get. They had to create a fourth team out of thin air to get to a measly 4 after promising at least 6. He thought he could start a league from scratch in 6 months, which you kinda can't.

    Which leads to league ownership lying about pretty much everything. Didn't have enough money to pay the bills, didn't have enough markets, didn't provide great advancement opportunities, since y'know no stats were kept, almost all games weren't videoed, and they didn't provide sticks or workout memberships, etc. Also didn't provide a free jersey for each people who bought season tickets.

    They did do a lot of things, though. They didn't make it to season 2, which is what every rational and realistic person in the hockey knew would happen. They also took advantage of non-traditional hockey fan bases that didn't know any better, who didn't realize they were being taken for fools. They also made a ton of promises that they couldn't keep with arenas, markets, players, and staff. There's a reason every team was through a coach or two before the season began.
     
  21. ElGuapo ^Plethora of piñatas

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    A lot of these spots in Texas though had hockey long enough to have some people who know the game well. And not knowing hockey doesn't make it harder to work. It can make it easier because it's amazing and new.

    San Angelo would be a great market for minor or junior hockey if they could find decent ownership and if there was another building. The city would say no to a hockey team playing in the coliseum the WPHL/CHL team played in, and even if they said yes they have annual events there now that they wouldn't be willing to give up for hockey dates. Just for the rodeo there'd be no ice for probably over a month.
     
  22. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Yeah, no. That is 100% not true. If you honestly think that, then I would not trust your business sense. If that logic was true, then the USACHL would've gotten more than 3 teams, and wouldn't have needed to create a 4th out of thin air. There would be hockey in a ton more cities. It takes a ton of investment in marketing, branding, on-ice performance and a ton of luck to sell it. And even then it still might not be enough, like we saw in RGV, Wichita Falls, Texas Tornado, New Mexico and all the others.

    The novelty wears off quick. Then they have to take on HS, college, and pro football, which occur on all the same prime dates you're trying to draw well for home games. Rodeos have a big following, state fairs, and I could keep naming stuff, but you get the point. It is flawed logic to think that it's easier because it's amazing and new.

    The current NAHL South Division members (teams all over TX, then LA, KS) are among the leading NAHL teams in attendance because they've adopted branding from their previous CHL teams, and marketed the hell out of the teams. Each team has pretty large full-time staff dedicated to advertisements and ticket sales. Shreveport is still benefiting from being an extremely successful expansion team out of the gate, winning the Robertson Cup in their second year. Their previous CHL incarnation was a perennial powerhouse, and folded the same year they won the league championship. The team was at peak on-ice performance and they still couldn't make ends meet.

    Just as many things wrong with this. Literally any city is a perfect hockey market if there's committed ownership, an arena with the capability to host hockey, and gauged interest. Those are the most basic qualifiers to even attract a hockey franchise. And San Angelo probably doesn't even have gauged interest! Their only history of hockey is having 4 years of CHL hockey over a decade ago, never averaged more than 2,500 people/game, and they folded as well!
     
  23. ElGuapo ^Plethora of piñatas

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    WTH? Whether I'm right or wrong, what you say here doesn't address it. The USACHL was doomed because it was a shit show. It would going to be hard to get cities to sign on to what BD was selling. When I first heard about it from a former hockey player who knew one of the people involved in the league I knew it would fail. I'm sure most people approached about it did also. It also would have failed in an area where the hockey knowledge of the fan base was equivalent to Wayne Gretzky's.

    You criticize people for speaking on things they don't know about, yet here you are speaking on something you're clueless about. You know nothing about San Angelo hockey. WPHL and CHL hockey was in San Angelo for eight years, not four. Averaged well over 2,500 the first three seasons, slightly under the rest. After year two effect of ownership started to take it's toll. The first two seasons they astoundingly averaged over 4,100 per game in a market that at the time was only 90,000, but they outperformed many markets that were all at least 2x larger. It was unbelievable. They had the numbers and the game atmosphere was unlike anything I've ever seen. I remember one player saying every game felt like game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Hockey took the town by storm and not even high school football could compete. There were a couple years where more high schoolers from San Angelo got NCAA hockey scholarships than football.

    Attendance and corporate support dropped after the first two years because the ownership was brutal and killed it. If the market hadn't have been so hockey obsessed, it would have not lasted past year two or three. Kozuback brought in this old man and his wife and grown kids from Duluth to own and run the team, and the old geezer was a crook and they didn't know what they were doing. Hockey was always a lot more popular there than in nearby Odessa, which still has hockey. They're very fortunate in that Odessa always had great ownership from the beginning. A lot of former hockey players settled in San Angelo after retiring and are still there. Some were excited that maybe the USACHL was interested in going there, the ones that knew or played for Troy Mick who unfortunately got involved in this. There's still a group of a few thousand die hard hockey fans in San Angelo. The NAHL would kill here if someone would build a small rink for them to play in. I think they even knew that at least in the past. They tried moving the Santa Fe team then transferring the Lubbock Cotton Kings into a NAHL team that would play in San Angelo right after the CHL team folded, but the City of San Angelo had no interest in hockey in the San Angelo Coliseum after getting burned by the previous regime. A former owner of the Austin Ice Bats and Amarillo Gorillas also wanted to put a team in San Angelo but settled on indoor football instead since the City of SA is now against hockey.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  24. ElGuapo ^Plethora of piñatas

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  25. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    The USACHL would've been able to attract more than three cities because you said it's "easier because it's amazing and new," your words not mine. And hockey would be growing all over the place in areas like Tijuana, Baton Rouge, Santa Fe because it would be so easy to sell hockey because it's exciting and new. Your logic, not mine. USACHL failed because it was run like a gongshow, but they would've attracted more than 3 cities if your reasoning was actually true.

    San Angelo Outlaws [WPHL] yearly attendance at hockeydb.com
    San Angelo Outlaws [CHL] yearly attendance at hockeydb.com
    San Angelo Saints yearly attendance at hockeydb.com

    My apologies, didn't realize that they had a previous incarnation, all I did was a quick Google search. They still averaged less than 2,500 people for 5/8 seasons of play, which dates back to nearly 20 years ago. My point still stands.

    When you make the claim that a market, who drew okay (the around 4,000 mark isn't that strong, even by EC standards and wouldn't even be top of the SP) for three years *20 years ago* then did very poorly, would be a great market, then it's a baseless claim. Especially when there's been no interest in acquiring a team in any league, there's no possible ownership group, and they're not even capable of hosting hockey. You then said if they had good ownership and an arena capable of holding hockey there would surely be a team there, and that claim could be literally applied to any city in the United States.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018

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