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Hockey


purplenorange
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Purpleorange, you are consistantly using faulty data. Sending an email to Phillip pointing out UA hockey beat a NCAA D-3 team when it was not true makes me cringe. If that was your edited version of the email, I'd hate to know what the full message was.

 

Your coach requirements are off a bit. Most programs have a head coach and 2 assistants. Your scholarship numbers are wrong too. You can't give out 22 scholarships per team, the limit is 18. Most schools don't even give out that many. Atlantic Hockey mandates 11. Not to say that is good news for your theory. When you consider only 35 of the 58 NCAA teams are full D-1 programs, you'll see D-1 schools have always viewed hockey as cost prohibative. All the D-2 and D-3 schools that play up just don't have the overall athletic expences. Based on your logic, UA might as well drop back in division so they could afford D-1 hockey. Buffalo had a D-2/D-3 team up until 1988. On the day our department announced they were moving up to D-2 in all sports and D-1 eventually, they announced they were dropping hockey. Of course UB fans and the UB club team want a varsity team, but UB would just as soon start a varisty men's volleyball team that would be dirt cheap and contend for a national title from the start, than pay for hockey. Since 1980, 8 D-1 programs have folded due to costs as well. Lindenwood (MO), the #1 ACHA D-1 team as of now, was all set to join NCAA D-1 a few years ago, with a new arena and Canadian recruiting, but they thought better once they checked their numbers again. They HAD an arena built and STILL thought varsity hockey was too pricy.

 

Hockey is just like lacrosse; A regionally focused niche sport. It's not like you see a ton of hockey games on the ESPN networks. It's basically just the Beanpot and the Frozen 4 on ESPN. UA football has a better shot of getting on ESPNU or 360 than UA hockey ever would.

Edited by UBBulls
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I am actually agreeing with UBBULL fan all the way through...but for one pt:

 

While you can argue it is still niche, Lacrosse IS THE BIGGEST GROWING COLLEGE SPORT. It actually scares me as to when the Big Conferences starting adding it soon. In the near future look out for the Big Ten and the PAC-Ten forming a conference.

 

Otherwise...you are spot on with everything else.

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I am actually agreeing with UBBULL fan all the way through...but for one pt:

 

While you can argue it is still niche, Lacrosse IS THE BIGGEST GROWING COLLEGE SPORT. It actually scares me as to when the Big Conferences starting adding it soon. In the near future look out for the Big Ten and the PAC-Ten forming a conference.

 

Otherwise...you are spot on with everything else.

 

I've heard it's one of the fastest growing high school sports. It is growing collegiately in D-1 into GA, FL, and KY, but all smaller schools, some being non-scholarship. It's gonna take a good decade or two of new programs outside the NE, Mid-Atlantic footprint just to start getting a footprint similar to hockey's. With currently zero PAC 10 programs and only two Big 10, I think it will be even longer until we see those conferences offer varsity. I do agreed it will probably happen eventually.

 

The same thinking is starting to happen in hockey as well. Some Big 10 AD's talked last month about forming Big 10 hockey with all the Big 10 schools, the 3 MAC hockey schools, and maybe Notre Dame or North Dakota. It would solve a lot of travel issues, but it would immediately become a dominant league and hurt the orphaned, smaller profile Mid-Western, Mountain, and Alaska programs. Luckily for the sake of those looking to maintain competition the idea didn't go anywhere, but it will likely come up again.

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I am actually agreeing with UBBULL fan all the way through...but for one pt:

 

While you can argue it is still niche, Lacrosse IS THE BIGGEST GROWING COLLEGE SPORT. It actually scares me as to when the Big Conferences starting adding it soon. In the near future look out for the Big Ten and the PAC-Ten forming a conference.

 

Otherwise...you are spot on with everything else.

 

I've heard it's one of the fastest growing high school sports. It is growing collegiately in D-1 into GA, FL, and KY, but all smaller schools, some being non-scholarship. It's gonna take a good decade or two of new programs outside the NE, Mid-Atlantic footprint just to start getting a footprint similar to hockey's. With currently zero PAC 10 programs and only two Big 10, I think it will be even longer until we see those conferences offer varsity. I do agreed it will probably happen eventually.

 

The same thinking is starting to happen in hockey as well. Some Big 10 AD's talked last month about forming Big 10 hockey with all the Big 10 schools, the 3 MAC hockey schools, and maybe Notre Dame or North Dakota. It would solve a lot of travel issues, but it would immediately become a dominant league and hurt the orphaned, smaller profile Mid-Western, Mountain, and Alaska programs. Luckily for the sake of those looking to maintain competition the idea didn't go anywhere, but it will likely come up again.

A major division I conference decided against something on the basis of maintaining fair competition? Even more evidence that that hockey is a money-loser. If there was a chance to make money they wouldn't have turned that conference idea down.

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To be clear - the email I sent off was edited to remove my name -- otherwise I didn't try to provide cost estimates, number of scholarships, etc.

 

Here's something real, though:

http://www.uscho.com/stats/attendance.php

 

I don't think the other "regional, niche sports" are getting AVERAGE attendance of 6000+ per game. This is what UNH, and U Mass, and BU had for an average for their hockey programs. I really think Albany needs to align itself with a set of realistic peer institutions.

 

And, for the record, I love college football. But what's our target? What's the strategic fit? I was excited about the program, but we can't even get a decent stadium built. I don't understand our goal with football, the NorthEast conference is comprised of institutions that we *DON'T* want to be compared with (CCSU? Monmouth? really...), and UB and Stony Brook are running away with the $money.

 

So, at the end of it all, I suppose I'd like to understand where we will fit as a school - who are the peer institutions, and how do we align with them? This should cut across academics, athletics, cost, student base, quality of faculty, etc. I continue to see it as UVM, U Mass, UNH, Maine - with the private Boston Univ. thrown in. America East is a good fit for these - but it has this nagging problem that all of the schools are big hockey schools, and we don't have a program.

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To be clear - the email I sent off was edited to remove my name -- otherwise I didn't try to provide cost estimates, number of scholarships, etc.

 

Here's something real, though:

http://www.uscho.com.../attendance.php

 

I don't think the other "regional, niche sports" are getting AVERAGE attendance of 6000+ per game. This is what UNH, and U Mass, and BU had for an average for their hockey programs. I really think Albany needs to align itself with a set of realistic peer institutions.

 

And, for the record, I love college football. But what's our target? What's the strategic fit? I was excited about the program, but we can't even get a decent stadium built. I don't understand our goal with football, the NorthEast conference is comprised of institutions that we *DON'T* want to be compared with (CCSU? Monmouth? really...), and UB and Stony Brook are running away with the $money.

 

So, at the end of it all, I suppose I'd like to understand where we will fit as a school - who are the peer institutions, and how do we align with them? This should cut across academics, athletics, cost, student base, quality of faculty, etc. I continue to see it as UVM, U Mass, UNH, Maine - with the private Boston Univ. thrown in. America East is a good fit for these - but it has this nagging problem that all of the schools are big hockey schools, and we don't have a program.

 

 

We don't know what the goal of the football program is.

We do know that staying in the NEC is not the goal.

 

And 6,000 a game for the best teams in the country is the definition of a niche sport.

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I have gone to hockey games at BU and UMaine neither school sold out their arena. I was at a BU game during the playoffs on a Saturday night that didn't draw more then 4,000.

 

We are better off sticking with football. We've already built up the number of scholarships, and we are going to be in a conference next year that can put us in a position to make the playoffs each year.

Edited by B9j2j6s
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In regards to attendance I went to the BU/UMass game a few weeks ago and they were turning students away. If hockey was brought on and made D1 I could see it getting something similar to that of basketball if the facility was built on-site. With that said to gain that popularity Albany would have to shoot for at the least the ECAC league in 5 years time. Students would not come out for Atlantic Hockey. If Albany was ECAC they could entice match ups with our America East companions i.e. UNH, Maine, Vermont (I leave BU out of the equation because I never see BU playing again UA at UA unless they some how went Hockey East). Plus being in the ECAC league would give us a natural rival in RPI and Union. With that said as much as I would Love UA to go D1 Hockey I thing there is a laundry list of things that have to be done with other sports to get UA to look more like a D1 College. Permanent Seats at Softball and Baseball fields and an upgrade to University Field.

 

Another Idea in regards to building a new facility is if new Hockey rinks were build somewhere on campus could that be used as another stream of income. A twin rink facility with one rink at capacity say 500 and then one at 2000-3000(similar to Gutterson at UVM) could be used to entice clinics, youth teams, high school teams, adult leagues to buy ice time. A hockey facility can be turned into a source of income unlike the Football Stadium which will go used only in the Fall, Spring and Summer. Twin rinks would be open all year round and most are used almost 24hours a day.

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I like the idea of a new twin rink setup that could be used as a money maker for UA but realistically the school should just move up to ACHA Division 1. The cost increase would be negligible and at least we would be playing in the top division (like Stony Brook already is). Hockey will never bring in huge crowds but in my opinion we have to be playing in the top division of ACHA. Just another example of UA taking a back seat to our peer institutions.

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Ice rinks aren't guaranteed income generators. From reports I've read only 20-25% of rinks are lucky to break even. Adjacent to UB North is the Amherst Pepsi Center, a 4-sheet rink which hemorraged money for quite a few years (Even with high demand; The Sabres all the way down to squirt leagues utilize it). Operations and contracts have improved, but I'm not certain it turns a profit for Amherst. Rinks do create a decent economic impact for the immediate area. It is true that on campus arenas are huge for NCAA programs, but they usually don't make money. They do serve a campus community need, create convenience for teams, and increase general "social capital", I suppose.

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There are already public rinks in the Capital Region that actually offer free skating (there's one in Albany that is a private rink and offers free skating and lessons on sundays) and the Knick in Troy/Lansingburgh which I believe has free skating at times.

 

I don't think there is the demand for another that would support the capital expenditure.

 

In 20 years? Maybe.

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The twin rinks opened in Delmar and one is already gone. There is now way another rink is financially viable. There's 4 in Troy, 2 in Schenectady, 3 in Albany, 1 in Clifton Park already, and that doesn't count the TU center.

 

Hocky is not a cheap sport, I was involved with it for over 25 years. It's just not going to happen.

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If a twin rink is run properly it can make money. I'm not saying it could make huge money but you do have a potential work force (students) who could work on the cheap in Maintenance, concessions, shop, tickets, etc. which is something the others don't have. Since it is a university facility I am sure they are exempt from some state taxes which isnt much but a help. The next key to it is bringing in the business. A new facility is something that could entice a Junior team like the CD selects to base themselves at. Other revenue streams could be high schools and youth programs. I am well aware that many facilites do struggle and I play every week at one. It is starting to come back but slowly. Champions Skating Center in Cromwell, CT where the wolfpack practice has been a relative success and that is mainly because they have the wolfpack, jr. wolfpack and the CT Clippers who at Jr. B.

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