View Full Version : Arenas
Any chance of MLRH's teams moving into arenas with 1000 seats or maybe a new expansion team building a new rink? They have these new monolithic domes out. The WHA may be using them.
02-03-2004, 09:24 PM
That would be pretty sick if a league could become a better organized version of the RHI. What the leagues are doing right now is appealing to inline hockey fans only. To go to a MLRH or PIHA game you got to know the teams and where they play, and only people who play or follow the sport closely know this information. As soon as one of these leagues can appeal to non hockey fans as well is when you are going to see inline hockey back in the big arenas. I know I have a IYF hockey magazine from 1998, and most of the adds are for roller hockey companies like Kryptonics, Parabolics, Kuzak, and there is even a small add for Black Biscuit. There is a small section dedicated to roller hockey and it shows a picture of a pretty packed arena watching the St. Louis Vipers play and a quote that says RHI promises there best season in 1999 after a 1 year hiatus because of lawsuits and "subpar talent". MLRH is also quoted saying that the future of the sport lies in grass-root programs. The advancement of talent in tournaments like Narch and Tohrs proves that the new generation of players is ready, the question is ... is the world ready for another "professional" roller hockey league. The answer is yes, as long as the league appeals to everyone, then teams like the Aneheim Bullfrogs will appear and inline hockey will be back at the top of it's game.
You'll miss 100% of the shots you never take.
02-03-2004, 11:12 PM
i would love to see a real pro league start up again. But not many people will build a large arena without being sure they can fill seats. Right now it's a gamble that not many people will take. But every year roller hockey grows, so hopefully soon it will become more mainstream and larger arenas will pop up.
02-04-2004, 06:08 AM
I wasn't aware inline hockey is growing. It's certainly not around here. The only significant growth our sport has seen in the past 3 years is the college leagues. If you want my opinion the sport isn't going to grow until we decide to adopt a general idea of what the game we are playing really is. I'm so tired of these crazed ideas to generate interest. Outdoor beach games, ramps, square rinks with rubber bumpers, and hitting may be appealing for a little while and even capture the interest of espn for a year or two, but everytime we sellout the sport like this we lose more and more credibility. We should be using one very simple rule. What every we do on a pro level, we should expect on all levels of our game from mite to seniors to college. Will the days of the RHI ever return, I doubt it, the sport is being driven in a dozen different directions, but to the same destination "an early grave".
02-04-2004, 09:44 AM
I agree with everything said above..... except Flynn where you point out 'hitting' as a contributor to a loss of credibility.
RHI was full-contact, correct?
NARCh PRO and TORHS PRO are pretty damn close to full contact....
I really don't get the whole outcry to eliminate hitting from roller hockey. Fans want to see an occassional fight, fans want to see big hits, as much as they want to see goals scored.
anywho, thats my take on it.
btw flynn, when you gonna be @ the sportsplex next, i wanna pick up my gear finally ;)
02-04-2004, 11:41 AM
The ideas like PBH and Speedhockey tend to make people take roller hockey less seriously. If a roller hockey league ever wants to get back to the level it was in the RHI, a league with normal rules and full size court needs to be used. I know I get crap almost every week when I have to leave ice hockey practice early for a roller hockey game. If respect of the game can be brought back through pro leagues then more people will play and the sport will grow. Right now areas like PA, NJ and CA seem to have grown to the max and if we want that respect to happen leagues like MLRH and PIHA need to bring more teams to states in New England and the middle part of the country where the sport is starting and or continuing to grow at a constant rate.
You'll miss 100% of the shots you never take.
02-04-2004, 02:08 PM
PBR and Speedhockey are money making schemes and thats it. We need a true pro league with loyal owners. Remember just like most business ventures, you may not turn profit right away. A lot of the RHI owners were looking for a quick buck and once that didnt happen, the league fell.
02-04-2004, 04:06 PM
I agree with those who have posted on this thread, these gimmicks such as PBH and Speed Hockey will not be taken seriosuly even by most die-hard fans and players of inline hockey. though these versions might be some what entertaining along the lines of WWF and Slamball they arnt a good representation of the sport. we need a pro league that is run professionally and puts a good product on the floor. it also needs to play the same game everyone else is playing from MLRH, Narch, and USA hockey inline. all of these organizations play generally the same game, with small diffrences such as hitting.
what i would like to see goes along the lines of what the River Rats of RHI did in 98, build a outdoor arena, something cost effective where they can control revenue and host other events such as tournaments small concerts and such. while at the same time gives the team a landmark to be seen and a permenant home. these arenas could be built with an additional indoor practice rink and a couple of outdoor ones for youth teams and tournaments as well as training facilities and and amenities for fans attending games. this should be the way to go because it could be done cheaper then building a indoor arena, fans could be outdoors in the summer and you can aviod the high cost of large arena rentals the RHI had to deal with.
02-04-2004, 04:08 PM
problem with that is, high level hockey is meant to be played on sport court, where $150 sticks and $100 wheels won't get thrashed.
last time i checked, sport court outdoors isnt a great idea...
02-04-2004, 04:26 PM
While i have never played on sport court outdoors, it has been done for example Sacramento, PBH, and a few tournaments. from the sport court website it seems they make a court which is meant for outdoor use. does anyone have any experience with sport court outdoors?
02-04-2004, 04:39 PM
the constant heating/cooling/moisture on sport court has a tendency to warp the tiles. At least it did at my hockey rink... they threw it on without thinking about that and halfway through the season it was impossible to play on it. Every shot and pass looked like you were on a pinball table.
02-04-2004, 05:01 PM
Do you remember what happened the first game the River Rats had outdoors? They were bombarded with bugs!!! (If I remember correctly, they had to stop the game to sweep them off the court). Besides, who would want to play outdoors in a place like Sacramento where it can get over 95 degrees?!
02-04-2004, 06:13 PM
Talk to ANY major league sport team owner and see if they make money. The exception is probably the Redskins and I can't tell you why, only that's what I've heard.
02-04-2004, 06:22 PM
I don't think inline hockey will get any respect until the players themselves act/train/play like pro athletes. Drink after the game, but before or during? Where else would that happen? And if the players don't respect themselves or the game why should anyone else? Arenas should be the least of the worries. Can't fill seats until we have a product.
02-04-2004, 06:34 PM
Well exactly why PIHA has reached out to Buffalo and Chicago this season. THese are target areas for the league. We are extremely excited about the midwest region right now. With the addition of the two chicago teams, we have already had two additional teams in the midwest contact us about next season. Likewise, we are certain that a push into virginia and south is certain for next year, but our goal is to continue growth in our northern areas, Long Island and New York State are big targets for next season.
02-04-2004, 06:42 PM
I suggest then that we allow kids to hit in roller hockey as well. I'm not being a smart ass here, my point is that we need to decide what this game is all about. You can't teach kids to play a game one way and then market a whole different product to them. The reason that hitting works in NARCh and TORHS is because you are getting the elite players of the country to do it. Frankly, while PIHA and MLRH players are much better then say your average A league, these people don't know how to hit intelligently. They do it just because theyu can and not because its an effective tool in the game. The only result it serves is the one you have encountered, injury.
02-04-2004, 06:46 PM
This again condemns Inline Hockey to become a summer sport. This is a year round game!
02-04-2004, 08:37 PM
but, then roller loses some of that "good boy" hockey image and loses appeal to many parents who are terrified that little johnie may get hurt.
Don't get me wrong, I'm on record saying I think it (checking) in roller needs to be taught and played from about 12 on up. Still feel that way too. Just it has been pointed out to me many times that more than anything, "no touchey" influences a lot of parents to steer the kids to roller vs ice.
Williamsburg Warriors, MLRH AAA
Even ice hockey is officially "non contact" until Pee Wee levels (11-12). Also in most adult house leagues for ice hockey the sport remains non contact, and similarily for the older 35 overs etc. even in interclub league play for these guys. So there is no reason a parrellel arrangement could not be followed.
PS ref the hit on Bob Mooers...this was not a "cheap shot" by an unskilled player, but a freak accident resulting more from contact by his own teamate.....to which I beleive Bob will attest.
The other major ptoblem is humidity which can make the surface impossible to grip, let alone the effects of rain. Plus at the extremes of the seasons, the falling seeds, bugs, leaves etc. etc. can all play havoc with the surface even when cleaned just prior to a game.
02-04-2004, 09:41 PM
I played at a outdoor rink with sprotcourt and it was horrible. Summer days werent to bad but when night fell moisture would make it impossible to skate. Where i live here in Delaware all four seasons would be murder to a sport court.
Beware of a goalie that carries three sticks!
02-04-2004, 09:53 PM
I played on an outdoor rink for a couple years. It was tile but not sport court, It was similar. It had holes in the tiles. It sucked when it would rain and stuff but it was still okay until a larger indoor rink opened. I think that no matter what contact (at least some) has to be allowed. It's not basketball. Playing ice hockey from pee wee up with contact and playing non contact roller or ice now isn't a big deal. You just have to use your head a little more. but it's still going to come down to people not wanting to put up a lot of money to start something that failed in the past. Unless they know they can sell tickets and not go bankrupt. I don't see that happening too soon.
02-05-2004, 09:00 AM
bah, my arm was just a wrong place wrong time kinda thing. Not like I tried to hit a guy, but don't know how or something!!! lol damn you Flynn.
btw, picked up my gear last night...thanks for holding it for me :)
02-05-2004, 10:16 AM
I've been reading this thread with tremendous interest. I decided to chime in when reading about the time of year the game should be played. I mentioned this in a commentary before but I think that that is one of the things holding back the growth of the sport at the elite level. Every other sport has a time of the year (I'm talking about the pro versions). If there ever is to be a true pro roller hockey league with the scope of the old RHI, when should it be played and why.
MLRH plays in the winter. Their reasoning is that fans of teams representing markets in their geographic area won't come out in the summer. Well after several years of operation, has this proven to be the right decision? I'm not trying to be critical, I really want to know. Maybe Ben Loyall can add some input here.
PIHA operates in the summer because that is traditionally when the sport is played most. Now they've modified their schedule to accommodate the tournament's nationals events. Has PIHA succeded in drawing fans due to the fact that they have played in the summer? Again, I'm asking a legitimate question here.
My personal opinion is that the "pro" version of the sport should be played in the summer; something roughly between May and September, with a small break for the various Nationals (like the NHL taking off for the Olympics). I think the games need to be played in small to mid-sized arenas (1k to 5k seating to start). This will not only give the sport some credibility, but these places almost always have AC which will help bring fans out. There is a void in the summer across the nation for sports/entertainment opportunities. Roller hockey can fill this void. Most of the arenas I'm referring to are sitting idle during this time of the year and the managers of these facilities would love to have a legitimate, respectable property come in to boost revenue during a traditional down time. I've never believed the criticism that people won't pay to come indoors during the summer to watch "pro" roller hockey. The summer is the biggest time of the year for movies and people pay $10+ to sit inside an air conditioned theatre for two hours to be entertained. Roller hockey can do the same thing, but it needs to be entertaining enough to do this. Will it ever be? Does hitting/fighting need to be included? Are better players needed? Does this mean that pro ice hockey players (I don't mean NHL players) need to recruited to improve the product?
More food for thought...
Inline Hockey America
Hi Benny...cannot resist putting my 2(00) cents in.
From what I have seen..two seasons of MLRH and one of PIHA, the attendance does not seem to be season related. I would have to give the attendance edge to MLRH for last year, but only slightly and neither organization could claim to be happy with the attedance levels I'm sure. This year I would say overall attendance is up for MLRH games..based only on seat of the pants estimating from the games I have attended.....but this is a very crude estimate.
I think the attendance is more related to generating local awareness of the game and the level of the sport. I have heard so many comments from first time fans that: A) they "didn't know they had this level of play in roller hockey". and B)"that this stuff is fun to watch...."
I thought these were very positive comments to share...and were repeated on many different occasions by first time fans whom I have met at the games. This was in reference to MLRH games..not so much PIHA games. I am not knocking PIHA in this, but I just never ran into many first time fans while watching PIHA games.
I think the overall skill level in MLRH is up this year, including the "hitting' ability of the players, where more and better checking is being seen. Perhaps the condensing of the league, is raising the overall average skill level.
In PIHA I think the overall level of play was better compared to last year's MLRH games, when you look only at the level of "non contact" skill play. But the two games are definitely different when full contact play is actually utilized properly, so it's hard to compare. I have watched players who are very successfull in MLRH look very average in PIHA, but they are two different games. It is certainly possible that some very effective PIHA players would look very average in the full contact of MLRH hockey as well.
To summarize, I think the full contact version does generate more fan excitement, although it may be more dangerous to the players who are not compensated at this point for any injuries which may result. However when looking at the sport as a fan draw, and considering a full blown pro league and what is needed to make this successfull, I would have to say full contact has more appeal.
I think as I have stated over many IHC posts that full contact makes for better players, as it requires much more rink awareness, and better overall skating skills both to make and avoid hits. To be able to make slick moves without getting clocked is fun, but it is much more exciting to watch someone who can make these moves when other players are trying to "take them out" physically.
The player who can succeed in that environment, becomes more heads up, and in consequence a better team player, and inevitably develops better hands to be able to look around the rink for options while in danger of being crushed with a big hit.
Traditionally the old RHI was dominated by stars who came from some level of PRO or college elite ice hockey. However if full contact roller hockey is developed the same way as ice hockey, the players who come up through the ranks of the inline game, will have as good a chance to become "superstars" in the sport, as those who come up through ice hockey. This due to the maturation of the skills which come through full contact. I do however think that full contact should be limited to maybe the ages of 14 and older, so that the stick skills seen in roller hockey get a good foundation..this is very common in European ice hockey, where skating and stick skills recieve the most emphasis during the formative years, and then team play is taught once the skill foundations have been established.
Once the sport has established it's own developmental parameters to insure top level performance from it's "homegrown" players, then the appeal of the more wide open play of inline hockey will help draw fans. Add the excitement of four on four, to limited offsides, with full contact, and skill players who can compare to the best in ice hockey, and you WILL get the fans.
I think a limited league of say 6 teams could already be established for a true "PRO" league with enough skill to keep the awe of the fans. In addition a limited league would help maintain player and "star" identities, and the games would be more meaningfull. The existing leagues or their derivatives could certainly serve as minor leagues to the Major league teams, as long as everyone plays by the same rules.
With the existing fan attendance for the present leagues, moving into larger arenas would be premature. However with a six team true "Pro League", and with a viable television contract, a 5000 seat arena should certainly be the norm.
Let's face it...for players who have played even minor league ice hockey and recieved a few hundred dollars per game to play, playing at the "elite league" levels of inline hockey for only "glory" does not have much appeal. For a true PRO level to be established, A) the talent pool must be there, and B) some organization must bite the bullet and guarantee some sort of decent compensation for the players so there is a true "carrot" to aspire to.
02-06-2004, 03:17 PM
I am hanging that on my wall. In the bathroom, across from the toilet :)
02-06-2004, 04:06 PM
WOW! Now this is good stuff. Great posts guy's, but like MDE3, I have to add to this. Unfortunatly living in CT I have not yet seen a PIHA game. I would imagine it would compare with one of the major tournaments. In my second year in MLRH, I can honestly say that last year was good, but this year is great. With the reduction of teams and the increase in talent per team, the games are much more competitive, and as a result are drawing more fans. I tend to think that the winter season is better to attract fans. We average 120 to 250 per game. I don't think we would draw 1k-5k at an arena. Therefore, until we can, we should continue to support the rinks until we out grow them. Of course as a Rink Manager I am bias, but I am speaking more as a fan of the sport. We are moving in the right direction, and hopefully someday we'll see the sport become united among all its current identities. That will be the day we can shoot for the arena's. Constructive talks like these will launch us towards our universal goals.
right next to the toilet paper ehh?
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