View Full Version : RHI
07-17-2004, 09:12 AM
It's been 10 years since the RHI was at it's peak, and I like many others miss it dearly. In the meantime we've been subdued with PBH, some exciting tournament PRO series, a few minor/aaa leagues here and there, as well as the up and coming speed hockey... but I'm still confused...
At the height of the RHI's existence, the league was averaging just under 5000 fans a game. http://rhistats.tripod.com/1994/rattre94.htm. I would like to think the sport has grown somewhat since then, if not tremendously. With a plethura of sports leagues existing (which make profit just past the 5k fan mark), why is it that nobody (with the business knowhow and experience) is willing to attempt a repeat. Clearly with 5k fans a game, it wasn't too slow for the live fans, or in my opinion television. Regardless that whole ploy that roller hockey would have to televised nationally to suceed feels like a crock considering the number of leagues that survive or thrive w/ out major television contracts.
I know this topic has been brought up before, and nobody really wants to come right out and jump on speed hockey (because we're all glad to see at least some initiative) but really speed hockey can not possibly be the only solution.
Seriously, how many rink owners are going to cut their rinks in half? Come on now, I know there is a couple of you on here... When are you planning on converting? exactly....
From all accounts I've heard the RHI (the league) was run like crap. Fortunately a few franchises had their heads screwed on right, and they florished... Mr. Bellehumeur. Now Alex is trying to apply his apt business skills to an entire league, but in my opinion is asking entirely to much of the inline world. Does a red headed step child, really need it's own red headed step child? I won't go to far with that, considering I've only seen speed hockey on video, but really, how fast can you get going on 100 foot (max) surface? Point is, with the combined efforts of the Elite leagues (btw, I can't wait to see what 'they' are cooking up), and some of the fellas involved in speed hockey, does anyone agree that an RHI like league could come back and bring joy to us all?
For the record, if it does, I will be the first to buy season tickets...
Anyhow, I've kind of been all over the place, but I'm sure many of you catch my drift. I'm also sure a number of you know things the ins and outs of pro leagues and the RHI much better than I do, so all I'm asking is... fill me in.
07-17-2004, 11:02 AM
I agree with you one hundred percent. I am told from the powers that be, that the problem with the truly "professional leagues" is that most investors feel leagues like RHI, PBH and even Speedhockey is too risky. If you look at the past, some cities have fluorished with pro roller hockey, but most have failed miserably and lost lots of money. Plus in an arena made to fill 20,000 people, bringing in 5-8,000 fans barely covers costs of insurance, venders, players pay etc.
I feel thats whats holding back a league like RHI or MLRH Pro from just coming back without careful consideration. I do agree with you however that the league would do well in many areas and should come back at some point.
07-17-2004, 12:27 PM
While the announced attendance may have been 5,000, there usually were not actually 5,000 at the games and of the people that were there, quite a few got free tickets. So the actual paid attendance was probably one or two thousand.
I wasn't directly involved with any team, but I think the expenses were too high for the amount of revenue the teams brought in. Renting NHL size arenas and flying around the country are not cheap.
07-17-2004, 02:46 PM
With proper ownership and marketing roller hockey can be successfull playing in large NHL size arenas. just look at the Bullfrogs of RHI, while they had bad owners, they never had an avg. bellow 8,000 and usually was up around 10,000.
another good example is indoor laccross, a sport which i think is even less popular then roller hockey, here denver under the ownership of KSE, the owners of the Avs and Nuggets, the colorado mammoth have managed to get sellouts for just about every game. with proper marketing a ownership a roller hockey franchise could do the same i believe.
I have a question though, why is it that sports like Indoor Soccer always seem to have owners willing to start leagues. there have been many indoor soccer leagues which failed as RHI did, but there is always someone waiting to start something new in its place, the also manage to play in large NHL size arenas.
If a Roller Hockey league does come about it would have to play in those large arenas, while die hard fans who frequent this site might be willing to sit in a run down 1,000 seat arena most people want a quality product, that includes facility. the american sports fan has many choices these days besides the big 4 you have Arena Football, Indoor Lacrosse, Indoor Soccer, Womens Basketball just to name a few. so in my opinion for a league to become a success i believe it will have to start at the level RHI was at, of course they will need owners with alot of money who are willing to loose money for a few years as the product grows, if they can do it with Soccer i think they can do it with Roller Hockey
07-19-2004, 09:36 AM
Great subject and here is my 2 cents.
I do not like the idea of Speed Hockey for the seasons already mentioned and the current so called Pro leagues have to many teams that can barley pay players or support themselves. I've talked to players who are promised things like cash for gas and so on and the owners can't even pay that. We really need only a handfull of teams with solid ownership.
If the PIHA, MLRH, Speed Hockey and IHA all made efforts to field one team each and use thier own league as a minor league system then perhaps attract lets say another 2 teams, one in the West Coast and one in the Midwest, then perhaps a Original six can start and form a real Pro Division.
07-19-2004, 11:56 AM
That's a good point. Clearly a minor league system would be of uber importance. Some type of bus league to feed/bread players into the pro league. (or they could all be recruited from AAA ice hockey again)
As for the a pro league, you are correct the MLRH/PIHA have far to many teams in certain areas. But I don't fault them for that, it's a restriction of player population, available facilities, etc etc. It kind of fits the league. For myself, really its sad. I have 3 teams from each league w/ 45 minute drive. To date, I've only paid to see one of them play. I've played for two others.
So for myself and all philadelphians...
During the PIHA season we've had
Marple Grenades - Defunct
Nike Team Breakaway
Depending on whats happening to these leagues, I would hope that only two, (max 3) teams are available in this area, and that they are playing out of the best facility available (Pure roller 500 seats; Ice converted for cheap cheap 2500 seats). These teams could definately resemble the Level of competition myself and many other roller hockey guys would pay to see. (Luckily for me, these teams would look something like our current USA national teams).
In the mean time, I can watch (for free) any of the 10 regional TORHS/NARCH events that come to my area. The sames goes for any groups that would be interested in group tickets... ALA, every childs house league team, hs teams, college teams, and the list goes on.
While I'm on that... NO narch and torhs, that is not a call for you to get start charging, Mearly to get off the cash kick (impossible) and get on board with a united league. They could essentially do what they are doing now, showcasing pro games during regionals, but limit the games to legitimage league games, no tournament play (with fancy names for conferences etc.)
I think NARCH at one time, had sent one article to press saying they were looking into this but nothing ever came of it.
Anyhow, back to a pro league... I think 6 teams may be a little small. Hopefully something more in the range of 8-10. I would like to think that there is at least that many locales that could support a team. If not, then maybe the sport isn't ready. While I know the original six has significance to hockey, the population has grown, and it would almost be expected to have more than six.
Unfortunately, I realize this topic is just a shared pipe dream for a few more seasons. Until more of the first generation kids start growing up. (By 1st generation, I'm referring to the kids who started out playing on a sport court surface with 3 wheeled missions, Not the folks like myself, who suffered through a few years on quads with a ball and cane, while only the older kids were allowed to use real sticks and pucks :( )
When a sport is a significant part of your life, and it's given you so much, It's only a matter of time before you want to give back.
Soooo in a couple of years, maybe enough folks who grew up on the sport will have the capital or access to the capital to make it happen.
While writing this all out... I've neglected to point out one thing. I don't care what name of the league is, and what status is has, more than anything else... I miss seeing the level of play on a consistent basis... For me, it's not the money or the name, it's the game.
07-20-2004, 04:26 AM
I've heard some rumblings about a possible "Original 6" style pro league starting up with MLRH. The style would have something to do with teams that are in NHL cities but not necessarily in NHL arenas.
MLRH had the right idea a few years ago by having teams play in the small buildings. The Bayfront Center in St. Pete is a nice enough facility, I'd put a team there if I could but nothing ever survived there. The management of the team was screwy as it was. Setting a "standards of living" would be a good start. A lot of pro leagues have this and that's what sets them apart.
With some possible talks coming up, MLRH could pull this type of thing off. It just takes looking at the right buildings. In the DC area, there are three arenas that could be used, only one of which I think I'd go with (Patriot Center in Fairfax). The advantage here is that people know where it is, it's a constant-use facility meaning it's getting used for something but not packed like the MCI Center. It's not "the only place in town" to hold anything.
I'm thinking the Horizon outside of Chicago and the LA Sports Arena (if it's still there) would work as well.
Visit SportsAnnouncing.com for info on Game Production, announcing and more
The Liacourus Center in Philadelphia that Temple owns.
You can hardly call soccer in the United States a success.
07-20-2004, 04:40 PM
Your right on that, but filling several thousand seats oppose to several dozen that Inline Hockey fills, can be considered a success as well.
I am not a big soccer fan, but I am surprised the following it has. I know of several facilities that charge just to go watch a Rec League team play and people pay. It's amazing .
07-20-2004, 05:24 PM
using college facilities are a great idea, a lot less expensive to rent then lets say MSG, and not an outrageous amount of seats to fill up... 2-4,000 seat arena's would be a perfect amount for a PRO roller team to draw towards
and a bit of a captive fan market with college students..at least a few might be able to struggle over to watch a game.
07-21-2004, 03:42 PM
A big problem besides the money issue is the stupid rules these owners put into effect. There should never be offsides or icing or anything like that in roller hockey. Also some of the leagues do 4 quarters? They should stick to 3 periods like most hockey games, and like the MLRH there is hitting, roller hockey is not a hitting game. Its for finesse, fans will come to the games to watch players dangle some one one on one and then shelf it on the goalie, stuff you dont see in ice hockey to much.
LOL.....well I am glad you did all your marketing studies....I am sure there will be a team owner or league official that will be ready to snap up your sugestions.
07-22-2004, 01:39 PM
Yes, it does appear that team owners tend to speak their mind on the message boards. Well at least on this message boards. I don't see real "PRO" team oweners doing the same in other sports.
07-22-2004, 05:02 PM
What the heck...here's the guaranteed formula to work...
First, you develop legitimate regional leagues (see below).
second: After a solid three-to-five year development period, the larger market teams can break off from their regional bretheren into a "super-league." That is, "super" only into relation to their smaller brother teams, still not a true national-level program, yet.
Third, together with the inauguration of a legitimate television package, based on the healthy business track record created by steps one and two above, a major-city-market, major-league is created, creating a three tier program, with regulated player movement, and legitimate full-pro opportunities for all.
Some aspects of a successful regional league (step one above, where this all must start):
1. each regional league has 4-8 teams playing.
2. geographic limit of 700 miles diameter per region.
3. each market is a city of approx. 500,000 people, minimum 75 miles distant from any other franchise. no teams in major-league cities. If a city, including suburbs, has any NFL, MLB, NBA, or NHL team, stay out of there.
4. season April through June, playoffs in July, all ending prior to August 1st. First year, 20 games, moving toward 40 games by the third year.
5. Each player paid a standardized contract rate, example: $15 per training session, $25 per game.
6. each player also paid through shares in the "player pool." percentage of each ticket sold goes into pool, 70% to home team, 30% to visiting team. limited free tickets. Each player negotiates their number of shares in the pool for their team. Star players might have 10 shares, journeyman players only 2-4 shares. Stay away from "marquee player" level of contract...
7. Minimum rosters, say 14 players on contract, ten play each game.
8. Players also get percentage of player-speciic merchandise. If your number on sweater replicas sells more, you get more. If your bobblehead sells more, you get more.
9. each region and team will have a marketing plan, with image, name, color, and other considerations as to how it presents its on-floor product.
10. Ownership will be minimum investment, maxium workload, it will be inline hockey people who make inline hockey work from the bottom up, not deep pocket investment trying to create sensation from the top down, without any foundation to hold it up...ya can't have a major league without the lower echlons of the program having been established first...
This, by the way, is pretty much what Benny G. has been working toward for a couple of years now...if he can hold out til about '06 or '07, I am looking to work in the southwest region, and connect up with him and other counterparts to make this thing work.
See you out on the blue floor...
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
07-22-2004, 06:51 PM
Like Mark Cuban needs a message board. I'm afraid I don't visit all the boards or know all the poster's sign ons. Just like some of the "unknown" patrons of this board, you might not know who really is behind some of these thoughts. I'm especially wary of any recently assigned user that doesn't offer much info on their profile, and yet seems almost familiar.....
07-22-2004, 07:45 PM
Well be "wary" then.
Recently assigned does not mean recently being a player or fan.
No wonder a few dozen go to the games.
Excellent suggestions Danny....note you stayed away from the game format however....good choice.....It's interesting to see that as the skill levels improve in the league though, that the goonery seems to diminish..less to prove maybe...
BTW have you ever seen a MLRH game?..Lot's of highlight reel stuff never fear....same rules as RHI. It's not just "ice hockey on wheels" either..go see a game if you haven't yet.
07-23-2004, 07:57 AM
4 years ago we had 238 PAYING, not just parents of the kids that skated at halftime, attendees at a MLRH game. Our game crowd pictures made it into the color FINALS handout at the Championships. Yes, grasshopper, you are a newbie....
We also were able to sell beer. We didn't lose money that year!
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by NLane on 07/23/04 07:00 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
238 people, wow, the newbie is impressed!
07-23-2004, 05:28 PM
Not really, I've attended several games and I do not need to be told how many people go watch.
238 or was it 2.38
07-24-2004, 08:37 AM
But no one goes to the games, remember.
07-26-2004, 09:10 AM
of course they go to the games. The thousands and thousands.
07-26-2004, 09:20 AM
If you're not part of the solution....
07-26-2004, 09:22 AM
your knocking on a fan, real smart you are.
Your the best.
07-26-2004, 09:24 AM
Not one of our fans. They can spell.
07-26-2004, 09:32 AM
Guess you a have degree in Spell Check. Is it a optional or a mandatory for a billing clerk.
07-26-2004, 09:38 AM
lol. Can't lose the spelling bee with that one! I use a dictionary. Spell check doesn't have enough words stored for my needs. "A mandatory or optional" what? I think a word or two may have been left out.:) Billing clerks don't need no stinkin' spell checks!! hahahaha
07-26-2004, 09:48 AM
"Billing clerks don't need no stinkin' spell checks!! hahahaha" they don't need any hockey experience either ;)
It's all good. overall we all want to see the same thing and that is good Inline Hockey. I just wish that it could be shared around the country and isolated in one region of the country which is the east coast.
07-26-2004, 10:00 AM
I agree. There are good teams out West. I went with the Warriors when they played a few teams. What do you mean no hockey experience? I have never skated hockey but have been a GM and do know the game. I thought maybe you knew who I am but I guess you don't. Watching and supporting the game for 14 years should count for something. I cheer for all good plays whether it's my team or not. I really enjoy the game and the players. Have met some great people thru inline hockey and hope to continue and be part of the successful future of this game.
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