View Full Version : NLL (Pro lacrosse) Thoughts
02-09-2005, 07:43 AM
I just read an article on espn.com/hockey about the national lacrosse league and how it's been benefiting from the lockout. From reading the article I would have to say the league appears to be run the way I feel a good pro roller hockey league would be run (ie. all games on fridays/ weekends, practices the day before, good min. base salaries). Why do you think this format is working and has been working for Pro Lacrosse for years and will not work for Pro roller hockey?
02-09-2005, 07:49 AM
1. Financial backing
2. Television contracts
venues available....not many arenas are set up for inline hockey of a size needed to host a decent fan base.
02-09-2005, 11:54 AM
All we need is about 5 Iceports (poweradeiceports.com) spread out down each coast and we would be set.
02-09-2005, 04:30 PM
Thats my point.. Why can't pro roller hockey franchises get the backing and support of pro lax?
02-09-2005, 04:31 PM
the powerade centers are sweet.
02-09-2005, 04:57 PM
Why do you think this format is working and has been working for Pro Lacrosse for years and will not work for Pro roller hockey?
It will work for roller hockey, it has worked also for Arena Football...neither program got a tv contract until they were well into the, what 4-5th year of the league?
A good hard study of what both of these leagues have done right would go a long way toward making a roller hockey pro future workable.
One would also want to learn what worked for the first 12 years of the old Major Indoor Soccer League. Heck, they invented a new game that was an off-shoot of another form (outdoor soccer), put it into a country that has never embraced the original form, and made it work for almost two decades.
Incidentally, you know that Benny G. has already made such a study, and is working behind the scenes, slowly, steadily. When there are enough of the base components around the country in place, it will happen, because Benny, and a few others, know what they are doing.
Legitimate regional pro leagues by 2008, a national-level league by 2012, count on it.
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
02-10-2005, 12:12 AM
"it has worked also for Arena Football...neither program got a tv contract until they were well into the, what 4-5th year of the league?"
Actually, Arena Football came from ESPN. They're the ones that helped it along and then came SportsChannel and FOXSports locals, etc. That's how the MILL got going as well. MILL is now the NLL, same basic concept.
What made indoor soccer fun was that it was a cool idea turned into a cool atmosphere. Who wouldn't want to see a soccer ball bouncing around a hockey rink? The neat angles and everything brough a lot of upbeat and fast action to the sport of soccer.
Box Lacrosse is the same thing, it's close to hockey with some weird looking goalies and strange goals, but close enough.
Plus, none of those sports you could really just up and play somewhere. Inline hockey was played on tennis courts, cul-de-sacs, etc., which is why a lot of people see it as a recreational sport.
Frankly, I like to see the sport of inline get better. It just still seems at a lull. Almost like it's running slow for a bit and then quick spurts of action.
Using smaller venues is a great idea, I stand behind that one. For those in the DC area, if we can get more like the Laurel Ice Gardens main arena to host games, then it would work better. Having games played at makeshift facilities and then the facilities that are made for it have no seating, makes it hard to develop into anything.
High school hockey in the DC area has caught on because the rinks most go to, have permanent bleachers and it has a high-class feeling to it. Marple is close, I'd put bleachers all the way down that main aisle between the boards and the middle section.
I'm hoping to see inline grow over the years and if anyone has a team out in the Portland area (or thinking of putting one there), let me know, I'd be more than happy to help out and have a ton of reccomendations.
I do think DannyG is right, a good pro league by 2012 is possible. Bill, Steve, Benny, et. al. are on the right track. We just need people to be solidly behind it and support it all the way. Having players who bounce around or feel they should be allowed to bounce around aren't fully behind the concept of ONE league, a PRO league.
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Thanks for posting this. There are a couple of additonal concepts that we're trying to work off of. First, these sports, indoor lacrosse, indoor football and indoor soccer, are additional sports properties that utilize mid-size to large arenas (there are minor league versions of indoor football and soccer as well as basketball that utilize small to mid-size arenas). A possible advantage for roller hockey is to have any potential pro roller hockey league play in the summer. This is a duscussion that we've had many times before. Pro roller hockey, has in the past, been played in the summer and in some place has drawn very well. There are many new mid-size arenas that have recently been built and sit empty in the summer. These building operators are desparate for a viable property that can fill these unused summer dates. Rental costs for summer dates will be cheaper the winter dates because there is little to no competition for these dates, unlike the crowded winter sports season.
Now before people start posting about how fans don't want to go indoors to watch sports in the summer, my counter argument is always movies. The summer is the busiest time for movies. People pay anywhere from $7.50 to $12.00 to go inside an air conditioned building for approximately 2 hours to be entertained. How is this any different that an indoor LIVE action sporting event? Pro roller hockey played in the summer needs to be promoted like a summer blockbuster action movie. In fact, there are many opportunities to co-promoted with local movie theaters.
The same concept of operating a pro roller hockey league in the summer, at mid-size arenas, also works with TV. There's less going on in the summer so TV is looking fo more viable properties to fill programing hours. It's important to understand that TV like ESPN will only look at a sport property if its playing in a small to mid-size arena. Many of these venues were built to accomodate TV production crews. They were also built to make a sporting event look more attractive to the TV viewing audience. The TV networks like this because something that looks entertaining on TV will attract more viewers and therefore, more advertising revenue.
Another point is that a summer pro roller hockey league can supplement an existing pro ice hockey team. Many minor league ice hockey teams either own or operate their own arenas. For anyone who has taken Ecomonics 101 in school, the term "Economies of Scale" is important here. It's cheaper, and more conducive for a minor league ice hockey team to operate a pro roller hockey team played in the summer. They can supply some players, they an utilize advertising contracts already in place. They can utilize staff that would normally be laid off or just do very little during the summer. Suites and premium seating becomes more attractive with an addiional property to add to their package. The ice hockey team can use their roller hockey team to promote their primary property, the ice hockey team, to sell tickets to a primary demographic. This means that it might be easier to sell tickets to a roller hockey fan than say, a soccer fans or a football fan. This concept would work in reverse during the ice hockey season.
I learned about many of these things first hand because early on in my sports career I worked for the Buffalo Sabres, who happened to own the Buffalo Bandits lacrosse team, which play in the old MILL and now the NLL. I also worked for several years for the Buffalo Blizzard indoor soccer team of the NPSL, which operated inbetween both versions of the MISL, and played in the same arena as the Sabres.
Unless someone with deep pockets, who believes in the sport of roller hockey as a viable property, steps up, we have to do things the hard way. That means we have to start a minor league first. We have to show people with investment dollars that the sport at the elite level can be successful and can be grown to a "pro" level. In my opinion, that means a minor league needs to be operated with integrity and professionalism. It means that players need to make sacrifices and show that they're dedicated to the concept. It means that team operators at the minor league level, have to be dedicated and diligent in promoting their teams. They need to do all they can do to fill their rinks to capacity. The league needs to do everything it can to help the teams accomplish this. Then, and only then, will anybody with money, take a serious look at roller hockey with the idea of taking it to the next level.
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
eXtreme Inline Hockey League
02-10-2005, 01:00 PM
I would guess that that some/many potential owners/facilities have little faith left in RH because of RHI.
02-10-2005, 01:01 PM
ESL center in Rochester
Teco Arena in Florida
Something in Reading PA
Poweraide Ice port (can't wait to see statewars here)
02-10-2005, 01:24 PM
I'm getting old so I'm hoping for pro leagues by 2007 and Olympics by 2008.
02-10-2005, 04:39 PM
Excellent post. I think you make some great points, and I appreciate your hard work on behalf of inline hockey. Does anyone have an in with Bill Gates? /wtimages/icons/wink.gif
Inline Hockey Central
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