View Full Version : Here's what we need to do!
09-17-2005, 12:13 AM
Let's get our sport out of the hands of private industry...
This is going to be very harsh, and will involve a radical change in the way our sport is operated.
I propose that Parks & Recreation Departments (municipal governments) build, develop, or outright take over the inline hockey rinks in the country.
In 1998, I went to the El Paso Parks & Recreation department and suggested that they could take an existing four-court tennis surface, remove all the fixtures, place a "gun-metal-gray" building over the whole concrete slab, put in lights and air conditioning, and we could have an inline hockey facility that we could practically offer for use to the public for free.
I was told that, if the Department were to do this, then they were going to do it right: a permanent building, restrooms, high quality lighting, rink equipment...the whole nine yards, if it were to be done at all. This, to me was a tremendously positive response to my inquiry.
The concept was made part of the next municipal bond election. Design and construction followed; on August 29, 2003, we skated onto the floor in our state-of-the-art inline hockey facility at the Nations-Tobin Recreation Center...
Every City of any size has the ability to do this! It is necessary to galvanize your municipal representative officials, and your state and federal representatives to come up with municipal bond, and matching state/federal funds as needed.
At the Nations-Tobin Recreation Center, you play 20-45 games each 3-month season, have unlimited open floor practice time, uniform use is provided for each team, your tournament team trains for free, and you get all this for $25 per season...period.
We host USAHIL and AAU regionals for (get this) $295 per team...
This is the power that a properly operated municipal parks' program can have over the ability of players to play and develop.
Imagine if, say, 50 of the 100 largest cities had such a program? I ask you: If you only had to pay $25 a season for hockey, how would that change the opportunities in the game for you?
I realize that I am aiming to put private rink operators out of the inline hockey business. Our city has two roller rinks that run recreation roller skating, parties, etc. Nations-Tobin tries not to infringe on their business, but they don't run hockey programs, because they can't possibly compete with that $25/player/season fee...no private rink could.
I contend that this proposal would dramatically help our sport to grow and develop!
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
09-17-2005, 01:09 AM
Oh no, now Marxism will save the sport?
So, all those ballsy entrprenuers who stuck their balls out, as early as the late 1980's, to help promote and grow inline hockey should now move aside for some assinine socialist like structure to this sport.
Danny, please, when you write stuff like that, please... always end it with LOL or LMAO, otherwise we might think you're serious and stupid enough to actually think a suggestion like that could receive any reaction other than derisive snickering.
09-17-2005, 02:28 PM
Danny its great that you have that situation but things can be quite different. In the City of Philadelphia (A fairly good sized city) there were several city owned and operated rinks that they would run roller hockey in the fall spring and summer, and freeze in the winter for ice hockey. These are facilities that already exist and are being closed down by Philadelphia's parks and rec department. The most well known of which (Rizzo Rink) is situated directly under I-95 in South Philadelphia. So while it may have been a great solution for your situation it's not always that way!
Im fat, bald, and slow.
09-18-2005, 09:47 PM
I would have to agree with Johnny. I am an owner of a rink in New Jersey, and if the State were to take over the rink, that would not be good for the sport. the prices would probably g up. It would not be good for the sport. they would hire people whom have no clue how to run a rink and have no hockey sense at all. It may work for you guys down in El Paso but that is not the rest of the country. Each region of this country is different and for you to think taht this would help is WRONG.
Morristown Minutemen Pro Minor Hockey Organization.
09-20-2005, 03:03 AM
Hey, fellahs...everybody keeps debating the set of premises I'm putting out there, and then not answering the question...
so, okay, let's add this stuff to the equation...
IF you could get all the hockey that I described above, the place was operated by somebody in the Parks Dept that really gave a darn about the sport, was reasonably knowledgeable, and you still only paid $25 per season, then the question remains:
"How would that change the the state of our sport?"
Telling us that your Parks' Dept doesn't presently live up to these standards is not a valid debate...I am asking that if they actually did it right, how would that change things?
...and then, incidentally, I must chastise everybody out there that is not beating down the doors of the politicos in their region...the way it works, gang, is that you, the players, the people in that "we the people..." thing, have the right to demand that your municipality get it together and give you the same facilities and programs that they give other sports. Be ready to put-up-or-shut-up...if they ask for volunteer help, be there to give it.
But, you have the right to hockey, I bet that your city has basketball, softball, baseball, soccer, etc., etc., etc., and it uses your tax dollars to provide them...should be the same way with hockey, but you gotta ask for your rights here...
Anybody cares, lemme know how I can help you...or, you could always call USA Hockey Inine, who will give you the manual on how to approach your municipal government, and partner with them to get it done, and how to get it done right...
Don't you gotta ask yourself how did we do it here in El Paso, and we got it right, if you think you can't do it in your town? What is it you think we got that you don't?
Better think about it...as long as everybody has to pay $125-$360 per season to play, how much is our sport really gonna grow anyway???
Also, johnny, I was one of those entrepreneurs who put his blood, sweat, and life into the sport, and has the income tax returns -$37,000 net loss in 1983; $55,000 net losses in 1989- I paid my dues, dude, I get to talk this way...and I still work 7 days a week to make this sport better for everybody I can..you don't get to hold me up as non-entitled-to-criticize...don't mean to respond harshly, but you don't get to call me out as you did above (yeah, free country, so all right, but you're wrong, dude, that's all I'm sayin'...)
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
09-21-2005, 08:39 AM
My only question for you Danny is How could you be for the government taking players out of your rink and into this facility where they are getting everything for nothing if you yourself were involved in the ownership of a facility? Thats something I don't get. Hey I'd love to play for next to nothing but at the same time MY JOB means more.
Im fat, bald, and slow.
09-21-2005, 02:31 PM
good response, and you have identified the conflicting component of the situation...
The question you have asked is, "Should it be the purview of public recreation to offer inline hockey programs, or should it continue to belong to private industry?"
My contention is that correctly operated inline hockey programs should have been the responsibility of parks & recreation departments all along. So should indoor soccer programs...
Would anybody go down to a private facility and pay $10 to play drop-in, playground basketball? Nah, it is now an accepted way of life that parks departments routinely offer facilities and programs for basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, etc...who decided that inline hockey shouldn't also be provided?
[rhetorical question] Doesn't your parks dept have the same responsibility to hockey players that they do to kids/adults in the other sports?
So, I acknowledge that I am indeed saying that you shouldn't have the job you have: that of rink owner/operator.
However, I am also saying two other things. Privatly owned/operated roller rinks in El Paso are around (two of 'em). They don't offer any hockey programs to the public. I do that, and I don't step on their recreation roller skating programs, either.
The second thing I'm saying is that I took my expertise in sports facility operation, and got this job with the parks department. I bet you could make more money working for the government than you do as your own boss, but that might be another point for discussion/debate. Anyhow, that's my answer to your question of me: I quit the business in the private sector, and now I make sure that the public sector does it right. It wasn't handed to me, I have worked at this program for ten years to make it into what it is today. I bet you could do the same...
So now, you see, the question becomes: "If you as a rink operator could offer the same quality program service to your players, you could personally make a living and still offer this to players for $25 per season, how would that change things?"
It can and does work for everybody...you just gotta make it happen...
...and I bet that I'm fatter, balder, and slower than yourself, too...
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by DannyG on 09/21/05 01:32 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
09-21-2005, 03:16 PM
We have discussed the situation in Las Vegas before. I know that we have tried to get the city of Las Vegas to do something. I have gotten no responses from anybody including my city council women. I believe that a city run rink will work here because of how big the city is. We could have a private rink and a public rink. The city has built outdoor rinks to play roller hockey. I guess what I ma trying to say is that some city parks and recreation are not to into the idea. I have tried ot get other people involved but they will because they think nothing will happen. The league I have playd in has shrunk so much that there is barely any kids leagues. We have more people going to play ice because it is cheaper and the situation is better. The big complaint being rink floor condition and refs. I do have a problem with refs that could be solved by education.
Our elected officials here do not seem to care about roller hockey or hockey in general. There was an ice rink the city was going to run when it closed but it reamins closed now for 3-5 years. Sorry to run off like this but I want something better and it hasn't happened yet.
09-22-2005, 08:36 AM
Where I am in South Jersey there is a successful Volleyball facility who recently started running basketball leagues, a facility with a sport court floor that rented time and held pick-up basketball. The Township has an outdoor rink with a terrible surface. In the mid 90's the rink was taken down because hockey draws a "undesirable crowd" I think was the phrase they used. Shortly after in the same park a Skate boarding park was built. The rink has since been put back together in the park after having a few private citizens pay to have it rebuilt and resurfaced. Other then your typical youth sports (baseball, football, and basketball) EVERYTHING in this area is privately owned. And why should the people participating in recreational skating have the ability to skate for next to nothing? The facility I that I am the Hockey Director of started the hockey program with a mens league and a youth rec league and has grown to the point where we have a successful grassroots travel program who's tournament series is on the main page of this site. A program that out grew the original facility which is a rec. rink and proved itself worthy to the owner that a new state of the art inline hockey facility was a good investment. Do we offer leagues for $25 no , but we are reasonable especially when you consider that people in the area are paying to play pick up basketball and volleyball.
Im fat, bald, and slow.
You need to come over to England and see how bad it is over here for lack of venues.
So any lottery winners, buisness men please make some rinks here in old blighty as at the moment its sucks.
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