View Full Version : Why do rinks fail?
06-20-2006, 01:46 PM
I was just looking for YOUR insight as to why rinks fail. If you reply, please give a brief background as to where your perspective is coming from. Simply from your interactions with the rinks you play at...or do you actually have first hand experience.
I will say this...
-I see to many rinks run by "hockey lovers", but people who are novices at best in the business world.
-Some rinks are too focused on their target market. They JUST cater to hockey, or maybe a few other things. The most successful rinks that I have played at appeal to many types of events, sports, activities. Sometimes even played on the same surface.
I am currently looking at a few possible "new rink" ideas and I am certainly discouraged by the number rinks that I see failing. Are they poorly run? Could I do a better job? Or were they built in an area that simply couldn't support the facility. Did the popularity of the sport fade?
06-20-2006, 03:52 PM
I am the owner of the rink in Morristown NJ. You have to be a multi purpose facility to survive. You can not just be a roller rink. You need a turf field to go along with the rink. That is the main problem. My rink is just a rink. We have other sports like, fencing, soccer, roller derby and speed skating, but we are only giving hours that are availble. If you have about 60 teams than most of your nights a filled with hockey. That is why you need another surface or field. I think another problem are the youth leagues. Where rinks had 35 teams 3 years ago they only have about 10 - 15 now. That has to do with other sports. Inline used to be the other sport that people played but now, atleast in Nj it is LAX. I think for the most part the rinks are run correctly, I think it is tough to keep up with the other town sports that are cheaper to play. These are just some of my ideas, if you want you can PM me to talk any further.
Morristown Minutemen Pro Minor Hockey Organization.
06-20-2006, 09:12 PM
One alternative is to work with your local town to build a public rink, even a simple "tennis court" outdoor affair. Having a place to skate may not be as cool as OWNING a place to skate!, but it might be the most realistic option for some (especially in this litigious society - hard to make money and pay liability insurance). (I'm trying to do something like this in Maine - if you want you can follow along at geocities.com/thinkrinktopsham )
I think a lot of times all of us "hockey lovers" get a little ahead of ourselves - like maybe in our enthusiasm to build rinks, form teams and organize tourneys we forget that pickup is the essence of hockey, be it on pond and pavement. (And I don't mean that as a criticism of your aspirations - I've done the same business plans you are doing. I believe hockey thrives best with a balance of pickup and organized opportunities, and if you can't swing a for-profit you might still be able to do something pretty awesome for hockey and your community with the public approach.) Good luck!
06-21-2006, 10:29 AM
Actually...that was the exact approach I was going to explore. There is a LARGE (relative to our cities size) city sports complex that has available land. It is mostly baseball fields, outdoor soccer, etc. We tried to "sell" the idea to the city a few years ago without success. But since then the interest in the sports park has grown exponentially. Since we live in Florida, we were even considering an outdoor rink. Possibly covered...but outdoor. This would save big $$$ on construction and maintenance.
I also agree with you about pick-up being critical. How else are you going to get new people into the sport. And...it is a good money maker with little expense (no refs, scoreboard operators, etc.)
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