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NHL Launching woman's league?


CC97

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I don't know about everyone else, but I hope this happens. It most likely would be successful with the majority of the teams in the states, considering the NHL is the 32nd most popular sports in America. So, have a couple teams in the Northern Hockey States, like Minnesota, and have maybe a 12 team league with 6 in each division. Also, do you think they'd go in somewhat of the same direction as the WNBA, for example, have a team in Vancouver, and have the same colours, and the team name along the lines of Canucks? Or do you think they'd go their own way with their identity?

EDIT

maybe the league would look something like this?-

West Division

Vancouver

Calgary

Edmonton

Winnipeg

Denver

St. Paul/Minneapolis

East Division

Toronto

Ottawa

Montreal

New York

Pittsburgh/Philadelphia

Detroit

swap Philly/Pitt with Boston and you got a good inaugural idea.

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There's a chance this would work, but only, and I mean ONLY, if it is kept to a place where there's actually a market for this.

Judging by the response, you'd have to have a majority of teams in Canada. If you start with eight teams, you'd need to have the existing Canadian markets, plus probably a Minnesota team for the midwest and a Boston team for New England. Otherwise, it would never work, because I think it's fairly safe to say people in Columbus, San Jose, Atlanta, etc. wouldn't care at all.

And, to rest all discussion, a Hartford team would never work. UConn women's hockey is among the Top 20 in the nation and 60 people go.

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While I compeltely support the ideal of growing women's hockey in the United States, I'm not sure this is the best thing for the NHL to do right now. The NBA and MLS have already tried building women's leagues that have lost more money than they've made. Seeing as the NHL missed a year based on monetary issues, I can't see this being a smart move right now.

If all the teams are going to be placed in Canada, where women's hockey is already very popular, I can see it being more successful.

You haven't seen the massive support for the women's hockey team like you had for the soccer team in 1999. 90,123 people can't be wrong.

But when I went to the wrapup of the Hilton tour in Trenton, NJ, there was barely 1,000 people. And that was being generous.

It cannot be in the major NHL cities; it needs to be in the smaller arenas near major cities -- Long Beach, Lowell, Hamilton ONT, etc.

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Two Words:

Chick Fights :hockeysmiley:

I've seen some pretty mean women even I wouldn't want to be on the business end of. And man do they hold grudges! I cannot speak for Olympic levels, but college and ametuer levels offer some bruising hits that would put men to shame. The biggest shock is that some of the biggest hitters on the ice are some of the most feminine off it.

The NWHL has plenty of majors and misconducts, but not for dropping the gloves -- mostly for illegal use of the stick or the mouth.

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MLS didn't back the WUSA.

After reading more, apparently they didn't. My apologies. I could have sworn that the MLS was one of the largest investors.

The US Soccer Foundation did, though. They kicked in a lot of money in Year 3 to keep the league going to the end; the WUSA had spent the $40 million for five years in ONE YEAR.

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Since someone mentioned it, I'm surprised that Major League Baseball hasn't tried to start a pro softball circuit.

There already is a pro women's softball league. I'm not sure if MLB has any vested interest in it, but it does have Jenny Finch, who guests regularly on This Week In Baseball.

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I'd figure the only way this could work would be if it took place primarily outside of NHL markets (maybe have some teams in a few of the larger ones). And make sure that the markets have homegrown talent (I.E. Players who were born, live or grew up in or near that city).

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The WNBA's a bad example to compare to a potential WNHL, simply because the NBA didn't really do it the way they should have.

Cost containment in the WNBA was supposed to occur from the joint operation of NBA/WNBA teams in the same city, under the same ownership group - thereby being able to operate from the same offices, have the same people handle ticket sales, etc. The only problems they really have are (1) they overestimated their fan base, though not by as much as some let on, (2) they're using the same arenas as the NBA teams, which are generally expensive and necessitate near sell-outs to break even, and (3) believe it or not, player salaries, which while nowhere near their NBA counterparts, are much higher than they planned.

The best plan for the long-term success of a WNHL would be to not even TRY to make it an income-generating enterprise for at least the first 5 years. Pay players a maximum of $20K a year for say, a 40 game season. And here's a wild idea - schedule games starting at 5 o'clock on the evenings when the NHL team is playing. This'd give fans a chance to see a WNHL/NHL doubleheader for a single ticket price - and while most wouldn't bother to go just for the WNHL game, they'd at least be exposed to it by catching part of the 3d period. Put teams in just 6 markets and see how it goes.

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The best plan for the long-term success of a WNHL would be to not even TRY to make it an income-generating enterprise for at least the first 5 years. Pay players a maximum of $20K a year for say, a 40 game season. And here's a wild idea - schedule games starting at 5 o'clock on the evenings when the NHL team is playing. This'd give fans a chance to see a WNHL/NHL doubleheader for a single ticket price - and while most wouldn't bother to go just for the WNHL game, they'd at least be exposed to it by catching part of the 3d period. Put teams in just 6 markets and see how it goes.

Creative idea. I wonder, though, how many fans would be interested in sitting for two full-length hockey games at a time?

But at the very least your plan of making the WNHL akin to an undercard would work as a nice way generating interest from the fans already willing to shell out money for a regular NHL game.

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The best plan for the long-term success of a WNHL would be to not even TRY to make it an income-generating enterprise for at least the first 5 years.  Pay players a maximum of $20K a year for say, a 40 game season.  And here's a wild idea - schedule games starting at 5 o'clock on the evenings when the NHL team is playing.  This'd give fans a chance to see a WNHL/NHL doubleheader for a single ticket price - and while most wouldn't bother to go just for the WNHL game, they'd at least be exposed to it by catching part of the 3d period.  Put teams in just 6 markets and see how it goes.

Creative idea. I wonder, though, how many fans would be interested in sitting for two full-length hockey games at a time?

But at the very least your plan of making the WNHL akin to an undercard would work as a nice way generating interest from the fans already willing to shell out money for a regular NHL game.

The answer is probably about 2-10%, which means that the average attendance in their seats at the start of the WNHL game would probably be in the, oh, 750-1500 range, if that, at least early on.

But again, the initial goal should be exposing the product. If those fans that get to their arena a half-hour early can see the WNHL product, and they like it, eventually the league would reach a stage where its teams could break off and have their own dates - at a smaller, more fiscally prudent location, like a local college arena that seats 3,000 or so.

Any ambitions beyond getting 3,000 butts in the seats would be suicidal.

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Since someone mentioned it, I'm surprised that Major League Baseball hasn't tried to start a pro softball circuit.

There already is a pro women's softball league. I'm not sure if MLB has any vested interest in it, but it does have Jenny Finch, who guests regularly on This Week In Baseball.

MLB has given the pro softball circuit a little help. There's the Finch tie-in, plus the Yankees gave some corporate support to the NY/NJ Juggernaut (including the suggestion that the team wear Yankee pinstripes), and MLB gave the fledgling circuit space at the All-Star Game fan-fest in 1995.

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