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Women's Professional Hockey: Crossroads

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There was an article in the Athletic earlier this week stating there is a preliminary plan for the NHL to create the WNHL with an original six model. Salaries would be around 50,000 a year with NHL Teams owning the franchises. 

The teams are expected to be clustered in the Northeast for travel purposes with the league starting in 2020-21. 

Next year there maybe an NHL Sponsored Tour where games are played in various locations. 

Its contingent upon the NWHL ceasing operations as the NHL does not want competing leagues. 

The interesting part is that the Beauts set the gold standard that the players want all the teams to emulate. 

Toronto, Montreal, New York are considered as locations for teams. Hopefully given the Pegulas History with the Beauts Buffalo will be a location as well. 

It also would not surprise me if Kim Pegula is named as the First WNHL Commissioner. 

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1 hour ago, IKnowPhysics said:

Nice.  I'm encouraged.

 

13 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

There was an article in the Athletic earlier this week stating there is a preliminary plan for the NHL to create the WNHL with an original six model. Salaries would be around 50,000 a year with NHL Teams owning the franchises. 

The teams are expected to be clustered in the Northeast for travel purposes with the league starting in 2020-21. 

Next year there maybe an NHL Sponsored Tour where games are played in various locations. 

Its contingent upon the NWHL ceasing operations as the NHL does not want competing leagues. 

The interesting part is that the Beauts set the gold standard that the players want all the teams to emulate. 

Toronto, Montreal, New York are considered as locations for teams. Hopefully given the Pegulas History with the Beauts Buffalo will be a location as well. 

It also would not surprise me if Kim Pegula is named as the First WNHL Commissioner. 

We'll get shafted out of a team, is my bet.

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20 hours ago, Eleven said:

 

We'll get shafted out of a team, is my bet.

And I’ll bet we don’t get shafted. Buffalo Beauts and the management of it, was one of if not the best in the NWHL. It didn’t go unnoticed. And Buffalo is perfectly placed geographically for a league in the northeast. Not to mention ticket sales/merch sales were strong compared to the other teams.

Edited by Zamboni
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35 minutes ago, Zamboni said:

And I’ll bet we don’t get shafted. Buffalo Beauts and the management of it, was one of if not the best in the NWHL. It didn’t go unnoticed. And Buffalo is perfectly placed geographically for a league in the northeast. Not to mention ticket sales/merch sales were strong compared to the other teams.

Yeah, I think they'd be dumb to cut either us or Minnesota out of any future plans. Minnesota may be harder due to distance, but they were also the first/only team to turn a profit. And Minnesotans love their hockey.

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womens team sports(professional).......thats a tough sell. There is tennis......and tennis....and tennis because that is a beautiful sport that is enhanced by the extended volleys and grace of the womens game. College bball can be enjoyable..But as far as actually making money on the professional level that is very limited.

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2 hours ago, calti said:

womens team sports(professional).......thats a tough sell. There is tennis......and tennis....and tennis because that is a beautiful sport that is enhanced by the extended volleys and grace of the womens game. College bball can be enjoyable..But as far as actually making money on the professional level that is very limited.

Based on some poking around: Tennis, Figure Skating, Swimming, Diving, Golf, Basketball, Soccer, Field Hockey, Ice Hockey.

Interestingly, women's figure skating and women's tennis often have higher ratings than the men's games.  Women's swimming and diving have comparable ratings to men's.  I hate to say it, but I don't think it is an accident that those are the sports listed where women wear what I think are the sexiest uniforms.

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7 hours ago, E4 ... Ke2 said:

Based on some poking around: Tennis, Figure Skating, Swimming, Diving, Golf, Basketball, Soccer, Field Hockey, Ice Hockey.

Interestingly, women's figure skating and women's tennis often have higher ratings than the men's games.  Women's swimming and diving have comparable ratings to men's.  I hate to say it, but I don't think it is an accident that those are the sports listed where women wear what I think are the sexiest uniforms.

yep true with the sexu unis/… But really only tennis is the moneymaker. the Olympics are a short run. And tennis isn't a team sport. So really all womens team sports are non money makers. Not saying its fair...but its reality.

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9 hours ago, calti said:

yep true with the sexu unis/… But really only tennis is the moneymaker. the Olympics are a short run. And tennis isn't a team sport. So really all womens team sports are non money makers. Not saying its fair...but its reality.

There's a kind of chicken and egg scenario with these things.  Most executives aren't willing to green light a higher exposure to these kinds of things too soon but once it happens and with the proper marketing these sports would turn into money makers.  They might not get to NFL level money making, but they would be popular.  

The population has certainly shown that it can be influenced into supporting something through good marketing.  

At the same time, the increased exposure will encourage even more growth and development at the youth levels and this in turn spawns an increase in talent for the next generation of the sport.  You'll see this in women's hockey.  You can watch the participation in the Fire on Ice tournament, held in November in Rochester, as a good gauge of this.  Last year I believe they had just over 100 teams from the US and Canada in age levels U10-U19.  It's steadily grown and it's getting to the point where it's at capacity.  

I think hockey is the sport most poised to join basketball as being successful.  Of course there's no women's football league (that I know of) and most women gravitate towards softball at some point rather than playing hardball. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

 

Isn’t that a pretty substantial increase in games? If money is an issue, how is playing more games the solution? Aren’t operating costs a back-breaker for women’s leagues in general? 

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6 minutes ago, #freejame said:

Isn’t that a pretty substantial increase in games? If money is an issue, how is playing more games the solution? Aren’t operating costs a back-breaker for women’s leagues in general? 

What other options do they have to increase revenue though?  There's no tv deal walking through that door anytime soon, at least nothing of substance.

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27 minutes ago, Brawndo said:

 

Ok, but who's going to play?

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17 minutes ago, shrader said:

What other options do they have to increase revenue though?  There's no tv deal walking through that door anytime soon, at least nothing of substance.

Decrease expenses. It seems like the priority should be finding appropriate sized arenas and stadiums to lower operating costs. WNBA had major issues with arena sizes, women’s hockey can’t make the same mistake to thrive. It’s better to expand into larger arenas and longer schedules than to move to smaller arenas and have to cut games. 

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15 minutes ago, Eleven said:

Ok, but who's going to play pay?

 

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1 hour ago, Brawndo said:

 

So, the Pegulas are still out?

 

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32 minutes ago, #freejame said:

Decrease expenses. It seems like the priority should be finding appropriate sized arenas and stadiums to lower operating costs. WNBA had major issues with arena sizes, women’s hockey can’t make the same mistake to thrive. It’s better to expand into larger arenas and longer schedules than to move to smaller arenas and have to cut games. 

That's a separate issue though.  Decreasing expenses does not change revenue.  A players association is not going to suggest ways to decrease expenses because they themselves are a league expense.  These agreements are always going to be about what the league is paying to the players and what they're being paid for, not how they spend anything else.  That's the owners business and not theirs.

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6 minutes ago, shrader said:

That's a separate issue though.  Decreasing expenses does not change revenue.  A players association is not going to suggest ways to decrease expenses because they themselves are a league expense.  These agreements are always going to be about what the league is paying to the players and what they're being paid for, not how they spend anything else.  That's the owners business and not theirs.

Not always true.  Many labor unions thoroughly examine the business opportunities and business practices of the companies that employ their members to find ways to increase revenue or efficiency.

Example:

Company: We need to cut employee benefits in order to save $X.

Union: We've determined you could do A, B, and C to save just as much money without cutting employee benefits, and you maintain good employee morale and retention.

The financial growth and success of women's professional hockey is in the mutual interest of the NWHL and NWHLPA.

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4 minutes ago, IKnowPhysics said:

Not always true.  Many labor unions thoroughly examine the business opportunities and business practices of the companies that employ their members to find ways to increase revenue or efficiency.

Example:


Company: We need to cut employee benefits in order to save $X.

Union: We've determined you could do A, B, and C to save just as much money without cutting employee benefits, and you maintain good employee morale and retention.

The financial growth and success of women's professional hockey is in the mutual interest of the NWHL and NWHLPA.

Maybe a poor wording on my part, but any agreement itself is still going to come down to "we will pay you X amount".

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39 minutes ago, shrader said:

That's a separate issue though.  Decreasing expenses does not change revenue.  A players association is not going to suggest ways to decrease expenses because they themselves are a league expense.  These agreements are always going to be about what the league is paying to the players and what they're being paid for, not how they spend anything else.  That's the owners business and not theirs.

You’re right, I misread your post as “what other option do they have other than increase revenue?” I thought you were talking in terms of profitability, which should be the focus of the league right now. Making money will be the easiest way to bring investors and expand. The opposite of the WNBA strategy basically. They haven’t ever turned a profit and don’t attract much outside investors beyond the NBA. 

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23 minutes ago, #freejame said:

You’re right, I misread your post as “what other option do they have other than increase revenue?” I thought you were talking in terms of profitability, which should be the focus of the league right now. Making money will be the easiest way to bring investors and expand. The opposite of the WNBA strategy basically. They haven’t ever turned a profit and don’t attract much outside investors beyond the NBA. 

And if the WNBA can't do it, good luck to this league.  They've got a fairly high profile feeder system in the form of the NCAA.  Hockey will never approach anything close the level of familiarity that exists with women's college bouncyball.  And if they're trying to draw investors, a work stoppage, or whatever you want to call this, doesn't help.  I'd love to see it work out.  We're in a very small minority who want more hockey, but sadly I think the whole thing is doomed.

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5 minutes ago, SabresBaltimore said:

So far, there are 5 players who have signed for next season on 3 teams. 3/5 are signed for Boston

 

https://www.theicegarden.com/2019/5/21/18632671/2019-2020-nwhl-roster-tracker-season-5-womens-hockey-forthegame-free-agent-signings

Yeah, this is going to be a problem.  I don't see a new season this year.

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