Discuss Niagara Sports
7 posts • Page 1 of 1
The problem with growing college hockey is akin to the methodology of building a franchised system, or should I say the failure of growing college hockey. Successful franchise systems are developed regionally first and then expanded region by region in a collaborative plan. Scaddering teams all over the country is not the way to grow the sport. College hockey has its its roots in the northern (cold weather) part of the US, east of the Rockies. The schools outside of that region who want to start either have to have very large bank accounts or a group of other schools nearby ready to join them. That’s the problem, Arizona State, Huntsville, Alaska, Lindenwood, Tennessee State stand alone and are not going to benefit from the “franchise system”. Want to grow hockey get more Big Ten schools to step up, or more Big East, or A-10 schools to join the hockey club. Asking a group of poorly financed small schools to help do it, is not the answer. Condemn Robert Morris for their timing but they probably made the right decision under their circumstances. College hockey is not a poor man’s or women’s game. I’d start a lacrosse program today before i’d start a hockey program.
Vin, you make some valid points about "franchise systems", but that model worked under a different economic period. The NHL, NFL MLB have all looked to the Sunbelt , West and Rocky Mtn States for expansion and growth. The Sunbelt is leading the country in economic and population growth. The last time I checked statistical data ( especially due to Covid) , there has been a mass migration out of the Northeast and Rust Belt states. College Hockey will NOT expand in states where there is eco decline. Utica? Hartford ? Buffalo? Albany ? Nope, A'int happening ....
The difference is professional leagues function as a controlled well capitalized single unit while each college functions independent of each other. The Big Ten didn’t decide to add a sixth hockey team, Penn State decided to become one. If Illinois decides to field a hockey team they will have seven. It’s not strategy from the top down, it’s from the bottom up. There isn’t even unity within university systems. Nebraska Omaha fields a hockey team but big brother Nebraska and Big Ten member about 25 miles away in Lincoln does not. The economics of the college game and the lack of popularity among the general public doesn’t help. It doesn’t appeal to the gambling crowd who have created much of the madness of March. It a niche sport, we happen to like it but go on the other Niagara board or the Canisius board and they don’t even talk about it.
Agree Mick, but I don't see the B10 , Hockey East or NCHA stepping up to join the" college hockey club" in terms of accommodating smaller programs. So the question remains, what becomes of Zona State, Tenn State, UAH, Lindenwood, Longwood, Augustana, Navy and LIU? There has been some discussion on USCHO regarding he reformation of the old CHA.The difference is professional leagues function as a controlled well capitalized single unit while each college functions independent of each other. It’s not strategy from the top down, it’s from the bottom up.
Unrelated, did anybody figure out what a Krakan is? Curt Cobain on crack ?