Anaheim Storm, RIP

Discussion in 'Anaheim Storm Forum' started by Mr. Big, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. Mr. Big

    Mr. Big New Member

    In the time I have been a fan of the NLL, I have yet to see a team resurrect in the same location after suspending operations. I know the OC is a tough sell with so many options for the entertainment dollar, but if marketed right, the Storm would have succeeded. It may have helped if the product had been a bit better, too.
     
  2. thwingfan

    thwingfan Active Member

    OC Register article

    Storm disbands over financial clouds


    By LOU PONSI
    The Orange County Register

    The Anaheim Storm of the National Lacrosse League has suspended operations for the 2006 season, Who Knew Sports and Entertainment Inc., which owns the franchise, announced Friday.

    "It was basically a financial decision," said Chip Santye, president and governor of the Storm. "The team just didn't develop enough fan support to sustain a team."

    The indoor lacrosse team played at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Before 2004, the team played in New Jersey. The Storm was 1-15 in 2004 and 5-11 in 2005.

    The Storm averaged about 4,800 per game for 16 home dates over its two years in Anaheim. There was a slight increase in attendance during the 2005 season.

    Santye said the team might return in 2007.

    "I think there is a good chance you will see a team there (in Anaheim) in the future," he said.

    Mike O'Donnell, vice president and chief operating officer of The Pond, said there is a local market for an indoor lacrosse team and the arena is already in the process of filing an application with the NLL to bring a team to Anaheim for the 2007 season.

    "We had such overwhelming support from the local community," O'Donnell said.

    Local lacrosse fans still will have a team in the area in 2006. Major League Lacrosse, a professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced in March it is expanding to the West Coast for the 2006 season. The new MLL team will play at The Home Depot Center in Carson.

    A dispersal draft of Storm players from the 2005 squad is being planned.
     
  3. phiwings

    phiwings Active Member

    just when the team was beginning to become competitive on the field the team folds. the league will need to put a team back in los angeles to garner the type of national attention that JJ wants.
     
  4. MILLwasbetter

    MILLwasbetter Active Member

    ^^^ you took the words right outta my mouth
     
  5. Resolute

    Resolute New Member

    JJ would be wiser to look at the NHL situation and realize that that kind of attention is not coming. Focus on building strong markets (which Anaheim was not from day 1, and a lot of people knew it) and accept that boxla will indefinitely remain a 2nd tier league with good local support.
     
  6. MILLwasbetter

    MILLwasbetter Active Member


    thats exactly why i made that post a while back about making more "rochester" teams, teams in smaller market citys that would support their team, this way we wont have teams come and go every 2-3 years.
    any minor league hockey town would do great i think,
     
  7. wordup!

    wordup! New Member

    I agree. I really think that two socal teams would be great in SD and a Long Beach/Anaheim/or LA.

    with a average of about 5-7k in SD and 4-6k in the Orange/LA county area you could build on that.....

    I hope that the Storm comes back in 2007.
     
  8. phiwings

    phiwings Active Member

    my problem with that is that the NHL has done it to itself. it priced itself out of the reach of the fans. for example i paid $60 to watch the Flyers in a playoff game, and my seat was in the very last row of the upper level at the Wachovia Center, the seats was regularly $40. i can't afford that night after night. if the NLL gets people who WANT to own teams (Gongas i'm looking in your direction) and who are willing to spend money on advertising the teams (French/Cline I look in your direction, as well as 80% of the rest of the league), then fans will support teams. who would have given Dallas a chance with hockey when the Stars moved there, and yet the Dallas Stars consistantly drew nearly packed houses every night. non-traditional markets CAN work with the right kind of ownership. i firmly believe that socal can work with the right kind of ownership. with no good news coming out of the NHL's labor problems, and the NBA recently admitting it may be forced into a similar situation, a lot of these arenas are going to find themselves without tenants. 4,500 people in the building still looks better than 0.
     
  9. NLLStormCA

    NLLStormCA New Member

    -anaheim was not strong with alot of lacrosse players or fans, in sonoma or San Diego yes, but anaheim no...the team was getting better and better sucks to see this happen...
    -i dont want a team back here in anaheim, if we cant work it out with the storm i dont want a replacement team in 07, yes i would go to the games but i would not be a fan of the team, i would be a fan of the former storm players
     
  10. Reality Checker

    Reality Checker New Member

    Roik's Play didn't help much

    Hey, I am a forgiving guy, and will pull for a losing team if I at least see physical effort and smart strategies. The management of the Anaheim Storm never seemed to get it through their thick skulls that Matt Roik in goal was a disaster waiting to happen. And it often did. I have never in my life seen a goaltender find so many ways to blow a late-game lead or snuff out his own team's valiant rallies with his own allowances of goals. I wrote, and nobody acted, though they were nice enough to write back. So, the only good thing about the death (sorry, "suspension") of the Storm is that a lot of decent, hard-working players now get to play for other teams with goaltenders who they can be confident will not erase their efforts in the late stages of games, at least not as much. "Told ya so, Storm management."
     
  11. Meathead25

    Meathead25 New Member

    Just read this in my e-mail this morning.
    I'm sorry to see the team suspend operations (translation: we didn't want to lose any more money, even though we made a committment to the league, and we were too cheap to advertise...) but here's hoping they'll be back on the floor soon.
    If Arrowhead was raping them on floor rental, maybe I can see trying to broker a better deal, but man, this really sucks...just when we get up to 12 teams, we're down to 11 and unbalanced divisions again...
     
  12. Resolute

    Resolute New Member

    4500 people announced - and what? 3000 in reality may look better than 0, but chances are very good that Arrowhead Pond was losing more money opening the building up for the Storm than it would have just leaving the lights off. Certantly any arena wants to fill as many dates as possible, but it only wants to fill it with profitable events.

    Also, I was not arguing the cost of going to an NHL game, merely the futility of expecting any kind of real national attention. The NHL has spent the better part of 40 years trying to break into the national American consiousness. The 1967 expansion, and nearly every expansion since, was designed specifically to appeal to the US audience, and to try and build the NHL into the national consiousness. And for 40 years, it has failed.

    The NHL is a "big 4" sport based on revenue only, not public interest. The NHL will very likely never become the great American sport it hoped to be. However, and despite the ticket problems you suggest, the NHL has been drawing record numbers of fans for the last several years. The NHL is not a national sport in the US, but it is well supported in several regions.

    Thus, my point with regard to the NLL: Los Angeles does not matter. Neither, quite frankly, does New York. If LA/OC or NY are willing to support an NLL team, then the league definetly will stand to benefit greatly. However, if the support is not there, then repeatedly putting teams in the area to fail only serves to harm the league, not help it. The NLL is, and for the forseeable future, will be a regional sport. Find the regions that will care about the game and expand there. Forget the national attention, as it is merely the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: you can always see it, but you can never reach it.
     
  13. RockStar

    RockStar Well-Known Member


    Well said!

    I've tried to make that same point a few times, but always failed to capture it as well as Snakeeye did here.

    It's still a Northeast + Denver + Calgary cult sport. Nothing outside of the northeast, save Calgary and Denver has been successful. Minnesota looks promising, Phoenix is a long shot, but almost everything else outside of traditional box-laX areas has been a crash and burn!

    Expand with caution, go back to NY and LA ONLY when it makes sense to (right owners and solid business plan).

    In the meantime - maybe they can swing better TV this year anyway.
    800K US households during a crappy time slot is nothing to sneeze at in our digital channel universe. ESPN seems to be ready to quit covering NHL. Cheaper programming that draws similar viewers is attractive, so maybe we'll see a game of the week.
     
  14. phiwings

    phiwings Active Member

    announced or not the team and the arena get their cuts of the gate. add in parking, souvieners, food...it starts to add up. it wasn't the Pond that pulled the plug on the Storm, the ownership did. yes, i'd been saying that the Pond were part owners of the team, but they were not the majority owners. they were like Comcast-Spectacor is to the Wings. enough of an interest to control marketing the team. if the NBA has a lockout, and the NHL continues to shoot itself in the head, then we may see ESPN pick up coverage of the sport. ESPN2 covered the MISL championship series, why not pick up the NLL as well?
     
  15. Resolute

    Resolute New Member

    Absolutely there was revenue coming in.

    But there were also expenses. Staff to man the concessions, the parking areas, the ushers. costs of bringing in the food that was cooked. Costs of powering the building. The jumbotron alone costs a ton to operate - in the past at Calgary Hitmen games, they didnt even turn it on if the crowd was expected to be less than 5,000.

    Fact is, it simply was not worth it to operate the Storm in Anaheim.
     
  16. chuckster

    chuckster Well-Known Member

    In the news article, Chip says -- "The team just didn't develop enough fan support to sustain a team."

    And then Mike says -- "We had such overwhelming support from the local community,"

    Talk about a difference of opinion. :rolleyes:
     
  17. StormFan

    StormFan New Member

    I was surprised that no one else picked up on that before now. That jumped out at me so fast I was amazed someone had the audacity to say there was so much "fan support" they couldn't get enough people to watch.

    This is an unfortunate turn. The CIF (the California governing board for high school sports) announced making Lacrosse an officially sanctioned sport for high schools starting in the spring of 2006. So Lacrosse is finally a real sport at the high school level. The MLL announced that there would be a team in LA at the Home Depot stadium (where the Galaxy play soccer), a primarily Hispanic part of So Cal. Lacrosse seems to be coming to California in a big way, then bang, no more NLL in Southern Cal.

    I don't think the pond can support an NLL franchise without NHL games being played as a place to advertise. Despite the claims by the team that the attendance was up in 2005, the fact is attendance was down with no Ducks games as a place to advertise. I heard a lot of fans say "I heard about the Storm at the Ducks game, so I got tickets" last year, and there were no such opportunities this year. The only reason there was much attendance at all this year was the HUGE number of free games (I had a pair of season seats. I was given 16 free tickets over the coarse of the season, used all).

    With the Ducks playing, we had a really stinko product - a 1 and 15 team. Without the Ducks around, we had a pretty decent product, a 5-11 team that was surging toward the end of the season, but a stinko goalie who blew so many leads.

    I think Anaheim could be a good market with high schools all over the county picking up lax. With lax only in a limited number of south county high schools, and no NHL games for advertising, it was doomed to failure.

    Despite claims to the contrary, there are not a lot of competing sports venues here. We have baseball (the LA Angels of Anaheim), we had NHL (but for the strike), but no basketball or football. We don't even have much in the way of college basketball or football in Orange County. So Anaheim could be viable as a cottage market for the NLL. What we lacked was a youth LAX market to feed the interest, and that, along with a stinko product, is what killed the storm.

    I think there is a real opportunity for an NLL franchise to succeed in Long Beach at the arena the Ice Dogs play at. Minor league hockey and an NLL team would be a good combination. I think that if the high schools embrace LAX (with CIF now sanctioning the sport), even Anaheim would have a chance of a successful franchise.

    Obviously, since I live in Fullerton, I'd prefer Anaheim to Long Beach, but I'll go to either. I hope to go to as many of the Carson MLL games as I can. I hope So. Cal. LAX is not dead, I'll be at whatever becomes available. Wish us local fans luck, otherwise, I'm going to have to drive to Arizona for games. Ugh.
     
  18. Meathead25

    Meathead25 New Member

    There's a difference between fans and the local community. One typically refers to those that put their butts in a seat, whereas the other usually refers to a much smaller group of people. In this case, I think local community refers toi the lacrosse community, and there's a potentially huge difference. So while there may have been amazing support from the SoCal lacrosse community, that doesn't always translate into huge numbers of fans at games.
     
  19. LacrosseFan

    LacrosseFan New Member

    Storm Fan -- perhaps right in Anaheim, there isn't that much for sports, but in SoCal generally, there's a lot. There's 3 MLB teams, 2 NBA teams, 2 NHL teams, 1 NFL team, 2 MLS teams, soon-to-be 1 MLL team, three major D-1 colleges and several that play D-1 in sports other than football... the list goes on. I really don't think what particular county a team plays in means much -- for example, I have season tickets to teams in three different counties -- whether a team is in L.A. or San Diego or Anaheim doesn't make much difference to me, and most people likely feel that way. Sure, there are the die-hard (many would say closed-minded) people who think the world ends at the border of their county, whether it be L.A, Orange, or San Diego, but most people travel to the games wherever they are. From what I saw, there seemed to be a lot more San Diego area clothes (Rancho Bernardo and La Jolla in particular) at Storm games than clothes from Orange County schools and lacrosse programs.

    Long Beach, to me, is not a viable NLL arena. The sightlines are poor, many of the seats are busted, fans are removed from the game. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd go to games at the LB Arena -- I'd certainly expect a significant cut in price over the much more fan-friendly, comfortable, and generally nicer Pond. It's better than the San Diego Arena, however -- I just won't go to that place anymore. The worst arena for any metro over 500,000 in North America -- by a long shot -- and San Diego is approaching 3 million. It's an embarassment to a city filled with civic embarassments lately (see the local government).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2005
  20. Vin

    Vin Well-Known Member

    Inland Empire?

    I think the Inland Empire is underappreciated and overlooked. Between Riverside and San Bernadino and the rest of the Inland Empire, you'd think that there's enough of a population base to support an NLL franchise. Its growth is such that it is practically its own metro area and the people who've moved out there are just the type of people who'd appreciate an NLL / pro franchise ...

    Here's a decent site...
    http://www.ieep.com/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2005

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