Discussion in 'NLL News and Rumors' started by Vin, Feb 26, 2017.
Phila will get a team again.......in the near future.
It took pain to decide to go to BWOLVES games, but I got over it. I will say I may have just given up if not the fortune of having the lil swami starting at UCONN at the same time the team moved. I may make Saturdays game as I will be in Stamford for a family funeral in the AM.
This is an interesting question, and leads to a discussion about why Vancouver can't fill that building.
Now, for operation, I've heard that their lease costs are pretty much zero. Can't confirm that but it's a rumor I've heard.
But one thing they cut down on significantly is travel costs. The overwhelming majority of their players are from the area, probably by design to limit costs for home games. However, this could be part of the problem too. Are they factoring in those costs too much when deciding who's on their roster, who to draft, etc.? Like they could potentially get a better player from Ontario or elsewhere, but go with the BC guy who's not as good because it's cheaper? I don't know the answer to that question, but it wouldn't surprise me if the answer was yes. The problem becomes that if you do this too much, you don't field a good team and it will keep fans away since you are significantly decreasing your chances of winning a championship. And if you look at their competition in their division, it gets worse for them. Saskatchewan is selling out every game and is doing HUGE merchandise sales on top of it. They can afford to bring in the best of the best from wherever, and they do - only one guy on the team each year has lived in Saskatoon - Nic Bilic last year, and Mike Messenger this year. All the others come in every weekend. Colorado does good revenue from ticket sales and can do pretty much whatever they want too. Calgary has slid a bit - a good chunk of this due to the downturn in the oil industry the past few years, and Calgary is built on that industry - but are still in reasonable shape and also have NHL owners with deep pockets. So how does Vancouver compete for talent when they're doing 1/3 to 1/5 of the revenue of all the other teams in their division and are limited by costs?
I do wonder if at least part of the Stealth's attendance issues have to do with the cost of living in that part of BC. For years, there has been a real estate boom there which has made housing prices insane - like 2 to 3 times what you would pay for a similar place in Calgary or Saskatoon. The attendance figures being a struggle could be partly due to people/families having much more limited budgets for entertainment because of this.
To me, their best chance at turning it around would be a huge risk, but could pay off if they do it right. It would take two things:
1. Leave Langley and the LEC behind, and try to work something out at another arena in the area - most likely the Pacific Coliseum. I can't speak to travel or anything there, but it is a bigger venue, holding about 16,000 according to Wikipedia. Maybe part of the problem with the LEC is that it's too small, and people don't feel like they're seeing a true "big league" sport in an arena that small. And you don't have the chance of making the money that the other West teams do, and be on an even playing field for talent with them, if you stay in an arena that is 1/3 the capacity of all your opponents in your division.
2. Take a page out of the Calgary/Saskatoon playbook and start marketing to non-lacrosse and non-sports fans as a party. Calgary used the slogan "Come to the party, stay for the game" and Saskatchewan used some form of that as well. Saskatoon had pretty much zero grassroots for lacrosse when the Rush moved here, but did an absolutely fantastic job of marketing their games to people who had never seen lacrosse before as a party and the place to be. BC does have quite a significant grassroots, but it may be harming them. In other threads, there have been various links to articles with complaints from lacrosse purists about the Stealth/NLL product regarding the music, the rule differences, etc. It seems like the Stealth are too focused on getting these people into the building - the diehard lacrosse fans - and so far it hasn't worked. They even run promotions where kids who wear a minor league lacrosse jersey get in free, and it's not bringing many of those families to games. They need to be less concerned about the already-lacrosse-enthusiasts, and focus more attention on the casual sports fan like Calgary and Saskatoon do. Make it an atmosphere where the crowd who wants to party can, and see a kick ass game while having that party. Sure, maybe you'll drive away some of the purists and families, but any losses you take there could easily be made up with the new crowd you're attracting.
Now that said, doing those things would be a huge risk. And it very well could blow up in their faces. But at this point, the question really should be what do they have to lose by giving it a shot?
How is it shitty lacrosse other than that team is currently not Championship caliber - or is that what you mean? After all, the guys who play in the NLL are really no different than the guys who play in MSL.
Solution to the problem:
I love Denise, but sell to the Canucks. I suspect she is going to do that when the time is right.
Dude, have you seen their home record or many of the games?
Safest bet in the NLL is taking whomever is visiting Langley......Hell, take the +2 if anyone offers a bigger payout!
And if you follow this and have been to a few games, you know they play disjointed, uninspired home lacrosse.
So, how many times are you going to make a trek and plunk down $70 or so for a pair of tickets?
For me, and apparently for the locals, the answer is not very many.....Maybe twice per season if you are a fan of one or more visiting teams is my guess. Otherwise, why not watch better lacrosse at home, or just do something else.
IMO, it's a huge risk to leave a place where you're paying $0 (or close to it) in rent to go to a bigger place that will likely cost you alot more in rent with little likelihood that people will follow you and that you'll get more people.
If the owners are fine with what they have in Langley and are able to keep losses to a minimum or even break even.....and they're fine with that.....then why force them into a bigger venue?
I kinda agree with this logic to be honest. Yes, I would love for Langley to draw more than they do, but with the way teams in this league move around I'd be more than okay with Langley staying put as long as they're making money or breaking even. With their lack of operating costs in Langley, there's a good chance they're cranking out more of a profit than the Rock are....
LOL... I believe it. No, I have not watched their home games. Their home games occur when I am asleep or waking up to go to work.
I do suspect that they are taking losses. I didn't see their home game Friday night but, of the 4 teams that had home games that Saint Patrick's Day, the other 3 I know had special jerseys with green in them, but I read that Vancouver did not do that... which means it was an excessive unwarranted cost to them.
I watched the game Saturday morning since I am a Bandits fan, and Vancouver was the only home team that didn't have Irish jerseys. It's not a huge deal, but they probably didn't want the extra costs like you said. Also, that place was empty! I saw so many blue seats without anyone in them, it was sad to see. I don't see anyone in the stands wearing ant Stealth merchandise either.
I agree that it's a huge risk. But if they're losing out on ticket sales because their team isn't competitive because other cash cow teams can stack their teams while Vancouver can't, it might become the only option. Costs aren't going to go down and even if they are breaking even now (which I doubt), doing nothing will eventually lead to losses as costs increase and revenues don't. They'll become basically the Arizona Coyotes of the NLL. A team playing in an arena that is viewed by locals as a hassle to get to, doesn't have the ability to field a competitive team and keeps it's roster salaries as low as possible, then drive away more fans with a crappy product that isn't worth their time or money anymore.
Langley does not equal "Vancouver" to the general sports fan - or even for many lacrosse fans. It's a tough sell, and there is a "don't cross the river" mentality that anything out in the burbs is bush. I'm curious to see how long the Vancouver Giants hockey team lasts out there, however they vacated Pacific Coliseum as being unsuitable, so you got to wonder if the same unsuitable issues would also rear their heads if the Stealth relocated there. In the past, Pacific Coliseum seemed like the best option but now with the Giants gone, I have to wonder whether that building's days are numbered.
Not going to happen in Langley as long as you need a car to get out there. For that to work in Greater Vancouver, you need to be located close to transit for that to happen. People are not going to bus out to the burbs, and not like there is anywhere close afterwards to go. Only way marketing a 'party mentality' would be if they were located downtown. Even Pacific Coliseum is located in residential area with no post-gaming options.
More and more convinced the only way the NLL will grow amongst the non-lacrosse crowd is if it goes downtown - and that means the Canucks would need to have a stake in the team, because they're the only way the team would be able to afford the building rent.
And I'll say this now: if the mayors in the Lower Mainland ever tried to implement their boneheaded road taxing scam, I'd kiss the Stealth goodbye right then and there because already-over-taxed families won't be able to afford to drive to games. It's bad enough now having to pay for the toll bridge for those who have to use them. As others have said here, cost of living is really killing the middle class here in the Lower Mainland. People like myself cannot wait for the day we can flee the Vancouver area for better, greener, cheaper pastures because it's become too expensive. For many of us working slobs, there is no future here.
Interesting question about the Giants...
There attendance has taken a major hit since moving and they now have their lowest average attendance in Vancouver Giants history... I wonder if the economics are good though because of the arena deal that they must have gotten. They must have noticed Stealth attendance and economics when they made the decision to move. Also, with the Giants at LEC, that has to adversely affect the Stealth a bit because local fans who had seen the Stealth can now easily see the more respectable (being hockey in Canada) Giants. Of course, the Giants suck on ice lately so maybe the LEC ought to be called the Loser Events Centre.
Their attendance was dropping before the LEC move. They probably went there as a means to offset the drop vs. cost. Without 2-3 years of attendance, it's difficult at this stage whether LEC is a reason for their attendance drop or just a continuation from earlier years.
At this stage, I think the Giants attendance drop is linked to the drop in attendance at Canucks games and ticket availability. When the Giants came into the WHL, it was difficult to get NHL tickets because the Canucks were milking the corporate dollars. The Giants became sort of an "F U" for their older, long-time fans who could no longer afford Canucks tickets in the wake of years and years of solid sellouts.
But now the Canucks are sucking again, and fickle corporate interest is sour so it's a lot easier to get Canucks tickets. And I suspect some of the previously-burnt fans are quietly reappearing at Canucks games.
Looking on their website, it looks like they still book quite a few events like trade shows, but you could be right. It's the reason why the Rush moved to Saskatoon in the first place. They weren't allowed to come to the Oilers new building and they couldn't get any assurance that Rexall Place would continue to operate once the Oilers moved to the new building. So off to Saskatoon it was.
I wonder what made it "unsuitable" though. Was it quality issues with the building or just the Giants not having the need for so much space?
Different cities of course, but Saskatoon has the same issues with location. When the arena was built in the late 80s, there was a huge debate about whether it should be downtown or on the outskirts of the city. Ultimately, it was built basically on the northwestern city limits. There's no party options available out there either unless you want to party at a Tim Hortons, Costco or a truck stop. Hell, even tailgating on Sasktel Centre grounds is illegal.
Public transit here is not very good and cabs can be difficult to get on Friday and Saturday nights as the city puts tight limits on the number of licenses it issues. A number of bars have bought blocks of tickets where for $50 you get a ticket, private bus ride to and from the arena, and a voucher for a drink at the bar but even those are limited. Driving is basically the only option for the majority of the crowd there, and not a great one at that. If you live on the east side of the city (which I would bet is a lot of the crowd as the east side of the city is the more affluent side) and you don't know the back roads and shortcuts, travel will likely take you at least an hour to get to the building. A pain in the ass for sure.
But despite all of this, it's worked in Saskatoon and definitely has the party atmosphere that I think needs to be sold to attract casual fans which ultimately make the team a success on the business side of things.
Like every dying club the owners personal bank account
If they put a 3rd tier sports team Batavia and marketed it as Buffalo I think the failure chance would be much higher than it would have been in Buffalo.
Yup. My work office booked an emergency AGM there on short-notice late last year. Honestly, the building facilities are getting old. I was able to wander around the old dressing rooms and they were looking pretty dated, lots of heavily-painted over wood stalls. We're talking Senior B or C calibre found in older arenas. It had every vibe of being a 1970s beer league dressing room. I'm amazed the Canucks lasted as long there in those old rooms.
As for unsuitable, primary issue was location: apparently 60% thereabouts of their season ticket base is now south of the Fraser River. I also read somewhere there were issues or concerns with luxury boxes (not enough?) as well as the upper tier being covered up as they could never fill it. Ultimately it was ticket base which prompted the move.
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