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SBJ/January 29 - February 4, 2007/This Weeks News
NHL, SCI make rinks easy for municipalities
Published January 29, 2007
When the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993, the organization came into a market with one, 200-foot-by-85-foot ice sheet. Almost no one played hockey, and there were no facilities where people could learn.
The team has developed more than 25 ice sheets over the last 13 years, though. As a result, the number of USA Hockey members in the Dallas area has grown from 150 to 4,000, and more than 85 high school teams have been created.
“It was something born out of necessity that grew into an unbelievable marketing tool,” said Dallas Stars President Jim Lites. “Thousands of kids are playing, and they’re buying our shirts.”
Following last week’s NHL All-Star Game in Dallas, the NHL has finalized a partnership to do the same across the country.
The league will work with Stadium Consultants International to provide municipalities with a complete design for two-sheet ice facilities for $6.5 million, $3 million less than the average price they would face otherwise, according to Steve Hatze Petros, NHL vice president of scheduling, research and operations.
“Every municipality’s been sticking a toe in the water but not jumping in,” Hatze Petros said. “With SCI, we’ve turned up the temperature of the water so that it’s not that cold when they jump in.”
SCI has spent the last year designing a booklet complete with the design and materials necessary for a new ice facility. The municipalities simply have to provide the land and find a local contractor.
Though the cost of land and construction can vary, the design incorporates NHL suppliers, which helps keep the rest of the cost low. It also cuts costs by taking a traditionally 70,000-square-foot facility and making it 50,000 square feet while still preserving changing rooms, space for food service and other amenities, Hatze Petros said.
SCI charges municipalities $20,000 to determine their initial interest, compared with a typical architectural feasibility study of $100,000, SCI’s Gary Green said. The $400,000 that SCI makes if a town goes through with the project is figured into the $6.5 million cost.
“We’ve designed it so it’s from A to Z, a complete package,” Green said.
The ultimate goal of the partnership is to extend the success of Dallas to other towns.
“Dallas has proved where there’s a will there’s a way,” Hatze Petros said. “The more moms and dads going to games and learning the rules, the better chance we have of translating them into fans as a result.”
NHL Ticket Sales (at the all-star break*)
|Columbus Blue Jackets||23||381,618||16,592||91.5%||16,726||-0.8%||23|
|Detroit Red Wings||23||461,518||20,066||100.0%||20,066||0.0%||25|
|Los Angeles Kings||29||481,691||16,610||91.7%||17,760||-6.5%||24|
|New Jersey Devils||25||341,132||13,645||71.7%||13,768||-0.9%||25|
|New York Islanders||23||276,405||12,018||74.0%||12,785||-6.0%||22|
|New York Rangers||23||418,600||18,200||100.0%||18,102||0.5%||24|
|San Jose Sharks||26||451,876||17,380||99.3%||16,938||2.6%||21|
|St. Louis Blues||23||267,040||11,610||61.0%||13,966||-16.9%||22|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||24||474,262||19,761||100.0%||20,662||-4.4%||22|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||25||485,818||19,433||103.3%||19,393||0.2%||24|
|* Totals for games played through Jan. 22 both this season and last.|
|Source: Timothy Brandt for SportsBusiness Journal|