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University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
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Frank the Tank Offline
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Post: #121
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
(06-07-2018 09:10 AM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  They want a hockey team, but they don't have men's soccer team nor a men's swimming team when those facilities already exist and are cheaper by a huge magnitude.

Yup, sounds like a typical Illinois public employee made decision.

The massive difference is that men's hockey can be a legitimate revenue sport, especially in the Big Ten. Men's soccer and swimming are guaranteed to be straight expenses with no profit.

So, if Illinois is going to add a sport, it certainly makes sense that it adds one that has the potential to actually make money (which isn't realistically possible for any sport in the Big Ten outside of football and men's basketball) as opposed to just looking at what's the cheapest. In essence, you get what you pay for here.
(This post was last modified: 06-07-2018 09:30 AM by Frank the Tank.)
06-07-2018 09:28 AM
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Lord Stanley Offline
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Post: #122
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
There is no revenue to be made in central Illinois following Illini hockey. Come on.
06-07-2018 11:16 AM
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dbackjon Offline
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Post: #123
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
(06-07-2018 11:16 AM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  There is no revenue to be made in central Illinois following Illini hockey. Come on.

And you know this how?

When I went to Illinois, I'd go watch the club team. It was very well attended.
06-07-2018 11:34 AM
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Lord Stanley Offline
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Post: #124
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
(06-07-2018 11:34 AM)dbackjon Wrote:  
(06-07-2018 11:16 AM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  There is no revenue to be made in central Illinois following Illini hockey. Come on.

And you know this how?

When I went to Illinois, I'd go watch the club team. It was very well attended.

Uhhh, I'm from central Illinois?
06-07-2018 11:43 AM
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Frank the Tank Offline
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Post: #125
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
(06-07-2018 11:16 AM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  There is no revenue to be made in central Illinois following Illini hockey. Come on.

The Illinois club hockey team regularly sells out its games, most of the student population comes from the Chicago area (with the current generation of students having been raised during the Blackhawks Stanley Cup runs), and Penn State has shown that there is a substantial amount of revenue to be made in hockey in Central Pennsylvania with a similar student profile and college town location (and actually fewer townies compared to Champaign-Urbana). In fact, Penn State hockey was more profitable last year than its men's basketball program:

http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-n...s,1475777/

There is little doubt in my mind that Illinois Division I hockey would be highly successful. The challenge has always been the very high capital startup costs to get it off the ground. Big Ten hockey absolutely makes money and has done so for many years, which is a unique advantage for the league's schools that have hockey (as they're making money from 3 sports as opposed to the vast majority of the rest of the country that can only rely upon football and men's basketball revenue). As an Illinois alum, this investment is definitely worth because it can realistically (not pie in the sky) make a good return.
(This post was last modified: 06-07-2018 11:46 AM by Frank the Tank.)
06-07-2018 11:45 AM
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Lord Stanley Offline
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Post: #126
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
Time will tell. I have strong doubts but wish them success, especially since the facility will be used for other sports as well.
06-07-2018 11:49 AM
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NoDak Offline
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Post: #127
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
(06-07-2018 11:16 AM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  There is no revenue to be made in central Illinois following Illini hockey. Come on.

The USHL is a non-pro league of wannabe NCAA ice hockey young athletes in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, the Dakotas etc. Nearly any place south of Minneapolis, there wasn’t an existing hockey culture. Yet, this developmental under age 20 league draws rather significant crowds. Many of these players make DI teams, as it is one of the biggest sources of DI college talent, as high school teams even in Minnesota don’t refine the talent well enough.

Think what a team that is named the Illini or Hawkeyes could draw, as any team associated with a P5 name generates much more attention and allegiance.

http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/a...9&sid=2018

Any city or town in that geographical area that has a reasonable rink, and doesn’t have a higher level team, wants to be a member.
(This post was last modified: 06-07-2018 12:16 PM by NoDak.)
06-07-2018 11:49 AM
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dbackjon Offline
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Post: #128
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
(06-07-2018 11:43 AM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  
(06-07-2018 11:34 AM)dbackjon Wrote:  
(06-07-2018 11:16 AM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  There is no revenue to be made in central Illinois following Illini hockey. Come on.

And you know this how?

When I went to Illinois, I'd go watch the club team. It was very well attended.

Uhhh, I'm from central Illinois?

Makes two of us. And actually went to Illinois
06-07-2018 01:01 PM
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Mav Offline
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Post: #129
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
(06-07-2018 11:49 AM)NoDak Wrote:  
(06-07-2018 11:16 AM)Lord Stanley Wrote:  There is no revenue to be made in central Illinois following Illini hockey. Come on.

The USHL is a non-pro league of wannabe NCAA ice hockey young athletes in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, the Dakotas etc. Nearly any place south of Minneapolis, there wasn’t an existing hockey culture. Yet, this developmental under age 20 league draws rather significant crowds. Many of these players make DI teams, as it is one of the biggest sources of DI college talent, as high school teams even in Minnesota don’t refine the talent well enough.

Think what a team that is named the Illini or Hawkeyes could draw, as any team associated with a P5 name generates much more attention and allegiance.

http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/a...9&sid=2018

Any city or town in that geographical area that has a reasonable rink, and doesn’t have a higher level team, wants to be a member.
Well, the USHL isn't really a fair comparison. Many of those teams predate the current glut of entertainment options, and the more successful ones have been around for over 20 years. Also, the teams in the Plains draw far better than the teams in the Great Lakes, since there isn't a regional pro team to attach yourself to, and there are stronger civic rivalries there.

Coincidentally, there's a team Bloomington that barely draws flies. Under 1000 in a 7000 seat barn isn't a good look. The area has much more of a basketball-centric culture, and the people that do care about hockey would rather stay home and watch the Blackhawks and Blues over going to a USHL game. Illinois sports is very much a "go pro or go home" culture. Illini hockey would have to win immediately to reverse that trend.
06-08-2018 12:23 AM
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IWokeUpLikeThis Offline
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Post: #130
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
Central Illinois is definitely hoops-centric, whether you’re in Chambana (Illinois), Bloomington-Normal (Illinois State), or Peoria (Bradley). Although Peoria supported the Rivermen well for many years. That extends to high school where Central Illinois produces a relatively considerable amount of college hoops players and essentially nothing for hockey.

USHL works in Fargo, Sioux Falls, and the Iowa/Nebraska cities because of the lack of professional hockey and absence of nearby NHL hockey. That region is the USHL’s bread and butter.

USHL doesn’t do well in Illinois (Steel, Bloomington), Indiana (Ice), or Michigan (Muskegon, NTDP). All those teams draw flies and barely stay afloat (Indy is defunct). Muskegon was a great minor league hockey town that has never really bought into junior hockey because watching teenagers just isn’t the same as watching the gongshow and bloodshed of the grown-ups back in the day.
06-08-2018 01:20 AM
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Lord Stanley Offline
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Post: #131
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
But this will all change because there is a block I on the jersey in Champaign? OK. That's a big risk but one that has good upside.
06-08-2018 08:12 AM
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Frank the Tank Offline
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Post: #132
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
People are concentrating too much on the "Central Illinois" aspect and not enough on the "Chicago" aspect. Ultimately, Illinois is a school that has more Chicago area students than virtually all of the schools that are actually located in Chicago. Once again, just like Penn State previously before it moved up to Division I, the Illinois club hockey team *sells out* its games regularly. There's already a longstanding culture of attending even lower level hockey games on campus (similar to Penn State). The school's students are also Chicago-centric and hockey interest has boomed over the past decade due to the success of the Blackhawks. How USHL teams have performed in Central Illinois is pretty much irrelevant when it comes to Illini support. The Lord Stanley's point, the Block I on the jersey actually does matter greatly for the same reason why we have boards like this that discuss college sports 24/7/365 as opposed to minor league baseball and hockey or G-League basketball.

This really isn't much of a risk for Illinois. The only big issue is where the upfront capital costs will come from. As long as those are covered, it's honestly as close to a no-brainer as there is out there as far as athletic department expansions go.
06-08-2018 10:42 AM
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NoDak Offline
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Post: #133
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
Illinois hopes to announce hockey by end of the year:

https://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Dail...inois.aspx
06-11-2018 05:31 PM
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NoDak Offline
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Post: #134
RE: University of Illinois upgrading Club Hockey to D1?
More hockey answers from Illini AD:

https://www.collegehockeynews.com/news/2...ois-AD.php
06-12-2018 02:03 PM
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