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Women's hockey wants NHL to pay for their league (1 Viewer)

TheIronSheik

SUPER ELITE UPPER TIER
LINK

Am I missing something?  Why should the NHL pay for a failing league to exist?  Isn't this like the AAF players boycotting the NFL until the NFL decided to pay for that league to exist?

Again, maybe I'm missing something big here.  :confused:

 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
LINK

Am I missing something?  Why should the NHL pay for a failing league to exist?  Isn't this like the AAF players boycotting the NFL until the NFL decided to pay for that league to exist?

Again, maybe I'm missing something big here.  :confused:
They are boycotting playing in their own league NWHL until they can be paid a living wage and get insurance. It only says that they would like for the NHL to step in and support the league financially.

 

AcerFC

Footballguy
The NHL has come out and said they will help womens hockey, but only if there is no other way. The women are forcing their hands. 

Womens hockey is the fastest growing sport. I dont have a link, just based on my observations. 

The NHL would actually be stupid (which they are) to not help this succeed. 

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
This is the part of the article that leaves me scratching my head.  They either are uninformed themselves or are hoping the general public is uninformed

"If you look at what history tells us, it's that startup women's leagues are very successful when they're connected to an existing league. That's true throughout Europe, in women's soccer, the WNBA, and the WNSL with their support from U.S. Soccer. That's part of what we're looking for."

==============

1) There is no womens soccer league in the US called WNSL.

2) The support US Soccer gives does not help the womens league.  It only helps a select few players in the league that are national team quality.

3) Right now the WNBA and NWSL are the absolute furthest thing from "very successful".  The WNBA lives on a shoe string budget, closing and moving teams at will as they try and stay alive.  They are coming off their lowest attendance ever at just 6768 a game.  And the NWSL is even smaller than the WNBA

4) If women's hockey can't balance the budget with players making only $2k a year as the article states, nothing is going to magically change if they start paying $50k a year to allow hockey to be a full time job.  It makes no sense.

5) If the NHL wants to blow every thing up and start over with their own version, that is fine with me.  However, my guess is that they are going to look at the financial sink hole that the WNBA turned into and make sure they run an ultra tight ship.

 
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zamboni

Footballguy
i appreciate equality and everything, but not enough people care about women’s sports.  seems like a simple truth, unless i am uninformed.  it’s not anything i care remotely about.
I’m sure if they embraced fighting in the league, it would gain more traction.

 

Skipdog77

Footballguy
The NHL has said they won't be the ones to put the CWHL or the NWHL out of business, but it's well known that they have an interest in putting a women's league together. 

Now that the CWHL has folded, only the NWHL remains. The NWHL last year unilaterally slashed player salaries, and won't disclose any league financial info to the players. The players have decided to force the NWHL's hand by pledging not to play for them, and hoping they can force change.

Alot of them are the same ladies who stood fast to get better conditions for the US Women's National team in 2017.  As the father of a 12-year old female hockey player who looks up to these ladies, I say fight for what you believe in, fight for the future of the sport, fight for the girls who you inspire. Would love to see an NHL-backed professional women's league.

 

Northern Voice

Footballguy
I'm a junior hockey fan and I know the local junior hockey team needs to draw an average of 2600 fans a night for 34 home games and get a couple playoff home games to break even. They aren't paying players a salary but are paying a lot in terms of college/university and for meals outside the pregame/post game meals. Aside from that, I'm going to assume the expenses (arena/game night staff, equipment, meals, training, etc...) are pretty similar.

I'm trying to figure it out a business model where this league is profitable paying even 30k per player a year. I guess maybe if they can average 5k+ fans a night? 

And I assume what they're looking for is something in line with the AHL, where those teams on their own may or may not be profitable but with NHL backing and support, they are successful and provide good entertainment, jobs, etc...

I want them to be a viable league and some NHL support is probably needed, just trying to wrap my head around the financials.

 
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NewlyRetired

Footballguy
Northern Voice said:
I want them to be a viable league and some NHL support is probably needed, just trying to wrap my head around the financials.
there are no financials that can support a full time league where all players have salaries that can sustain them and have health insurance, in the short term.

But that may not specifically be the equation the NHL is looking at.  They obviously know if they start a league, it is going to lose money if they meet certain pay and insurance standards.  But they may look at it as a loss leader type of investment and try to play the long game.

The question for me is if they do get involved beyond just donating money, how long a time horizon do they have where they are willing to lose money.   All start up leagues have to deal with this question..   Look how fast the new football league just went belly up as the owners gave up so quickly.   In contrast, MLS lost a ton of money in its first decade but were lucky to have just enough owners to see them through the dark days and now they are making tons of money and have expansion fees going for $200m with billionaires fighting to own teams.

 

chet

Footballguy
Chemical X said:
i appreciate equality and everything, but not enough people care about women’s sports.  seems like a simple truth, unless i am uninformed.  it’s not anything i care remotely about.
Equality of opportunity or equality of outcome?   :hot:  

 

Cjw_55106

Footballguy
Even NHL teams have revenue sharing. 
Kind of irrelevant. There is a direct result for the league if all teams survive. That is not the case when talking about financially supporting the NWHL. 

Im not sure what they should be paid, but are people here aware they play just a 16 game schedule? The average attendance is less than 1000 by the way. 

 

belljr

Footballguy
As a father of a teenage female athlete who plays at a decent level - I have mixed emotions on this topic.

Women at this level are no different than watching minor league game, imo.  SOme women sports and games are really exciting to watch.  Love watching college world series, for example. So I feel like on a "fan" level some womens sports are very underrated on viewing enjoyment level.   

That being said, I don't think women should be paid "equal" if they can't draw the same numbers.   I'm not saying they should be treated like crap or purposely get bad pay/accommodations etc 

 
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TheIronSheik

SUPER ELITE UPPER TIER
You get paid what the market determines.  If your sport can't afford to pay you a living wage and get you insurance, then it shouldn't be a business.  

And "They're not asking for the NHL to pay for everything.  Just wages and insurance" people are making me laugh.  My bad.  You're probably right.  The league is successful enough to probably buy a couple of their own pucks.

 

parasaurolophus

Footballguy
This would be a silly investment. Instead of spending on a professional league, they should just spend more on girls youth hockey. The WNBA doesnt help grow the NBA's popularity or the sport. 

You can never escape the constant thorn in your side of rival women's professional sports. Look at all the silly talk when Breanna stewart got hurt because she was playing in europe because she was "only" paid like 80k a year. You will always be dealing with dumb articles about gender pay gap, unfair treatment, etc etc as long as the league is around. Better to get rid of that issue and build it at a level that people will care about. If it gets enough attention and interest at the lower level, a professional league can happen on its own. Not a fake propped up social experiment. 

 
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mr. furley

Footballguy
are there minor league women's hockey teams? not sub-organizations to a parent pro league.. but.. like independent baseball sort of with small community supported teams teamed by mostly college-aged girls?

like here in GB we have an independent league baseball team & people enjoy it. it's not huge & the guys don't make much at all but it has community support and the league is building out to other small cities in Wisconsin.. some more successful than others.

seems like that's the way to go. start small, build a community base of support, grow the business. men's or women's. there are both men's and women's independent league soccer teams starting up here this summer... they'll share the baseball park space. crowds will be in the 1000 range, i'd bet, top end. but it will be kid friendly and their mascot & players will pop up at community events all over town to build that bond with the city. might not last but who knows.. we've had independent baseball here since i can remember.

these sports leagues try to plant a flag in.... New York and LA and Chicago with a splashy marketing campaign, loads of borrowed money, etc. and act as though they've been around for decades and people are invested before the thing even gets off the ground. it's a recipe for disaster yet sports leagues keep trying to launch this way.

these football leagues are just doomed before the idea even takes off but every few years someone gets a hair up their ### and thinks "if i can just convince enough people to raise a couple hundred million dollars, i could have a failed business 3 weeks after the season starts!"

 

TheIronSheik

SUPER ELITE UPPER TIER
are there minor league women's hockey teams? not sub-organizations to a parent pro league.. but.. like independent baseball sort of with small community supported teams teamed by mostly college-aged girls?

like here in GB we have an independent league baseball team & people enjoy it. it's not huge & the guys don't make much at all but it has community support and the league is building out to other small cities in Wisconsin.. some more successful than others.

seems like that's the way to go. start small, build a community base of support, grow the business. men's or women's. there are both men's and women's independent league soccer teams starting up here this summer... they'll share the baseball park space. crowds will be in the 1000 range, i'd bet, top end. but it will be kid friendly and their mascot & players will pop up at community events all over town to build that bond with the city. might not last but who knows.. we've had independent baseball here since i can remember.

these sports leagues try to plant a flag in.... New York and LA and Chicago with a splashy marketing campaign, loads of borrowed money, etc. and act as though they've been around for decades and people are invested before the thing even gets off the ground. it's a recipe for disaster yet sports leagues keep trying to launch this way.

these football leagues are just doomed before the idea even takes off but every few years someone gets a hair up their ### and thinks "if i can just convince enough people to raise a couple hundred million dollars, i could have a failed business 3 weeks after the season starts!"
From everything I've read (and I didn't know this before reading these articles pertaining to the AAF), minor league sports don't make money.  They are actually subsidized by the pro teams that use them as farm teams.  But they do that because there is a need for minor league baseball.  It benefits MLB.  But if MLB did not have a need for the minors, they would not survive on their own.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
From everything I've read (and I didn't know this before reading these articles pertaining to the AAF), minor league sports don't make money.  They are actually subsidized by the pro teams that use them as farm teams.  But they do that because there is a need for minor league baseball.  It benefits MLB.  But if MLB did not have a need for the minors, they would not survive on their own.
I am always amazed by England's pro soccer setup.  They have 92 pro teams, broken up into 4 tiers and all the teams are individual financial entities that have to live or die on their own.  There is no "minor" league as we think of it since lower divisions teams have the ability to climb through the divisions but the idea of having to make enough money to survive is very similar to what we are talking about.

 

Skipdog77

Footballguy
That being said, I don't think women should be paid "equal" if they can't draw the same numbers.   I'm not saying they should be treated like crap or purposely get bad pay/accommodations etc 
I don't think they have any notion of getting "equal" pay.  They want a sustainable league and opportunity to continue playing the game. 

Also want a league that won't slash their already agreed-to contracted salaries in half on a whim, with no financial information/evidence to back it up. 

 

TheIronSheik

SUPER ELITE UPPER TIER
I am always amazed by England's pro soccer setup.  They have 92 pro teams, broken up into 4 tiers and all the teams are individual financial entities that have to live or die on their own.  There is no "minor" league as we think of it since lower divisions teams have the ability to climb through the divisions but the idea of having to make enough money to survive is very similar to what we are talking about.
So one of the article I read mentioned European soccer.  And it said the main reason it is able to thrive is because there is a chance these teams can move up to bigger leagues.  So even though they are technically lower levels, the chance of being promoted makes them viable.  The fact that the Reading Fightin' Phils will always be a Double A ball team means they have no chance of ever competing against the Yankees.  And therefore, their revenue suffers.

 

TheIronSheik

SUPER ELITE UPPER TIER
I don't think they have any notion of getting "equal" pay.  They want a sustainable league and opportunity to continue playing the game. 

Also want a league that won't slash their already agreed-to contracted salaries in half on a whim, with no financial information/evidence to back it up. 
Two things here:  1) The WNBA players have been complaining about the difference between NBA contracts and WNBA contracts for a couple of years.  2) The league can't pay more than they are pulling in.  I didn't even realize women had a pro hockey league.  I'm guessing attendance to these games averages way into the high dozens.  And that's being generous.  

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
I don't think they have any notion of getting "equal" pay.  They want a sustainable league and opportunity to continue playing the game. 

Also want a league that won't slash their already agreed-to contracted salaries in half on a whim, with no financial information/evidence to back it up. 
the most recent article I read is that they are looking for around $50k a year and some health insurance, which seems reasonable on the surface but they have to understand whom ever funds this level of pay is going to lose a lot of money in the short term.  They need to convince whom ever the owners will be that they will be able to substantially raise revenue in the coming years.

It is a huge ask since the revenues would need to increase dramatically and the life blood for a start up league is game day revenue and the league has a very very small fan base right now.

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
So one of the article I read mentioned European soccer.  And it said the main reason it is able to thrive is because there is a chance these teams can move up to bigger leagues.  So even though they are technically lower levels, the chance of being promoted makes them viable.  The fact that the Reading Fightin' Phils will always be a Double A ball team means they have no chance of ever competing against the Yankees.  And therefore, their revenue suffers.
I think the promotion relegation system is wonderful, but in our American model of closed leagues with franchises, we will never see it since the owners have monopolies.

 

The Big Guy

Fear the Blitz
Doesn't the NHL have teams with financing issues because of their own lack of revenue, or is this old info from the back of my brain? I remember teams being on the verge of ruin because they can't compete fiscally and there being a lot of drama over that and now they have to pay to help support a league no one has heard of or wants?

 

mr. furley

Footballguy
From everything I've read (and I didn't know this before reading these articles pertaining to the AAF), minor league sports don't make money.  They are actually subsidized by the pro teams that use them as farm teams.  But they do that because there is a need for minor league baseball.  It benefits MLB.  But if MLB did not have a need for the minors, they would not survive on their own.
that seems very likely at those levels. they aren't really separate entities but parts of the larger parent company.

i'm talking independent leagues. launching a pro league at a national level seems daunting. launching a pro league at a national level and expecting another business to help you survive when there's not really enough interest in your product yet is ballsy.

women's hockey would seem to need to start small in...... Stevens Point, WI and Arcata, CA and Hanover, IN. build some steam first before jumping up to the national level with expectations of pro level support & infrastructure. 

“We will not play in ANY professional leagues in North America this season until we get the resources that professional hockey demands and deserves,” the statement reads. “We may have represented different teams, leagues, and countries – but this sport is one family.

“What can I live on in Toronto, reasonably? What can I make that I can live off of that? So I can train in my time away from the rink, carry proper nutrition and all these things that professional athletes inherently are expected to do?"

i get what she's saying.. but she's coming at it form the angle of "well, i played D1 and professionally at the international level so this is what i expect.. anything below 6 figures, catered meals, personal trainers, etc. is insufficient. we need to be treated at least that well if this league is going to work and the other professional hockey leagues should help us get there."

sure... in theory.. but that statement smacks a bit of entitlement and forgetting where you came from. just because you stepped up to the international level doesn't mean you can only move laterally or upwards in terms of pay & amenities.  the interest has to be there from fans, to generate the revenue (either independently or from investors) to make "demands" like this for a league most Americans probably had absolutely no idea even existed.

if you're starting a brand new business, you step back and grind for... years (usually) to make it work. most people don't leave an employer, start their own business and immediately make more money, with more benefits and a better future. 

 
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mr. furley

Footballguy
I am always amazed by England's pro soccer setup.  They have 92 pro teams, broken up into 4 tiers and all the teams are individual financial entities that have to live or die on their own.  There is no "minor" league as we think of it since lower divisions teams have the ability to climb through the divisions but the idea of having to make enough money to survive is very similar to what we are talking about.
check out Losers on Netflix.

i think it's the 5th or 6th episode that covers a very low level English soccer team where they touch on this idea of "if we lose this game... this town that's had a soccer team for generations... won't have a soccer team anymore next year. but if we win, we're good for another season." 

the whole series is great but this episode was very good

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
i get what she's saying.. but she's coming at it form the angle of "well, i played D1 and professionally at the international level so this is what i expect.. anything below 6 figures, catered meals, personal trainers, etc. is insufficient. we need to be treated at least that well if this league is going to work and the other professional hockey leagues should help us get there."
To be fair, this player was not asking for over 6 figures.  She mentioned $50k as a livable wage.

 

Bill Brasky

Footballguy
NHL> please donate Victor Rask's remaining contract to their cause and send him back to Sweden.  everyone wins. 

 

NewlyRetired

Footballguy
I'd also like $50k to play hockey and just like them, I couldn't make an NHL or minor league team.  Where do I sign up?
Hopefully they can settle on something like $25k a year with a modicum of health insurance and see if they can even justify those numbers three years from now revenue wise.  But to support that cost, they will need significant  buy in from the NHL.  I can't see the NWHL owners wanting to sustain that level of losses.

There is also a general viability issue.  There are only 5 womens pro teams left between the US and Canada.   Their foot print is almost non existent.

 

mr. furley

Footballguy
To be fair, this player was not asking for over 6 figures.  She mentioned $50k as a livable wage.
yeah, i see that. in Toronto. i don't know Toronto that well but it's a major world city. i can't believe the women's hockey pro league needs to launch with teams in Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, etc. with players expecting to make 50k and have a pro infrastructure surrounding them immediately.

50k goes... not as far in Toronto as maybe it does in Schenectady? people in Toronto may love hockey but enough to support a women's pro team where the players salaries run in to the millions total + all that supporting a pro team entails?

if there were a women's pro hockey team in GB, i'd go watch that #### tonight and probably buy my daughters all the souvenirs they wanted. we'd load up on food & drinks and hopefully do something like skate with the team afterwards, maybe kick in to the 50/50 raffle. and i bet lots of other people in this town would go watch, too.

there's not much else to do here, sure, but people also love hockey, love their local teams and turn out to support. 50k here for a single person would be just fine. 50k with another salary as a couple... you'd have no problems. 

is it wrong of them to ask? no. but & this is a complaint of mine for all these sorts of leagues... start small with reasonable expectations. the football minor leagues that keep launching & trying to splash in major American cities are just a bloodbath. they don't freaking work. but arena/indoor football is working well in small towns everywhere. those guys don't make a lot of money but the games are fun and fans turn out :shrug:

all those guys played college ball. some at higher levels. they're living the dream, making some side money and working full time jobs. 

maybe the difference would be that these ladies played hockey at a pro level elsewhere so they have pro skill... but if that's the case & the American league isn't sufficient then keep playing in Russia or wherever and let other players grind and suffer here to build the league then come over when the US league is up to snuff?

 

Bull Dozier

Footballguy
yeah, i see that. in Toronto. i don't know Toronto that well but it's a major world city. i can't believe the women's hockey pro league needs to launch with teams in Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, etc. with players expecting to make 50k and have a pro infrastructure surrounding them immediately.

50k goes... not as far in Toronto as maybe it does in Schenectady? people in Toronto may love hockey but enough to support a women's pro team where the players salaries run in to the millions total + all that supporting a pro team entails?

if there were a women's pro hockey team in GB, i'd go watch that #### tonight and probably buy my daughters all the souvenirs they wanted. we'd load up on food & drinks and hopefully do something like skate with the team afterwards, maybe kick in to the 50/50 raffle. and i bet lots of other people in this town would go watch, too.

there's not much else to do here, sure, but people also love hockey, love their local teams and turn out to support. 50k here for a single person would be just fine. 50k with another salary as a couple... you'd have no problems. 

is it wrong of them to ask? no. but & this is a complaint of mine for all these sorts of leagues... start small with reasonable expectations. the football minor leagues that keep launching & trying to splash in major American cities are just a bloodbath. they don't freaking work. but arena/indoor football is working well in small towns everywhere. those guys don't make a lot of money but the games are fun and fans turn out :shrug:

all those guys played college ball. some at higher levels. they're living the dream, making some side money and working full time jobs. 

maybe the difference would be that these ladies played hockey at a pro level elsewhere so they have pro skill... but if that's the case & the American league isn't sufficient then keep playing in Russia or wherever and let other players grind and suffer here to build the league then come over when the US league is up to snuff?
It's like they think NBA players were making millions of dollars a year shooting balls into peach baskets.  The first NBA players weren't playing so they could get nationwide endorsement deals and retire off a few years salary and never have to worry about money again.  The major leagues that exist today took a long time to build a following by creating a product people cared about and wanted to pay more and more money to be able to see.  You can't really short cut that long process and throwing money at it in the hopes of creating a long term viable product isn't going to work.

I get that people would like to have equal opportunities for women to play professional sports, but if the product they put out doesn't garner enough attention on its own, it doesn't work.  

 
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NewlyRetired

Footballguy
It's like they think NBA players were making millions of dollars a year shooting balls into peach baskets.  The first NBA players weren't playing so they could get nationwide endorsement deals and retire off a few years salary and never have to worry about money again.  The major leagues that exist today took a long time to build a following by creating a product people cared about and wanted to pay more and more money to be able to see.  You can't really short cut that long process and throwing money at it in the hopes of creating a long term viable product isn't going to work.

I get that people would like to have equal opportunities for women to play professional sports, but if the product they put out doesn't garner enough attention on its own, it doesn't worry.  
This is very true. 

In the early days of MLS in the late 90's, most players were making around $12k a year, outside of a select few. 

This season there are 144 players making over $500k.

It is a slow process as you said, many times littered with being on the brink of shutting down.  It is also a hard process which is why so few pro leagues have survived after the original 4 leagues cemented their spots.

 
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