The future of the Elite League and its teams

august04

Well-Known Member
Question for all : Hands up who would feel safe, secure and relaxed in a packed Viola Arena (in wintertime) whilst the virus is still circulating and a vaccine has not been found ?

My associated point being that allthough clubs need fans in attendance (as confirmed by Todd), how many will actually be comfortable in returning? Might that result in a significant reduction in crowd numbers - hence impacting budgets? Couple the aforementioned with the fact that the league 'could' resume just as things are predicted to spike during the winter!.

Absolutely no idea how this will play out, but for sure there are many dynamics at play that could alter the situation very quickly.
I didn’t feel safe at the Challenge Cup Final, but still went! With the benefit of hindsight, I still can’t believe that game went ahead with 1500 fans coming to Wales from Sheffield. The virus must have been rampant at that time.
 

Ocko

Well-Known Member
Question for all : Hands up who would feel safe, secure and relaxed in a packed Viola Arena (in wintertime) whilst the virus is still circulating and a vaccine has not been found ?

My associated point being that allthough clubs need fans in attendance (as confirmed by Todd), how many will actually be comfortable in returning? Might that result in a significant reduction in crowd numbers - hence impacting budgets? Couple the aforementioned with the fact that the league 'could' resume just as things are predicted to spike during the winter!.

Absolutely no idea how this will play out, but for sure there are many dynamics at play that could alter the situation very quickly.
I would. There is risk in most things we do, this is just another thing. I would feel more at risk and scared of being hit by a stray puck than catching COVID, but that hasn’t stopped me watching and playing for almost 30 years.
 

august04

Well-Known Member
I believe the virus was in uk dec/jan but not confirmed as covid 19 till end march quite a few friends of mine had flu type symptoms which couldve been the start of covid 19 in the flu season
First Covid case in the U.K. was confirmed on Jan 29th, so it was certainly in circulation in early March.
 
Question for all : Hands up who would feel safe, secure and relaxed in a packed Viola Arena (in wintertime) whilst the virus is still circulating and a vaccine has not been found ?

My associated point being that allthough clubs need fans in attendance (as confirmed by Todd), how many will actually be comfortable in returning? Might that result in a significant reduction in crowd numbers - hence impacting budgets? Couple the aforementioned with the fact that the league 'could' resume just as things are predicted to spike during the winter!.

Absolutely no idea how this will play out, but for sure there are many dynamics at play that could alter the situation very quickly.
I would 110% feel safe. I've pretty much carried on as normal throughout the lockdown with work etc.
 

kingmo19.1

Well-Known Member
As it currently stands, my prediction for things to proceed would be something like 5 or 6 imports per team and the rest being brits with every game being played behind closed doors and streamed.

Can’t see how any team would generate the required revenue to do anything in addition. Let’s not forget, for the league to continue in its current format then the rules need to apply for all teams - who knows, Sheffield, Nottingham, Belfast and Cardiff may be able to afford more imports, but I can’t see Storm, Stars, Fife etc generating the same revenue. It’ll need to be an equal playing field for all teams to compete in an equal league!
Reading back over this thread has been quite humerous. Patting myself on the back for this bold prediction on 5th May 2020 !

Shame the Crystal Ball never seems to generate the winning lottery numbers though :-(
 

Devil94

Well-Known Member
Some predictions better than others!

I'll pat myself on the back for this one from July

Sure we are far better from where we were in April, but we are still very far from what we would consider normal. We wouldn't be here discussing if there will be a season or even the future existence of ice hockey in this country if we were.

And as the WHO and many other health experts have said, the worst could still yet to come. Things will get really bad again before we're back to normal. That's a pretty unanimous conclusion by virology experts, unless a vaccine is developed soon. And judging by the way the last few months have been dealt with by the public and mostly the government (both mostly in England) then I would say we are very far indeed from normal.
Just goes to show that so much can change in a short period of time, who knows where we will be come September.
 
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BostonBart22

Well-Known Member
I predict a normal start in september 1000 fans to start with then increase attendance if all is well, import restrictions included due to overseas travel and funds not generated by clubs in reduced attendances...
 

pjj365

Well-Known Member
I predict a normal start in september 1000 fans to start with then increase attendance if all is well, import restrictions included due to overseas travel and funds not generated by clubs in reduced attendances...
That makes sense but it will not just be reduced revenue for some clubs but the risk of alienating long standing fans for clubs with ST sales in excess of 1k - how do you decide who can/can not attend
At the moment we are all in this together but if clubs have to "select" attendees a class system could develop of those ST holders "invited" and those not. That could be seriously damaging to some of the larger clubs
In reality I suspect reduced numbers (if that's the way it goes) will be based on capacity and ability to social distance (not a universal number) - with local authority licences being issued. This means most clubs will face the ST dilemma with the problem being one of scale
 
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pjj365

Well-Known Member
Hasn't Todd previously said that anything other than full capacity at IAW would be a non-starter anyway ?
Think you're right
I also guess that for game night to be viable then wider use of IAW would be needed - particularly on the staffing front and to give a decent return on the ice plant use (given Devils don't pay for ice time)
 

kingmo19.1

Well-Known Member
Hasn't Todd previously said that anything other than full capacity at IAW would be a non-starter anyway ?
That’s correct - but I’m wondering if that statement was based and calculated on the existing business model with a full quota of imports?

Maybe the route forward would be a restart with 5-6 imports supplemented by brits, therefore reducing the outgoings and teams not so dependent so much on attendance figures.

I’d definitely prefer a restart along those lines than no restart whatsoever.

How those reduced fan figures could be determined is a headache for the clubs, but I’m sure it could be made to work.

We need a season in 21-22 otherwise I think it looks somewhat bleak for the sport looking forward.
 

moggy#9

Well-Known Member
That’s correct - but I’m wondering if that statement was based and calculated on the existing business model with a full quota of imports?

Maybe the route forward would be a restart with 5-6 imports supplemented by brits, therefore reducing the outgoings and teams not so dependent so much on attendance figures.

I’d definitely prefer a restart along those lines than no restart whatsoever.

How those reduced fan figures could be determined is a headache for the clubs, but I’m sure it could be made to work.

We need a season in 21-22 otherwise I think it looks somewhat bleak for the sport looking forward.
I don't think that reduced numbers would be practical for a variety of reasons (who gets to attend, costs, family groups, fixed costs etc). What I could see however is access being restricted to those who can show evidence of vaccination and heavy disclaimers as conditions of entry. Additionally, I would say, no bar, no concessions and no visiting fans. I think that easy access to players would also be a non starter. Given the degree to which the club relies on volunteers I wonder how possible it would be to run the customary game night experience.
 

matbur

Well-Known Member
Thread starter #358
The only way it would be possible to play with limited attendances would be if there was funding was in place to cover loss of revenue.

My guess is the season won't be played with full capacity fans until 2022.

They've already said some restrictions will likely be needed again this coming winter.

I think we could see more mini tournaments before then to sustain interest.

Btw, I wrote the first post in this thread and wasn't far wrong with what I predicted!
 

moggy#9

Well-Known Member
The only way it would be possible to play with limited attendances would be if there was funding was in place to cover loss of revenue.

My guess is the season won't be played with full capacity fans until 2022.

They've already said some restrictions will likely be needed again this coming winter.

I think we could see more mini tournaments before then to sustain interest.

Btw, I wrote the first post in this thread and wasn't far wrong with what I predicted!
I really don't see that funding materialising to have a subsidised season. The fragmented nature of responsibility in the UK means that there will be no joined up thinking in government, and hockey is still very much a minority sport. As sole teams in Wales and Northern Ireland, we and Belfast will always be at a disadvantage when it comes to government support compared to England and Scotland. In fact in Wales I believe that anyone other than the egg chasers can pretty much forget it.

In terms of fragmented decision making, particularly around next season getting suspended, hockey is at the mercy of not one, but four lots of politicians. That said, the people who need to be called out about the risks to next season are those who don't follow the rules and who refuse to be vaccinated.
 
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