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Tennessee State considering DI ice hockey

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  • wsummers
    replied
    Originally posted by Split-N View Post
    Picking up from the previous comment, I just don't see D1 hockey at TSU making sense on any level. Some obvious questions:

    Where will the money come from? TSU's entire endowment ($61.6 million) isn't even enough to cover startup costs. So unless there's a Terry Pegula-type megadonor (noted alumna Oprah, maybe?) waiting in the wings, I don't see how it even gets off the ground. TSU is a comparatively small school (5,875 undergrads) by D1 standards so the alumni base is likely too small to sustain a substantial fundraising campaign, especially for something like a hockey program. That seemingly leaves the Preds and the state taxpayers.

    Where would their fan base come from? Beyond the immediate TSU community, college sports interest in the Nashville area centers on Vanderbilt. That's not going to change.

    Where will they play? There are several rinks in the Nashville area, including two that the Preds apparently have ownership interest in, but these are typical neighborhood/recreational facilities with a couple of hundred bench seats, at most. If TSU chooses to build it's own venue, it would be a big plus-up to the startup costs.

    I certainly wish TSU all the best but even if a well-meaning megadonor is ready to pick up the startup tab, I'd remain concerned at the ability of such a comparatively small school with such a small endowment to sustain a D1 program going forward.
    Please don’t misconstrue this as I would love to see the sport grow and this is not meant to be a racist statement. TSU is a historic Black university with about a 84% non-white student population. Honest question…do they see themselves as a possible magnet for those who don’t fit the stereotypical white middle-class hockey player? There have been over 100 black NHL players so the potential of having a competitive team is there.

    Leave a comment:


  • njmav1
    replied
    Originally posted by Split-N View Post
    Picking up from the previous comment, I just don't see D1 hockey at TSU making sense on any level. Some obvious questions:

    Where will the money come from? TSU's entire endowment ($61.6 million) isn't even enough to cover startup costs. So unless there's a Terry Pegula-type megadonor (noted alumna Oprah, maybe?) waiting in the wings, I don't see how it even gets off the ground. TSU is a comparatively small school (5,875 undergrads) by D1 standards so the alumni base is likely too small to sustain a substantial fundraising campaign, especially for something like a hockey program. That seemingly leaves the Preds and the state taxpayers.

    Where would their fan base come from? Beyond the immediate TSU community, college sports interest in the Nashville area centers on Vanderbilt. That's not going to change.

    Where will they play? There are several rinks in the Nashville area, including two that the Preds apparently have ownership interest in, but these are typical neighborhood/recreational facilities with a couple of hundred bench seats, at most. If TSU chooses to build it's own venue, it would be a big plus-up to the startup costs.

    I certainly wish TSU all the best but even if a well-meaning megadonor is ready to pick up the startup tab, I'd remain concerned at the ability of such a comparatively small school with such a small endowment to sustain a D1 program going forward.
    That's why they're doing a study- I'm sure all those questions will be asked. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, but outside of the few within TSU involved in this, we're just operating on assumptions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Split-N
    replied
    Picking up from the previous comment, I just don't see D1 hockey at TSU making sense on any level. Some obvious questions:

    Where will the money come from? TSU's entire endowment ($61.6 million) isn't even enough to cover startup costs. So unless there's a Terry Pegula-type megadonor (noted alumna Oprah, maybe?) waiting in the wings, I don't see how it even gets off the ground. TSU is a comparatively small school (5,875 undergrads) by D1 standards so the alumni base is likely too small to sustain a substantial fundraising campaign, especially for something like a hockey program. That seemingly leaves the Preds and the state taxpayers.

    Where would their fan base come from? Beyond the immediate TSU community, college sports interest in the Nashville area centers on Vanderbilt. That's not going to change.

    Where will they play? There are several rinks in the Nashville area, including two that the Preds apparently have ownership interest in, but these are typical neighborhood/recreational facilities with a couple of hundred bench seats, at most. If TSU chooses to build it's own venue, it would be a big plus-up to the startup costs.

    I certainly wish TSU all the best but even if a well-meaning megadonor is ready to pick up the startup tab, I'd remain concerned at the ability of such a comparatively small school with such a small endowment to sustain a D1 program going forward.
    Last edited by Split-N; 05-23-2021, 09:24 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • sbkbghockey
    replied
    Originally posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    Obviously there are steps beyond feasibility studies.

    Otherwise we’d have Oakland University, Minnesota State Moorhead, Illinois, Navy, Rhode Island, and… I dunno, maybe Wisconsin-Milwaukee or a return to Penn… by now.

    Finding out how much money it would take is one thing. Getting that money is another.

    But if you assume (as I do) that NHL teams (at least in part) create their own interest and thus aren’t necessarily tapping dry the market for people to get tickets to see hockey games… then Tennessee as a whole is a massively undertapped market without much beyond the Preds to compete for ticket sales.

    Its hardly the school any of us would’ve expected, but that makes it all the more cool of it we’re to happen.
    I'm interested to see more details about this TSU study, a lot of the details from those other "studies" weren't much for the money... basically, "Oh, Oaklan/MSU-Moorhead/Illinois you're a school in a hockey rich market and perfect IF you have the millions for the program and a facility." Even with Nashville support and the sport is growing steadily in Nashville, I'm not sure it qualifies as a hockey-rick market yet. And also until a point where there's many more hockey fans, the Preds would be poaching potential butts in seats from TSU Hockey for big games on the same day.

    Solving these independent issues is something that College Hockey Inc, the NCAA, the AHCA Coaches Association, and the NHL all need to work together to figure out. Hockey is one of the most expensive operating sports at the DI level and the college hockey landscape pushing out schools to stay independent when they're looking for conference stability hurts the growth of the sport. As discussed on other threads here, it also shouldn't fall on the stable (and sometimes full) conferences to burden themselves taking a conference outlier. In Football the SEC doesn't add an upstart FCS upgrade program to help the good of college football, we shouldn't expect CCHA, NCHC, or even Atlantic Hockey to add an outlier they don't want. Other NCAA sports have catch-all conferences, that house new programs, schools moving up from lower NCAA levels, etc...Examples: ASun Conf men's Lax, Summit League, Pioneer Football Conference, fmr Great West Conference, etc... Those types of conferences often have less of a distinct footprint so travel can be higher, but still less than going Indy, and also there's schedule stability with conference games, conference standings, NCAA bids, etc... Those conferences help those sports grow by allowing new programs and upgraded schools room to grow. College Hockey needs that, we really haven't had that since the CHA men's ended. A conference like that for college hockey could help current Independents but also be a home for the Lindenwood, TSUs, and any other school looking to add hockey.

    Leave a comment:


  • Split-N
    replied
    It would be hilarious (or maybe not so hilarious) if tennis shoe state (Endowment $61 million) could pull this off before almighty Illinois (endowment $1.9 billion (with a B)), which has been "studying" this for years.
    Last edited by Split-N; 05-22-2021, 11:54 AM.

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  • ExileOnDaytonStreet
    replied
    The link is on their athletic department’s Twitter, but they officially announced the existence of their feasibility study earlier this week.

    Leave a comment:


  • UncleRay
    replied
    Originally posted by Lost_Husky View Post

    Maybe I got the wrong school. St Lawrence maybe?
    All of the ECAC teams have travel partners. Two schools who travel to the same two schools for a weekend or who host the same two schools for a weekend.

    Leave a comment:


  • ExileOnDaytonStreet
    replied
    Obviously there are steps beyond feasibility studies.

    Otherwise we’d have Oakland University, Minnesota State Moorhead, Illinois, Navy, Rhode Island, and… I dunno, maybe Wisconsin-Milwaukee or a return to Penn… by now.

    Finding out how much money it would take is one thing. Getting that money is another.

    But if you assume (as I do) that NHL teams (at least in part) create their own interest and thus aren’t necessarily tapping dry the market for people to get tickets to see hockey games… then Tennessee as a whole is a massively undertapped market without much beyond the Preds to compete for ticket sales.

    Its hardly the school any of us would’ve expected, but that makes it all the more cool of it we’re to happen.

    Leave a comment:


  • JohnsonsJerseys
    replied
    Originally posted by slowe View Post
    TSU considering starting DI ice hockey program
    The school will reportedly announce soon announce plans to conduct a feasibility study with the goal of determining the viability of starting a hockey program at TSU
    What are the odds the report comes back stating that TSU really wants to have D-I hockey, the NHL thinks it would be a great idea to do so and that TSU just need to find the money and a facility? Other than those two speed bumps, the team could start play at the Div I level as early as next season.

    Illinois, you want to chime in here? Meanwhile, Long Island just skips the whole study and starts their team no one saw coming.
    Last edited by JohnsonsJerseys; 04-26-2021, 11:41 PM.

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  • RPI fan 4 life
    replied
    Originally posted by Lost_Husky View Post

    Maybe I got the wrong school. St Lawrence maybe?
    Definitely. Clarkson and St.Lawrence are only 11 miles apart.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lost_Husky
    replied
    Originally posted by Ralph Baer View Post

    What do Clarkson and RPI have going? I can't recall anyone playing at one, one night, and the other the next. Perhaps you meant either Clarkson and SLU or RPI and Union. Either pair is much closer than UAH and TSU.
    Maybe I got the wrong school. St Lawrence maybe?
    Last edited by Lost_Husky; 04-26-2021, 02:42 PM.

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  • Ralph Baer
    replied
    Originally posted by Lost_Husky View Post
    They appear to be 2 hours and change apart. That is easy to do a home and home. It also would be easy to get something like Clarkson and RPI have going. Play in Huntsville one night and Nashville the next. The next year UAH/TSU would travel. I know Michigan Tech is very interested in these kind of arrangements. Add in they could easily get 4 games a year out of each other. Lindenwood is a bus trip away as well. Too far for a home and home, but close enough for a Friday/Sunday, Thursday/Saturday. With distance learning being the new norm, it might work out for the geographic outliers a little better.
    What do Clarkson and RPI have going? I can't recall anyone playing at one, one night, and the other the next. Perhaps you meant either Clarkson and SLU or RPI and Union. Either pair is much closer than UAH and TSU.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rightnut
    replied
    It would certainly be a remarkable and exciting development to have a D1 team at a Historically Black College. Could also open the door to more teams in Tennessee with well endowed schools like Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lost_Husky
    replied
    They appear to be 2 hours and change apart. That is easy to do a home and home. It also would be easy to get something like Clarkson and St Lawrence have going. Play in Huntsville one night and Nashville the next. The next year UAH/TSU would travel. I know Michigan Tech is very interested in these kind of arrangements. Add in they could easily get 4 games a year out of each other. Lindenwood is a bus trip away as well. Too far for a home and home, but close enough for a Friday/Sunday, Thursday/Saturday. With distance learning being the new norm, it might work out for the geographic outliers a little better.
    Last edited by Lost_Husky; 04-27-2021, 08:15 AM.

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  • purpleinnebraska
    replied
    The NHL has talked a lot about making hockey look more like the rest of America. Now, when push comes to shove, will they put their money where their slogans are?

    Leave a comment:

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