I know, I know, I know.
We said we wouldn’t report on the Interstate Hockey League anymore. But when the league starts pulling back arguably the biggest thing it was STILL promising players as of last week, well, we feel that these players and potential players should know that.
Let’s go back to July 26, just one day after we posted our findings about the IHL, the league hosted an emergency podcast to address the article, and then posted this note on Facebook, where they continued to insist that players would still be getting paid via the profit sharing idea they presented.
Claiming they will provide players insurance, matching equipment, travel expenses, transportation to games, and profit sharing. AKA, payment for playing.
Well, yesterday at around 6pm, one of the players who had been “signed” by the St. Ignace Grizzlies received the following messages, which clearly show that players will no longer receiver a nickel for their efforts, and that it is now on the individual teams themselves to raise the needed money to play this coming season.
Needless to say, this is no longer a “pro” league that the IHL claimed it was when they were calling out the FPHL earlier this summer.
So despite now admitting they won’t be able to pay players, they continue to promise player gear, travel, food, and free ice time. But again, with the caveat that each team now needs to raise $20,000 over the next month to be able to participate.
To all the players who ponied up $100+ to tryout for a “pro” hockey league, you were taken for a ride, and as we saw in our previous story about the IHL, they likely don’t have the money to refund you for your tryout.
How did they reach this conclusion to not pay players? Well, as they stated above, and like we mentioned before, there was no way they were going to get the crowds they thought they were for this thing.
Here was our math on what they needed to do in order to pay players the $175 a week they were advertising on the league website:
So $175 a week times 40 players, $175×40 = $7000, so the league needs to make $7000 per weekend series for players to get paid $175 a week like they are advertising. But remember that the league takes 20% of gate sales, so they need to raise roughly $8,800 every weekend to pay players that mark.
$8,800 divided by seven (our average ticket price) is 1,257 tickets sold each weekend. So now take 1,257 and divide it by two, since there will reportedly be two games each weekend and you get 628.
So the IHL at its current prices needs to sell 628 tickets at $7 a piece to pay these players the promised $175 a week.
And that’s all they get, if they even hit that 628 mark. They aren’t paying for player housing like the FPHL is, or player meals, and while they claim they are paying for SOME equipment, the FPHL gives you close to full gear. And how are these IHL players getting to the road games? It sure isn’t charter buses, which can cost upwards of $10,000 for a weekend rental. And where do these teams plan to stay when they have to make a trip from metro Detroit up to Alpena, Muskegon, or St. Ignace?
And yet, the fans that do come out to watch this, which the messages above again plainly state that these aren’t pro players, are still being charged $5 to watch, down from our estimated $7 in the previous post, but still be charged for some reason. So basically $5 to watch men’s league hockey.
And now the question comes, if the teams are able to raise the needed $20,000 to play in this league, how does that cover the other things they promised above? One rink told us the ice alone they wanted for the season was around $10,000, then you have refs to pay, and they claim travel expenses will be covered, and food. How do you plan to pay for up to eight road trips (if they keep to the 32 game schedule with 16 home and away games), on just $10,000? Something tells us more stuff might get axed soon.
So again, if you joined the IHL thinking this was your chance to play hockey and get paid for it, that isn’t happening, and you should probably start asking about what it means for your “contract” with whatever team might have signed you.