Boston, MA, March 07, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- The Eastern Professional Hockey League (EPHL) is planning the expansion for its’ 2009-2010 season in several New England markets. The EPHL is a developmental league in its first year of existence, with four teams based in Danbury, Conn., Brooklyn, N.Y., West Orange, N.J., and the Hudson Valley region of New York. The EPHL desires to create a New England Division of four teams to compete with the established teams in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Targeted expansion towns include Hyannis, MA, Exeter, NH, Lewiston, ME, Marlboro, MA, and Foxboro, MA.
Until now, nationally, professional "A" league level hockey could only be found in the south. The EPHL seeks to bring this level of play to the Northeast. With the amount of local talent in the New England markets, the teams will afford local players the opportunity to obtain professional experience and gain exposure to move up to the next level of play. All players will be involved in their local communities, speaking at schools, mentoring youth hockey players and more, Riggs said.
“We are currently speaking with a few parties interested in ownership of the franchises.” said Josh Brown, who is handling franchise development for the EPHL. “We welcome additional inquiries from the local community business leaders interested in the ownership or investment opportunities of a professional hockey franchise.”
"With our economic model, even in hard times a team should at least break even," EPHL commissioner Jim Riggs said. "And, more importantly, have a product to sell to potential expansion markets." EPHL teams operate with a salary cap of $5000 per week. Teams operate with an annual budget of $600,000 to $700,000. A franchise can expect to break even with an average attendance of 1000-1200 per game. The league average attendance during the first year was just over 1000 per game.
The love of hockey and the ability to give young hockey stars the chance to develop and move to the next level is one of the greatest draws for current franchise owners. According to Curt Russell co-owner of the New Jersey Rockhoppers, “My goal is to put New Jersey on the map as one of the places that develops great hockey players. This is a good opportunity to see players grow and move up the next level.”
According to league president Tim Kolpien, “Our goal is to see each team deliver an exciting product on the ice for families and sponsors. The EPHL offers tremendous value for fans and sponsors in our four markets and for our regional sponsors. Our focus is on stability. We’re very excited about the four teams that have played in our inaugural season as well as those that may be in a position to join us for our second season.”
Bringing value oriented family entertainment, providing community outreach projects, and offering corporate sponsors the opportunity to be active participants in the community are a few of the benefits of team ownership. As the league grows and prospers so does the value of the franchise, as happened with the CHL, which started operations in the midst of a recession in the early 90’s and is now a 16 team league.
The most exciting benefit to franchise owners is the experience of league commissioner Jim Riggs. His league management experience includes serving as the commissioner of both the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and South East Hockey League (the forerunners of the present Southern Professional Hockey League). In addition, Riggs was the first Media Relations Director for the East Coast Hockey League. Jim will work closely with each member team in areas of sales, marketing, promotions, media relations, and staff hiring.
The league website is www.EPHL.com. Team sponsorship and franchise opportunities are available.