As I celebrate Hockey Day in America I thought it would be nice to check in on USA Hockey Membership data to see what kind of stories we can get from the data. There are various cuts and slices at the data and the more I look into it, the more I want to explore. I tried to keep this rather general and I do recognize there is a lot more I could do here. If you have questions, feedback or thoughts, feel free to send them my way.
First up, USA Player Membership is up 15% over the last 10 years but it is the last 5 or 6 years that we are seeing an accelerated growth.
There are 52 “states” or we can call them territories. DC is reported separately and Pennsylvania is broken into two territories Western PA and Eastern PA. 43 of the 52 Territories saw an increase in player memberships. So put another way, 83% of territories saw an increase in player membership over the last 10 years.
The 15% increase is about 68,000 Player Memberships. Here is a look at the states that added the most Player Memberships.
As you can see some states are growing at a very high rate. Minnesota, who has the largest number of USA Hockey Player Members out of all territories, still managed to grow at 27% over a 10 year period. North Carolina and Utah are also seeing huge growth rates of 84% and 94% respectively. I think it is reasonable to assume that the success of NHL teams in Illinois, Western PA, Eastern PA, Carolina and Florida contribute to the increase a bit.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have 9 lagers. The biggest surprise is Michigan, with almost 5000 less Player Memberships in the last 10 years. I imagine this is largely consistent with the economic factors hitting that state over the last 10 years.
As a bonus graph, I am including all USA Hockey Memberships (including Coaches + Officials) since 1990. That is some serious growth from 1990 to 2001 which could be directly driven to the NHL’s expansion and migration into non-traditional markets. Unfortunately I do not have state by state data before the year 2000.
Let me know your thoughts or anything else you might want me to look at here.