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'7'

Where hockey thrives

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Where hockey thrives

From Monday's Globe and Mail

July 21, 2008 at 7:53 AM EDT

If the National Hockey League had played its cards right, one of its most troubled franchises would soon have a new home in a stable hockey market, with stable ownership and a stable future. Instead, having outsmarted itself in blocking the move of a U.S.-based team to Canada, the league has an unholy mess.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...ialComment/home

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The guy isn't totally wrong or anything but he is writing for a Canadian audience.

I wonder what percentage the top 6 American markets make for league revenue?

Would adding another Canadian team increase league revenues by much or would it just cannabilize the existing Canadian revenue?

If the "strong"(I think he meant stronger because it's basically on par with the USD) Canadian dollar weakens then what happens to a Canadian franchise put in a marginal location?

Those are legit questions about any new franchise anywhere, but especially for new Canadian franchises, and the writer didn't feel the need to ask those.

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Please correct me if I am wrong, but are the 6 Canadian teams (Van, Cgy, Edm, Tor, Ott, Mtl) placed in the six most populous cities in Canada? If so, I can remember days when Ottawa couldn't sell out games. Canada's population is over 33 million now. That is equal to about the area of New York City, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

I think putting more Canadian teams in play would be a huge risk considering that , besides Hamilton, there isn't a huge base of people to work with.

But then you approach the US. Cities like Houston are HUGE markets and should be explored. The problem you run into there is there is that who wants to see hockey in that kind of heat? I can guarantee that if Dallas started to be a mediocre team that fell out of playoff contention, you would not see people in the seats.

I would personally like to see a team in Seattle. There are plenty of people in that area. The weather can be called "hockey weather" and they would be good rivals to Vancouver.

Idk if this makes sense, I'm just blabbing. But to sum up. Regardless of how hockey crazy Canada is, I think they're running out of people to support more teams. The US has enough people but the market selection is very tricky.

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I have to agree with you njdevil26. Additionally the point he makes in the article about the teams thriving pretty much comes from the weak US dollar. If that changes, revenue will also change drastically.

I rally don't get why there aren't more teams out west....what is wrong with Seattle, Portland, even Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. Why do they keep trying to put hockey in places that RARELY see natural ice? I understand that'd apply to Vegas too though. OK, maybe not SLC.....hardly anyone lives there.

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The NHL wants to avoid markets where the NBA is already located. While most of you think there is no correlation between hockey and basketball fans, it's just a fact that the NHL does way better in cities where it doesn't have to compete with the NBA. Look at Tampa vs. Florida. Columbus, a city everyone laughed at when they got an NHL team, has done tremendously compared to Atlanta, a city twice its size - and neither team has won a playoff game.

The Seattle basketball arena was designed specifically to keep the NHL out. With the Sonics set to leave town, the NHL should investigate Seattle. Kansas City would also be a solid location, I think. Vegas less so - there are too many entertainment options there.

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Would adding another Canadian team increase league revenues by much or would it just cannabilize the existing Canadian revenue?

I think it would be just as much of a mistake as putting the New Jersey Devils in an already saturated New York market. Except that I can absolutely assure you that, unlike the Devils, Hamilton would sell out. In the NHL gate and corporate backing are the biggest revenue drivers and Hamilton has that in spades. Side revenues such as merchandising may not do so well as Kitchener fans that are currently Leaf fans may switch their allegiances and buy Hamilton jerseys instead of Toronto jerseys.

The whole basis of that question is: where is the better spot to put an NHL team - in a city where they love hockey or a city that does not love hockey?

Hamilton deserves an NHL team. It has enough fans. It has enough corporate support. It has a ready and willing owner. The only reason it is being held back is because "Gary doesn't like the owner" and "the people there already like hockey".

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I think it would be just as much of a mistake as putting the New Jersey Devils in an already saturated New York market.

This is a pretty unfair criticism given that the team had already been moved twice, and that the Islanders really don't count - Long Island may as well be in Maine.

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The NHL wants to avoid markets where the NBA is already located. While most of you think there is no correlation between hockey and basketball fans, it's just a fact that the NHL does way better in cities where it doesn't have to compete with the NBA. Look at Tampa vs. Florida. Columbus, a city everyone laughed at when they got an NHL team, has done tremendously compared to Atlanta, a city twice its size - and neither team has won a playoff game.

The Seattle basketball arena was designed specifically to keep the NHL out. With the Sonics set to leave town, the NHL should investigate Seattle. Kansas City would also be a solid location, I think. Vegas less so - there are too many entertainment options there.

Seattle makes sense I really hope this happens.

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Yea Hockey thrives in canada, but none of them can win a cup! 15 years without a cup win in canada? Is this the longest stretch in history without a cup for a canadien team?

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This is a pretty unfair criticism given that the team had already been moved twice, and that the Islanders really don't count - Long Island may as well be in Maine.

you have to look at when the Devils moved in. 1982, the Islanders were about as hot as they ever were, the Rangers had long established a hold on the area, Philly to the south was not far removed from their cups, you even had the Whalers in Connecticut. The Devils were really squeezed to find fans...they started with a tremendous disadvantage and are still looking to overcome it. Also, if there is a ever a big Devils-Isles regular season game at the Pru Center, you'll see plenty of Isles fans here but no Devils fans out east.

Comparing Columbus to Atlanta is not fair. Atlanta is a terrible sports city, they don't support the Falcons, Braves, Hawks...and they get tired of winners (Braves couldn't sell out playoff games in the late 90's)

When the Raptors and Leafs are both doing well, the Leafs own the city. The NHL wins in Minnesota, Colorado, and perhaps even NY as well. Detroit used to win out (not sure how it is now) and Chicago just might now that the Michael Jordan era has passed. I think it depends on what kind of urban area you have. One with a lot of blacks and hispanics will lean towards the NBA.

Edited by '7'

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The NHL wants to avoid markets where the NBA is already located. While most of you think there is no correlation between hockey and basketball fans, it's just a fact that the NHL does way better in cities where it doesn't have to compete with the NBA. Look at Tampa vs. Florida. Columbus, a city everyone laughed at when they got an NHL team, has done tremendously compared to Atlanta, a city twice its size - and neither team has won a playoff game.

The Seattle basketball arena was designed specifically to keep the NHL out. With the Sonics set to leave town, the NHL should investigate Seattle. Kansas City would also be a solid location, I think. Vegas less so - there are too many entertainment options there.

Agreed 100%. As long as they're the Seattle Sparks. :giggle:

Edited by yahdevs56

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Also, if there is a ever a big Devils-Isles regular season game at the Pru Center, you'll see plenty of Isles fans here but no Devils fans out east.

sounds like selection bias to me - i don't think this is true, i'd imagine the ratios are much closer to equal than you think. my point was that despite the fact that the nassau coliseum and prudential center are probably 30 miles apart, they may as well be 300. there are fans who cross over or who might move to the other place, but by and large, the two fan bases don't intersect - getting across new york is just that difficult.

Comparing Columbus to Atlanta is not fair. Atlanta is a terrible sports city, they don't support the Falcons, Braves, Hawks...and they get tired of winners (Braves couldn't sell out playoff games in the late 90's)

sure it is. while atlanta is not a very good sports city, they do have 4 professional sports teams and had had 3 for several years. columbus has had 0 sports teams before the blue jackets.

I think it depends on what kind of urban area you have. One with a lot of blacks and hispanics will lean towards the NBA.

there's no city in the US where hockey is more popular than basketball when both teams are going well. detroit MAYBE but only if detroit gets a new building. minnesota too, MAYBE. aside from that, forget it.

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Hoops sucks.

Example.

Put LeBron on ice skates and let him try and score a goal.

Put Chara on the hardwood and I GUARANTEE he can slam!

Hockey--the ONLY sport where you have to learn a sport before you play a sport. :)

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Hoops sucks.

Example.

Put LeBron on ice skates and let him try and score a goal.

Put Chara on the hardwood and I GUARANTEE he can slam!

Hockey--the ONLY sport where you have to learn a sport before you play a sport. :)

Haha True. Imagine Yao or Shaq on skates

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you have to look at when the Devils moved in. 1982, the Islanders were about as hot as they ever were, the Rangers had long established a hold on the area, Philly to the south was not far removed from their cups, you even had the Whalers in Connecticut. The Devils were really squeezed to find fans...they started with a tremendous disadvantage and are still looking to overcome it. Also, if there is a ever a big Devils-Isles regular season game at the Pru Center, you'll see plenty of Isles fans here but no Devils fans out east.

Comparing Columbus to Atlanta is not fair. Atlanta is a terrible sports city, they don't support the Falcons, Braves, Hawks...and they get tired of winners (Braves couldn't sell out playoff games in the late 90's)

When the Raptors and Leafs are both doing well, the Leafs own the city. The NHL wins in Minnesota, Colorado, and perhaps even NY as well. Detroit used to win out (not sure how it is now) and Chicago just might now that the Michael Jordan era has passed. I think it depends on what kind of urban area you have. One with a lot of blacks and hispanics will lean towards the NBA.

How about this, dropping a few teams that aren't holding up the financial end and making the existing teams stronger because the talent pool is not stretched out as thin as it is now. Does the NHL really need two teams in Florida?! Seattle yes, always made sense. I think the brass needs to really look at how Bettman over-expanded and correct the problem.

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How about this, dropping a few teams that aren't holding up the financial end and making the existing teams stronger because the talent pool is not stretched out as thin as it is now. Does the NHL really need two teams in Florida?! Seattle yes, always made sense. I think the brass needs to really look at how Bettman over-expanded and correct the problem.

The talent pool is far better than it ever was. You could put the 2008 St. Louis Blues out against the early-80s Islanders and it would be a close game. We've got talent from all over the world.

And you are NEVER, EVER, EVER going to contract in the major 4 sports. It would require billionaires giving up hundreds of millions of dollars "for the good of the game" (which is debateable). MLB tried to contract the Twins and Expos and how far did they get with that? The Twins are still there and the Expos moved. If you are willing to supply the $400 million to buy out a team and contract them, perhaps they will think about it.

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Then again, maybe Balsille didn't come up with Betman's vig. Could be as simple as that. :noclue:

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Seattle seems like a logical choice, esp since a Seattle team is already on the SC. But the town is not really a big sports town. There a a lot of people who just moved there and have zero allegiance to anything Seattle based. Like the Devils, it would take a generation to develop a fan base. There isn't even a minor league team in town. The nearest team is the Everrett Silvertips, and they are 45minutes north of downtown. Kevin Constantine did well coaching the Silvertips after he left NJD.

Houston, on the other hand, has possibilities. There are Aeros (IHL) fans in town already. An NHL franchise would let them catch up to Dallas, which is a huge thing in TX. And did I mention the 4MM people who live there? OK, it might take a bit of work to convince all those Mexicans that hockey is like soccer, only colder...............

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Seattle seems like a logical choice, esp since a Seattle team is already on the SC. But the town is not really a big sports town. There a a lot of people who just moved there and have zero allegiance to anything Seattle based. Like the Devils, it would take a generation to develop a fan base. There isn't even a minor league team in town. The nearest team is the Everrett Silvertips, and they are 45minutes north of downtown. Kevin Constantine did well coaching the Silvertips after he left NJD.

Last I checked, the Seattle Thunderbirds still existed. I agree with your statement about Seattle being full of transplants, though. As nice as it would be to have the NHL in Seattle, I wonder if the area is capable of producing an NHL-sized fanbase.

Houston, on the other hand, has possibilities. There are Aeros (IHL) fans in town already. An NHL franchise would let them catch up to Dallas, which is a huge thing in TX. And did I mention the 4MM people who live there? OK, it might take a bit of work to convince all those Mexicans that hockey is like soccer, only colder...............

The Aeros are in the AHL. They have been ever since the "real" IHL folded back in 2001. (Pay no attention to the UHL currently doing business as the IHL.) The Aeros draw well, but the main obstacle to Houston going to the NHL is the owner of the Rockets and the arena that the Rockets and Aeros share (the name of which escapes me currently). He barely tolerates the Aeros as it is, there's no way he'd let the NHL into his arena to compete with his NBA pride and joy unless he had an ownership interest in the NHL team.

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Seattle rabidly supports the Seahawks - whereas Houston is mostly a sports city nightmare, having had an NFL franchise leave town despite it being one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country for 20 years. It's one of the worst sports cities in the country behind Atlanta.

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I think it would be just as much of a mistake as putting the New Jersey Devils in an already saturated New York market. Except that I can absolutely assure you that, unlike the Devils, Hamilton would sell out. In the NHL gate and corporate backing are the biggest revenue drivers and Hamilton has that in spades. Side revenues such as merchandising may not do so well as Kitchener fans that are currently Leaf fans may switch their allegiances and buy Hamilton jerseys instead of Toronto jerseys.

The issue isn't how much Hamilton makes it's how much Hamilton makes for the other teams. If Hamilton sells out every game great but that doesn't make the other 30 teams another dime (and don't give me the revenue sharing argument because another team would then fill that role). The issue what will a Hamilton team do to the other teams. Well for one it may kill the Buffalo Sabres because now you have a team entering the territory of an already small market team. Sure fans coming acorss the border may be a small percetage but they are in a situation where every little bit counts. Let's remember despite sellingout every game they take in significantly less through the gate than the Devils. Furthermore they are also moving into the Leafs territory and while it won't make a huge den tinto their profits it will take a bit of their value away as they aren't the sole team in that huge market.

Thise two factors alone probably knockout Hamilton. Then you have to look at the effect they will have on other teams gate. Are they going to be another Ottawa Senators that despite playing in Toronto and Montreal 8 times last year ranked 28th in road attendance. BTW, the next lowest Northeastern division team in road attendance is Montreal at 11th. I'm not saying Nashville or such would draw in other fans but having a team in a city where a lot American team fans can't find on the map won't help.

Now the next question is will Hamilton bring more money into the next CBC and TSN contracts. Maybe a little of TSN because that a few extra Canadian games they can show but I doubt it would for CBC. They already don't show all the Senators saturday games and I doubt they would do anything but regional coverage (if that) for a Hamilton team.

Further more is the risk of the preception of an unstable league by team movement (to anywhere) worth it? I don't know?

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