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09-10-2004, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Puckhead
Those teams that are in non hockey markets have proven that they can make a run at the cup, and in Tampa's run the won the whole thing. The problem is that over time these markets cannot hold on. They do not have the local cable deals, they are not drawing enough fans, because in most of those markets, hockey is not even the fouth major sport, therefor they are not getting the gate receipts they need to keep the teams afloat.
How can you judge a market's long term viability when a team has only been there a dozen or so years? You need to read cw7's post above about patience. Everyone wants to use the "oh, it's a failure" excuse for southern teams when most haven't had a chance yet to succeed. Here's a good article about the possible impact of a lockout on newer teams. It's from February, but still makes some good points:

For these teams to take hold, they need time to develop traditions, which in sports is associated with competing and ultimately winning.

That's why you can't measure the impact and viability of such an aggressive expansion program in a mere six-to-12-year time span. It is all still too new. The Lightning experience in Tampa has proven that organizations have to be given time to mature -- which includes enduring lean years competitively and management missteps.
Fans of older teams need to remember, the owners of those teams were quick enough to grab the expansion fees which helped cover their own expenses. I don't think any of them said no to their share of $50 mil for each new team, it's up to ALL of them to make things viable now.

And what team doesn't have a local cable deal?

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