Fan Support in Buffalo.........
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03-02-2005, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Originally Posted by
I agree. If you look at the population of Buffalo as a metropolitan area, they are the smallest metro area of any team in the NHL. That being said, I'm fairly certain that they don't include any of the population on the Canadien side of the border. The Sabres do need to market the team much better in S. Ontario. Getting on TV there will be a big plus. Last season, they were reaching out more to hockey fans on the Canadien side. If tehy continue to do this, they should be viable in the NHL.
On a side note for monkey_00, I saw on the business board that your looking at the possibility of Severstal (?sp) buying Stelco and possibly wanting to bring an NHL team into Hamilton. You were thinking that several teams may be fairly easily obtained if the lockout goes on to long. I just talked to a former Stelco employee that is still in contact with many of the higher ups there that says that the ownership will not sell to Severstal. He says that they are back to making profit and have or soon will be out of bankruptcy. How is this going to effect your thinking on how to get a team in Hamilton? I personally think it would be great to have a team in Hamilton. Think of the rivalry between Buffalo, Toronto and Hamilton that would develop...
I"m not too sure what the latest figures are for Metro Buffalo population numbers but from what I checked last time it was at around 600,000 for the City of Buffalo but if you also include the surrounding area there in Western New York you are also adding another 600,000 bringing up the totals to 1.2-million.......then if you also include the population numbers of the communities in Souther Ontario stretching from Fort Erie to Burlington (Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, St. Caherines, Grimsby, Hamilton, Brantford,Burlington) that's about another 1.2-million people there so potentially the Sabres have a market place of around 2.4-million to draw from which is plenty I think to support NHL.........BUT I think there are a number of other variables in effect here like Buffalo's economy, the ever-increasing ticket prices (NHL is a gate-driven League), and the reduced numbers of fans from Canada crossing the border and reasons for that could be no more tv coverage of Sabres home games in southern ontario like there was in the past and longer waits at the border to cross over for Canadians since 9-11.............
Today STELCO STEEL turned down all offers from interested parties that were looking to takeover the Hamilton steel-giant......2 of the groups were especially noteworthy and they being SEVERSTAL STEEL of Russia who also own a hockey club in the Russian Super-League by the same name, they made it public that if they were able to takeover STELCO in Hamilton they would do everything in their power to help land an NHL franchise to our City......the other noteworthy group was the TEACHRS PENSION FUND combining forces with TD BANK...the interesting thing about that one is these two groups are also the current owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club...........the thinking by most people in this market is the Maple Leafs would block any attempts of an NHL club moving into Hamilton because they (the Leafs) would want the Southern Ontario hockey market all to themselves...HOWEVER if Teacher's Pension Fund and TD Bank took over Stelco then maybe they would have allowed for a team to move into Hamilton as long as the City payed the Maple Leafs their territorial fee........from what I've been reading in the local papers lately the Steel workers at Stelco and the Union bosses were pulling for SEVERSTAL to takeover Stelco because they felt they had the workers best interestd at heart especially their pension plans...the other reason that the workers and Union were pulling for SEVERSTAL is because out of the 4 interested parties that were looking to takeover Stelco, Severstal was the only Steel company in the group.....if memory serves me correct the other 2 interested parties were European based Banks.........but today STELCO decided to go out alone and want to get themselves out of Bankruptcy protection but they would still have to fight for that decision in court and get the permission to do so.....many people in the know felt that STELCO was making too much money to be listed under Bankruptcy protection..........so nothing is conclusive at this point here.............SEVERSTAL STEEL will have something official to say in the next 24-hours...........
I always felt that having Toronto, Hamilton, Buffalo in the same division would be great Rivalry for all 3 hockey clubs........I think in order for Hamilton to land NHL a number of things would have to take place:
(1) Mega-bucks owner like SEVERSTAL STEEL with deep pockets would have to be in place.
(2) Maple Leafs and Sabres would have to allow for a team to move into Hamilton.....KNOX Family blocked Hamilton's entry back in 1990 when the League finally awarded new expansion teams to both Tampa Bay and Ottawa.........
(3) Hamilton team would have to have enough money to shell out for territorial fees to be paid to both Toronto and Buffalo.....back in 1990 we would have to pay $50-million each to both Sabres and Leafs......not too sure what that figure would be today in 2005.
(4) Hamilton would have to upgrade their 18,500-seat Copps Coliseum to NHL standads which includes the addition of some more luxury boxes.....we have some already but not nearly enough....Mayor of Hamilton has already stated that it would take 6-months tops for all the necessary renovations and upgrades.
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