Why Paul Kelly thinks expansion would help end NHL lockout
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11-04-2012, 10:22 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Originally Posted by
Actually it's three. Broken system yes. Bad franchises yes. But a question about the market in which a franchise operates, is a different question than one about how the franchise operates within that market. On this forum I've actually heard more of the former than the latter.
Take Phoenix as an example. Phoenix operates properly within the other three major league sports. The Cardinals and Diamondbacks have won titles, and the Suns are one of the better franchises in the NBA. None of these teams are the richest in their sport, but all of them are credible to get along as middle 10 teams at the worst. Clearly, if there's a problem here, it's not necessarily the market per se. And yet the fact that it's the Phoenix market that is the culprit is held as gospel by a lot of people who are convinced that their town would do better by the Yotes. They may not say that in so many words, but the tone of their arguments tends to STRONGLY imply it.
Also I'm not convinced that being southern is the problem. It doesn't really take a lot of knowledge about hockey to watch the sport and enjoy it. Heck, I knew nothing about it 6-7 years ago when I fell in love with the game and I still don't know as much as I'd like, but I know good sports entertainment when I watch it, and hockey is the most watchable product in televised sports in my not so humble opinion. Least amount of time spent doing nothing but watching players line up of all the Big Four. You ought to be able to market that game to enough people like me to keep going while attending a hockey game gets to be a habit.
Also it's not like Southern markets haven't taken to the NHL. Tampa Bay is more or less successful as an NHL market. No one's talking about moving Dallas. Carolina and Nashville struggle at times, but get by for the most part.
So no, evidence toesn't really point to southern-ness being the problem per se. There's a certain Canadian jingoistic nationalism that suggests that the failure of Atlanta, and the struggles of Phoenix (and to a lesser extent Florida, Nashville and Carolina) prove that the American experiment has failed, but there's plenty of counterexamples to give the lie to Southern-ness or American-ness -- to the market itself -- being a culprit in the high profile failures.
No, the real issue is that the franchises in Phoenix and Atlanta were horribly mismanaged, and given poor direction at a time during their histories when they needed the best possible leadership. It was the FRANCHISE, and decisions made at the level of that franchise, that were the problem. The problem was not with the market per se, except in the minds of a handful of Canadian nationalists who can't accept that American markets 4 or 5 times their home city's size need to be tried on to see if an NHL franchise will fit there before their particular local failed experiment is reattempted.
Its funny cause you still ignore the fact that Atlanta only has +300K generated revenue per game, while Winnipeg has +1.4K. Still ignore the fact that, not only people in Winnipeg buys ST, but people from Northwestern Ontario, Saskatchewan, even Minnesota and North Dakota. So a small Canadian city doesn't only attract people from the city limits but around the REGION too.
So I don't know about you, but I'd take that as a STATEMENT. Same with QC, because not only the Habs and Nordiques rivals, but they hate each other like heck. Even if QC doesn't have a team, they still boo habs fans, and if they did move on, there wouldn't be any hardcore nordiques fans existing after 14 years of no NHL hockey. Atlanta have been tried, Phoenix too. Guess what after 16 years, did it turn a dime? There's common sense in business and its supply and demand. I guess in sports demand means the population, and not the NEED of a certain group.
The problem with some people is, they keep on saying "big TV deals" but guess what? It doesn't exist, and as far as the demand goes viewers in some markets doesn't really match the so called "tv deals" they are bragging about. I love it when you think Im a Canadian nationalist, when I clearly support Seattle and the move of the Isles to Brooklyn. Some people assume that just cause you're Canadian means you can't appreaciate American hockey markets. The thing is, as a HOCKEY fan, I know where hockey works and hockey doesn't or if it does work, its not an NHL team fit in that market, but a lower caliber AHL team.
Its funny cause its like building a headquarters of a computer company in a small town, instead of starting with a small shop. If you want it to grow, you need to start from scratch. Everything starts from scratch all the way up. People are just blinded by the lights in their downtown area, they think everything can work there.
Goes back to the Cuba soccer scene vs NYC soccer scene, sure NY could draw lots of fans, but does it match a soccer nation? Nope. Culture and location is looked at first, before money and potential. Thats how you grow a business.
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