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11-09-2012, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Yes, but there's a difference between a small Canadian market and a small NHL market. In terms of likely revenue generation, even smallish Quebec City and Winnipeg will probably bring in more than many significantly larger American markets
There is a difference between small market and small Canadian market. There's a difference between 2-sport, 1-sport, 3-sport, and 4-sport cities as well.

You need to have:
-- A population base that can support the team AND can afford to keep paying increased amounts year after year. (at least 30% every six years)
-- An arena that provides revenue streams equal to the rest of the league
-- A market that isn't oversaturated with sports teams.
-- Good ownership and management commited to winning and staying in the market.

In the 1990s, these things worked AGAINST markets like Winnipeg, Quebec, Minnesota, Hartford, Edmonton, Buffalo; because they did not have arenas capable of generating revenue streams from corporate dollars and the small market size reached diminishing returns when the small population had to pony up more and more dough to keep the team -- not competing, but merely -- alive.

NOW, with everyone having new arenas, with bad management in some places, with saturated sports markets (like, say, LeBron taking his talents to South Beach) in some places, with a salary cap, these factors work FOR places like Winnipeg and Quebec getting teams.

But that isn't to say what made Dallas the #4 valued team in hockey in 2006 wouldn't apply in Houston.

People talk about "The situation of TB, Florida, Phoenix, Atl and others" as if there's something wrong with the Tampa franchise that has multiple seasons averaging 20,000 fans and has their named etched on the Cup. Or Dallas selling over 98% of their tickets for 16 years (including a Cup winning season) until Hicks screwed it up has somehow been bad for the league.

Of course, the main difference between Dallas, Tampa and San Jose (all success stories) and Florida, Phoenix and Atlanta is: their arena leases.

Dallas co-owns their arena. Tampa operates their arena with a cushy lease. San Jose has a very cozy lease.

Houston? Well, an NHL franchise ALREADY has a favorable lease IN PLACE. Their owner (yes, there's only one guy who can own a Houston team) doesn't have the scratch to buy a team.

Houston would be a fine addition to the league if Les Alexander had the money for a franchise. Of course, if he sells his NHL rights to someone else and leases them the Toyota Center, their lease might suck.

But I don't understand why this turned into a "Quebec vs Houston" thing. The league isn't going to go to 31. It's either 30 or 32.

Long term, if the NHL ever hits 36 teams, you can bet that Quebec, Houston and Seattle are three of those six teams.

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