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12-04-2012, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
Here's a good place to start:

Probably couldn't support a 30 team league, but a handful of teams in Russia, a few teams in Germany, a couple of teams in each of Switzerland and Sweden, one each in Finland and the Czech Republic, and you're well on the way to a 16 team league.

Could the markets support it? I think so. Stockholm has a metro population of 2m, which would be the size of an average NHL market, and much bigger than some. I think there would also be room for expansion into "non-traditional" markets - if pro hockey can exist in the southern US, then it should also make sense in Paris and London.
You have to look at it from the perspective of how much you could charge for tickets to get to NHL level. It also includes arena size although that is likely less of a problem. The economics demand major metro areas where they can get advertising and a large enough population of the upper middle and upper class from which to draw. The NHL is doing the early season games in Europe where they are drawing to an NHL level gate so there are obviously venues. Outside of Russia, you would likely lead off with Stockholm, Berlin, Prague, London (huge population) and Helsinki which have hosted NHL games. I could easily see them adding Bern, Cologne and Milan to the mix. That's at least eight. Paris, Rome and Madrid have the population but possibly not the interest.

They currently have at least two NHL level arenas in Russia with plans to build more. Moscow is obvious, but there are several others. Look to the large population centers.

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