Contraction a necessary evil for survival of NHL says economist
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12-09-2012, 11:17 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Originally Posted by
Anyone who has ever been to Columbus has wondered for years why they have a pro sports franchise let alone hockey. It's a head scratcher kinda like the Jaguars in Jacksonville. It's too bad they can't get the ownership settled in Phoenix though. It's a huge market and long term success in Phoenix would be great for the NHL. Either way I am not a fan of contraction.
Columbus was awarded a team for the following reasons:
1) A long-running history of hockey
2) An extremely passionate and dedicated following for the local ECHL team (Columbus Chill) when the NHL was considering expansion. International acclaim for marketing and promotions, the longest sellout streak in minor league history despite playing at a dump, and the CBC branding it "the most successful minor league franchise in history". This was all despite a noted lack of actual on-ice success.
3) Ownership that was committed to permanently cementing a claim, regardless of the cost. John H. McConnell, the ultimate self-made man, basically handled the franchise like a source of civic pride rather than a business.
How committed, you may ask? Nationwide Arena was built without a single public dollar being used. No other NHL venue can make the same claim, and I can't think of another in North American pro sports off the top of my head.
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