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12-11-2012, 11:24 AM
The Full 60 Minutes
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Winnipeg
Country: Canada
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Originally Posted by haseoke39 View Post
The infrastructure that the NHL has couldn't be rebuilt overnight.

New ownership would have to be found. Good luck finding the billionaires to finance this start-up. You probably have to start with 15 or so, tops, because the fence-sitters or the folks who aren't in guaranteed money markets aren't going to want in. Imagine trying to start a hockey league in a moderate hockey city without the NHL brand backing you up. You might as well start an ECHL team.

New arenas might have to be found or negotiated for. Depending on who you could rope into being an owner, you would have tons of trouble getting financing to negotiate new leases for the arenas that are there now. You might end up with a ton of teams downgrading their arena sizes, or moving to smaller (read: cheaper) markets. Which, of course, affects the bottom line.

New sponsors would have to be found, but you probably couldn't get any in year 1. If everything goes off without a hitch, maybe you get some good ones for year 2, but it's a huge if.

You'll have lost all of your branding. People are fans of their teams. If you disband the league and reshuffle all the teams, there's no guarantee half the fan base even registers that the new team is a comparable product. People love the Buffalo Sabres. Now they're the Buffalo Bazookas and they compete for the Dickinabox Cup, but don't worry, hockey is hockey! Are folks going to show up? My guess is not for a good while. And when they come back, they're not going to come back at $90/ticket. Not to see a replacement league.

If the NHL folds, that's it for major pro hockey in North America for at least 10 years. Maybe they could claw their way back after about a decade, but this generation of players would be gone, wasted.

That said, I still want the NHL to fold because the players disgust me at this point.
Optimistically, it might bring in Manitoba Moose-AHL numbers. The AHL was 'replacement hockey' for Winnipeggers. Prior to the Jets 2.0 the Moose would average about 8000 per game, with $40 getting you a prime seat. This is in 'hockey starved' Winnipeg.

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