Contraction a necessary evil for survival of NHL says economist
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12-12-2012, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Originally Posted by
In the very long run? I absolutely think Winnipeg is a setback. As economic conditions normalize that move will look worse and worse. And even if everything were going to stay the way it is right now, forever, Winnipeg is STILL a setback. No way the NHL wanted to abandon the Atlanta media market -- one of the biggest and most influential media markets in the US, bigger even than its huge size -- in favor of freaking Winnipeg. No way gate revenue makes up for the lack of prestige of not having a toehold at all in that market.
For as long as the NHL is still trying to figure out how to transition from a gate driven league to a media driven league, moving from one of America's biggest and most prestigious media markets (seriously, Canadians will probably underestimate the influence of the Atlanta media market because it's not our biggest city, but a number of big US media companies HQ there, including CNN and TBS, so its impact is TREMENDOUS) in favor of a gate driven location with very limited upside, was one of the worst things that could have happened to them.
There's a world of this sport that goes beyond the bankbook. Losing a franchise in a big media market entirely is a lot worse -- a LOT worse -- than losing a lot of money. There's always a chance while you have a presence in a market for someone to come along who can figure out how to thrive there. Once you leave, that chance is completely gone.
No doubt in my mind the NHL will try again in Atlanta at some point. Heck, Ottawa took three tries to get it right IIRC. No way they let Atlanta go at two. Once other markets are better established and more prestigious around them, and can offer both support and real opponents worth playing in their division, they'll give it another shot.
cbcwpg remembers this, it was right after the move last year.
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