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12-20-2012, 04:07 PM
  #17
Dennis Bonvie
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Connecticut
Country: United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HabsByTheBay View Post
Hartford reminds me a lot of the Montreal Expos: a team that had a very small and dedicated fanbase (including quite a few relatives: my family is from CT) that struggled in the face of difficult geography, a difficult political situation and business apathy.

Geography: The Whale made themselves feel good for far too long by imagining that nobody in Fairfield and New Haven would root for them. UCONN showed that is possible. Marshal those fans and you might have enough interest to keep a team around.

Politics: Rowland thought he was gonna get the Patriots and ignored the Whalers. Plus, it's difficult to finance stadiums in parts of the country and Connecticut is in one of those parts.

Business apathy: The insurance agencies never really stepped up for the team.

But hey, downtown Hartford's a graveyard, the Whale are probably never coming back, and Connecticut continues to be a bunch of rich suburbs and poor cities. Good job, guys!
Actually, the insurance companies (Aetna in particular, the majority owners) are what brought the Whalers to Hartford. Many season ticket holders like myself got a sizable discount from Aetna (where my wife worked). The real estate collapse of the late 80s took Aetna and other partnering companies away from their normal support.

As more fans had to pay for rising ticket prices with no discount, attendence dwidled.

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