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12-31-2012, 09:54 PM
Mayor Bee
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
Not debating that the NHL should or should not expand, just want to highlight one thing when expansion is brought up.

A lot of people start a topic by saying "The NHL should expand to City X", or "Bettman shouldn't have put a team in City Z"...

The expansion process isn't one where the league looks at a map and determines the best city to place a team in. They take bids on expansion, so only cities with an interested ownership group and government can be considered whether the NHL thinks it's a good idea or not.

Having moved to Nashville in '96, I followed the '97 expansion process very closely. It was certainly not a case of Bettman coming to town a delivering a hockey team just on a whim. There was a long process of submitting bids and wooing the league from the owners side, as well as selling the idea to metro government and getting approval/lease for the arena.

A lot of people say "Why did Bettman put a team in Nashville and Atlanta?" He didn't, those two cities were two of the four who had the best proposal as voted by the BoG. The other finalists I believe were Houston and Oklahoma City. Then a handful of other cities that dropped or were rejected earlier such as Indianapolis, Norfolk, Hamilton, Seattle and maybe Hartford?

So it's a lot more than just the right location. It's the right location, with the right owner, right arena, right lease and having them all together (right time).
Hamilton was the only Canadian city that submitted a bid, and their combination of potential ownership issues as well as arena issues basically doomed it from the start.

Yes, the six finalists were Minneapolis, Atlanta, Columbus, Nashville, Houston, and Oklahoma City. All of them had demonstrated tremendous support for the preceding decade for their minor league teams with the exception of Minnesota; the others were Atlanta (IHL Knights), Columbus (ECHL Chill), Nashville (ECHL Knights), Houston (IHL Aeros), and Oklahoma City (CHL Blazers). This wasn't some random attempt to stick the game somewhere; they were all places that had the arena, had the ownership, and most important, had the market already established and primed.

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