A question about going to a new market [mod: viability of Saskatoon for a NHL team]
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01-16-2013, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: New Jersey
Winnipeg/Quebec City are pretty much the smallest you can go for a viable pro sports franchise without some other overriding factor. Even then, it helps to be the only game in town. The NBA's equivalent of Winnipeg/Edmonton etc. would be Oklahoma City/Portland. They are hoops-crazy towns with no much in the way of competition from other pro sports. Similarly small markets such as New Orleans are floundering in the face of competition, in this case from the Saints.
Some would point to the Green Bay Packers as an example of the big team/small city thing working. The only reason the Green Bay Packers and Saskatchewan Roughriders work as franchises is the fact that those two teams are so embedded in local culture they could never go away. Life revolves around these teams in the cities, similarly to college football in places like Alabama. As mentioned before, additionally these small city teams work better in football than hockey because games are a once a week event, not a day in and day out thing. People can drive in from the rural hinterland to attend a game every Sunday, not so much 4 times a week.
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