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02-07-2013, 03:24 PM
  #16
LeafShark
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It's "grow the game" Bettman philosophy 101 on steroids. In anywhere other than Canada, hockey is a niche/unkown/new/growing market, so it would be best to start at the grassroots with junior and minor league hockey. It is not responsible to throw your product in an untested market and let it sink or swim.

That said Phoenix SHOULD have worked quite easily, if not for terrible arenas/owners. But Phoenix actually does have some hockey history, and a big enough population to make up the difference... now if only the arena could have been built IN Phoenix.

I think San Diego would probably work, and you can try to attract the Mexican demographic from there. Take baby steps. The NHL expanded too much, too quickly, into some untested markets. Nowadays it's much easier to "test" a market through simply looking at some simple google statistics, and combining them with city statistics like demographics and population. Hockey is an expensive sport, so the "grassroots" movement will take some time.

Because of such disparity in wealth in Mexico, I think trying to attract the "top 1%" could lead to a huge backlash, and it could lead to a political nightmare. This would also kill any grassroots movement, as the lower class of people will label it as a "rich person's only" event. There are also many people in Mexico who have made their money doing shady things. And why try to attract Canadians in Mexico when you can attract them in Canada? Well actually I suppose you have a somewhat valid argument here for snowbirds that spend more than a brief amount of time in Mexico each year, but there's not enough of those people.

The NHL has succeeded despite Bettman's overly aggressive expansion. Just allow the game to continue to trickle south, and eventually it will reach Mexico when they're ready.

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