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04-10-2013, 01:11 PM
Sports Enthusiast
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Originally Posted by PCSPounder View Post
Into the arena & market issues, a little warning.

When the WCHL was absorbed into the ECHL, seven teams made the jump:

Alaska (Sullivan Arena, 6,000)
Bakersfield (Rabobank, 9,000)
Fresno (at the time, Save Mart Center, 15,000)
Idaho (pick your corporate name of the year here, 5,000)
Las Vegas (Orleans Arena, 7,500 or so)
Long Beach (Long Beach Arena, 11,000)
San Diego (13,000)

The teams alive today... Alaska, Bakersfield, Idaho, and Las Vegas. The teams with the bigger arenas croaked.

Yes, I do think there's an arena trend, and it matters in the AHL. However, yes, there's a bit of an apples-oranges factor in the comparison. The AHL is far more vital to the NHL, the affiliations are real (I believe most of the E's affiliations are paper, and usually involve only a handful of players per team in the best situations), and there's more effort to travel more teams to more cities than in the E.

Chicago's a historical outlier because it came on like gangbusters and has kept momentum going for some time. However, 1,000 season tickets? If someday, for whatever reason, there's a downturn, your goose is cooked. Even with a building lease that's potentially very beneficial, depending on walkup is dangerous business.

Thing is... I'm not surprised by Houston. I am surprised that Des Moines built that big an arena. That's going to be an issue, even with a Wild affiliation.

Then I can sense big market v small market issues. Hello, Houston, meet Binghamton. Some big city folk with big city egos would prefer more of Cleveland and Baltimore and Cincinnati and Atlanta and less Binghamton and Adirondack and Springfield. BUUUUUT the arena game doesn't always work in favor of this arrangement. This hockey thing is a curious beast.
I cant speak for what the Des Moines arena was intended for but it's clear that the Toyota Center is for the Rockets and the Aeros were just a secondaey toy. I think they wanted NHL. Didn't the same man who owned the Rockets and Toyota Center own the Aeros?

Last edited by Sports Enthusiast: 04-11-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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