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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

Markets the NHL has left and the chances of a return?

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Old
07-17-2017, 12:26 AM
  #26
TheLegend
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Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
My intention was not to dismiss what the Stars have become in Dallas but to focus on the horrible ownership the North Stars had. Dallas has proven to be a good market and it is a shame that Houston doesn't have a team.
Houston would have had the Oilers had the NHL not created the assistance program to prevent any more of the old WHA teams from moving south.

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07-17-2017, 12:52 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Wingsfan 4 life View Post
They'd have the same concerns now as they did back in 1979. QC 2.0 would be infringing on their provinve-wide monopoly just the same as QC1.0 did.

In a 1979 vote, Montreal was the one team to vote against the addition of the Nords and other WHA teams. That resulted in a nationwide boycott of Molson products. That boycott lasted 2 weeks before Montreal changed their vote, allowing the WHA teams to join.
There were five teams that voted against NHL-WHA merger in 1979. Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Boston, and IIRC LA. Boston did not want Hartford infringing on it's territory. Toronto and Harold Ballard hated the WHA and took a hard line against the merger. LA I'm not too sure. Vancouver and Montreal were not keen on splitting HNIC revenue, and the fact that Molson owned the Canadiens and was the official beer of both clubs sparked the boycott. The WHA needed 2/3 of teams to support the merger, and once Vancouver and Montreal changed their vote, 14 of the 17 NHL clubs accepted the WHA teams, and the merger was put through.

Would Montreal be able to block a team from Quebec City from joining the NHL? It's not within the distance to infringe upon the Canadiens. Money talks and once the NHL gets a second team to expand in the West (Seattle, Portland, or Houston is my guess), then it would give the green light for a team to move to Quebec.

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07-17-2017, 12:53 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by TheLegend View Post
Houston would have had the Oilers had the NHL not created the assistance program to prevent any more of the old WHA teams from moving south.
I have no doubt a team in Houston would be a success. It would create a nice rivalry with the Stars, and they would be the 8th team in the Central Division.

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07-17-2017, 01:02 AM
  #29
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I can imagine Atlanta 3. It failed twice due to two lousy owners. But it's a big market that already has a fanbase. Atlanta's demographics are very similar to those of... Dallas and Houston.

Atlanta as a hockey market is like Montreal to baseball and Vancouver, Seattle, San Diego to basketball. The teams moved, but the markets are still there.

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07-17-2017, 01:19 AM
  #30
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Originally Posted by sexydonut View Post
I can imagine Atlanta 3. It failed twice due to two lousy owners. But it's a big market that already has a fanbase. Atlanta's demographics are very similar to those of... Dallas and Houston.

Atlanta as a hockey market is like Montreal to baseball and Vancouver, Seattle, San Diego to basketball. The teams moved, but the markets are still there.
I can't see the NHL trying again in Atlanta for at least another 15-20 years. The NHL wants to put a team in the Central Division to balance out the Divisions. Geographically, it would make most sense to expand to one of the following areas:

Kansas City, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis.

Of those markets, I can definitely see the NHL wanting to expand to Texas. Houston has nearly 7,000,000 people in the metro area, and has supported hockey in the past. They came within hours of landing the Edmonton Oilers, and if an owner is prepared to either build an arena for an NHL team or cut a deal with Les Alexander, It would definitely succeed.

The market that really interests me is Austin. It's the capital of Texas, and has over 2,000,000 people and one of the fastest growing cities in the US. There is no competition from professional sports, and if the city build an arena friendly to hockey with a rich owner, I can see it becoming an immediate success. The more I think about it, the better it sounds to put a team in Austin, Texas.

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07-17-2017, 01:30 AM
  #31
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Atlanta is the same size as Dallas and Houston. And the size of Nashville, Raleigh and Pittsburgh combined. It just had 2 crooks as owners. Not saying Atlanta is perfect, but it is a huge unserved market.

Cities like Austin, San Antonio, Milwaukee are several notches below. Indianapolis is in the eastern time zone btw. They are much smaller and don't have as many wealthy corporations. Austin is also home to UT, which might as well be a professional franchise.

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07-17-2017, 01:31 AM
  #32
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Originally Posted by Drury_Sakic View Post
Atlanta is a strange sports market. The Braves, just and an example, have "struggled" (maybe not the right word) for years with a sprawling community and not placing sports teams in optimal places even prior to their complete suckage rebuild.

There are also socioeconomic factors at work in Atlanta that make even a successful baseball franchise have to work its butt off to sell tickets, much less a hockey team.

Not saying it cannot be done, but it would take the right owner and the right team of management to sell the team.
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Originally Posted by GeeoffBrown View Post
Atlanta is a huge market but on average, I think Atlanta residents just don't like sports that much.
They love football but everything else is a hard sell. The Braves have gotten a nice attendance bump this year with the new stadium in the burbs and the Falcons open their new stadium later this year.

Atlanta Spirit Group were owned by bad people. They were only interested in owning a NBA team and they were upset that the Thrashers ( which they owned ) were attracting the affluent suburban crowd they craved for the NBA team. After the Thrashers were sold we would learn from leaked e-mails by ownership that they were upset that too many blacks were attending Hawks games and scaring white fans away. Why ASG didn't follow the Knicks/Rangers model baffles me. Jimmy Dolan has no interest in hockey at all BUT he sees the Rangers selling out every game and doesn't meddle with hockey ops.

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07-17-2017, 01:34 AM
  #33
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The funny thing is, Houston has often been derided as a large but lousy sports city because its citizens were mostly from somewhere else. The critics ignored the fact that the Rockets, Astros and Oilers were crappy teams for a very long time.

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07-17-2017, 01:38 AM
  #34
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The ASG guys just needed cash to pay off their debts. Selling off the Thrashers was akin to a buyout firm breaking apart and selling off assets to creditors.

At least they learned from those Wall Street movies.

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07-17-2017, 02:45 AM
  #35
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Originally Posted by sexydonut View Post
Atlanta is the same size as Dallas and Houston. And the size of Nashville, Raleigh and Pittsburgh combined. It just had 2 crooks as owners. Not saying Atlanta is perfect, but it is a huge unserved market.
The bottom line is that Atlanta has had two tries with the NHL and it has failed.

Quote:
Cities like Austin, San Antonio, Milwaukee are several notches below. Indianapolis is in the eastern time zone btw. They are much smaller and don't have as many wealthy corporations. Austin is also home to UT, which might as well be a professional franchise.
Austin has zero competition for pro sports franchises. Austin may ahve the University of Texas, but using that argument, you can argue that Columbus should ahve never been given an NHL team since they are home to Ohio State University. Columbus has worked out well for the NHL. One of the reason is it's an unsaturated market for pro sports, and has about the same population as Austin.

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07-17-2017, 03:21 AM
  #36
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Atlanta did not fail as a market. They had owners who were crooks--Twice.

You could say the same thing about a bunch of other teams--LA has lost three football teams and New York lost two baseball teams and San Diego lost two basketball teams. It says more about the owners than the market.

North American sports leagues are a cartel and they derive leverage by artificially limiting the number of franchises in order to maximize asset value and to extract concessions from their host cities.

Having been to both Austin and Atlanta, it is difficult to see Austin as a better market. One is 3X the size of the other and has a large number of corporate headquarters. That comparison is akin to Vancouver vs. Winnipeg. They are both viable, but which one is more lucrative?

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07-17-2017, 04:40 AM
  #37
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Originally Posted by sexydonut View Post
You could say the same thing about a bunch of other teams--LA has lost three football teams and New York lost two baseball teams and San Diego lost two basketball teams. It says more about the owners than the market.
True, even Winnipeg failed once before, but let's be real. The NHL is not going to return to Atlanta for quite some time.
.

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Having been to both Austin and Atlanta, it is difficult to see Austin as a better market. One is 3X the size of the other and has a large number of corporate headquarters. That comparison is akin to Vancouver vs. Winnipeg. They are both viable, but which one is more lucrative?
It also depends on how much competition there is for sports and entertainment. A team in a place like Milwaukee would arguably have trouble drawing, since the region already has the Bucks, Brewers, and Packers. Austin is without any major league sports teams, so there is much less competition. That is one of the reasons the NHL has awarded teams to Columbus, Las Vegas, and Nashville.

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07-17-2017, 05:45 AM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
Since the initial expansion in 1967 the NHL had some 'failures' along the way and relocated franchises and in one case erased the franchise

.
Thoughts excluding markets that currently have teams

Oakland - League put a team in the bay in '67 because CBS their rights holders at the time wanted one in the bay area though the market cleay wasn't ready at the time.

Market is now served by the Sharks - some can say it's the same franchise.

The only way the NHL has a chance to get back to Oakland is if the city builds a new arena to try and lure the Sharks north when their lease allows them to. With the A's being the only major league game in town in a few years, it wouldn't surprise me but I would rather see them build a smaller building and move the Barracuda and rename them the Seals.

Cleveland - Would have been a good expansion choie over 50 years ago but that ship has sailed and not likely to come back. Would be a very small.market for the big 4 and shrinking population to boot.

The only way it's possible is if Dan Gilbert owned the team.

It would get some resistance from Columbus in terms of the media region. Columbus is a much better fit for the league in Ohio anyways.

Kansas City - Has the arena but no city willing to give anyone a sweatheart lease. Hunt Jr. Is interested down the road but likely the price tag is too high. Didn't apply for expansion. Also.not a huge market for big 4. With MLS it has 3


Atlanta - Would only work if either

a) It is owned by the NBA counterparts. Considering when the folks at ASG sold of the majority to Ressler, not just he took no interest, the arena is being renovated removing the configuration to make it NHL compatible.

b) An arena would have to be built somewhre else in the region where the NHL can be the primary tennant and control the building. However there is no business case to build a competing arena for the sole purpose of an NHL team.

In addition with Atalnta United playing in front of huge crowds, MLS has clearly planted it's flag there replacing the NHL as far as the make up of the big 4 in that market.

Hartford - A though sell with many other teams close by in terms of the media region. Alignment would play against it too.

Only way it happens is a) A new or renovated building happens that meets NHL specs. b) in the absense of an owner, it can be used to lure a team in the east with building issues. If the Islanders can't get a local solution would be a maybe otherwise it should wait until next decade when many leases will come up for renewal.

Quebec City - Has the building and ownership in place and is in good standing with the league. Their presence at the presser when the 'lost' the expansion bid when Vegas as awared speaks volumes. I see it more as a francnaphone Winnipeg than a Hamilton.

Alignment works against it for expansion but the dollar is slowly getting some strength back. Seems to be waiting for someone to go.nuclear somewhere.

Hamilton - See Hartford.

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07-17-2017, 05:54 AM
  #39
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Originally Posted by Mightygoose View Post
Thoughts excluding markets that currently have teams

Oakland - League put a team in the bay in '67 because CBS their rights holders at the time wanted one in the bay area though the market cleay wasn't ready at the time.

Market is now served by the Sharks - some can say it's the same franchise.

The only way the NHL has a chance to get back to Oakland is if the city builds a new arena to try and lure the Sharks north when their lease allows them to. With the A's being the only major league game in town in a few years, it wouldn't surprise me but I would rather see them build a smaller building and move the Barracuda and rename them the Seals.
No way the Sharks leave San Jose for Oakland. Oakland just does not have the demographics for hockey. The Seals may ahve survived in the 70s if the owners had built them an arena in San Francisco.

Quote:
Cleveland - Would have been a good expansion choie over 50 years ago but that ship has sailed and not likely to come back. Would be a very small.market for the big 4 and shrinking population to boot.
Market is also far too saturated with other major league teams, and it's declining population at 2,000,000 does not help.


Quote:
Kansas City - Has the arena but no city willing to give anyone a sweatheart lease. Hunt Jr. Is interested down the road but likely the price tag is too high. Didn't apply for expansion. Also.not a huge market for big 4. With MLS it has 3
Just like Cleveland, market is already over-saturated with sports teams.


Quote:
b) An arena would have to be built somewhre else in the region where the NHL can be the primary tennant and control the building. However there is no business case to build a competing arena for the sole purpose of an NHL team.

In addition with Atalnta United playing in front of huge crowds, MLS has clearly planted it's flag there replacing the NHL as far as the make up of the big 4 in that market.
Atlanta can work with the right ownership.

Quote:
Hartford - A though sell with many other teams close by in terms of the media region. Alignment would play against it too.

Only way it happens is a) A new or renovated building happens that meets NHL specs. b) in the absense of an owner, it can be used to lure a team in the east with building issues. If the Islanders can't get a local solution would be a maybe otherwise it should wait until next decade when many leases will come up for renewal.
As much as I would love to see the Whalers return, I would not hold my breath.

Quote:
Quebec City - Has the building and ownership in place and is in good standing with the league. Their presence at the presser when the 'lost' the expansion bid when Vegas as awared speaks volumes. I see it more as a francnaphone Winnipeg than a Hamilton.
Quebec City would definitely work for the NHL.

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07-17-2017, 09:12 AM
  #40
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Originally Posted by CHRDANHUTCH View Post
Hartford is broke.....
The state and local governments might have budget problems, but the ticket-buying public has money.

CT has the highest average per capita income of any state. It's the wealthiest state in the country by some measures.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ates_by_income

In general, I'd have to think that a region like New England can support more than one NHL team.

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07-17-2017, 10:49 AM
  #41
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Oakland - As above, the only way I can see it happening is if the Sharks somehow ran into an arena impasse. There's no sense in splitting the Bay Area.

Cleveland - Not putting a team there in the original American expansion was a mistake. A team in Cleveland likely survives longer than the Americans franchise, making an Original 7. But today, with their population shrinking and pretty well saturated with sports already, it's hard to imagine an NHL team carving out a niche. Maybe if one of the three current teams fails, there'll be a space to move into, but otherwise no.

Kansas City - It's not the worst place to stash a distressed team, but there's something kind of weird about that situation. They've got an arena and apparently a desire for a team, but how is KC a three-sport city? I'd consider them as a desperation option, but not what I'd consider a desirable outcome.

Atlanta - In theory there's no reason this shouldn't be a lower-middle (15th-20th) market in the league, but at this point I'd be surprised if there was any receptivity to the idea of trying a 3rd time, from either the league or the city's hockey fanbase. The ground is salted there, for at least another generation. A sad situation.

Hartford - Kind of like KC, if they can come up with an arena perhaps it would work in a pinch where a distressed franchise needed a place to land. I don't think it's a market the NHL would pursue aggressively, if only because they basically already possess the market in the form of Rangers and Bruins fans. And to be perfectly honest, I think there's a mystique around the Hartford market that would better be left intact, than shattered by the reality of having a team again.

Quebec City - Seems viable to me. Even though there are some alignment factors working against them, I don't see why QC wouldn't be on the list for an expansion or relo franchise. If it's true that league leadership is reticent to go there, I don't quite get it.

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07-17-2017, 11:35 AM
  #42
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As a guy from Quebec City, the only place on the list that has the least chances of every seeing their own NHL team play is Quebec City.

Don't get me wrong, we will get our share of world cup pre-games and pre-seasoners every year, but we will never ever get our own team. Why ? Because all the reasons one could give against it will be used by NHL and even if one day reason prevails, we still won't be good enough for it.

We're a small WHA town and there's about 28 happy owners they get rid of us.

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07-17-2017, 11:57 AM
  #43
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I'm not from Quebec City and can't claim to know it very much but I'm bullish on their chances given enough time. They are a safe port in a storm and between struggling franchises and inevitable downturns in NHL business growth, they are still the biggest market in Canada without a team. They tick all the boxes - arena, ownership, media properties seeking content, an existing fanbase and history. It might not happen anytime soon, but forever is a long time and they have too much going for them to write them off.

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07-17-2017, 12:25 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by MayDay View Post
The state and local governments might have budget problems, but the ticket-buying public has money.

CT has the highest average per capita income of any state. It's the wealthiest state in the country by some measures.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ates_by_income

In general, I'd have to think that a region like New England can support more than one NHL team.
Youd think so, or like to believe so yes, as would & did I for some time, dearly wishing for a return of the Whalers. Unfortunately the reality is far different. An NHL market requires a healthy & robust corporate sector in order to make a go of it. The City of Hartford has seen a massive exodus of major corporate (mainly insurance) & financial (hedgefunders etc) businesses which resulted in the loss of huge amounts of tax revenues which precipitated their budget shortfalls, total nosedive. Thats not going to return anytime soon Im afraid & without it (along with a new building) theres no way they can make it on consumer ticket sales & local broadcast revenues etc alone. I wish it werent so but no, Hartfords' been hit hard & the hits keep comin.

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07-17-2017, 12:40 PM
  #45
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Atlanta is too difficult a market to work. You have to be a perennial contender to draw fans. Don't see it happening in this lifetime.

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07-17-2017, 12:46 PM
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Any location can and will work if you develop a consistent winner. The issues arise when teams just flounder for a long period of time with no success causing the fans to become apathetic. People want something to cheer for, and will quickly turn a blind eye if they're only set up for disappointment.

Happens in every sport and in every market. A NHL team could work in Puerto Rico if the team made the playoffs for a decade straight.

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07-17-2017, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Youd think so, or like to believe so yes, as would & did I for some time, dearly wishing for a return of the Whalers. Unfortunately the reality is far different. An NHL market requires a healthy & robust corporate sector in order to make a go of it. The City of Hartford has seen a massive exodus of major corporate (mainly insurance) & financial (hedgefunders etc) businesses which resulted in the loss of huge amounts of tax revenues which precipitated their budget shortfalls, total nosedive. Thats not going to return anytime soon Im afraid & without it (along with a new building) theres no way they can make it on consumer ticket sales & local broadcast revenues etc alone. I wish it werent so but no, Hartfords' been hit hard & the hits keep comin.
YUP, AND THE WAY Politics has worked there and the fiasco over Dunkin'Donuts Park didn't endear minor league baseball to keep them from jumping from New Britain to Hartford....

XL is what it is and hasn't really changed since the days of the Whalers, even with MSG's involvement in that process with the Pack (who btw, are the Binghamton Dusters, from the late 70s, as AHL Fans are keenly aware of), even today, the prospect that Mitchell wanted the Rangers return there after having them for 6 years continues to be a point of discussion....

no matter how XL is done, it's like Cross Arena, Mass Mutual Center and even Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, you can modify the insides, but there comes a time where the time comes to replace it totally.... if you want to remain viable to compete for events.

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07-17-2017, 12:54 PM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jets4Life View Post
I can't see the NHL trying again in Atlanta for at least another 15-20 years. The NHL wants to put a team in the Central Division to balance out the Divisions. Geographically, it would make most sense to expand to one of the following areas:

Kansas City, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis.

Of those markets, I can definitely see the NHL wanting to expand to Texas. Houston has nearly 7,000,000 people in the metro area, and has supported hockey in the past. They came within hours of landing the Edmonton Oilers, and if an owner is prepared to either build an arena for an NHL team or cut a deal with Les Alexander, It would definitely succeed.

The market that really interests me is Austin. It's the capital of Texas, and has over 2,000,000 people and one of the fastest growing cities in the US. There is no competition from professional sports, and if the city build an arena friendly to hockey with a rich owner, I can see it becoming an immediate success. The more I think about it, the better it sounds to put a team in Austin, Texas.
Dallas essentially owns the Austin market, though, jets, through the Texas Stars, being in Cedar Park.... add to that The Spurs have an interest in Austin via their G-League franchise through their ownership of that franchise as a business.

that's why under the current rules, no other league can enter a market with an existing franchise, once the Ice Bats collapsed as did the Central Hockey League.

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07-17-2017, 01:18 PM
  #49
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Originally Posted by MayDay View Post
The state and local governments might have budget problems, but the ticket-buying public has money.

CT has the highest average per capita income of any state. It's the wealthiest state in the country by some measures.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ates_by_income

In general, I'd have to think that a region like New England can support more than one NHL team.
How many major league teams are in the NE region? How many of them aren't generally in or around Boston? It's not like Hartford/CT has another major team in another sport.

The Whalers existed in Hartford because of the WHA. Without that league, would there have been an NHL originated team there?

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07-17-2017, 02:25 PM
  #50
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How many major league teams are in the NE region? How many of them aren't generally in or around Boston? It's not like Hartford/CT has another major team in another sport.

The Whalers existed in Hartford because of the WHA. Without that league, would there have been an NHL originated team there?
meanwhile, Les Alexander is realizing the Rockets aren't all that----the franchise is up for sale

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