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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, expansion and relocation, and NHL revenues.

Speculation: Saturation point for markets and franchises

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Old
03-31-2010, 11:03 AM
  #26
Kebekoi
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Will the Canadian market be over-saturated if you add Winnipeg-Quebec City-Ontario-Toronto B? Maybe Buffalo will have to move if this happen. 10 teams in Canada and in 24 teams in USA divided in four 8 teams divisions.

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03-31-2010, 11:26 AM
  #27
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Originally Posted by Kebekoi View Post
Will the Canadian market be over-saturated if you add Winnipeg-Quebec City-Ontario-Toronto B? Maybe Buffalo will have to move if this happen. 10 teams in Canada and in 24 teams in USA divided in four 8 teams divisions.
I think it would be great but do you realistically see 2 Toronto teams, a Hamilton team and Buffalo? 4 teams in that small area? I don't see Buffalo ever moving.

My dream would be to relocate all of the southern teams (PHX, ATL, FLA, TB, DAL, NASH AND CAR) to the north (WPG, HAM, QBC, SKN, HART, SLC, SEA, PORT).

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03-31-2010, 11:48 AM
  #28
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Originally Posted by NYR Hockey Fan View Post
I think it would be great but do you realistically see 2 Toronto teams, a Hamilton team and Buffalo? 4 teams in that small area? I don't see Buffalo ever moving.

My dream would be to relocate all of the southern teams (PHX, ATL, FLA, TB, DAL, NASH AND CAR) to the north (WPG, HAM, QBC, SKN, HART, SLC, SEA, PORT).
I think that Buffalo won't so last long if the league add a Southern Ontario team.

Winnipeg and Quebec are fringe hockey market by NHL standards, but Saskatoon?
I know it make more sense for Buffalo and the conference alignment, but the population will be too small to sustain a team.

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03-31-2010, 11:50 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by Kebekoi View Post
Buffalo won't last long if you add an Golden Horseshoe team.

Winnipeg and Quebec are fringe hockey market by NHL standards, but Saskatoon?
Yeah, Saskatoon isn't a reality. 10 just seems like a great number for Canadian hockey teams but I would never want Buffalo to relocate. The Sabres fans are rabid!

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03-31-2010, 01:34 PM
  #30
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Originally Posted by NYR Hockey Fan View Post
Yeah, Saskatoon isn't a reality. 10 just seems like a great number for Canadian hockey teams but I would never want Buffalo to relocate. The Sabres fans are rabid!
Where could we place another team, barring the obvious Win-Que-Ham? Toronto or Halifax?

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03-31-2010, 01:38 PM
  #31
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I think Toronto could support two teams and that Hamilton (GTA) could support one as well.

However, I doubt that will happen, as the Sabres and Leafs are putting up enough of a fight as it is to oppose a 3rd team in the area. I couldn't imagine how they react to a 4th.

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03-31-2010, 03:23 PM
  #32
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I read a comment just the other day, somewhere here on the Business Board, that if Winnipeg has a team again it will be like Green Bay Packers of the NHL. I think the post must have been deleted because I can't find it anywhere, but it got me to thinking; What actually could classify as a Green Bay Packers of the NHL? I mean, in the NFL there are only 8 home games in a Season, perhaps on average 9 if you consider Playoffs games, while in the NHL there are 41, perhaps 44 on average considering at least one Round of Playoff games, but then stadiuim capacity is much greater in the NFL. So really, what would be a Green Bay type comparable NHL city?

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03-31-2010, 03:30 PM
  #33
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
I read a comment just the other day, somewhere here on the Business Board, that if Winnipeg has a team again it will be like Green Bay Packers of the NHL. I think the post must have been deleted because I can't find it anywhere, but it got me to thinking; What actually could classify as a Green Bay Packers of the NHL? I mean, in the NFL there are only 8 home games in a Season, perhaps on average 9 if you consider Playoffs games, while in the NHL there are 41, perhaps 44 on average considering at least one Round of Playoff games, but then stadiuim capacity is much greater in the NFL. So really, what would be a Green Bay type comparable NHL city?
Calgary and Edmonton are probably the smallest markets.

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03-31-2010, 04:05 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by NYR Hockey Fan View Post
Calgary and Edmonton are probably the smallest markets.
Yes, I know that they are the smallest markets. That's not my question. My question is, are they (Calgary and Edmonton) comparable to Green Bay, or would a team put in Winnipeg be more comparable, or even perhaps a team put in a place like Saskatoon. Or to be comparable to Green Bay, at NHL levels, would it be a city even larger than Edmonton, perhaps Buffalo or Raleigh? So again, what would be place very comparable to Green Bay for the NHL to have a team, whether such a city currently exists in the NHL or could be an expansion consideration?

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03-31-2010, 04:05 PM
  #35
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I think Buffalo, Hamilton and Toronto could all do well.

Again, that golden horseshoe area is not only the best hockey market in the world, it's also expected to grow by another 3.7 million people in the next 20 years.

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03-31-2010, 04:08 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
what would be place very comparable to Green Bay for the NHL to have a team, whether such a city currently exists in the NHL or could be an expansion consideration?
That's tough cuz the lucrative NFL revenues are TV based, while NHL is more ticket based.

I'd say Saskatoon would be more Green Bayish.

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03-31-2010, 04:12 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Hamilton Tigers View Post
I think Buffalo, Hamilton and Toronto could all do well.

Again, that golden horseshoe area is not only the best hockey market in the world, it's also expected to grow by another 3.7 million people in the next 20 years.
Yes, but is that growth to take place on the US/Buffalo side? I doubt it, at least not to the degree that you're talking. So perhaps a team in a city just a bit further away from Buffalo, so as not to negatively effect Buffalo in any measurable way, would be a better choice than Hamilton. And perhaps waiting at least another 10 of those 20 years, and then putting a team in Kitchener-Waterloo or London would be the better option.

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03-31-2010, 04:44 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Kebekoi View Post
Where could we place another team, barring the obvious Win-Que-Ham? Toronto or Halifax?
If Saskatoon 'isn't an option'...no way is Halifax considered. Saskatoon sports fans are at least rabidly loyal (see:Roughriders) so it might have a chance....

If they want to bring hockey to new markets (i.e non-trad us markets) and money-making markets (i.e Canadian cities), why dont they just have some 'neutral-site' regular season games? IT would expose fans without a team to at least a little hockey, and serve as a 'testing ground' for future expension. I think they tried that back in the 90s did they not? I dont remember much about it

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03-31-2010, 04:45 PM
  #39
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Yes, I know that they are the smallest markets. That's not my question. My question is, are they (Calgary and Edmonton) comparable to Green Bay, or would a team put in Winnipeg be more comparable, or even perhaps a team put in a place like Saskatoon. Or to be comparable to Green Bay, at NHL levels, would it be a city even larger than Edmonton, perhaps Buffalo or Raleigh? So again, what would be place very comparable to Green Bay for the NHL to have a team, whether such a city currently exists in the NHL or could be an expansion consideration?
Before the lockout, I would have said it was Edmonton given the need to have a large consortium of owners to survive. That's the only way Green Bay still maintains a franchise besides the fact they are able to be marketed as Wisconsin's team. Now however, I don't think there is a way to have a Green Bay-esque franchise in the NHL unless Quebec City gets another team. The new CBA does a good job of helping and protecting smaller markets to the point where the Edmontons of the NHL can survive the economic rollercoaster (although in fairness the Canadian dollar being up does help) and be profitable. While I don't know if that would be the case with Quebec City (I still believe they would have to have some sort of local business and government help to make up for the size gap), the area does share many similarities with Green Bay in terms of population, having its own distinct culture and rabid fandom.

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Old
03-31-2010, 04:54 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by Moobles View Post
...what you thought was the saturation point for markets that can have professional hockey teams in the NHL.
Not sure how to definition "saturation".

In the Vancouver area, there is NHL, AHL, ECHL, and two major-junior teams, all within a ~30 mile circle. In addition, local fans are flocking to streams from the NHL team's AHL affiliate, located 3 time zones to the East.

That's a lot of professional hockey being sopped up!

IMO, there is clearly room for a second NHL team in Vancouver. Similarly, there is room for not one, but two additional teams in Southern Ontario (slightly complicated by there being an international border right outside Buffalo).

But I am not a fan of this "monopoly" approach to organizing sports leagues. I'd much rather teams sank or swam in relegation/promotion system, which would let the fans themselves (anybody remember them?! ) determine how many teams any given market "should" have. If that happened, I am confident Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec would each have at least one more team in the Bigs.

If you look at English football (probably sport-country relationship closest to Hockey-Canada), cities the size Toronto routinely have multiple franchises. London currently has 5 teams in the Premiership, and Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester each have more than one.

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Old
03-31-2010, 07:27 PM
  #41
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A southern ontario team doesn't need to be in Hamilton, or even anywhere near it. There's population centers further west that would also work.

North American pro sports are run on the idea that the franchise value will rise. The damage relegation would do to values to already existing markets on the fringe ensures that it will not happen in any foreseeable future.

The premier league is quite happy to let the same four teams battle it out for the championship every year. That would not go over well here.

Now, if it had been designed that way from the start, sure. Relegation systems are inherently superior. But it has to be that way from day one.

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03-31-2010, 08:43 PM
  #42
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A southern ontario team doesn't need to be in Hamilton, or even anywhere near it. There's population centers further west that would also work.
But moving farther west limits the draw as Hamilton is at the hub of that population base of London, K-W, Cambridge, Guelph, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, St Catherines.

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