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Bill Daly's comment on the Atlanta Thrashers

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Old
11-28-2010, 12:35 AM
  #1
MAROONSRoad
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Bill Daly's comment on the Atlanta Thrashers

Bill Daly was interviewed on The Illegal Curve Hockey Show, a Winnipeg radio program, Saturday morning.

When asked about the market potential of the city of Atlanta, he made the following reply:

Quote:
ďI would acknowledge that Atlanta historically has been a difficult sports market, and I canít exactly put my finger on it as to why thatís been the case. You make good points when you point to the fact that the Atlanta Braves make the playoffs 13 consecutive years in baseball, where it is a little more difficult to make the playoffs. And they are having difficulty selling out their home playoff games, which, you would think in most markets is unheard of. So, Atlanta has proven to be a very difficult market.Ē

ďAgain, it might be a situation where the building location isnít ideal in that market, and if it was built in a different location within the Atlanta Metropolitan location, it might be drawing better. But those are all issues that are important issues, obviously the building is not moving. Weíre going to have to look at the long term prospects of that franchise, and if the determination is made that it canít make it there, and canít be successful there, then something will have to be done
You can listen to the program here:

http://illegalcurve.com/2010/11/27/i...ner-bill-daly/

GHOST

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11-28-2010, 12:39 AM
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Can't dispute the facts.

If my team wore those disgusting navy on baby blue jerseys, I'd only go to away games.

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11-28-2010, 01:16 AM
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I think the league is starting to open up after being hammered with questions about these pitiful results.

I really do believe that if this continues....the league will step in and almost force a relocation. In the past it has been because there was no other choice.....I think if things continue as they are in some markets the league will proactively push for relocation.

This comment by Daly is a HUGE shift in the NHL's typical 'company line'. The NHL has usually avoided any speculation of relocation AT ALL COSTS. Daly seems to be cracking the door open a bit.

This has slightly increased my perception of the NHL. In these few words Daly has admitted there is a problem...and also acknowledged a solution will need to be found. That is normal stuff for most businesses....but it is a huge leap for the NHL.

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11-28-2010, 02:19 AM
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I still get the feeling that he's just paying lip service to everyone who wants to hear it. There's an extremely vocal anti-South sentiment in hockey, and I think this is little more than a bone to them to save his head. No promises, no guarantees, just a simple, "If things don't get better, we'll look at it closer".

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11-28-2010, 02:24 AM
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Given the NHL's past history, I wouldn't be surprised if two teams moved at the same time (as opposed to Phoenix next year, Atlanta/another team in ~5 years).

I believe most expansions and relocations have happened roughly two at a time.

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11-28-2010, 02:55 AM
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I wouldn't read too much into it.

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11-28-2010, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Running Riot View Post
Given the NHL's past history, I wouldn't be surprised if two teams moved at the same time (as opposed to Phoenix next year, Atlanta/another team in ~5 years).

I believe most expansions and relocations have happened roughly two at a time.
I agree. If the NHL is going to do anything....they will try to make it a 'one time' thing. Multiple issues will be settled in one move by the league.

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11-28-2010, 03:49 AM
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There's an old saying the in the newspaper business, - 'man bites dog is not news, dog bites man is news.'

Him making these comments to a Winnipeg radio station is not news. Let me know when he says them in Atlanta.

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11-28-2010, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
I think the league is starting to open up after being hammered with questions about these pitiful results.

I really do believe that if this continues....the league will step in and almost force a relocation. In the past it has been because there was no other choice.....I think if things continue as they are in some markets the league will proactively push for relocation.

This comment by Daly is a HUGE shift in the NHL's typical 'company line'. The NHL has usually avoided any speculation of relocation AT ALL COSTS. Daly seems to be cracking the door open a bit.

This has slightly increased my perception of the NHL. In these few words Daly has admitted there is a problem...and also acknowledged a solution will need to be found. That is normal stuff for most businesses....but it is a huge leap for the NHL.
Jeffrey I doubt the NHL would force a relocation.......now if the NHL ever got to a point where they allowed the sale and or relocation to owners in historically troubled markets that did not have barriers to exit contactually that would be all that was needed.....i think the NHL has been determined to make the current markets work over the last decade and maybe they are modifying that position

I guess what I am saying is that my guess is the NHL won't have to push.....some owners will want to jump if allowed

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11-28-2010, 08:34 AM
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It's good to see the league apparently recognize that building location is part of the problem in Atlanta. While the Thrashers hold on to a small base of hard core fans, the local ECHL team, with it's better-located arena, has siphoned off the casual hockey fan.

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11-28-2010, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
Daly said that the first few years of the Coyotes' existence they sold out....they never averaged over 16,000 that I recall. Hockey capacity at US Airways Center is over 16,000.
IIRC, a section of the arena didn't allow complete view of the rink, possibly from one end. So naturally people wouldn't sit there much.

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11-28-2010, 09:11 AM
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Yes, the Braves didn't sell out one of the biggest stadiums for baseball. Only the NY and maybe BOS markets could sell out that monstrosity on a regular basis. After so many years of playoff appearances without results, the team became boring!

Daly is right that the team would draw better if they were in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. Still, the team has drawn just fine when it has been winning. Right now, they lost 60% of the STHs from a fan boycott three years ago.

This is because of ownership incompetence, NOT because of the market.

Bring in real owners that like hockey (the current guys are all basketball guys) and the team will thrive.

I will admit I'm a little nervous from these comments, but I does sound like he was just playing lip service to the Winnipeg media. I think the league would like to return to Winnipeg, but it should be through expansion.

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11-28-2010, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by LetNoneIn View Post
It's good to see the league apparently recognize that building location is part of the problem in Atlanta. While the Thrashers hold on to a small base of hard core fans, the local ECHL team, with it's better-located arena, has siphoned off the casual hockey fan.

Maybe I missed something, but how is the arena location an issue? Isn't it in downtown Atlanta?

Considering that the owners own both the NBA and NHL teams, it has to be economically a better situation than one tenant paying rent. Ilitch is trying to buy the Pistons and eventually house both the Wings and Pistons in a new arena in downtown Detroit (not known as a hopping city, btw).

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11-28-2010, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Maybe I missed something, but how is the arena location an issue? Isn't it in downtown Atlanta?

Considering that the owners own both the NBA and NHL teams, it has to be economically a better situation than one tenant paying rent. Ilitch is trying to buy the Pistons and eventually house both the Wings and Pistons in a new arena in downtown Detroit (not known as a hopping city, btw).
If you have ever been to or seen downtown Atlanta, you would know why that location is an issue. The main issue is that the people that a.) care about hockey enough to go to a game and b.) can actually afford it, all live north of the city, either in the gwinnett area or the north fulton area, like alpharetta, roswell, johns creek, etc. Traffic buildup from 400 or 85 north, the highways that are used to get to downtown, begins around 430 and doesn't really let up til about 8. It's gridlock and a huge pain in the ass, and even hardcore fans don't want to screw with that on a consistent basis, let alone casual ones.

The arena is in a good location for the basketball team, however, as the demographics of the downtown and closely surrounding areas strongly resemble the makeup of the type of fans at the games.

My guess is that if Phillips Arena was where Gwinnett Arena (where the Gladiators play) is, attendance would be significantly better to the games, especially considering that the on ice product isn't terrible this year.

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11-28-2010, 10:16 AM
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Frankly, there are very few Caucasians that live within three miles of the arena, and those that do in Midtown make up one of the biggest gay neighborhoods in the US. Just one block west of the arena is a big ghetto of very low density. Just about the worst area of the city.

Now, my next door neighbors are gay and are long time STH for the Thrashers, but we don't live in Midtown. The guys that live in midtown are very anti-sports, let's just say. It's not that they're gay, it's that they're ultra-liberal urban elitists who think sports are for neanderthals.

The ECHL team in the market is keeping Thrashers attendance suppressed by at least 2-3k a night on average. These people would be going to the NHL games otherwise. They even wear their customized Thrashers jerseys to the ECHL games!

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11-28-2010, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxostoma Rufum View Post
Yes, the Braves didn't sell out one of the biggest stadiums for baseball. Only the NY and maybe BOS markets could sell out that monstrosity on a regular basis. After so many years of playoff appearances without results, the team became boring!

Daly is right that the team would draw better if they were in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. Still, the team has drawn just fine when it has been winning. Right now, they lost 60% of the STHs from a fan boycott three years ago.

This is because of ownership incompetence, NOT because of the market.

Bring in real owners that like hockey (the current guys are all basketball guys) and the team will thrive.

I will admit I'm a little nervous from these comments, but I does sound like he was just playing lip service to the Winnipeg media. I think the league would like to return to Winnipeg, but it should be through expansion.
Tox - I disagree with 'the team has drawn just fine when it has been winning.' The team's weekend attendance was fine when winning - but weeknight attendance has always struggled. Back in the playoff year - the team was still selling half-season weeknight tickets to STHs for $99. That's right, if you were a full season ticket holder, you could buy another seat upstairs for 21 weeknight games for a total of $99. Those sales padded the weeknight attendance quite a bit.

Atlanta IS a viable hockey market. But there's just little room for error - and there's been too many errors, and Tox is correct that error number one is owner mismanagement. Arena location and compeition from the suburban ECHL franchise are additional factors, imho.

And whether Bill Daly says it or not, the Thrashers franchise is not long-term viable here at current attendance levels.

also fyi - the Braves sold out every playoff game this year. You get back to winning, they will come. Hockey will be no different.

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11-28-2010, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by LetNoneIn View Post
Tox - I disagree with 'the team has drawn just fine when it has been winning.' The team's weekend attendance was fine when winning - but weeknight attendance has always struggled. Back in the playoff year - the team was still selling half-season weeknight tickets to STHs for $99. That's right, if you were a full season ticket holder, you could buy another seat upstairs for 21 weeknight games for a total of $99. Those sales padded the weeknight attendance quite a bit.

Atlanta IS a viable hockey market. But there's just little room for error - and there's been too many errors, and Tox is correct that error number one is owner mismanagement. Arena location and compeition from the suburban ECHL franchise are additional factors, imho.

And whether Bill Daly says it or not, the Thrashers franchise is not long-term viable here at current attendance levels.

also fyi - the Braves sold out every playoff game this year. You get back to winning, they will come. Hockey will be no different.
Yes and if they start winning and they don't come then what.

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11-28-2010, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxostoma Rufum View Post
Frankly, there are very few Caucasians that live within three miles of the arena, and those that do in Midtown make up one of the biggest gay neighborhoods in the US. Just one block west of the arena is a big ghetto of very low density. Just about the worst area of the city.

Now, my next door neighbors are gay and are long time STH for the Thrashers, but we don't live in Midtown. The guys that live in midtown are very anti-sports, let's just say. It's not that they're gay, it's that they're ultra-liberal urban elitists who think sports are for neanderthals.

The ECHL team in the market is keeping Thrashers attendance suppressed by at least 2-3k a night on average. These people would be going to the NHL games otherwise. They even wear their customized Thrashers jerseys to the ECHL games!
You want stupid generalizations? Ok, let's do this.

Wow. Have you ever been to Midtown? I mean other than driving through on your way back to a gigantic home in the middle of nowhere that you have brilliantly squeezed onto a 1/10th of an acre?

Midtown is a neighborhood with a very large gay contingent, but you might want to provide some data to back up your stereotypes.

I also think you have some bizarre fantasy of Midtown being a giant pride parade. There aren't many neighborhoods as homogeneous as you suggest Midtown to be.

I also think it's totally bizarre that most of the Atlanta posters in this thread seem to think there are no hockey fans inside the perimeter. There are a few pretty good size demographics the Thrashers should be targeting here.

First, you have the college students. GSU and Tech are not far from the arena.

Next, everyone here seems to have missed that living in or near the city is what most of the young population that can afford to rub two sticks together wants to do. This isn't 10 years ago when it was "OH G-D! You live IN Atlanta??".

Young professionals with money who haven't given up on life are packed like sardines in neighborhoods like L5P, Decatur, Inman Park and Candler Park. These are people with disposable incomes, access to mass transportation, and could easily be coaxed into going to games, except somehow Atlanta Spirit has forgotten they exist.

You do know Decatur is not 100% lesbian, right? I'm sorry if that was a shock to you.

It really is unfortunate that so many people in the northern suburbs are SO scared of big bad Atlanta (hint for the suburbanites: most black people aren't going to mug you, stop looking so terrified). If they wanted to, they could get on a train (like plenty of other people do) and have it let them off about 20 yards from the entrance to the arena. Of course, that isn't as convenient as it should be because they kept MARTA out of their neighborhood due to some hilarious fantasy about dudes stealing their plasma TV and taking it on the train.

Ultimately, I think you might be right. It's possible that the Thrashers would be more popular if they were in the middle of suburban hell. You might want to provide some data for that though. How many people that go to games would stop if they couldn't take mass transit? I think more than you suspect.

Sincerely,

A straight ultra-liberal who lives inside the perimeter, grew up where all the hockey fans supposedly live, and picked his apartment in part because he can walk 3 minutes to the train and then be at Philips in 20.



p.s. Sorry for the lack of civility, but really, you deserve it for that post.

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Old
11-28-2010, 11:02 AM
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Yes and if they start winning and they don't come then what.
Then you have to figure out why. Is it possible that Atlanta can't become a town that loves hockey? Sure, it's possible. But right now there is not enough data to support that assertion.

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11-28-2010, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wjhl2009fan View Post
Yes and if they start winning and they don't come then what.
The Braves have been a perennial winner and can't sellout. Some Atlanta supports in the past actually said people became bored with the Braves winning too much.

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11-28-2010, 11:14 AM
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The Braves have been a perennial winner and can't sellout. Some Atlanta supports in the past actually said people became bored with the Braves winning too much.
Please read the thread. The Braves sold out their playoff games this year, as well as broke attendance records during their late September run to secure a playoff spot.

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11-28-2010, 11:19 AM
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Please read the thread. The Braves sold out their playoff games this year, as well as broke attendance records during their late September run to secure a playoff spot.
But the rest of season doesn't count?

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11-28-2010, 11:28 AM
  #23
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But the rest of season doesn't count?
How many MLB teams sell out all their games? Turner Field is a very large baseball stadium, about 13k larger than Wrigley, and almost 20k larger than Fenway.

Sorry, but that is a rather silly argument to make regarding MLB attendance. Only 3 teams had 100% plus attendance last season, Phily, Minnesota(new stadium), and Boston all of whom have smaller stadiums than Atlanta. Even the mighty Yankees did not sellout all their games, and they had a brand new stadium this year.

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11-28-2010, 11:57 AM
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Missed the playoffs 4 straight seasons before this year, but you seem to not really care about facts at this point...why start now right?
This is Daly's fact not mine:

You make good points when you point to the fact that the Atlanta Braves make the playoffs 13 consecutive years in baseball, where it is a little more difficult to make the playoffs. And they are having difficulty selling out their home playoff games, which, you would think in most markets is unheard of. So, Atlanta has proven to be a very difficult market.

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11-28-2010, 11:58 AM
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In the last 10 years they have never been above 70% and have always been in the playoff race. Just as Daly said the city has hard time supporting it's sports teams.
They were about the league average, about 30k per night, over the last 5 years when they were out of the playoffs. Those are not the kind of stats that would support your argument, is it?

Percent filled stats are the most useless attendance stats you can use. If I have a 100k baseball venue, but get 50k per night, would call that failure? Of course not.

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