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Could the Battalion be on the move? (EDIT: Yes, to North Bay)

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09-26-2012, 04:53 PM
  #1
bidzey
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Could the Battalion be on the move? (EDIT: Yes, to North Bay)

I read the Toronto Sun this morning, rumors have it that Brampton might be on the move. There are conflicting stories out there though.

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09-26-2012, 06:37 PM
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No Offence but I hope that they are, I know there are some diehard Battalion fans out there but the arena is always empty and as a player you gotta think it's depressing to play there in a quiet and empty building. Especially when there is another team Literally 20 minutes down the road(Missisauga) who also have a half empty building all the time, The Gta is simply not the best place for junior hockey IMO its pretty evident it's not good for the players or the league...There like the Phoenix of the Ohl.Bring a team to Hamilton, Waterloo or Bring a team back to North Bay.

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09-26-2012, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Spitsfan67 View Post
No Offence but I hope that they are, I know there are some diehard Battalion fans out there but the arena is always empty and as a player you gotta think it's depressing to play there in a quiet and empty building. Especially when there is another team Literally 20 minutes down the road(Missisauga) who also have a half empty building all the time, The Gta is simply not the best place for junior hockey IMO its pretty evident it's not good for the players or the league...There like the Phoenix of the Ohl.Bring a team to Hamilton, Waterloo or Bring a team back to North Bay.
I agree.

Hershey Ctre is actually 10 minutes away on a normal day. Not enough OHL fans to split among 2 teams.

Aurora or Newmarket should get a team, and the can be supported by Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Uxbridge, Stouffville, King City, etc..... you get my drift. Alot of minor hockey kids in these areas, and alot of real money to support another OHL team.

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09-26-2012, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Spitsfan67 View Post
No Offence but I hope that they are, I know there are some diehard Battalion fans out there but the arena is always empty and as a player you gotta think it's depressing to play there in a quiet and empty building. Especially when there is another team Literally 20 minutes down the road(Missisauga) who also have a half empty building all the time, The Gta is simply not the best place for junior hockey IMO its pretty evident it's not good for the players or the league...There like the Phoenix of the Ohl.Bring a team to Hamilton, Waterloo or Bring a team back to North Bay.
7 minutes actually, I heard in the summer that the team was moving to North Bay. Anything is possible really they could end up staying but its inevitable that they will have to move due to attendance. The same could happen to Mississauga as well.

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09-26-2012, 08:28 PM
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7-10 minutes even worse IMO no need to have two teams that close unless both teams could get ATLEAST 3500+ fans a night which obviously won't happen Owners are only losing money by keeping teams in poor markets, tons of other city's and fans that are itching for a team in there home town and it's time for Brampton to relinquish there team and move on, it's only a matter of time IMO that owners will give up on Missisauga.

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09-26-2012, 09:05 PM
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battalion game/kennedys/home.

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09-26-2012, 10:17 PM
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chewerjones
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Originally Posted by Spitsfan67 View Post
7-10 minutes even worse IMO no need to have two teams that close unless both teams could get ATLEAST 3500+ fans a night which obviously won't happen Owners are only losing money by keeping teams in poor markets, tons of other city's and fans that are itching for a team in there home town and it's time for Brampton to relinquish there team and move on, it's only a matter of time IMO that owners will give up on Missisauga.
I have heard rumours about the Steelheads ownership group already tightening the purse strings, on all aspects of the organization. Some of the cost cutting measures sounded so ridiculous, and I am sure that Dave Branch woudnt want to have the OHL's image tarnished.

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09-27-2012, 12:38 AM
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Has there ever been any kind of talk about putting an OHL team in upstate New York? Or is the market too saturated with AHL teams

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09-27-2012, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DropkickQuinn View Post
Has there ever been any kind of talk about putting an OHL team in upstate New York? Or is the market too saturated with AHL teams
I would like to see talks about having a TV crew representing the teams south of the border. I got the OHL package and it sucks that no games in the States are televised. Then they can fill up every state from east to west along the border. They could still call it the "CHL" only it would be "Continental Hockey League"

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09-27-2012, 08:04 AM
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Newmarket, North Bay and Brantford are all places that would be better suited for the GTA teams.

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09-27-2012, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DropkickQuinn View Post
Has there ever been any kind of talk about putting an OHL team in upstate New York? Or is the market too saturated with AHL teams
I'm surprised that the OHL hasn't already put a team in western NY. Most teams already travel through the area on their way to Erie, and it would lock up NY state for OHL draft purposes. Upstate may be more of a challenge from a travel perspective (for western conference teams mostly -- Ottawa/Kingston/Belleville could travel relatively easily).

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09-27-2012, 08:54 AM
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I'm surprised that the OHL hasn't already put a team in western NY. Most teams already travel through the area on their way to Erie, and it would lock up NY state for OHL draft purposes. Upstate may be more of a challenge from a travel perspective (for western conference teams mostly -- Ottawa/Kingston/Belleville could travel relatively easily).
I think Ontario is at it's limit (maybe beyond?) and the usual suspects for teams are "iffy" at best. North Bay, Cornwall, Hamilton and Chatham not sure would work with real dark horses being Brantford and Stratford (almost zero chances)
Agreed about WNY, too bad Rochester and Syracuse are locked into the AHL. Not sure if a team in Buffalo area would work either.
The other US city could be Toledo with abrand new arena of 8000 seats but they have minor league team.
http://www.huntingtoncentertoledo.com/about/

To be honest I would be very very happy with contraction!

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09-27-2012, 01:06 PM
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La Baie Nordique...

I can speak for North Bay, as I reside in that city.

Five years ago, I would have said a major junior club would be successful without too many problems.

Today, I have several concerns, albeit they are surmountable:

1 - Economic situation of the city. North Bay & parts of Northeastern Ontario are experiencing economic challenges (partially due to the provincial government's policies). Hydro rates are through the roof which is causing business to relocate elsewhere in the country (Sandvik Mining Equipment in North Bay 50 jobs off to Bathurst, NB -- Xstrata relocating 700 smelter jobs from Timmins to Rouyn-Noranda QC, just to name a few). The Ministry of Northern Development & Mines' autocratic decision to privatize the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (which employs over 1000 people across the highway 11 corridor - of which close to 600 are employed here locally --- which results in an uncertain future for the families & employees). And I digress. An unhealthy economic situation in any community will result in people reducing their spending habits. Entertainment is usually the first thing cut.

2 - Fan Support Sustainability. I will post later the fan attendance averages for the Junior A & University hockey clubs from 2002-03 until the present. While the averages aren't necessarily bad, they certainly fall in the lower tier level of major junior fan support for obvious reasons (size of the market, arena capacity, people's ability to pay for tickets). It also remains to be seen what kind of support would exist for a major junior club. It is a given that if a major junior club does come to fruition here, the Lakers & Trappers will be forced out the door (as per the stipulation in the lease agreement with both clubs).

That said, the Centennials never averaged less than 2000 fans a game through their 20 year stay. The team left with an average of about 2314 in their final year, and close to 2400 fans in the previous year (2000-01). During the Stay Cents Stay campaign, 2712 seasons tickets pledges were collected & payed as well (unsuccessful though in the end).

3 - Memorial Gardens. Memorial Gardens has undergone some structural, functional & esthetical renovations during the past five years. The facility is well maintained. The visitor's dressing room is no longer the size of a closet (for those who remember, the visitor's dressing room on the West Side of the Building was extremely tiny --- roughly the size of maybe 1/3 of the lobby where you purchase tickest in the arena). There are two new dressing rooms built. Some safety improvements to the gondala. And many esthetic improvements such as a new digital marquee signs outside, new scoreclock, television screens (one for each section), and odd polishing jobs throughout the building.

While it would be fairly easy to expand the rink width & length (due to the seating being significantly away from the glass), there remains a significant cost to adding in these modifications. I'm not sure there would be unilateral consent from all city councillors (though, there are those on council who have publically stated their interest in a team --- hence the clause in the lease agreements with other tenants).

Here are some technical specifications from the city's website:

http://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/common/..._MG_Hockey.pdf

http://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/common/...age%202010.pdf

There is additional room (empty storage space) in the south end of the building. I'm told there are plans stored away that illustrate additional seating could be placed there without much trouble (behind the curtain) http://www.ohlarenaguide.com/MemorialGardens1.jpg.

Logistically for the league, North Bay doesn't overlap into an existing team's fan base, something that you might have trouble justifying to any other potential market with the exception of Cornwall. For scheduling purposes, a team here makes the Northern Road trips for teams more economic if you're able to play 3 game weekends.

There are challenges to overcome though. Regardless, it will remain interesting to see what manifests over the next few months.

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10-01-2012, 08:04 PM
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heres what i am thinking... with new owners running copps now the people of "Global Spectrum/Live Nation" who parent club comcast owns the Philly Flyers, if the bulldogs leave Hamilton I could see them forking out the cash to get a OHL team in Hamilton... personally i rather watch OHL over AHL any day of the week...

simply because nothing personal but i rather watch 16-20 yrs olds over 21-40 yr old players complaining about money... but hey thats my option...

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10-02-2012, 10:29 AM
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I'm hearing North Bay

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10-07-2012, 09:31 AM
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I agree with the majority here.. it's time to give another market a chance at the OHL. Not sure if North Bay would work, but I'm definitely more confident in it's viability than another GTA team (in Newmarket, Stouffville, Markham, you get the picture).

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10-08-2012, 12:01 AM
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krazy kanuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewerjones View Post
Aurora or Newmarket should get a team, and the can be supported by Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Markham, Uxbridge, Stouffville, King City, etc..... you get my drift. Alot of minor hockey kids in these areas, and alot of real money to support another OHL team.
Spent most of my youth through my early twenties in Newmarket/Aurora, and much of my family still lives there. Was there with the Saints and the Royals, and there was never any support. I could count the fans on most nights. I don't think that either of those two cities would be any better than Brampton or Mississauga. The mentality is the same (we'll go to T.O. for our entertainment) except they're smaller. I think North Bay would be a better option.

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10-08-2012, 12:39 PM
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Spent most of my youth through my early twenties in Newmarket/Aurora, and much of my family still lives there. Was there with the Saints and the Royals.
This guy is right. I go to watch the Newmarket Hurricanes (provincial A) play all the time and they can barely draw a crowd. Big city, ticket prices are cheap and theres nobody there. The hockey isn't the best, but still.

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10-08-2012, 12:54 PM
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I'd rather see Mississauga move than the Battalion. However, I agree that a team in Hamilton would be good. If they move that'd be a great place for them to play. Maybe Thunder Bay could also be viable (even though they are far away).

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10-08-2012, 04:16 PM
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who has a weaker fan base, Brampton or Mississauga since it doesnt look like Erie is moving

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10-08-2012, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bulldogsfanforum View Post
who has a weaker fan base, Brampton or Mississauga since it doesnt look like Erie is moving
When both were in the finals, Brampton was sold out, Mississauga wasn't even half full. Save for game 7, but that was a result of bus loads coming down from Owen Sound.

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10-08-2012, 06:32 PM
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Mississauga would be perfect to move to Hamilton, steelheads - steelhawks, Hamilton known for their steel no need for name change

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10-08-2012, 06:47 PM
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I know it isn't feasible because of the Rangers, but Waterloo would probably be the best market if a team were to be moved. Obviously it won't happen due to it's proximity with the Rangers, but with the amount of people on the waiting list for Rangers season tickets that could potentially purchase Waterloo ones, I believe it'd be a very successful move. There are 2 universities and a college all in one central location, the WMRC is a decent facility that could house a team for the time being. There is enough money in the area, and a die-hard hockey market that would make the team successful, and a primary source of pride and entertainment for the community. Also, I think a K-W rivalry would be much better than a Mississauga-Brampton one...

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10-08-2012, 06:49 PM
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Not to mention the Jr. B team still gets more fans on a given night compared to Mississauga or Brampton, or literally of the Jr. A teams in the area...

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10-08-2012, 10:56 PM
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krazy kanuck
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This guy is right. I go to watch the Newmarket Hurricanes (provincial A) play all the time and they can barely draw a crowd. Big city, ticket prices are cheap and theres nobody there. The hockey isn't the best, but still.
... I didn't even think to mention the Hurricanes. When they were the 87's, the tickets were $1 and that was literally friends and relatives. I remember watching those games at the old Community Centre off main street with a few of my friends and almost everybody else there was related to the players...

If I remember right, the Saints were $8 and I think $6 for students. There might be 1,500 fans at those games, and then you would hear how excited neighbours and such were to go down to Leaf games at 5 to 10 times the cost. The funny thing about that - Harold Ballard was so crazy he had players up and down like a toilet seat during the week (likely to save on the per diem meal money). So you were literally watching many of the same players on Friday in Newmarket as were playing in Toronto on Saturday - just wearing a different jersey!

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