Realistically... the lack of an NBA team should be a selling point for the NHL...Yes, it makes building an arena much tougher, but you mention all those teams.... and they're all summer sports. There's a void in Seattle in terms of winter sports.
That being said, with an NBA team, I think it becomes much more questionable as to whether they can support all 5.
We never had a NHL team so its hard to say how big the fanbase will get but we had all 4 pro teams at the same time in the late 70's soccer (NASL), MLB, NFL and NBA.
Portland is a smaller city. There used to be some legitimate talks about the NHL going there. They had the building, a very rich and local potential owner, and they supported their junior team very well at the time.
The prevailing assumption was that this market would not pay a premium to watch top class hockey, though.
Thanks for this explanation. I have often wondered about Portland as a potential NHL market and debated which Portland or Seattle would be a better destination for a franchise. Never knew the details, though.
Whoa, I am surprised by that, that is major league pricing right there.
How did they get so big out there, and how can they charge that kind of money.
I'm an outsider, but...
The city had a history of football, they embraced that, and they took advantage of the NBA leaving at the same time. They limited capacity to create an artificial demand for tickets. They began with famous backers (Drew Carey, Paul Allen, etc.). I would suppose they also backed their new team with advertising dollars and attempted to tap into the alternative market.
Difficult to do, but once a buzz is created about tickets, they sell, and once they sell, you become known as the runaway success of the league and it all takes off from there. People want to be part of the "big club", and they've gone from a position where they first expected 12,000 at games to considering opening the whole stadium.
They're not on English levels yet - $23 for an EPL game would be utterly laughable - but they're making waves in North America, certainly.
Last edited by Bluebirds Boyo: 01-05-2013 at 01:48 PM.
Why can't US Airways work if the Islanders can accept a basketball arena for their home?
When the Winnipeg Jets NHL franchise announced their intention to move to Phoenix as the Coyotes for the 1996–97 season, the arena was quickly reconfigured for hockey. Unlike most multipurpose arenas, America West Arena's sightlines were not designed with a hockey rink in mind. While its tight seating configuration suits basketball very well, it made it difficult to fit a standard NHL rink onto the floor. The lower level had to be sheared in half to fit the rink and create retractable seating.
As it turned out, the result was completely inadequate for the Coyotes. Most notably, a section of seats in the upper level actually hung over the boards, obstructing the view from over 3,000 seats. In those areas, a good chunk of the view from beyond the top of the face-off circle was cut off. The problem was so serious that before the team's first season in Phoenix, the team had to curtain off some seats in the areas where the view was particularly obstructed, cutting listed capacity from around 18,000 seats to 16,210.