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A question about going to a new market [mod: viability of Saskatoon for a NHL team]

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Old
01-17-2013, 01:48 AM
  #26
No Fun Shogun
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There's a difference between the viability of a market and the likelihood of a market in getting a team. We can't know if the NHL would work or not, but with all the points brought up already (weekday winter games, small maket, no large TV hub, etc.), the idea that the League would seriously consider Saskatoon is near impossible.

I'm sure that if another expansion happens, which I'm sure will be the case, a Saskatoon group will make an official bid, the BoG will listen politely, and then immediately go into discussions about Quebec City and Seattle, how to get Paul Allen interested in Portland and attracting ownership consortiums in Kansas City and Houston, and going along with the Leafs and Sabres in opposing another team or two in southern Ontario as soon as the Saskatooners leave.

Maybe if Saskatoon's population doubles in the next couple decades, in which case they'd still be the smallest market by far, then they'd be up for consideration. For the purposes of here and now, though? They might as well be Yellowknife.

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01-17-2013, 02:32 AM
  #27
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I'm clueless about this stuff, but that was a great read! Thanks!

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01-17-2013, 07:24 AM
  #28
Kimota
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It would be interesting to see if it would work even with that small population. Saskatchowan is a unique place, it's a basically a small town mentality all over a whole state, when these guys support something, watch out, the whole community gets involved. I think it could work but there would have to be quite air-tight plannings before it. First a Casino to build an arena then...

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01-17-2013, 08:27 AM
  #29
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Originally Posted by GuelphStormer View Post
fwiw, usask just announced layoffs. the boom days in saskatoon seem to be coming to a bit of a soft landing.
A university outspending their means doesn't signal an end to an economic boom. As long as resource prices don't go into an absolute freefall, Saskatoon's going to remain a boomtown.

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01-17-2013, 09:19 AM
  #30
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It'll never happen anytime soon:
-No arena
-No owner
-The population's of Regina and Saskatoon are both around 300K. Winnipeg is close to 700k and is barely large enough
-As other's have mentioned filling a football stadium 8 weekends during the summer at the lowest ticket prices in the league (Source) is far different than filling a hockey arena 41 nights a year, in the winter, during many weekdays, at what would have to be some of the higest prices in the league
-NHL would rather put a team in close to 10 locations before Regina or Saskatoon(Quebec, Seattle, Houston, Portland, Second GTA, Kansas City, Hartford, Las Vegas, Halifax, Atlanta again, second montreal....)

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01-17-2013, 10:21 AM
  #31
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Originally Posted by cheswick View Post
-The population's of Regina and Saskatoon are both around 300K.
Both city populations are actually much closer to 200K. Saskatoon City is about 220K and metro is 260K; Regina city is about 193K and metro is 210K. These stats are as of 2011.

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01-17-2013, 11:00 AM
  #32
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Saskatoon is to small of a market to support an NHL. team & besides according to confrence board of canada the only viable NHL. markets left in Canada are Hamilton & Quebec City in which I belive will have teams within the next 10 years & the best thing Saskatoon can hope for is an AHL. team .

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01-17-2013, 11:22 AM
  #33
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the problem is, is there enough money in the area to support a team

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01-17-2013, 12:16 PM
  #34
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Originally Posted by jumptheshark View Post
the problem is, is there enough money in the area to support a team
You are right the money is there in Saskatchawan but the population there is not & with Saskatoon & Reginas combeined populaton is around 300k. that is not enough sustain an NHL. team for the long term .

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01-17-2013, 12:38 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by burf View Post
A university outspending their means doesn't signal an end to an economic boom. As long as resource prices don't go into an absolute freefall, Saskatoon's going to remain a boomtown.
when provincial governments begin tightening post-secondary education budgets, yes, it does indeed signal the beginning of the end of a boom.

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01-17-2013, 01:21 PM
  #36
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I think the biggest problem will be the rink. Build that and you will be considered. It will probably cost @ $300-$400 million to build and the city/province will have to build it plus they are likely going to have to pay whoever runs it somewhere around $10 million a year to do so. They might make some money back on parking but they wont get anything from a team or concessions.

p.s. One thing I havent seen mentioned yet is TV revenue. That's a big problem with the low population you wont get as much from Sportsnet, TSN etc. to broadcast games and it would likely cut into the money other teams like Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg are already getting.

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01-17-2013, 03:00 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Halibut View Post
I think the biggest problem will be the rink. Build that and you will be considered. It will probably cost @ $300-$400 million to build and the city/province will have to build it plus they are likely going to have to pay whoever runs it somewhere around $10 million a year to do so. They might make some money back on parking but they wont get anything from a team or concessions.

p.s. One thing I havent seen mentioned yet is TV revenue. That's a big problem with the low population you wont get as much from Sportsnet, TSN etc. to broadcast games and it would likely cut into the money other teams like Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg are already getting.
They have a rink that was built in 1988: Credit Union Centre. It seated over 15K for the World Junior final in 2010. So, the building is not the issue.

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01-17-2013, 03:04 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Northender View Post
They have a rink that was built in 1988: Credit Union Centre. It seated over 15K for the World Junior final in 2010. So, the building is not the issue.
well, no more of an issue than Copps in the hammer ... which is an issue with respect to current NHL standards, re: boxes, broadcast, signage, etc..

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01-17-2013, 03:05 PM
  #39
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They have a rink that was built in 1988: Credit Union Centre. It seated over 15K for the World Junior final in 2010. So, the building is not the issue.
Who cares if its 25,000 what i want to know is the corporate suites? thats the money maker

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01-18-2013, 01:02 AM
  #40
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Who cares if its 25,000 what i want to know is the corporate suites? thats the money maker
Suites: http://www.creditunioncentre.com/rentals.php

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01-18-2013, 02:20 AM
  #41
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The existence of a suite located above one section doesn't really do much to make a dent in anything. The otherwise miniature MTS Centre has 48. Mellon Arena was unprofitable with 56. The Prudential Center has 76.

The First Union Centre isn't anywhere near capable of being a NHL facility, and that's way down the list of why Saskatoon isn't getting a team.

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01-18-2013, 03:33 AM
  #42
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People who keep saying that Saskatchewan should have a team are like kids who keep asking their bankrupt parents to get them a Ferrari. It's just not possible.

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01-18-2013, 03:56 AM
  #43
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Maybe in a few decades.

One thing is for sure though, if/when Saskatchewan does get a team, they would have the loudest barn in the NHL.

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01-18-2013, 08:38 AM
  #44
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Maybe in a few decades.

One thing is for sure though, if/when Saskatchewan does get a team, they would have the loudest barn in the NHL.
I don't know about that.

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01-18-2013, 10:50 AM
  #45
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And don't forget: the Riders play in the summer. Saskatchewan winters can be pretty nasty. It's one thing to plan a road trip to see the Riders play on a nice summer weekend, another thing entirely to make the trek when it's 20 below zero (or worse) and blowing snow on a weeknight.
First of all, -20 isn't really cold. If you're from the prairies, you don't bat an eye at that kind of temperature. It goes with the territory. I can't see -20 stopping anyone from going to a game. I can guarantee there are out-of-towners coming to Jets games in the conditions you've described, and Manitoba and Saskatchewan have very similar weather.

I would absolutely love to see Saskatchewan get a team. I really believe they'd make more money than a lot of the bottom-feeders in the NHL, but I can understand why the NHL doesn't want to even go there. Maybe it'll happen eventually, but there'd need to be a culture change in the league before it's even considered.

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01-18-2013, 01:09 PM
  #46
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Saskatchewan is booming. Both potash and uranium continue to become more valuable, and there doesn't seem to be any evident signs of this changing in the foreseeable future. But it is still too small at the moment. If current population projections are accurate, Saskatoon should have approximately ~700,000 residents in about 50 years. Right now, with a population of ~300,000, the market is too small.

Give it time. Saskatoon and Regina are where Calgary and Edmonton were a few decades ago in terms of population. It'll be great when the population becomes sufficient to sustain an NHL team; people in Saskatchewan are rabid fans of hockey, and they produce a high amount of players in absolute numbers and especially per capita.

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01-18-2013, 02:16 PM
  #47
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Originally Posted by saffronleaf View Post
Saskatchewan is booming. Both potash and uranium continue to become more valuable, and there doesn't seem to be any evident signs of this changing in the foreseeable future. But it is still too small at the moment. If current population projections are accurate, Saskatoon should have approximately ~700,000 residents in about 50 years. Right now, with a population of ~300,000, the market is too small.

Give it time. Saskatoon and Regina are where Calgary and Edmonton were a few decades ago in terms of population. It'll be great when the population becomes sufficient to sustain an NHL team; people in Saskatchewan are rabid fans of hockey, and they produce a high amount of players in absolute numbers and especially per capita.
Maybe eventually with some serious growth (which it's trending to): Right now Saskatoon is just way too small. I can't see Halifax ever growing big enough to host a major league sports team.

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01-18-2013, 02:33 PM
  #48
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Give it 20-30 years and we'll see how things stand. At the moment, Saskatoon and Regina both have a very long long way to go before they can be considered targets for NHL expansion.

You say that the province has large corporations, but I don't see enough that can really support a team. Could you elaborate?

I don't think that it's appropriate to compare 9 home football games on weekends to 41 home games for hockey that include many weekday games.

The fact that whichever city the team is put in is three hours away from the closest significant metropolitan area also poses a problem.
Cameco, the world's largest publicly traded uranium company.

Also, I'm sure there are a few massive potash corporations.

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01-18-2013, 02:41 PM
  #49
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To start this post, I will note that I am using zero factual evidence, and just what I have heard and thoughts that come off the top of my head.

1) I have heard from many people that over the next couple decades, Saskatchewan may be facing growth similar to that of Alberta recently. Again, zero evidence, perhaps somebody who is more known on the situation may be able to bail me out there.

2) One could also assume that the introduction of an NHL team would also in turn help grow population. Yes, the team would struggle for a while due to the low population, but it is reasonable to assume that Saskatoon/Regina would grow at a pace significantly faster if they were to have an NHL team.

3) For the population that is there, it would be incredibly easy to market the NHL in Saskatchewan. In the way of fan interest, it would easily be equal to Edmonton/Winnipeg in the way of interested fan to population ratio, especially if they build off the Roughriders support, and choose similar colors/theme (I believe this makes more of a difference than some people think). Again though, even though the interest per population ratio would be in the top 5 of NHL, the population itself would be holding it back.

4) Splitting home games is an option to be considered, but unlikely. This does face considerable challenges (needing 2 NHL viable arenas rather than 1), however if pulled off it makes the metro population seem doubled in theory.

Overall, NHL in Saskatchewan in my opinion seems like it would be viable under the perfect storm. There is no shortage of interest amongst the population, that would be almost a guarantee. I personally believe that if either Saskatoon or Regina does go under the growth surge that I keep hearing about, and one of them makes it to 500k metro population, it would become a viable NHL location in a 16k-18k arena. A very rich and risky owner would be required for this though, as this would probably the highest risk/reward NHL team out there. If it were to succeed, it would long-term become a giant hit. If it were to fail, it would be a giant fail. I would absolutely love to see this attempted at some point in my lifetime, however I do not see it being viable for at least 10+ years (10 is assuming incredible growth).

TL;DR: The interest is there, the population is not (yet), but in the future if it grows it very well could work out.


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01-18-2013, 02:45 PM
  #50
saffronleaf
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Both city populations are actually much closer to 200K. Saskatoon City is about 220K and metro is 260K; Regina city is about 193K and metro is 210K. These stats are as of 2011.
Saskatoon's metro population was 260,600 in the 2011 census. However, the census figures do not include undercount. This is why it is widely agreed upon (including StatsCan) that population estimates are more accurate than census data. For a variety of reasons, individuals may not have filled out the census form and they will not be counted.

Once you factor in undercount, as well as the fact that about two years have since elapsed, you will probably get a figure of about ~300K. According to the 2011 census figures, the intercensal population growth rate in Saskatoon was 11.4%. 11.4% divided by 5 equals 2.28% -- this is the annual growth rate. Presumably, the growth rate has not drastically changed -- indeed, almost all indicators suggest that the boom is continuing (especially unemployment numbers and potash/uranium prices).

Thus, even without factoring in undercount, the growth that has occurred since the last census would approximately put Saskatoon's metro population at about ~273K. With undercount, the population should be anywhere from 290K to 310K.

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