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Why did the NHL put so much effort into saving Phoenix but not Atlanta?

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Old
08-02-2014, 12:28 PM
  #126
Killion
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Originally Posted by thrashniac View Post
...although technically true since it did come through on tour and was on display for taking your picture with.
.... well, at least your sense of humors still intact thrashniac. Very sardonic indeed. Reminds me of a quote from a book called Chimera; "Good Samaritans. Truth, Justice & the American Way. For them it wasnt some Comic Book code it was a way of life. It was admirable, honorable, courageous.... and inconvenient as all Hell". And so ya, my take on it as well. Total front by the lot of them, but Gearon more specifically. Amateur actors always obvious.

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08-02-2014, 02:02 PM
  #127
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Originally Posted by cbcwpg View Post
TNSE was "used" to save one market and was "rewarded" by being given a team from another market. JMO.
That may be true as it turned out. Personally I don't think it mattered in either case. Glendale was going to do what it could to keep the Coyotes and ASG was going to do what it could to kick the Thrashers out.

Nevertheless, I was convinced TNSE was going to get a franchise no matter what. Be it a relocation or expansion.

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08-02-2014, 02:08 PM
  #128
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Originally Posted by MNNumbers View Post
Legend,
I believe you. But I would like to know your source.
Can't name the person because it was a private conversation, but it was someone with direct knowledge of what went down.

However that conversation only confirmed what we all had speculated and had been pretty much reported.

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08-02-2014, 03:03 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by kmad View Post
I'd like to read more about this, got any books you know of?

The source for this I've found, Dan Bouchard, former Atlanta Flames goaltender, who still resides in the metro-Atlanta area. He said this on the local radio Thrashers flagship which started "covering" the Thrashers when they were on their deathbed.

I think I have an mp3 of it still somewhere - maybe.

Bouchard also stated that the arena was originally slated for the northside, near GA 400 and Northridge. However the city fathers pressured Ted Turner to do his civic duty and keep the arena downtown.

Could this have made a difference? I'm sure to some degree - many suburbanites will not go downtown (I'm married to one, of course she won't go to hockey games anywhere for that matter).

Enough of a difference to save the Thrashers from the clutches of A$G!?????? Plus you consider the allure of quick cash from the relo fee to offset the losses in the desert plus get rid of the A$G bozo's all in one deal, while currying favor in the True North strong and free??????

That's a tough business deal to pass up for a suit like GB, notwithstanding his "covenant with the fans(sic)".


http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/hocke...bettman/nQwbZ/

“But we believe we have a covenant with our fans, who make an emotional and financial investment in us. If you run out on them in one place then you’re delivering a message that maybe you don’t take that covenant seriously anywhere.”

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08-02-2014, 03:25 PM
  #130
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Originally Posted by TheLegend View Post
Can't name the person because it was a private conversation, but it was someone with direct knowledge of what went down....
Yes. Small World. Perhaps even the same person or persons'. I can confirm this & back you up on it. There are as you mention mainstream media reports somewhere in the ethernet & way back in the archives herein confirming such. Jamison himself stating as much....

huh. that rhymes. Ya'll like rhymin n' such TL? Echo's?

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08-02-2014, 07:04 PM
  #131
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Does anyone know if at any point in time the Thrashers,either version1.0 or 2.0 were ever profitable?

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08-03-2014, 12:47 PM
  #132
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Originally Posted by pondnorth View Post
Does anyone know if at any point in time the Thrashers,either version1.0 or 2.0 were ever profitable?

That's not something we know for most NHL teams, excepting the obvious like Toronto et al.


Towards the end, ASG was claiming annual losses of $20+ MM or more, iirc. Of course, the team wasn't the best managed from a hockey operations perspective either. I still think the cap system, before the last tweak during the 2012 lockout put even more cost pressure on some of the weaker teams. The Thrashers had to divest key talent as well, like Heatley, and then eventually Hossa and Kovalchuk.

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08-03-2014, 02:58 PM
  #133
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Originally Posted by TheLegend View Post
Depends upon what you include as part of the "market"

Population wise.... in 2012, the city of Phoenix was ranked #6, while the city of Atlanta was at #41.

Checking around the internet for lists based on metro areas, most lists showed Atlanta ranked at #9, with Phoenix at #13 or #14.

However, Phoenix Metro is listed as "Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale". But does that include the suburbs of Peoria, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Avondale, Goodyear, Buckeye and Surprise?

Atlanta Metro is defined on these lists as "Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta" or does it also include other neighboring suburbs?
This got partially answered, but there's a few quirks I will note.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_metropolitan_area

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_metropolitan_area

I think Georgia has the most counties per capita in America. Arizona, a much larger state, has 14 counties.

Atlanta's CSA has a bunch of "outer rim" counties with more than a handful of 20,000 pop towns AND Athens (home of University of Georgia and R.E.M.). Athens is more than 60 miles away, some of those other towns are 80 miles out. Wikipedia describes separate populations for a "Metro" and then the MSA and CSA. I've sometimes had the hunch that an enhanced CSA is how USOC sold Atlanta to the IOC... thing being there's a LOT of rural in that CSA. There's also a LOT of politics in MSA and CSA measurements, but that's for another time in some pale nerd's basement. The "metro" number used for Atlanta (for the 2012 estimate) is only a couple hundred thousand more than the one for Phoenix.

Of course, the Phoenix MSA has more land area (Maricopa AND Pinal Counties). However, save for Casa Grande (something like 50 miles out of Phoenix), that's very much a lot of desert. Not that Phoenix doesn't sprawl, perhaps as bad as Atlanta, just that there's a more defined "true" demarcation... FWIW. (To be fair, let's pull 100,000 from the Phoenix number to come up with 300,000 as a fair separation here.)

The Phoenix area apparently grew 3.3% in the time between the 2010 Census and the 2012 estimate. I'm struggling to find similar data for Atlanta, but I suspect Phoenix is still growing faster.

An aside... San Antonio was mentioned in this city/metro issue. Cute story: I'm driving I-10 from the west into town in late December. I'm thirsty, it can't wait, and just before the exit I take, a sign says "San Antonio 31" (miles, of course). Just the other side of the exit: "SAN ANTONIO City Limits." Of course, still 30 miles to downtown. Texas is that kind of place... it also don't need no damn planning.

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08-03-2014, 05:10 PM
  #134
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
At anyrate as the years passed, this story like a lot of NHL fables, that the reason the team was allowed to be sold for Relo was due to price AND declining, anemic , never lived up to its potential attendance at the Omni utter nonsense. That Cousins was going down, no place to play, too bad so sad Atlanta but weve gotta go. Ships sinking... So like the Warren Commission's Report on the Kennedy Assassination and its ridiculous/absurd Single Bullet Theory this story concocted, fiction, repeated enough times becoming fact.... Until years after the fact, comes out that no, more to the story than that according to former Atlanta Flames Goaltender Dan Bouchard, who would have absolutely no reason whatsoever to be "makin stuff up" about it...

http://thetrolleytracks.blogspot.com...ckey-myth.html
Bunk, bunk, a thousand times over: bunk.

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Originally Posted by Hoser View Post
The Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary because the owner was losing money hand over fist in Atlanta, and the highest bids from prospective owners came from two groups who wanted to move the team to Calgary. This article claims Cousins' ownership group had lost $1.7 million in '78-'79 and $2.8 million in '79-'80. That doesn't sound like a lot now but it was a lot then.


The Atlanta ownership group went as far as to monkey with the team's corporate structure in order to eke out some savings from a tax dodge: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...=3578%2C690839, http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4140%2C2697803


U.S. Olympic hero Jim Craig joined the Flames immediately after winning the gold medal and had this to say about the fan support in Atlanta: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4610%2C4088010



Actor Glenn Ford offered around $8 million to buy the team and keep it in Atlanta while the Seaman brothers (Byron, Donald and Doc) offered $14 million and were intent on moving the team to Calgary. In the end Nelson Skalbania (former co-owner of the Oilers and Indianapolis Racers; the man who signed Wayne Gretzky to his first pro contract and sold it to the Oilers for a pittance) offered $16 million, with the intent to move the team to Calgary, to which Cousins accepted. Skalbania almost immediately sold a portion of the team to Byron and Doc Seaman, Ralph Scurfield, Normie Kwong, Norm Green and Harley Hotchkiss. The rest of the owners didn't want to do ongoing business with Skalbania (who had a reputation as a bit of a shyster) and bought out Skalbania's share soon after.


I've read posts from many people here asserting that Cousins was losing money on his real estate developments and that's what precipitated the sale but every contemporary report of the time said the team itself was bleeding money. I am wont to believe in conspiracy theories about Cousins's real estate misadventures and supposed discovery of improprieties between the NHL Board of Governors (to which Cousins belonged anyway!) and the NHLPA executive (read: Alan Eagleson) being the driving factors in his decision to sell the team. I find it far more likely the team was losing money.
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Originally Posted by Hoser View Post
Uh-huh. Right.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4541%2C3859161

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4069%2C4804184

Facts are they lost money every year in Atlanta, Cousins wasn't going to cover losses anymore and wanted out, and he got big offers from Skalbania ($16 million) and the Seaman group ($14 million). The only serious inquiries from anyone intending to keep the team in Atlanta were made by actor Glenn Ford, who walked away after his agent did the math and said "anyone who buys this team and keeps it in Atlanta will lose a substantial amount of money".

EDIT: http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...1378%2C4315321


From the AP, Apr. 16, 1980:
Now that Atlanta Flames have been knocked out of National Hockey League playoffs in the first round for the fifth consecutive year, team owner Tom Cousins is looking for a buyer.

Cousins, an Atlanta developer, said his losses with the team have been so huge that even consistent sellouts at higher ticket prices next year would not bail out the club.

"We have said repeatedly that we do not want to sell the team but, at the same time, we cannot justify continuing the major losses," Cousins said in a statement Tuesday.

"We are now actively discussing offers involving relocation and sale of the team."

Cousins would not say to whom he was talking, although earlier reports centred on groups from Calgary, Houston, Dallas and New Jersey.

In this season's playoffs, the Flames lost a best-of-five series 3-1 to New York Rangers and drew 11,495 and 12,103 in the two home playoff appearances. A hockey sellout at the Omni arena is 15,122.

"The Flames have drawn loyal support from a relatively small group of Atlantans.

"Even if we were to raise the ticket prices $2 per seat in Atlanta and sell out every game for the coming year, we would still be operating at a loss."

The Flames have lost $2 million a year in their seven years in Atlanta.

A contributing factor, Cousins said, has been the lack of lucrative television contract, which are difficult to procure in the Southeast United States where hockey is far from the No. 1 sport.

There was no conspiracy about the Flames losing money in Atlanta. They lost it hand over fist. The team financially restructured itself several times to consolidate debt, write off taxes. Hell, they never even paid their full expansions fees: in 1976 a substantial chunk of it was sold back to the team by all of the other NHL clubs at a reduced price. The players offered to take pay cuts to keep the team there. The players bought tickets to help encourage people to come out to the Omni.

Nobody wanted to buy the Flames and keep them in Atlanta. Same thing that happened to the North Stars, the Nordiques, the Jets and the Whalers. No conspiracy about it.

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08-03-2014, 06:37 PM
  #135
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Originally Posted by thrashniac View Post
Having become the unofficial public face of the Thrashers, there were other bald-faced lies he had uttered about the Thrashers (my favorite was him standing on the ice at the banner raising for the SE Division Championship and saying they were going to bring the Stanley Cup to Atlanta) - although technically true since it did come through on tour and was on display for taking your picture with.
To be perfectly accurate, that was Rutherford Seydell, not Gearon. Moral of the story: never trust anyone named Rutherford.

Of all of the ASG people, Seydell was the most shameful, as he didn't even make his own money, but married into it (he's Ted Turner's nephew?). Belkin was the deep pockets, Gearon was the village idiot, and Levenson was the raving a-hole.

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08-03-2014, 08:21 PM
  #136
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Originally Posted by Hoser View Post
Bunk, bunk, a thousand times over: bunk..... There was no conspiracy about the Flames losing money in Atlanta. They lost it hand over fist.....
... ya, anyone claiming the original Flames or even the Thrasher's werent' losing it hand over fist, absolutely floating Pink Pigs'. Damn straight they were. So where's this "Conspiracy Theory" that they werent coming from Hoser? I didnt address that in my posts, claim otherwise. As noted in one of the stories above and as I mentioned, Glenn Ford leading a group of investors were indeed serious about buying the club, keeping them in Atlanta, but that wouldve required some seriously creative financing in the form of deferred payments and or possibly a further discount, something Tom Cousins had absolutely no interest in. Desperate for cash & needed the dough-re-me. Substantial offers to sell off-market. So what did the NHL do (?), seeing as how Cousins.. A) Wasnt about to take a haircut on price; B) The NHL wasnt willing to assist any new owners in facilitating a local sale; C) Cousins had a gun to their heads demanding sale for Relo or else he blows the whistle on their Pension Scam; D) They didnt like him just as much he loathed them.; and facilitated a sale for relocation to Skalbania, Alberta Bound.... In many ways a sort of mirror image to what then occurred 30yrs later with the Thrashers. Some similarities & parallels.

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08-03-2014, 08:31 PM
  #137
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
So what did the NHL do (?), seeing as how Cousins.. A) Wasnt about to take a haircut on price; B) The NHL wasnt willing to assist any new owners in facilitating a local sale; C) Cousins had a gun to their heads demanding sale for Relo or else he blows the whistle on their Pension Scam; D) They didnt like him just as much he loathed them.; and facilitated a sale for relocation to Skalbania, Alberta Bound.... In many ways a sort of mirror image to what then occurred 30yrs later with the Thrashers. Some similarities & parallels.
I meant the crap about Cousins having known about the naughty stuff Alan Eagleson. THAT is bunk. The only person in the world who ever said it was Dan Bouchard, the bloody goalie, who said he might have sort of heard some stuff about things in a radio interview 30 years later.

The NHL didn't threaten Cousins, Cousins didn't threaten the NHL: he got an $8 million offer from Glenn Ford—an offer that was rescinded—a $14 million offer from the Seaman brothers, and a $16 million offer from Skalbania. He cut his ($14,000,000+) losses and sold the team to the highest bidder.

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08-03-2014, 10:00 PM
  #138
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Originally Posted by Hoser View Post
I meant the crap about Cousins having known about the naughty stuff Alan Eagleson. THAT is bunk. The only person in the world who ever said it was Dan Bouchard, the bloody goalie, who said he might have sort of heard some stuff about things in a radio interview 30 years later.

The NHL didn't threaten Cousins, Cousins didn't threaten the NHL: he got an $8 million offer from Glenn Ford—an offer that was rescinded—a $14 million offer from the Seaman brothers, and a $16 million offer from Skalbania. He cut his ($14,000,000+) losses and sold the team to the highest bidder.
Eagleson? While Eagleson was party to the NHL Pension Scam in telling players that the proceeds of Canada Cup's would go to enrich their own & every other players Pensions as an enticement to play, and then shortchanged or took holidays from paying in anything at all, it was the NHL BOG's that originally crafted the program, setting up the NHL Pension Society as the administrators of the plan & program. Carl Brewer, Baun & others going after the NHL Pension Society, launching & winning a major suit against them & the league in the 90's after a decades worth of stonewalling investigations. Cousins found out about the Pension Scam not through Eagleson, but through the NHL itself. From whom & when exactly I know not.... as for "Cousins didnt threaten the NHL" with Whistleblowing on the Pension Plan, thats not what Ive heard, and Ive heard it from more than just Dan Bouchard.

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08-04-2014, 02:11 AM
  #139
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Just curious as to how this thread got so long........

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08-04-2014, 02:14 AM
  #140
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Originally Posted by Tommy Hawk View Post
Just curious as to how this thread got so long........

As you add post #139....

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08-04-2014, 12:04 PM
  #141
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
As you add post #139....
True.....and 141 now......

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08-04-2014, 12:28 PM
  #142
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getting this thread back on target

facts are simple and have been backed up numerous times. 1) Arena owners who owned the team, wanted the team gone and gave the NHL a deadline to move the team. They wanted the NBA team and the Arena. 2) The team was losing money. 3) Big hit was lack of corporate support at the level pro teams need. Atlanta has Baseball, Basketball and Football--Market was saturated and there was only so much corporate money around. 4) Once they last the arena the NHL had no choice but move the team. 5)While the Thrashers had a solid following, just too small to support an nhl team. 6) Lack of winning hurt the team. Atlanta is a "what have you done lately town" and the lack of winning hurt thtem

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08-04-2014, 12:47 PM
  #143
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Originally Posted by archangel archangel View Post
getting this thread back on target

facts are simple and have been backed up numerous times. 1) Arena owners who owned the team, wanted the team gone and gave the NHL a deadline to move the team. They wanted the NBA team and the Arena. 2) The team was losing money. 3) Big hit was lack of corporate support at the level pro teams need. Atlanta has Baseball, Basketball and Football--Market was saturated and there was only so much corporate money around. 4) Once they last the arena the NHL had no choice but move the team. 5)While the Thrashers had a solid following, just too small to support an nhl team. 6) Lack of winning hurt the team. Atlanta is a "what have you done lately town" and the lack of winning hurt thtem
#1 in your list in this situation created the rest of the things in your list. ASG only wanted the arena and the Hawks and took steps to make it so that they could get rid of the Thrashers at the first opportunity.

If they had a group of owners that wanted the team to succeed and had a management team competent enough to see that out, they would have done well in Atlanta, imo.

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08-04-2014, 01:57 PM
  #144
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd View Post
If they had a group of owners that wanted the team to succeed and had a management team competent enough to see that out, they would have done well in Atlanta, imo.
Precisely. Domino effect. Cluster One = Ownership.... and Careful with that Axe, Eugene.
You hit that first one, all fall down go Boom! Pretty wreckless. Total waste.

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