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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, expansion and relocation, and NHL revenues.

Spreadsheet of cities' ability to support professional sports

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Old
01-02-2012, 10:49 PM
  #51
Mayor Bee
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Originally Posted by TheMoreYouKnow View Post
First of all, just because you can't necessarily quantify it in a spreadsheet doesn't mean it's not there. Any product but a sports product in particular needs to have a cultural resonance to be a success. You're quite literally better off opening a Taco Bell in an anonymous suburb of Dallas or Phoenix than in Rome or Paris in spite of all the money and people in the latter location.
Perhaps, but we're not talking about a totally alien product here. Nearly every city in the United States has had a hockey team of some type at some point in the recent past, in addition to accounting for the huge numbers of people who pack up and move (whether for jobs or for retirement).

Somehow I doubt that there enough expats in Rome or Paris to make Taco Bell viable. Of course, the biggest successes internationally from the United States have been McDonald's (which caters to local tastes, by and large) and Coca-Cola (which you either like or don't).

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I also think the idea that minor league success predicts major league success is deeply flawed as I believe the motivating factors are quite a bit different. Minor league sports market themselves as almost the exact opposite of what a major league like the NHL tries to achieve which is reflected by the pricing strategies.
Personally, I don't buy the idea of a successful ECHL/AHL/IHL team acting as foreshadowing for a successful NHL team. That said, a very well-received lower-level team serves to sow the seeds of the game itself, exposing a lot of people to something that may have originally been a foreign concept.

For a fun read, look at how quickly basketball caught on after its invention; that's a game that was mostly foreign, only involving bits and pieces of other games without a clear forerunner.

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Obviously there is a point where size matters - 1% of L.A. is still more people than Red Deer or Kelowna. I'm not even an advocate of Hartford or Quebec as I am not sure if they could maintain enough interest and support for a NHL team. I am more skeptical of the notion that a city just needs to hit a population and economic power threshold to be a viable market for a pro league.
No, certain indicators don't make it a slam dunk. But if we're talking about being able to sustain long-term success as a franchise, there are a ton of factors that can increase the likelihood of viability. Simply being "a hockey market" doesn't mean anything, any more than being "a football market" hasn't helped any of the original small Midwestern towns keep a pro team (except for Green Bay, which is the ultimate anomaly).

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I'll be quite honest, at the end of the day I'm an advocate of an 18-20 team NHL. The success of the English Premier League in expanding its popularity on a global scale with really only have a small number of 4-6 commercially interesting teams indicates to me that it's a fallacy to believe that you need a team in every possibly feasible city to succeed and that in fact there's almost no correlation between no. of teams and commercial success of a league.
I personally have no interest in any way in the English Premier League; lacking the knowledge of the intricacies of how it's run or funded or anything else, I can't address this in a meaningful way. I do have a difficult time comparing a closed North American franchise-based league to an open European league just on basic fundamentals though.

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01-02-2012, 10:58 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by pondnorth View Post
Because the cost to run them is peanuts compared to the NHL.Tickets cost 75% less so Atlanta is a minor league hockey market and there is nothing wrong with that.
The statement is often made that Atlanta is not a hockey market.

In the 1990s, several cities were considered for NHL franchises on the basis of minor-league success. These included Phoenix (IHL Roadrunners), Houston (IHL Aeros), Atlanta (IHL Knights), Nashville (ECHL Knights), Columbus (ECHL Chill), and Oklahoma City (CHL Blazers). If none of these were hockey markets, then people wouldn't have shown up. And yet all were enormously popular, lending credence to the idea that there were a lot of hockey fans in the immediate area who would follow and support the local NHL team.

The reasons for the struggles of some of these is based on its own set of circumstances, not because "they're not hockey markets".

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Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
Why should anyone start from that "common idea"? I am a bit confused here -- is this what you're advocating?

I can't see how anyone could use past (lack of) AHL/IHL support as an indicator of potential NHL success, and at the same time blame NHL failures on ownership/marketing/arena location.. A big reason why AHL/IHL franchises are (not) successful is ownership/marketing/arena location..
I'm not advocating the idea. However, it's a common idea, that a city needs to "prove" its worth in the minor leagues before an NHL team would be considered. It's been brought up in this very thread a couple of times, and we're not very far into it.

To your second point, every situation is different. Blaming ASG for the demise of the Thrashers isn't a cop-out and it isn't painting with a broad brush; it's a statement of fact based on what's been widely reported both from the inside and the outside. Blaming the several factors that caused the demise of the NHL Cleveland Barons isn't a cop-out; it's factual. The fact that some areas can withstand a certain type of economic downturn doesn't mean that others can, and one owner being able to withstand losing money doesn't mean that all will or care to.

Everyone gets involved in sports for different reasons. Some do it for ego, some to make a ton of money, some to have something to act as an accounting write-off, and so on. In the minor leagues especially, there are some weird things that happen...heck, an AHL team was dissolved a couple years back because the owner(s) used it as collateral against a bank loan.

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01-02-2012, 11:37 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
Not sure if this has been posted here before but saw the doc off another message board (IGN) and found it really interesting for a few points

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...&rm=full#gid=0

-I have always thought the NYC area needs at a minimum 1 more team in the MLB and that study shows how much room there truly is left in NYC.

-I would rather a team anywhere in the Northwest over Quebec. That doc does not account for Portland having an MLS team but I really wish the NHL had the chance to beat the MLS to Portland. (But not at the expense of the Penguins moving) I really wish Seattle could figure something out too for the NHL and NBA. However, that's just another market the MLS beat the NHL to and now both the NHL and NBA would oversaturate the market.

-Cleveland is in rough shape; result of teams being there historically while the city declines. Hurts me to say it too but it's the same with Detroit Windsor except I would not miss the Pistons.

-Still tons of room in the NE for hockey markets. If Hartford could get a new arena, I bet that team would do good now. I also never knew the Providence area was that big with so much money.

-I wish Houston could get a chance at a team before Seattle/Quebec since their arena is NHL ready. Just wish the stipulation did not exist where only the Rockets owner can own an NHL team.

-Not hockey related but there is still decent room in Montreal for a baseball team or a 2nd NHL team. I've always held that Montreal was crippled the most from the 94 strike. An actual ballpark would have done wonders for the Expos.



So what do you guys think, fairly accurate in terms of opinions you already had?
Markets that actually want the product are better than markets that don't. Quebec and Hamiltion are the two best underserved markets for NHL teams.

Do you really think the NHL could make a go of it in Seattle? Maybe...until the NBA comes back and the NHL shrivels and dies. Portland? Decent hockey town but not a big enough market to succeed being second fiddle to basketball.

Baseball back in Montreal? Not in our lifetimes.

David Stern of the NBA has a pretty good strategy when it comes to placing franchises: Go where there is no competition. Memphis, OKC, Charlotte, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Orlando, San Antonio, Indianapolis etc. There is no NHL to compete with. No NFL in most of those cities either. This allows the NBA team to capture as much of the professional sports dollar as possible.

The NHL has a similar opportunity in Canada. No other major sport is coming to Canada so the NHL can cash in on 9 markets without competition. Go where the people want the product and don't have a viable alternative to spend their cash.

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01-03-2012, 12:12 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
David Stern of the NBA has a pretty good strategy when it comes to placing franchises: Go where there is no competition. Memphis, OKC, Charlotte, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Orlando, San Antonio, Indianapolis etc. There is no NHL to compete with. SNo NFL in most of those cities either. This allows the NBA team to capture as much of the professional sports dollar as possible.
Good strategy? OKC wanted any sort of pro franchise and they have been a great success. What happens though if they start to lose? Will fans still show up? Utah has also been a great success and while they haven't had many down years, they're fine long term.

Orlando was in the bottom 7 or 8 in attendance before Dwight Howard showed up and even after he showed up they were still in the bottom for a couple years.

San Antonio. Once again, the Duncan/Robinson dynasties. Will they show up after Duncan retires/if they go through a losing drought? I'm not sure but it's pretty obvious a team is going to draw when they consistently win 50-60 games and win 4 titles no matter how many teams are in the city.

Indianapolis - The Pacers have been struggling attendance wise for a few years even with a brand new arena that is one of the best in the NBA because the team has been mediocre since Miller and the Davis boys left.

Memphis, even with three 50 win teams in a row has been at or near the bottom of attendance in the NBA since they moved from Vancouver.

New Orleans - Really? I mean really? Guess who owns the Hornets? The NBA, sound familiar?

Sacramento - You mean the team that's always at or near the top of the list when it comes to relocation?

Charlotte - The team that lost the Hornets to New Orleans and filled 60% of the arena in their inaugural season, that Charlotte? I know expansion teams are pretty much always bad for at least the first few years but you'd think they'd be able to at least fill it up to 80%.

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01-03-2012, 12:15 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Markets that actually want the product are better than markets that don't. Quebec and Hamiltion are the two best underserved markets for NHL teams.

Do you really think the NHL could make a go of it in Seattle? Maybe...until the NBA comes back and the NHL shrivels and dies. Portland? Decent hockey town but not a big enough market to succeed being second fiddle to basketball.

Baseball back in Montreal? Not in our lifetimes.

David Stern of the NBA has a pretty good strategy when it comes to placing franchises: Go where there is no competition. Memphis, OKC, Charlotte, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Orlando, San Antonio, Indianapolis etc. There is no NHL to compete with. No NFL in most of those cities either. This allows the NBA team to capture as much of the professional sports dollar as possible.

The NHL has a similar opportunity in Canada. No other major sport is coming to Canada so the NHL can cash in on 9 markets without competition. Go where the people want the product and don't have a viable alternative to spend their cash.
Not true. NFL is still considering Toronto.

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Originally Posted by AdmiralsFan24 View Post
Good strategy? OKC wanted any sort of pro franchise and they have been a great success. What happens though if they start to lose? Will fans still show up? Utah has also been a great success and while they haven't had many down years, they're fine long term.

Orlando was in the bottom 7 or 8 in attendance before Dwight Howard showed up and even after he showed up they were still in the bottom for a couple years.

San Antonio. Once again, the Duncan/Robinson dynasties. Will they show up after Duncan retires/if they go through a losing drought? I'm not sure but it's pretty obvious a team is going to draw when they consistently win 50-60 games and win 4 titles no matter how many teams are in the city.

Indianapolis - The Pacers have been struggling attendance wise for a few years even with a brand new arena that is one of the best in the NBA because the team has been mediocre since Miller and the Davis boys left.

Memphis, even with three 50 win teams in a row has been at or near the bottom of attendance in the NBA since they moved from Vancouver.

New Orleans - Really? I mean really? Guess who owns the Hornets? The NBA, sound familiar?

Sacramento - You mean the team that's always at or near the top of the list when it comes to relocation?

Charlotte - The team that lost the Hornets to New Orleans and filled 60% of the arena in their inaugural season, that Charlotte? I know expansion teams are pretty much always bad for at least the first few years but you'd think they'd be able to at least fill it up to 80%.

What happens when San Antonio gets the NFL as well? The Spurs will drop off the face of the earth

Indianapolis lost their fanbase after the brawl. It's been 8 years and that team will have to win. Indiana is the basketball state!!

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01-03-2012, 12:25 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Ogopogo View Post
Markets that actually want the product are better than markets that don't. Quebec and Hamiltion are the two best underserved markets for NHL teams.

Do you really think the NHL could make a go of it in Seattle? Maybe...until the NBA comes back and the NHL shrivels and dies. Portland? Decent hockey town but not a big enough market to succeed being second fiddle to basketball.

Baseball back in Montreal? Not in our lifetimes.

David Stern of the NBA has a pretty good strategy when it comes to placing franchises: Go where there is no competition. Memphis, OKC, Charlotte, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Orlando, San Antonio, Indianapolis etc. There is no NHL to compete with. No NFL in most of those cities either. This allows the NBA team to capture as much of the professional sports dollar as possible.

The NHL has a similar opportunity in Canada. No other major sport is coming to Canada so the NHL can cash in on 9 markets without competition. Go where the people want the product and don't have a viable alternative to spend their cash.
Good points. I really want Hamilton/GTA to get another team because I think its guaranteed and won't be a drain on the league like the NHL has allowed Glendale to be. I think depending on what happens in 2013 in Hartford, being the only big team in a wealthy city that likes hockey would be similar to the NBA's OkCity.

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01-03-2012, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
Indianapolis lost their fanbase after the brawl. It's been 8 years and that team will have to win. Indiana is the basketball state!!
I think the problem is Indiana is a high school and college basketball state. The Pacers are going to have to win to draw the fans in. Butler is in Indianapolis and has made two straight National Championship games. Purdue is about an hour northwest of Indianapolis and they have made the tournament five straight years and have a record of 129-45 in those years. The Hoosiers are about an hour south of Indianapolis and while they struggled with the sanctions the NCAA gave them, it looks like they're back under Tom Crean and they have a storied history.

And until this year the Colts have been consistently good.

So the Pacers have plenty of competition and a fairly mediocre to poor product is pushing them down in the sports scene of Indiana.

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01-03-2012, 02:46 AM
  #58
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I think the problem is Indiana is a high school and college basketball state. The Pacers are going to have to win to draw the fans in. Butler is in Indianapolis and has made two straight National Championship games. Purdue is about an hour northwest of Indianapolis and they have made the tournament five straight years and have a record of 129-45 in those years. The Hoosiers are about an hour south of Indianapolis and while they struggled with the sanctions the NCAA gave them, it looks like they're back under Tom Crean and they have a storied history.

And until this year the Colts have been consistently good.

So the Pacers have plenty of competition and a fairly mediocre to poor product is pushing them down in the sports scene of Indiana.
This.

Indy's college hoops first, Colts second, Indianapolis 500 third, high school hoops fourth, and everything somewhere fifth and below. Pacers were never nearly as popular as other teams even though Indiana is a basketball hotbed, for the same reasons why college hoops is more popular in North Carolina than the Bobcats and collegiate and high school hockey are more popular in Minnesota than the Wild.

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01-03-2012, 08:40 AM
  #59
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Perhaps, but we're not talking about a totally alien product here. Nearly every city in the United States has had a hockey team of some type at some point in the recent past, in addition to accounting for the huge numbers of people who pack up and move (whether for jobs or for retirement).

Somehow I doubt that there enough expats in Rome or Paris to make Taco Bell viable. Of course, the biggest successes internationally from the United States have been McDonald's (which caters to local tastes, by and large) and Coca-Cola (which you either like or don't).
Well, it's not completely alien, no, but then again the idea of spicy meat and cheese sold in various combinations isn't entirely alien to Europe either. The fact that hockey has rather differentiated levels of resonance in different parts of the US is pretty obvious - you just have to look at the lower levels of the game and see how college, high school and junior programs are geographically distributed in density.

I think it's one of the more curious facets of the expansion ideology that you expect areas to support and like a major pro hockey team even though there is no notable interest in playing or watching hockey at a grassroots level in the area.

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Personally, I don't buy the idea of a successful ECHL/AHL/IHL team acting as foreshadowing for a successful NHL team. That said, a very well-received lower-level team serves to sow the seeds of the game itself, exposing a lot of people to something that may have originally been a foreign concept.
Well minor league sports sell themselves mostly as a very affordable family outing with entertainment and food provided. Doubtlessly a significant % of the spectators have little knowledge of the sport they are watching and it's very questionable if being used to watching the "circus" for 10 bucks equates to interest in spending premium NHL prices for a better version of the same product.

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For a fun read, look at how quickly basketball caught on after its invention; that's a game that was mostly foreign, only involving bits and pieces of other games without a clear forerunner.
Yet the cultural penetration of it as a sport is vastly different from location to location as well. Though it enjoys a reasonable popularity all across the U.S., there are certainly hotbeds and places where it isn't such a big deal. And in spite of it being invented by a Canadian it certainly didn't take off big-time there. Europe of course illustrates it even more as the game never caught on at all in several countries (the UK being the most notable example) while it became the national sport or at least extremely popular in a few others.


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No, certain indicators don't make it a slam dunk. But if we're talking about being able to sustain long-term success as a franchise, there are a ton of factors that can increase the likelihood of viability. Simply being "a hockey market" doesn't mean anything, any more than being "a football market" hasn't helped any of the original small Midwestern towns keep a pro team (except for Green Bay, which is the ultimate anomaly).
You oversimplify quite a bit there. Being a hockey market doesn't mean everything but it means something. It's common sense that Thunder Bay isn't a NHL market due to its size and various other factors in spite of hockey being very popular in Ontario. But would a professional hockey team make a better fit there than it would in a similarly sized city in West Virginia or New Mexico? Obviously yes.

The question of whether a market of 800,000 in Canada may not make a better or at least equally good market for the NHL as a market of 2-3 million in the Southeast of the US is not that easily answered, but it's certainly up for debate. I personally think the answer is that both may actually be unsuitable to maintain a NHL team for different reasons.

The football comparison suffers from the fact that the NFL simply moved from smaller industrial cities in the Midwest to the big cities in the Midwest and then spread from there. In doing so they didn't have to break any new ground for the game of football which already enjoyed national popularity, they simply had to overcome resentment against professionalism and this almost naturally occurred due to large-scale social change. The popularity of college football represented competition but it also clearly indicated widespread enthusiasm for the sport into which the NFL could tap. This is more similar to the way the NHL had to establish itself as a league in the early 20th century in Ontario and Quebec - where the question wasn't whether people like hockey but rather whether they accept the NHL as their main hockey outlet.

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I personally have no interest in any way in the English Premier League; lacking the knowledge of the intricacies of how it's run or funded or anything else, I can't address this in a meaningful way. I do have a difficult time comparing a closed North American franchise-based league to an open European league just on basic fundamentals though.
The point is that the Premier League has gained millions of new fans in Asia, North America, Africa etc. in the last 10-15 years and opened up revenue sources that make the NHL's commercial reach look laughable. You don't need to know the intricacies of the league and its setup to appreciate that reality as in fact most of its new fans do not know those details either. This push in popularity didn't come through expansion, it occurred on the back of the brand power of a small number of historically established teams. The open structure of the European soccer leagues if anything is an obstacle as it lowers financial stability and investment certainty.

The point is that there is more money in a Manchester United or a Liverpool than there is in about 60 other soccer teams combined. Similarly, Toronto Maple Leafs or Detroit Red Wings has a brand appeal that 10 expansion franchises combined couldn't match. Focus on established, appealing brands is commercially more viable than constantly diluting the product by creating new brands with ever-changing identities. We're talking the difference between a globally visible and popular brand like say BMW or Apple on the one hand and some crap peddled at 3 am on the home shopping network.


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01-03-2012, 09:20 AM
  #60
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How many hockey fans willing to pay average nhl ticket prices in a gate driven league are the only numbers that really matter.End of story.
Its not end of story because thats how it is today.

Will that still be the case 5/10/15 years from now?

The NHL got potential to grow. The league was a mess for a long time, and there is definitely room to grow into.

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01-03-2012, 12:13 PM
  #61
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Its not end of story because thats how it is today.

Will that still be the case 5/10/15 years from now?

The NHL got potential to grow. The league was a mess for a long time, and there is definitely room to grow into.
But we are talking about today and the effects of the last 15 years on paid attendance and how much that market produces per game in revenue in a league that relies on ticket sales.Any other way is pure speculation and not dealing with todays current poor market problems.Who exactly is supposed to lose all this cash to grow the game for the next 10 or 15 years.Go to the markets that have fans where you don`t have to force feed fans or discount tickets to minor league levels that simply don`t work in the long run.You can`t make people like hockey nor pay premium prices to go to games.Without premium ticket prices they are not viable in those markets to begin with.So it`s a catch 22 regardless.

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01-03-2012, 05:50 PM
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But we are talking about today and the effects of the last 15 years on paid attendance and how much that market produces per game in revenue in a league that relies on ticket sales.Any other way is pure speculation and not dealing with todays current poor market problems.Who exactly is supposed to lose all this cash to grow the game for the next 10 or 15 years.Go to the markets that have fans where you don`t have to force feed fans or discount tickets to minor league levels that simply don`t work in the long run.You can`t make people like hockey nor pay premium prices to go to games.Without premium ticket prices they are not viable in those markets to begin with.So it`s a catch 22 regardless.
I really don't see how a city like Quebec/Hartford/Hamilton/2nd GTA would have been worse then the last 15 years in Phoenix. I know an NHL team requires a good owner, but I think it says more that in 16 years, no top-tier owners have truly stepped up to try out Phoenix without asking for major concessions.

The last real owner of the Coyotes realized the problem of hockey in Phoenix, its why he tried selling to Canadian/market that valued it more. It's why Hartford bid for Nashville too just a few years ago. Northern cities want these southern teams. The NHL should let the markets sort itself out instead of trying to salvage these markets.

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01-03-2012, 06:14 PM
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But we are talking about today and the effects of the last 15 years on paid attendance and how much that market produces per game in revenue in a league that relies on ticket sales.Any other way is pure speculation and not dealing with todays current poor market problems.Who exactly is supposed to lose all this cash to grow the game for the next 10 or 15 years.Go to the markets that have fans where you don`t have to force feed fans or discount tickets to minor league levels that simply don`t work in the long run.You can`t make people like hockey nor pay premium prices to go to games.Without premium ticket prices they are not viable in those markets to begin with.So it`s a catch 22 regardless.
But what happens in the event of a local economic downturn? What happens when the exchange rate plummets? For that matter, what happens when the team's fortunes turn downward? Large, economically diverse cities can withstand it...the only cities that haven't had any major attendance woes in the last 30 years have been Toronto, Montreal, and Philadelphia. San Jose could go in there too, but they're in their 21st season so it's not quite as applicable.

Yes, Winnipeg can support a team now...what happened from 1988-96?

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I really don't see how a city like Quebec/Hartford/Hamilton/2nd GTA would have been worse then the last 15 years in Phoenix. I know an NHL team requires a good owner, but I think it says more that in 16 years, no top-tier owners have truly stepped up to try out Phoenix without asking for major concessions.

The last real owner of the Coyotes realized the problem of hockey in Phoenix, its why he tried selling to Canadian/market that valued it more. It's why Hartford bid for Nashville too just a few years ago. Northern cities want these southern teams. The NHL should let the markets sort itself out instead of trying to salvage these markets.
Hamilton submitted expansion bids during the last two cycles and was rejected early on for the same reason: no arena, no owner. The only thing that's changed in the last 10 years is the rise of Research in Motion, and the only thing that's changed in the last 2 years is the plummeting of the same company.

I've already touched on Phoenix's problems. It's a long drive to nowhere, away from the money and away from the population. The only reason that exists is because of the poor setup of the AWA when it was constructed. Potential owners need major concessions because of the substantial issues that, quite frankly, should not exist in the first place. The issues with that arena are unique to Phoenix, and therefore that city cannot be painted with a broad brush compared to anyone else.

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01-03-2012, 06:32 PM
  #64
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Hamilton submitted expansion bids during the last two cycles and was rejected early on for the same reason: no arena, no owner. The only thing that's changed in the last 10 years is the rise of Research in Motion, and the only thing that's changed in the last 2 years is the plummeting of the same company.
Ironic, seeing as Copps was made specifically to hold an NHL team.

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01-03-2012, 06:33 PM
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A team's viability is about three things: Ownership, Arena/Lease, and Corporate Dollars.

What makes a market "not a good hockey market" is a lack of corporate dollars. A "small market" like Winnipeg has enough corporate dollars because the fan interest is so great that advertisers will compete for the right to sponsor the team.

Good ownership creates the fan interest. They didn't do it in Atlanta, and when Ownership put the team for sale, a potential buyer wouldn't have the Arena/Lease component, so they had to move.


Competition for dollars in a saturated market is a concern for the NHL. As I've said in other threads, the NHL need a balance of:
Big market powers (MON, TOR, VAN, NYR, CHI, BOS, PHI, DET)
Medium US hotbeds (MIN, COL)
Only-Game in town markets (WIN, CAL, EDM, OTT, BUF, SJ, TB, STL, PIT, CBJ, NASH, CAR)
Big non-traditional markets for TV/bandwagon sales (DAL, LA, ANA, Miami, PHX)

A Les Alexander owned Houston team, and Quebec City are slam-dunk markets if the NHL expands again.
Seattle and Hamilton have obstacles.

What's maddening is that local politics have kept the Islanders from thriving. Trading unused land for a brand-new privately funded arena was win-win, and the Islanders with modern revenue streams could have been a top 10 revenue franchise, chipping in to revenue sharing.

The Phoenix debacle isn't about fan support, it's about ownership doing everything in their power to prevent success:
a bad original arena led to a bad game experience; which in turn led to a horrible lease in a poor location.

San Jose and Dallas are the perfect examples of how "the trinity" works in areas you wouldn't expect hockey to flourish. Hicks takes on Liverpool debt, Dallas loses the ownership component, and the team falls off and the attendance dips.

San Jose success where the Seals failed because their arena and sponsorship dollars gives them revenue.

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01-03-2012, 06:39 PM
  #66
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Yes, Winnipeg can support a team now...what happened from 1988-96?
In the 90s, everyone opened new arenas, expenses spiraled and without suites/sponsorships/points of sale, they fell radically behind in revenue streams (much like the Islanders. Only the Jets didn't have the Islanders' TV deal to stay solvent and the possibility of land development to keep a local owner interested in absorbing losses. The Islanders had a dynasty when an arena didn't matter because the ice and boards contained no ads, and suites were practically non-existent).

You have to keep revenues up with the rest of the league. The idea that Winnipeg 1.0 "failed" is preposterous. What failed was the ability of the owner and city to work together to get a modern venue.

Pittsburgh and Buffalo are fine. In 15-20 years, we get to start going through it all again when these 90s arenas become 30-40 years old.

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01-03-2012, 06:55 PM
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Ironic, seeing as Copps was made specifically to hold an NHL team.
So was the Air Canada Center.

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In the 90s, everyone opened new arenas, expenses spiraled and without suites/sponsorships/points of sale, they fell radically behind in revenue streams (much like the Islanders. Only the Jets didn't have the Islanders' TV deal to stay solvent and the possibility of land development to keep a local owner interested in absorbing losses. The Islanders had a dynasty when an arena didn't matter because the ice and boards contained no ads, and suites were practically non-existent).

You have to keep revenues up with the rest of the league. The idea that Winnipeg 1.0 "failed" is preposterous. What failed was the ability of the owner and city to work together to get a modern venue.

Pittsburgh and Buffalo are fine. In 15-20 years, we get to start going through it all again when these 90s arenas become 30-40 years old.
Right, but that's the point I was getting at. Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa...all suffered greatly because of factors outside the control of the collective fan base. All had terrific support during good years, and all suffered because of other factors. That those factors aren't currently a pressing concern doesn't mean that they won't be again in the future, possibly the very near future.

The average Canadian couldn't help the exchange rate, just as the average American couldn't help the current recession.

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01-04-2012, 12:56 PM
  #68
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I think there's a lot more to Hamilton getting denied besides just arena. That arena was good enough 3 years ago for the millions of people in the area who sold out the pre-sale as fast as Winnipeg did. The people think it's a fine arena to watch hockey but the NHL does not. I think what the NHL finds acceptable in an arena is decided on a slidiing scale. The MTS Centre in most situations would not have been deemed acceptable if the NHL was not desperate to fix Atlanta/Phoenix.

I still don't think the NHL protected market would hold up against Canada competition laws but the NHL won't bother giving Hamilton a team because it opens up that mess.

If the NHL knew of the mess in moving to AMA airlines, why bother with the move? Also, the NHL should have known that a free arena in a place like Glendale is no solution at all.

The spreadsheet shows Hartford has the money, they have national corporations, and in 2013 when the XL Centre lease runs up we will know their decision on the arena. That arena was good enough for a bid back in 2007 and is the same size as MTS.

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01-04-2012, 02:31 PM
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Atlanta's issues were 100% related to the ownership and arena issues, and since the owners also owned operating rights to the arena, they're basically one and the same. The first time around with the Flames, the issues were still ownership and arena, although they weren't one and the same.

Owner and arena are to Atlanta what slavery was in the United States from 1787 to 1865...if it wasn't the foremost issue at the time, it certainly had a funny way of manifesting itself in literally every single action that was made.

If Atlanta's market and fan base were the issues, why were the Knights so popular, and why have the Gladiators always been so popular?
Are you Bettman? Because your arguments here are the same idiotic ones that he used to cram all the southern disasters down the NHL's throat the past 15 years.

As has already been pointed out, those teams have fans because the tickets are dirt cheap. There's no problem selling tickets to the freak show on ice that hockey is to 99% of the population in a place like Houston or Atlanta. But very few will pay major league prices for NHL hockey in markets like that, simply because they don't view hockey as major league.

I don't know how many times this needs to be hammered home. This comes up here all the time, along with expansion, with US deep thinkers advocating this crap as some kind of solution for the league's many ills.

Been there, done that. Have you not been paying attention to what the NHL has been doing unsuccessfully for the past 20 years?

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01-04-2012, 02:33 PM
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I think there's a lot more to Hamilton getting denied besides just arena. That arena was good enough 3 years ago for the millions of people in the area who sold out the pre-sale as fast as Winnipeg did. The people think it's a fine arena to watch hockey but the NHL does not. I think what the NHL finds acceptable in an arena is decided on a slidiing scale. The MTS Centre in most situations would not have been deemed acceptable if the NHL was not desperate to fix Atlanta/Phoenix.

I still don't think the NHL protected market would hold up against Canada competition laws but the NHL won't bother giving Hamilton a team because it opens up that mess.

If the NHL knew of the mess in moving to AMA airlines, why bother with the move? Also, the NHL should have known that a free arena in a place like Glendale is no solution at all.

The spreadsheet shows Hartford has the money, they have national corporations, and in 2013 when the XL Centre lease runs up we will know their decision on the arena. That arena was good enough for a bid back in 2007 and is the same size as MTS.
Sheer size isn't the whole story. Corporate boxes are huge. Copps doesn't have them, MTS does. End of story.

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01-04-2012, 03:10 PM
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Sheer size isn't the whole story. Corporate boxes are huge. Copps doesn't have them, MTS does. End of story.
I thought the Balsillie renovation was going to have boxes? (Honestly, I can't remember what the reno plans actually were for Copps if they landed Phoenix)

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01-04-2012, 04:49 PM
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Are you Bettman? Because your arguments here are the same idiotic ones that he used to cram all the southern disasters down the NHL's throat the past 15 years.

As has already been pointed out, those teams have fans because the tickets are dirt cheap. There's no problem selling tickets to the freak show on ice that hockey is to 99% of the population in a place like Houston or Atlanta. But very few will pay major league prices for NHL hockey in markets like that, simply because they don't view hockey as major league.

I don't know how many times this needs to be hammered home. This comes up here all the time, along with expansion, with US deep thinkers advocating this crap as some kind of solution for the league's many ills.

Been there, done that. Have you not been paying attention to what the NHL has been doing unsuccessfully for the past 20 years?

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01-04-2012, 05:36 PM
  #73
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I thought the Balsillie renovation was going to have boxes? (Honestly, I can't remember what the reno plans actually were for Copps if they landed Phoenix)
Im on my BB, but if you google it you can find stunning pictures of what was planned.

The post is assuming Balsillie is out, and he most certainly is.

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01-04-2012, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by cutchemist42 View Post
I think there's a lot more to Hamilton getting denied besides just arena. That arena was good enough 3 years ago for the millions of people in the area who sold out the pre-sale as fast as Winnipeg did. The people think it's a fine arena to watch hockey but the NHL does not. I think what the NHL finds acceptable in an arena is decided on a slidiing scale. The MTS Centre in most situations would not have been deemed acceptable if the NHL was not desperate to fix Atlanta/Phoenix.

I still don't think the NHL protected market would hold up against Canada competition laws but the NHL won't bother giving Hamilton a team because it opens up that mess.
And that's probably the heart of the matter. I think the definition of a team's home market is not just a 50-mile radius, but a 50-mile radius from the city limits. It's entirely possible that the NHL, in the expansion process, threw out a number to the Hamilton bidders as a theoretical infringement fee to see if they could possibly pay it. None of the other expansion bids would have to deal with that matter, so it's possible that they simply threw up their hands and said that it couldn't be done.

Not knowing Canadian competition laws, I can't address those concerns.

Quote:
If the NHL knew of the mess in moving to AMA airlines, why bother with the move? Also, the NHL should have known that a free arena in a place like Glendale is no solution at all.
Jerry Colangelo headed up the group that bought the Coyotes; he also owned the Phoenix Suns NBA team, which played in AWA. Therefore he would have had a vested interest in maximizing what he could do with the AWA. Over time, he was phased out; Richard Burke, and then Steve Ellman took over. Apparently all of them ran into the same obstacles, which was the refusal of the city of Phoenix to renovate the arena.

At the time of the move, the sightline issues were regarded as a temporary issue that would be remedied within three years. At no point did anyone seriously imagine that a second arena would actually become necessary. The same impediment exists with Key Arena in Seattle, which is a basketball-only configuration.

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01-04-2012, 08:43 PM
  #75
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Are you Bettman? Because your arguments here are the same idiotic ones that he used to cram all the southern disasters down the NHL's throat the past 15 years.

As has already been pointed out, those teams have fans because the tickets are dirt cheap. There's no problem selling tickets to the freak show on ice that hockey is to 99% of the population in a place like Houston or Atlanta. But very few will pay major league prices for NHL hockey in markets like that, simply because they don't view hockey as major league.

I don't know how many times this needs to be hammered home. This comes up here all the time, along with expansion, with US deep thinkers advocating this crap as some kind of solution for the league's many ills.

Been there, done that. Have you not been paying attention to what the NHL has been doing unsuccessfully for the past 20 years?
You know who else had problems selling tickets at "major league prices"? Detroit in the 1980s, Minnesota in the 1990s, Vancouver in the 1990s, Edmonton in the 1990s, Calgary in the 1990s, Winnipeg in the 1990s, Ottawa in the 1990s, Pittsburgh in the 2000s, St. Louis in the 2000s, Chicago in the 2000s, the Islanders in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s....

Ah, but now that the screw has turned and those teams have had some modicum of success or some form of economic recovery, they're the only ones who matter.

Here are two questions for you to consider:
1) What are "major league prices"?
2) Does an attendance boom when a team has success indicate a healthy market, or a healthy bandwagon?

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