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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, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

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Old
01-18-2012, 07:35 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by matCH penalty View Post
You are right overall, though. Does FSN Ohio broadcast all the games yet? Not that it'd be good if they did, of course. I know there were a few times last year where sometimes the Centre Ice feed was the in-arena jumbotron feed with radio on the audio track from Columbus and Nashville.

Also, two seconds.
It's a huge majority of the games that are broadcast; something like 79 of 82. Of course, it doesn't take the following into account:
- Columbus is in the Eastern Time Zone, and there's a good number of games that begin after 9 PM. For a weekday game, not many people are going to stay up until 11:45 PM or 12:45 AM.
- Some games are in HD, and a good chunk are still in SD.
- Football in all forms is enormous in Ohio and always has been (heck, pro football began in Ohio). This keeps casual fans on football and off hockey during competing days. Also, there are several MAC schools in the state, each with a sizable alumni base, and the MAC plays seemingly every night of the week. Those who are better connected than I have stated before that the Jackets specifically petition the NHL every year to avoid Saturdays from opening night up through Christmas, as well as Sunday afternoon games.
- There are many, many issues named by fans and viewers with FS Ohio (many found in this thread: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=597676). In addition, the actual coverage map by carrier is wonky. Some nights it's listed on in Dayton, and some random show is on. Some nights it's listed as on in Cincinnati, and college basketball is on. Some nights it's listed as on in Cleveland, and the Lake Erie Monsters AHL team is on. Other times, the game is actually on without being listed in the guide, keeping away large numbers of potential viewers.

What's most maddening about it is that there's no consistency from one cable/satellite carrier to the next. Every one of them has had issues like these. So for the hardcore fans to be able to watch every game, plenty use online streaming or else order Center Ice and watch the other team's broadcast. In the Columbus GDTs, there's always a few people who reference what's going on in the other broadcasts, meaning that it's not just one or two people having issues.

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01-18-2012, 07:43 PM
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What's most maddening about it is that there's no consistency from one cable/satellite carrier to the next. Every one of them has had issues like these. So for the hardcore fans to be able to watch every game, plenty use online streaming or else order Center Ice and watch the other team's broadcast. In the Columbus GDTs, there's always a few people who reference what's going on in the other broadcasts, meaning that it's not just one or two people having issues.
That really blows. After Wiz was traded, I started trying to watch more Jackets games and... that didn't work so well. Living in the Thrashers broadcast zone before they moved, they were pretty jacked up most of the time, too. Sometimes on FSN, sometimes on SportSouth, sometimes on the radio. You'd think the league would mandate that its franchises have broadcast partners who were with the times of the late 20th century, but I guess not.

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01-18-2012, 07:47 PM
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Now its the people who call the game's fault. I think I realize after this thread on why Hockey will always be a second rate sport in the states. In almost all markets, unless the team wins, fans don't care. Some cities have more that do care when the team sucks but for the most part as soon as the team starts losing people walk away.
I'm going to break this down very slowly.

- Very few American markets broadcast the home team's entire schedule, and almost no one broadcasts preseason games.

- Several networks, having to juggle not just the local NHL team but also NBA and MLB games, have the NHL team down toward the bottom. Meaning that if there's a scheduling conflict, the NHL team can get bumped.

- Almost all of these are only available via some type of cable or satellite package; I don't know who (if anyone) has games available on regular broadcast TV stations.

- There have been significant access issues with even getting these networks, whether within the immediate market or further out.

As a result of all of these, an awful lot of fans are forced to either watch online, listen to the radio, or buy Center Ice and catch the opposing team's broadcast. None of that shows up in local TV ratings.

Yes, there have been some truly horrid announcers that certainly don't help things. But to take something that's clearly tongue-in-cheek and try to expound upon that (poorly, I might add) to fit your own agenda is dishonest.

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01-18-2012, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by matCH penalty View Post
That really blows. After Wiz was traded, I started trying to watch more Jackets games and... that didn't work so well. Living in the Thrashers broadcast zone before they moved, they were pretty jacked up most of the time, too. Sometimes on FSN, sometimes on SportSouth, sometimes on the radio. You'd think the league would mandate that its franchises have broadcast partners who were with the times of the late 20th century, but I guess not.
I'll refrain from commenting further.

Unfortunately, it would take someone with enormously deep pockets and a sizable contrarian streak (and ego) to have top-notch broadcast availability of hockey in large parts of the United States. That's why I like Dan Gilbert up in Cleveland; I know that if there was a Cleveland NHL team, he'd either force someone to get it done or else do it himself.

Let's move Pittsburgh there. Their pre-lockout attendance was brutal, and clearly there were no excuses for that since there never can be excuses....obviously that's one huge bandwagon that needs to be scrapped for good.

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01-18-2012, 07:57 PM
  #55
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I think we're drawing the wrong conclusions here and need to examine things from a different perspective. The way I see it, clearly we need to relocate the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes, I know, I know, you heard correctly, I said the Maple Leafs. You're of course wondering why I would make such a statement. Well, let me explain -- that poor fan base has been simply throwing their hard earned money away for 45 years! 45 years! They need to be saved from themselves! They haven't sipped champagne from Lord Stanley's Cup since before the first expansion. We can't allow this go on any longer, clearly, it just isn't working in Toronto.







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01-18-2012, 08:00 PM
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I'll refrain from commenting further.

Unfortunately, it would take someone with enormously deep pockets and a sizable contrarian streak (and ego) to have top-notch broadcast availability of hockey in large parts of the United States. That's why I like Dan Gilbert up in Cleveland; I know that if there was a Cleveland NHL team, he'd either force someone to get it done or else do it himself.

Let's move Pittsburgh there. Their pre-lockout attendance was brutal, and clearly there were no excuses for that since there never can be excuses....obviously that's one huge bandwagon that needs to be scrapped for good.
I have always understood having bad attendance when the team is bad but to not even watch on TV is another. As for the availability of hockey on TV. That does have to do with the fans. Until hockey gets ratings on National TV like baseball and basketball does, hockey will always be second rate.

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01-18-2012, 08:00 PM
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I think we're drawing the wrong conclusions here and need to examine things from a different perspective. The way I see it, clearly we need to relocate the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Yes, I know, I know, you heard correctly, I said the Maple Leafs. You're of course wondering why I would make such a statement. Well, let me explain -- that poor fan base has been simply throwing their hard earned money away for 45 years! 45 years! They need to be saved from themselves! They haven't sipped champagne from Lord Stanley's Cup since before the first expansion. We can't allow this go on any longer, clearly, it just isn't working in Toronto.





Exactly! If they were such smart fans, they'd realize that nothing will ever change as long as they continue to show up and spend money. They're fine bankrolling mediocrity, and clearly these are nothing but casual fans with way too much money to burn.

I mean, has anyone ever seen the lower bowl during the second period of a game? It's not only half-empty, but it's like a church!




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01-18-2012, 08:01 PM
  #58
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As for the availability of hockey on TV. That does have to do with the fans. Until hockey gets ratings on National TV like baseball and basketball does, hockey will always be second rate.
And I'm guessing you see no chicken-and-egg problem with this statement.

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01-18-2012, 08:06 PM
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And I'm guessing you see no chicken-and-egg problem with this statement.
No not at all.

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01-18-2012, 08:07 PM
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And I'm guessing you see no chicken-and-egg problem with this statement.
Unfortunately, only you (Georgia) and I (Ohio) are the only ones who get any type of references to anything on a farm. That's why we can't watch hockey on TV, we're too busy making our own candles, and shoeing the horses, and hitching up the wagon. Huge quantities of water are meant for horses and livestock, not to freeze and shoot road apples around on.


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01-18-2012, 08:17 PM
  #61
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Unfortunately, only you (Georgia) and I (Ohio) are the only ones who get any type of references to anything on a farm. That's why we can't watch hockey on TV, we're too busy making our own candles, and shoeing the horses, and hitching up the wagon. Huge quantities of water are meant for horses and livestock, not to freeze and shoot road apples around on.

I do get what you are saying. You need TV to get people to watch but at the same time you need people to tune in to watch. What I am saying is hockey is available to most people on the weekend on NBC. Unless you live in the back woods, most people have access to the channel. Until the ratings for Hockey on NBC start matching Baseball and basketball, the local channel that airs the local team won't change. Hockey will always get bumped for basketball or baseball as it draws a bigger rating. If you are so smart, then how would you suggest making it more popular?

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01-18-2012, 08:23 PM
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I do get what you are saying. You need TV to get people to watch but at the same time you need people to tune in to watch. What I am saying is hockey is available to most people on the weekend on NBC. Unless you live in the back woods, most people have access to the channel. Until the ratings for Hockey on NBC start matching Baseball and basketball, the local channel that airs the local team won't change. Hockey will always get bumped for basketball or baseball as it draws a bigger rating. If you are so smart, then how would you suggest making it more popular?
Well, my dad just called me and said that he decided that he wanted to watch re-broadcasts of the 1975 World Series. Unfortunately, it's not on TV right now. Somehow, this is his fault. Or maybe mine. I'm not sure which. With him being a longtime Reds fan, he would have a vested interest in watching the Reds win a World Series that went 7 games.

I suggested that instead, he watch a game that is being re-broadcast, which is of the San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies. He declined, clearly because he's not a baseball fan. I don't think he understands that if he doesn't watch a game between two teams that are multiple time zones away, neither of which he gives a damn about, that it will limit his own future viewing options.

Am I missing something there?

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01-18-2012, 08:23 PM
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It's true. I only started liking hockey to explain away my toothlessness.

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I do get what you are saying. You need TV to get people to watch but at the same time you need people to tune in to watch. What I am saying is hockey is available to most people on the weekend on NBC. Unless you live in the back woods, most people have access to the channel. Until the ratings for Hockey on NBC start matching Baseball and basketball, the local channel that airs the local team won't change. Hockey will always get bumped for basketball or baseball as it draws a bigger rating. If you are so smart, then how would you suggest making it more popular?
Seriously, though. The national TV ratings (I legitimately thought we were talking about regional ratings, but alright) are even more complicated than the regional ones. NBC is available OTA everywhere, including those "back woods". NBC's "weekly games" are not on every week, and they don't start until halfway through the season. You're in a little bit over your head here. If you're honestly trying to assert that you're not going to be happy the NHL draws as much as the MLB, I unfortunately have to inform you that your life is going to be full of disappointment. It is the fourth major league. It was the fourth during the ESPN days, it's the fourth now, and it'll continue to be so until the changing demographics of the States cause the MLS to take over that position and push it to fifth. But, that isn't the end of the world. It's a gate-driven league, after all.

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01-18-2012, 08:29 PM
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Well, my dad just called me and said that he decided that he wanted to watch re-broadcasts of the 1975 World Series. Unfortunately, it's not on TV right now. Somehow, this is his fault. Or maybe mine. I'm not sure which. With him being a longtime Reds fan, he would have a vested interest in watching the Reds win a World Series that went 7 games.

I suggested that instead, he watch a game that is being re-broadcast, which is of the San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies. He declined, clearly because he's not a baseball fan. I don't think he understands that if he doesn't watch a game between two teams that are multiple time zones away, neither of which he gives a damn about, that it will limit his own future viewing options.

Am I missing something there?
I get people usually people just want to watch their local team. Then explain the high ratings the national broadcast of Basketball gets when its 2 teams multiple time zones away.

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01-18-2012, 08:34 PM
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It's true. I only started liking hockey to explain away my toothlessness.



Seriously, though. The national TV ratings (I legitimately thought we were talking about regional ratings, but alright) are even more complicated than the regional ones. NBC is available OTA everywhere, including those "back woods". NBC's "weekly games" are not on every week, and they don't start until halfway through the season. You're in a little bit over your head here. If you're honestly trying to assert that you're not going to be happy the NHL draws as much as the MLB, I unfortunately have to inform you that your life is going to be full of disappointment. It is the fourth major league. It was the fourth during the ESPN days, it's the fourth now, and it'll continue to be so until the changing demographics of the States cause the MLS to take over that position and push it to fifth. But, that isn't the end of the world. It's a gate-driven league, after all.
I know its a gate-driven league and that it self is a problem. Other than in a handful of northern teams and Canada, the lack of hardcore fans is a problem. There will always be lots of casual fans when the team is winning but when the team loses there is not enough fans to support the team.

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01-18-2012, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stealth1 View Post
I know its a gate-driven league and that it self is a problem. Other than in a handful of northern teams and Canada, the lack of hardcore fans is a problem. There will always be lots of casual fans when the team is winning but when the team loses there is not enough fans to support the team.
Same can be said for almost every franchise in every league except the NFL.

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01-18-2012, 08:38 PM
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I get people usually people just want to watch their local team. Then explain the high ratings the national broadcast of Basketball gets when its 2 teams multiple time zones away.
Is a casual basketball fan, of which there are enormous numbers in the United States, going to watch a national broadcast involving the Lakers and the Mavericks...or is he going to watch the Grizzlies against the Hawks?

Keep in mind that basketball has achieved total market penetration in the United States. There are NBA teams in every region, and where there aren't NBA teams (and in some cases, where there are), there are D-1 college teams. The NBA is largely made up of names familiar to those who have watched college basketball even in passing. The same goes for the NFL.

The NHL suffers from the same malaise that MLB does. Drafted players usually are at least a couple of years away from making an impact. And for the most part, the names aren't familiar because the college version doesn't have total penetration.

Now, you asked earlier how I would fix all of this if I were so smart. Here's what I would do.
- Go back in time and replace the obstructionist and largely corrupt owners of the so-called "Original Six" teams with guys that actually had something resembling foresight. If the NHL had expanded post-WWII while no one else was even considering it as an option, we wouldn't be sitting here having a discussion over whether hockey is 4th, 5th, 6th, or worse in terms of most prominent sports in the United States.
- Now, in order to create a time machine, an enormous amount of energy would be required...probably more than can be produced at any given time. In order to remedy this, it's necessary to connect Isaac Newton's coffin to a turbine. Then, I'll commit some physical impossibility....then when Newton starts spinning in his grave, an infinite amount of energy will be produced.

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01-18-2012, 09:21 PM
  #68
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I know its a gate-driven league and that it self is a problem. Other than in a handful of northern teams and Canada, the lack of hardcore fans is a problem. There will always be lots of casual fans when the team is winning but when the team loses there is not enough fans to support the team.
In Canada prolonged losing is not supported look at Vancouver's numbers in the 80's. Look at some of the Leafs' late season highlights from the last few years empty seats every where. Everyone loves a winner in all sports. What's the owner's motivation to win if you profit either way?

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01-18-2012, 09:36 PM
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In Canada prolonged losing is not supported look at Vancouver's numbers in the 80's. Look at some of the Leafs' late season highlights from the last few years empty seats every where. Everyone loves a winner in all sports. What's the owner's motivation to win if you profit either way?
Actually every Leafs ticket has been sold for a long time, win or lose. The trouble is all those suit and tie guys schmoozing in the concourse distorts this.

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01-18-2012, 10:52 PM
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In Canada prolonged losing is not supported look at Vancouver's numbers in the 80's. Look at some of the Leafs' late season highlights from the last few years empty seats every where. Everyone loves a winner in all sports. What's the owner's motivation to win if you profit either way?
There weren't empty seats everywhere as you might have us believe, but yes, they did become more prevalent as the team got eliminated from playoff contention. A big difference however is that the tickets were sold. A fan could not just go to the box office on game day and ask to buy these tickets. The franchise cannot force season ticket holders to show up to some of these games. The corporate ones, in particular, seem to have no interest of reselling the tickets. The $50,000/year cost of the tickets is equivalent to a rounding error for many of the companies who own seats.

Bringing this thread back on topic, it might surprise you to learn that the Leafs TV ratings have actually grown in the last 3 years, despite never finishing outside of the bottom 10 and having that abysmal 2009-2010 campaign (2nd last with no first round pick). In fact, the Leafs next TV contract is expected to generate over $1,000,000/game for the franchise, which would be a more than 33% increase.

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01-19-2012, 01:43 AM
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In Canada prolonged losing is not supported look at Vancouver's numbers in the 80's. Look at some of the Leafs' late season highlights from the last few years empty seats every where. Everyone loves a winner in all sports. What's the owner's motivation to win if you profit either way?
Totally believe you and I've actually always been curious about the Vancouver numbers back in the day. Is there a link?

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01-19-2012, 09:03 AM
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- Now, in order to create a time machine, an enormous amount of energy would be required...probably more than can be produced at any given time. In order to remedy this, it's necessary to connect Isaac Newton's coffin to a turbine. Then, I'll commit some physical impossibility....then when Newton starts spinning in his grave, an infinite amount of energy will be produced.
Usually I like your posts, Mayor Bee, but I don't see how it's productive to make ridiculous comments like this one. Time travel requires only 1.21 gigawatts of power, which can be obtained with some effort from a common bolt of lightning.

Please, let's keep the conversation serious and realistic.

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01-19-2012, 09:45 AM
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There weren't empty seats everywhere as you might have us believe, but yes, they did become more prevalent as the team got eliminated from playoff contention. A big difference however is that the tickets were sold. A fan could not just go to the box office on game day and ask to buy these tickets. The franchise cannot force season ticket holders to show up to some of these games. The corporate ones, in particular, seem to have no interest of reselling the tickets. The $50,000/year cost of the tickets is equivalent to a rounding error for many of the companies who own seats.
Correct. The issue is the anomaly.

Toronto is pretty much the only city within the four major leagues where their NHL team is regarded as the most important and supported franchise in the city when competing against other sports. Then comes the other Canadian cities, which only have an NHL team, where season-long sellouts occur almost everywhere. And those Canadian franchises are amongst the league's highest-revenue clubs, as other than Toronto, there is no true competition for the sporting dollar.

The sporting and entertainment competition is a bit different down here. Sure, there are franchises in the NFL that are sold-out on a per-season basis. But when it appears a franchise doesn't put their best foot forward or looks horrible even attempting it, the interest even going to the games wanes. I'm near DC; you should see the Redskins games and how the ratings drop and the games become less and less attended even though they're sold out.

It's the argument that's usually presented that pushes my buttons: they aren't a traditional market. Yet there've been failures of teams in traditional markets...
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Bringing this thread back on topic, it might surprise you to learn that the Leafs TV ratings have actually grown in the last 3 years, despite never finishing outside of the bottom 10 and having that abysmal 2009-2010 campaign (2nd last with no first round pick). In fact, the Leafs next TV contract is expected to generate over $1,000,000/game for the franchise, which would be a more than 33% increase.
Really? That's pretty amazing.

Of course, this means the highest revenue-producing team in the league will now increase their revenue, meaning the bottom revenue-producing teams will be subject to a bump in the salary cap.

What's happened is that the if the highest revenue-producing teams outpace the "average", the increase that the cap receives causes a drain on the lowest revenue-producing teams. And I can see why many want to put teams in Hamilton and Quebec City, as neither would be a "lowest revenue-producing team".
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Now, you asked earlier how I would fix all of this if I were so smart. Here's what I would do.
- Go back in time and replace the obstructionist and largely corrupt owners of the so-called "Original Six" teams with guys that actually had something resembling foresight. If the NHL had expanded post-WWII while no one else was even considering it as an option, we wouldn't be sitting here having a discussion over whether hockey is 4th, 5th, 6th, or worse in terms of most prominent sports in the United States.
I'm not exactly sure. What I am sure about is how anyone would rank the O6 teams now in their own markets. None of the O6 NHL teams could be higher than the third most important team in their market now, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say fourth most important is more likely.

However, I do agree that the old Norris House League should have attempted anything to "grow the game" in the 1950's, when both MLB had been stagnant with 16 teams for half a century and the NFL just stabilized their franchise roster. Instead, in the 1960's when the NFL awarded franchises to Minneapolis and Dallas to fend off the AFL, and MLB finally expands to fend off the Continental Baseball League, the NHL had to wait for a threat from the Western Hockey League and CBS regarding television contracts in order to finally expand. And that first NHL expansion process was not by any stretch of imagination "fair", as the NHL had to add two more franchises three years later that were snubbed by the original expansion committee.

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01-19-2012, 10:45 AM
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Totally believe you and I've actually always been curious about the Vancouver numbers back in the day. Is there a link?
I have an old Canucks media guide (1997-98 season) that I'm fairly certain includes old attendance numbers. I'll post them later, once I'm at home and can actually find the guide.

I'm inclined to say that I remember some pretty bad numbers all during the 80s, like 10-11,000 average bad.

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01-19-2012, 11:51 AM
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I have an old Canucks media guide (1997-98 season) that I'm fairly certain includes old attendance numbers. I'll post them later, once I'm at home and can actually find the guide.

I'm inclined to say that I remember some pretty bad numbers all during the 80s, like 10-11,000 average bad.
When your checking please note the average league attendance if the 80

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