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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, and NHL revenues.

TV ratings = Fan Support

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Old
01-19-2012, 11:13 AM
  #76
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Originally Posted by pondnorth View Post
When your checking please note the average league attendance if the 80
Only if I can assert the following:
- That the 21-team league was full of dead weight
- That the competitive imbalance of the league at the time led to several chronically poor teams, hurting their bottom line, and thus proving that....
- ...the "Original 21" fan bases are all a bunch of bandwagoners, whether or not they grew up playing pond hockey
- That the fact that the NBA also suffered from poor attendance proves that the NHL's power structure at the time was either hideously inept or simply stupid, meaning that...
- The Gary Bettman years, contrary to popular belief, have been overwhelmingly positive for the league. After all, if Hartford, Winnipeg, and Quebec all suffered from poor attendance even when they were having their most successful years, isn't it justifiable that they would end up in new cities?

(Seriously, I'll see what kind of overall numbers I can find. I'd love to have a complete attendance record going as far back as possible.)

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01-19-2012, 11:30 AM
  #77
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There is a clear Canadian agenda on this situation.. Most Canadians have an elitest view that hockey is their sport.. They want more players from Canada and more teams in Canada.. "Move Phoenix to Whitehorse, I hear it's lovely this time of year"

I totally agree with the southerners and while NJ isn't the south, we feel it being in between NYR and Philly.. They were here first so anyone from a hockey family already had an allegiance..

We've built a strong, ever-growing fan base by winning and serious outreach to get new fans (our fan base is young, mainly people who grew up seeing us win Cups).. We'll be at 90%+ attendance in a few years, you can take it to the bank..

But we still hear it all the time from Philly and NYR.. Our attendance and ratings don't match up to theirs and so we should be moved.. So I side with the southern guys who are constantly under attack from Canadian fans

*****

My view on the southern expansion (short version) is that hockey needs to expand both in fans and in prospects (people playing the sport).. It cannot possibly expand more in Canada.. Everyone loves it and everyone is a fan.. More kids aren't signing up for Pee-Wee in Manitoba cause the Jets are back in town..

But, more kids in the southern US are playing hockey because of teams being there.. Look at the explosion of top quality talent from southern California now (and how long had a team been there?).. You're also seeing more kids from Texas, more rinks in Arizona, and more interest in the sport in Florida

Market penetration takes time and patience.. But Canadians want more more more for their country when it comes to hockey and it's bad for the long-term future of the sport.. Sure, the NHL would do better now, but in the future the growth would stagnate and any businessman will tell you that you need to expand to succeed

My Devils Example - I'm sure in 1985 people were calling for the Devils to move, but we stayed and hockey programs in NJ have exploded.. High school hockey and the # of rinks here has more doubled since 2000.. Nick Ebert started playing hockey because of the Devils (watching practices) and now he's a 2012 Draft top 5 pick.. A future star bringing money to a team and the league, but he would not be playing hockey were it not for the Devils


Last edited by Colin226: 01-19-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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01-19-2012, 11:53 AM
  #78
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Originally Posted by skeena1 View Post
Totally believe you and I've actually always been curious about the Vancouver numbers back in the day. Is there a link?
http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=1...3&postcount=89

Apparently Vancouver was in the 10k-11k range in the early 80s, competing with Los Angeles, Minnesota and the pre-Mario Penguins for worst in the league.

They were under 14k as recently as the first lockout year.

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01-19-2012, 12:13 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by Colin226 View Post
There is a clear Canadian agenda on this situation.. Most Canadians have an elitest view that hockey is their sport.. They want more players from Canada and more teams in Canada.. "Move Phoenix to Whitehorse, I hear it's lovely this time of year"

I totally agree with the southerners and while NJ isn't the south, we feel it being in between NYR and Philly.. They were here first so anyone from a hockey family already had an allegiance..

We've built a strong, ever-growing fan base by winning and serious outreach to get new fans (our fan base is young, mainly people who grew up seeing us win Cups).. We'll be at 90%+ attendance in a few years, you can take it to the bank..

But we still hear it all the time from Philly and NYR.. Our attendance and ratings don't match up to theirs and so we should be moved.. So I side with the southern guys who are constantly under attack from Canadian fans
Well-said. I've been known to refer to it as "hockey hipsterism", along with other things like divisional names...there's some type of bizarre premium placed on being a fan of something before everyone else. It's a phenomena that's unique to hockey. In the case of baseball, basketball, and football, all of which either have teams in Canada or have explored having teams in Canada, this doesn't exist. Any anti-Canadian sentiment is limited entirely to a few pinhead players and fans; it sure as hell isn't fueled by or concocted by the media. You don't see signs at events that say "Baseball is America's game" or anything like that, you don't see ESPN or CBS Sports constantly talking about the attendance of the Blue Jays or Raptors.

Now, I will say that in 1986, when the Blue Jays were seriously contending, there were a few things that were written by reporters and columnists. All fit the same mold: old, bitter, and borderline senile. When Toronto was in the World Series in 1992 or 1993, nothing was said about the team's location or anything like that.

Quote:
My view on the southern expansion (short version) is that hockey needs to expand both in fans and in prospects (people playing the sport).. It cannot possibly expand more in Canada.. Everyone loves it and everyone is a fan.. More kids aren't signing up for Pee-Wee in Manitoba cause the Jets are back in town..

But, more kids in the southern US are playing hockey because of teams being there.. Look at the explosion of top quality talent from southern California now (and how long had a team been there?).. You're also seeing more kids from Texas, more rinks in Arizona, and more interest in the sport in Florida

Market penetration takes time and patience.. But Canadians want more more more for their country when it comes to hockey and it's bad for the long-term future of the sport.. Sure, the NHL would do better now, but in the future the growth would stagnate and any businessman will tell you that you need to expand to succeed

My Devils Example - I'm sure in 1985 people were calling for the Devils to move, but we stayed and hockey programs in NJ have exploded.. High school hockey and the # of rinks here has more doubled since 2000.. Nick Ebert started playing hockey because of the Devils (watching practices) and now he's a 2012 Draft top 5 pick.. A future star bringing money to a team and the league, but he would not be playing hockey were it not for the Devils
Also true. I picked up a few old hockey magazines from the 1970s a few years back, and in them are various complaints about how the NHL clearly isn't working in a few places and needed to be uprooted. That'd be Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, St. Louis....

I also was reading just a few days ago where Phil Esposito stated that the rise of the Bruins in the early 1970s was what triggered Boston's love affair with the team and with hockey in general; before that, it was a nice event but nothing more. After Orr's goal in 1970, there was an explosion in the number of kids playing hockey. And this was in one of the longest-running NHL markets, where there's plenty of cold weather to go around. Look at how few NHLers came out of Illinois or western Pennsylvania until just a few years ago; they've had NHL hockey for what seems like forever, but very few NHL players.

There's plenty of evidence that the NHL reaching new areas has produced a bumper crop of top American prospects from areas that were previously regarded as inaccessible. An additional side effect was, during the 1990s, more people with money in slightly smaller or otherwise underserved cities put minor league teams there, further expanding hockey in general.

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01-19-2012, 01:37 PM
  #80
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I think a lot of you guys are really off on your Canadian elitism angle. You see, I grew up loving the sport as it was. It didn't matter if some guy in Florida liked it or not. When all the expansions happened I didn't love it more. When teams started disappearing from those who loved the sport already, 10 new fans of hockey in Phoenix was cold comfort at best. The sport was already the biggest one in my life.
To be sure, a lot of resentment here in Canada is highly misplaced, but you must understand, most of it is just lashing out, not really personal at all. I am not against the sport expanding, I just don't feel that it is necessarily improved by it.

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01-19-2012, 01:45 PM
  #81
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My feeling on this is, Hockey is the fourth major sports league here in the states but I can think we all can agree that we are all here because we love the sport.

My main team is the Hurricanes, I can't afford Gamecenter or center ice so I watch on crappy streams even when the the team is bad.

Fact is, it takes time to grow diehard fans but they'll always be there and when you have all these other factors in ratings, attendance, the competition from other sports... people have to have patience. Hockey in the states will likely never grow past the other major sports but it is growing slowly and that's all we can expect.

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01-19-2012, 02:21 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Grudy0 View Post
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".I'm not exactly sure.
It seemed to surprise even the television executives:

Quote:
Despite a horrific start that all but doomed Toronto’s favourite losers to yet another season out of the playoffs right out of the gate, the team was a big winner on television.

“In every other case, a bad team kills ratings,” says TSN president Phil King. “Not with the Leafs.”

Its regional ratings on Rogers Sportsnet Ontario rose to an average of 656,400 per game, a 106 per cent increase over last year. Only the Ottawa Senators’ 111 per cent increase was better, though the Sens’ improvement at least provided some logic for its 153,000 average.

Hockey Night in Canada’s early game, which usually put the Leafs in the national spotlight, averaged a record 1.8 million viewers — a 45.9 per cent increase over last season.

Over on TSN, NHL audiences for games involving Canadian-based teams averaged 714,000, a 66.4 per cent increase over last season.

The main reason for that increase?

You guessed it: the Blue, White and Lousy. Their 17 games on TSN topped all with a 1 million average.
http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey...-on-television

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Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post
Well-said. I've been known to refer to it as "hockey hipsterism", along with other things like divisional names...there's some type of bizarre premium placed on being a fan of something before everyone else. It's a phenomena that's unique to hockey. In the case of baseball, basketball, and football, all of which either have teams in Canada or have explored having teams in Canada, this doesn't exist. Any anti-Canadian sentiment is limited entirely to a few pinhead players and fans; it sure as hell isn't fueled by or concocted by the media. You don't see signs at events that say "Baseball is America's game" or anything like that, you don't see ESPN or CBS Sports constantly talking about the attendance of the Blue Jays or Raptors.

Now, I will say that in 1986, when the Blue Jays were seriously contending, there were a few things that were written by reporters and columnists. All fit the same mold: old, bitter, and borderline senile. When Toronto was in the World Series in 1992 or 1993, nothing was said about the team's location or anything like that.
I don't disagree, but at the same time, you are really comparing apples to oranges.

There is 1 NBA team in Canada. There is 1 MLB team in Canada. There are 23 NHL teams in the United States and 8 teams in the Sunbelt (Tampa, Florida, Carolina, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix, Anaheim, and Los Angeles).

How would American basketball fans feel if the NBA had 8 teams in Canada and states such as, say, Indiana was left without one? How would MLB fans feel if a city like Cleveland was left without a team because of expansion into Canada?

I don't think the feeling would be very positive. There are many fans and a few writers who have problems with one team. 1. A single team. One reporter from a Chicago paper has actually been banned from covering Toronto (by his employer, not the team) because has refused to even stand for the Canadian national anthem, let alone write anything positive about the team.

We Canadian fans aren't asking for much. A team in Quebec City and a second team in Southern Ontario. The two remaining markets that are capable of supporting teams and yet don't have them.

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01-19-2012, 08:08 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by skeena1 View Post
Totally believe you and I've actually always been curious about the Vancouver numbers back in the day. Is there a link?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
http://hfboards.com/showpost.php?p=1...3&postcount=89

Apparently Vancouver was in the 10k-11k range in the early 80s, competing with Los Angeles, Minnesota and the pre-Mario Penguins for worst in the league.

They were under 14k as recently as the first lockout year.
Here are historical numbers, taken from the 1997-98 Canucks media guide. Page 187, to be exact.

1970-71 - 15,577 (15,713 capacity)
1971-72 - 15,284
1972-73 - 15,890
1973-74 - 15,729
1974-75 - 15,630 - playoff year - lost QF
1975-76 - 15,798 - playoff year - lost prelim round
1976-77 - 15,547
1977-78 - 15,123
(at some point around here, the capacity was increased to 16,281)
1978-79 - 13,622 - playoff year - lost prelim round
1979-80 - 14,293 - playoff year - lost prelim round
1980-81 - 14,534 - playoff year - lost prelim round
1981-82 - 12,858 - playoff year - lost Stanley Cup Final
1982-83 - 14,206 - playoff year - lost division semis
1983-84 - 13,626 - playoff year - lost division semis
1984-85 - 11,147
1985-86 - 10,446 - playoff year - lost division semis
1986-87 - 10,406
1987-88 - 11,002
1988-89 - 13,772 - playoff year - lost division semis
1989-90 - 15,417
1990-91 - 15,150 - playoff year - lost division semis
1991-92 - 15,768 - playoff year - lost division final
1992-93 - 15,418 - playoff year - lost division final
1993-94 - 15,226 - playoff year - lost Stanley Cup Final
1994-95 - 13,932
(GM place opens, capacity 18,422)
1995-96 - 17,795 - playoff year - lost first round
1996-97 - 17,320 - playoff year - lost first round

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01-19-2012, 08:27 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by Lars65 View Post
I think a lot of you guys are really off on your Canadian elitism angle. You see, I grew up loving the sport as it was. It didn't matter if some guy in Florida liked it or not. When all the expansions happened I didn't love it more. When teams started disappearing from those who loved the sport already, 10 new fans of hockey in Phoenix was cold comfort at best. The sport was already the biggest one in my life.
To be sure, a lot of resentment here in Canada is highly misplaced, but you must understand, most of it is just lashing out, not really personal at all. I am not against the sport expanding, I just don't feel that it is necessarily improved by it.
I can understand someone going through a mourning process either withdrawing or lashing out. But when that fails to be replaced by logical hindsight and assessment 15 years later, I have serious concerns about the real motivation.

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Originally Posted by htpwn View Post
I don't disagree, but at the same time, you are really comparing apples to oranges.

There is 1 NBA team in Canada. There is 1 MLB team in Canada. There are 23 NHL teams in the United States and 8 teams in the Sunbelt (Tampa, Florida, Carolina, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix, Anaheim, and Los Angeles).

How would American basketball fans feel if the NBA had 8 teams in Canada and states such as, say, Indiana was left without one? How would MLB fans feel if a city like Cleveland was left without a team because of expansion into Canada?

I don't think the feeling would be very positive. There are many fans and a few writers who have problems with one team. 1. A single team. One reporter from a Chicago paper has actually been banned from covering Toronto (by his employer, not the team) because has refused to even stand for the Canadian national anthem, let alone write anything positive about the team.

We Canadian fans aren't asking for much. A team in Quebec City and a second team in Southern Ontario. The two remaining markets that are capable of supporting teams and yet don't have them.
Well, speaking of apples to oranges....

There can't be a truly comparable situation, particularly because each relocation during the 1990s was going from a smaller city/metro area to a larger one, each of them having a fairly new arena with modern amenities. Professional sports, first and foremost, is a business. In the case of the Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis would be the 4th-largest metro area in Canada, very slightly behind 3rd-place Vancouver and well ahead of Ottawa. The region of Northeast Ohio, most of the population in Cleveland, would be far ahead of Montreal for 2nd place.

The only comparable that I can think of would be during the NFL's early years. NFL teams were mostly located in small Midwestern towns, and over time most of them either folded up shop entirely or moved to larger cities. The Detroit Lions, for example, began life as the Portsmouth Spartans; Portsmouth is a tiny town down on the Ohio River. There was a time when Akron and Canton both had teams, and Massillon was thinking of joining as well. But there's a lot more detail to be covered on this, and I won't get into it right now.

Third, it's not a question of whether a market can support a team. The questions are the same as they always have been since the beginning of the league: who owns the team, what's the arena situation look like, and what are the backup plans for both? Obviously there are a few more important questions, but those are the two biggest ones.

To backtrack just slightly, in the book "Nine Innings", Daniel Okrent goes into a good amount of detail over the MLB expansion of the late 1960s, which saw Seattle and Montreal granted teams over Milwaukee. Milwaukee had just lost the Braves despite the apparent presence of a willing and able local ownership group who would have kept the team there, and the group made pitches for several teams that were rumored to be in dire straits after the Braves actually left.

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01-19-2012, 08:54 PM
  #85
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[QUOTE=Mayor Bee;42763559]I can understand someone going through a mourning process either withdrawing or lashing out. But when that fails to be replaced by logical hindsight and assessment 15 years later, I have serious concerns about the real motivation.

Maybe so, but some of this animosity is entirely misplaced on your side. "Hockey is Canada's game" is a good example. Now, if one might interpret that as meaning the game belongs to Canada, and no one else. Just like one might interpret the expression "baseball is America's pastime" meaning the same thing. I don't take either of those expressions that way, however.

My original point stands. I love indie and old school punk music plenty. My love of those 2 genres are in no way affected by the fact they will never be top-40 material. (Quite the opposite, in fact) The standard criticism of Canadians wanting more teams seems to be that it doesn't grow the sport. It may come to shock to you that a lot of us think its already as big as it needs to be.

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01-19-2012, 10:28 PM
  #86
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Well, speaking of apples to oranges....

There can't be a truly comparable situation, particularly because each relocation during the 1990s was going from a smaller city/metro area to a larger one, each of them having a fairly new arena with modern amenities. Professional sports, first and foremost, is a business. In the case of the Indiana Pacers, Indianapolis would be the 4th-largest metro area in Canada, very slightly behind 3rd-place Vancouver and well ahead of Ottawa. The region of Northeast Ohio, most of the population in Cleveland, would be far ahead of Montreal for 2nd place.

The only comparable that I can think of would be during the NFL's early years. NFL teams were mostly located in small Midwestern towns, and over time most of them either folded up shop entirely or moved to larger cities. The Detroit Lions, for example, began life as the Portsmouth Spartans; Portsmouth is a tiny town down on the Ohio River. There was a time when Akron and Canton both had teams, and Massillon was thinking of joining as well. But there's a lot more detail to be covered on this, and I won't get into it right now.
I get it, the NHL decided in late 80s-90s that it would have a change in business strategy. They wanted a national footprint in the United States, capitalizing on some of the large southern markets. The victims of this strategy were fans in smaller, more traditional markets as they couldn't find the money/will to build sparkling new arenas for their NHL clubs.

This strategy, however, yielded a mixed blessing. Some markets have been a success, others have their ups and downs, and others still failed miserably. I think you can guess which teams fall in the latter.

In a sense, your are completely right, the NHL is a business. As such, it shouldn't be subsidizing teams that have clearly not struck a cord within their community and are suffering heavy losses.

I think you are simply paying far too more attention to (dubious) population numbers (Cleveland bigger than Montreal?) as if they should be the deciding factor on where to place a franchise. Comparing cities such as Portsmouth and its 20,000 residents to Winnipeg? To Calgary? One can support a modern major professional sports franchise, the other is clearly too small. It shouldn't warrant any comparison.

My previous argument was not based on population. Nobody is asking for Canada to have all 30 teams, on the contrary, the majority in this forum seem to believe it can support around 9. That still means 21, or in a 32 team league, 23 teams in the United States.

So in that light, let me rephrase my previous post with a hypothetical. Canada has 3 MLB teams in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Milwaukee does not have one. The latter 3 all have attendance problems and are losing millions per year despite revenue sharing. Do you not think that American baseball fans would be a little peeved that the great baseball town of Milwaukee (and in theory, two others) doesn't have a team, but Canada has three poorly supported ones? I think without a doubt, you would have Americans from left to right talking about relocating one, two, or three of those teams to Milwaukee. In fact, I know it, because I see it from NBA fans all the time. The Raptors seem to always find their way onto a relocation list, despite being one of the few profitable teams.

To repeat myself, the majority seem to be simply asking for two additional teams. That doesn't mean, when and if Quebec City and Hamilton/Kitchener-Waterloo/North York/Markham get teams criticism won't be thrown at poor markets. It happens in every sport and not simply Canadian phenomenon as much as you and your Southern market bias would have us believe. People want to see their league, sport, do well, whether it is hockey, basketball, football, or cricket.

Quote:
Third, it's not a question of whether a market can support a team. The questions are the same as they always have been since the beginning of the league: who owns the team, what's the arena situation look like, and what are the backup plans for both? Obviously there are a few more important questions, but those are the two biggest ones.
What point are you trying to make here? The arena and ownership situation seem pretty solidified in Quebec City, does it not?

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01-19-2012, 11:29 PM
  #87
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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.
Is this really true? I guess I'm spoiled living in Philly's market but I couldn't imagine a game not being on the normal television package? I guess I'm oblivious to that but every game is either on VS. NBC CSN Philly or TCN preseason or not. How can a market grow when they don't even play every game on TV? I'd be disinterested too. Especially in a region where football is shoved down your throat since birth and nothing else

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01-19-2012, 11:49 PM
  #88
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So in that light, let me rephrase my previous post with a hypothetical. Canada has 3 MLB teams in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Milwaukee does not have one. The latter 3 all have attendance problems and are losing millions per year despite revenue sharing. Do you not think that American baseball fans would be a little peeved that the great baseball town of Milwaukee (and in theory, two others) doesn't have a team, but Canada has three poorly supported ones? I think without a doubt, you would have Americans from left to right talking about relocating one, two, or three of those teams to Milwaukee. In fact, I know it, because I see it from NBA fans all the time. The Raptors seem to always find their way onto a relocation list, despite being one of the few profitable teams.
Ouch. That's a bunch of hypotheticals.

Let me go to the real-life story...

Once MLB's lockout ended, one team ended up losing a very large chunk of their fan base. Due to a few team sales, the owner of this MLB team sold the team to the League. Mired in red ink, the team was moved to one of the largest markets that didn't have a team.

I don't suspect that there were many people thrilled that the Expos were moved to DC, except DC baseball fans. I don't believe too many people outside of DC cared much to have an opinion. There may be a few jingoistic people in the US that expressed an opinion to move that team out of Canada. I'd have preferred the Expos stayed, and I'm about 20 miles from DC.
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To repeat myself, the majority seem to be simply asking for two additional teams. That doesn't mean, when and if Quebec City and Hamilton/Kitchener-Waterloo/North York/Markham get teams criticism won't be thrown at poor markets. It happens in every sport and not simply Canadian phenomenon as much as you and your Southern market bias would have us believe. People want to see their league, sport, do well, whether it is hockey, basketball, football, or cricket.
I readily admit I don't follow other boards as much as I follow this one. I just don't see the level of passion of NFL fans telling people that the Jaguars should move because they don't sell out every game and they are practically the worst home draw in the NFL.

Sure. I'm one that would love to see teams in Quebec and Golden Horseshoe 2. Many things have changed over the past twenty years. One of the major changes is the level of support given, both via finances and fans for many franchises in "traditional markets". I mean, look what happened: in a matter of five years, teams were lost in Minnesota, Quebec, Winnipeg and Hartford. Why? Partially because of fan support, partially because of revenue streams, but basically because they weren't making enough money (if they are making money at all), and in the case of the Canadian teams, the payout of salaries in American dollars.

Minnesota and Winnipeg are back in the League, their ticket prices are much higher, and they have newer arenas for better revenue streams. Over the past decade and a half, the public in "traditional markets" responded in kind with sellouts and higher ticket prices. Take a look at the revenues to the League since the lockout. It's ridiculous how well the "traditional markets", and even some fringe markets have fared. Chicago and Washington have almost doubled their ticket revenue from six years ago, and yet they will pale in comparasion to the total amount that the Leafs make now. Add them together and they might (and I mean might) approach the revenue the Leafs receive.

My point? I don't think there are too many New York Yankee fans that give a hoot about the amount of money spent on revenue sharing via the luxury tax. I certainly don't think that they wax poetic how their luxury tax is keeping the bottom ten teams afloat. Yes, I do remember there was some complaining when it was found that the Marlins basically pocketed the money to post a profit, but people should have figured out that was happening. But I just don't see Yankees fans (or fans of the high-revenue teams) screaming that the low-revenue teams should be moved.

What I do see is that many Canadians just claim Americans just can't appreciate the sport, and the lower your team is below I-70, the more the angst shows up. The Leafs and the Habs are the Yankees and the Red Sox of the NHL. But there have to be teams at the bottom of the revenue chain, and it is likely it will be those teams below I-70. And the Canadian pschye demands a free-for-all because of the issues with losing teams in the traditional markets. Hockey is a great sport. Have patience, because I have the feeling more teams will be in Canada, and others may be moving to more traditional markets. The amount of revenues made by the Canadian teams now dictates it.

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01-20-2012, 12:01 AM
  #89
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Now, I will say that in 1986, when the Blue Jays were seriously contending, there were a few things that were written by reporters and columnists. All fit the same mold: old, bitter, and borderline senile.
Maybe it's because the reporters covering the games were freezing their butts off in April and October.



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When Toronto was in the World Series in 1992 or 1993, nothing was said about the team's location or anything like that.
By that time, the team's playing location was a lot better...


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01-20-2012, 06:27 AM
  #90
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Is this really true? I guess I'm spoiled living in Philly's market but I couldn't imagine a game not being on the normal television package? I guess I'm oblivious to that but every game is either on VS. NBC CSN Philly or TCN preseason or not. How can a market grow when they don't even play every game on TV? I'd be disinterested too. Especially in a region where football is shoved down your throat since birth and nothing else
It is indeed. Using Carolina as an example, the 'Canes preseason games go untelevised and 11 regular season games, including 9 home games, were/are going to be unbroadcasted by Versus or FS-Carolinas this season. Now if you have Center Ice you can at least get the away team's feed in most cases, but I also know of a couple games where there was no away broadcast either and Center Ice just showed the jumbotron feed simulcasted with our radio broadcaster's call of the game.

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01-20-2012, 08:51 AM
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Maybe it's because the reporters covering the games were freezing their butts off in April and October.
Toronto isn't actually cold, though.

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01-20-2012, 09:00 AM
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[QUOTE=Lars65;42766217]
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Maybe so, but some of this animosity is entirely misplaced on your side. "Hockey is Canada's game" is a good example. Now, if one might interpret that as meaning the game belongs to Canada, and no one else. Just like one might interpret the expression "baseball is America's pastime" meaning the same thing. I don't take either of those expressions that way, however.

My original point stands. I love indie and old school punk music plenty. My love of those 2 genres are in no way affected by the fact they will never be top-40 material. (Quite the opposite, in fact) The standard criticism of Canadians wanting more teams seems to be that it doesn't grow the sport. It may come to shock to you that a lot of us think its already as big as it needs to be.
Not only is that a terrible mindset for any business (the NHL is a business), but it plays right into what we are talking about.. Canadians don't care if the sport expands its reach because pretty much every Canadian will grow up playing hockey.. If you don't tap into other areas of the world, then more Canadians will fill NHL rosters.. I've been to more provinces than most Canadians and I have a lot of friends up there.. They would LOVE a fully Canadian NHL.. They are proud of their country's tradition with hockey and I respect that, but it's bad for the future of the sport and long-term growth/health that is necessary for the NHL's survival

And I'll add that you could argue the MLB is "big enough" as it is.. I mean these guys make a fortune compared to most NHL players and the league is loaded as well.. The Yankees alone are worth over $5 billion dollars.. But is the MLB content with where they are? No! They spend millions of dollars on growing the sport in other parts of the world, mainly South America and East Asia.. Why? Because more people playing a sport means more people following a sport (especially a sports top league in the world, which the NHL is for hockey), but it also means a large pool of talent to choose from..

More talent means that you have better players to choose from, who go on to become money-producers for their teams and the league.. Were it not for hockey in Russia, the NHL would be without Ovi, who is a huge money maker for the Caps and the NHL (plus he brings interest to the game from casual fans).. So you need to grow a sport for several reasons, and being content with where you are is a terrible way to run your business/league

And the southern US makes sense for expanding the game because you can put teams there (can't put NHL teams in Europe/Russia), the US has shown it will pay big dollars for sports, and it's a largely untapped talent pool of players

I can see why Canadians wouldn't want to expand.. Since Canada is pretty much "tapped out" when it comes to hockey (everyone loves/plays it), expanding can only mean fewer Canadians in the NHL, a tougher time winning international games, and possibly the prospect of not getting more NHL teams in Canada.. I'm sorry but if you truly love a sport then you want to share it and see it grow around the world, even if it means your country faces more competition


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01-20-2012, 09:11 AM
  #93
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I just don't see the level of passion of NFL fans telling people that the Jaguars should move because they don't sell out every game and they are practically the worst home draw in the NFL.
I don't follow football at all, so I don't even know what city the Jaguars play out of, but I think this is a good question: is that city a traditional football market? Is football the most-popular (or close to it) sport in the region? If yes, I can see why the fans would give it some leeway. If there was an NFL team in, say, Winnipeg, a city far from football's heartland, and it was being kept there despite poor fan support while a traditional American football market was left wanting... then I assume US NFL fans would feel the same as Canadian hockey fans.


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My point? I don't think there are too many New York Yankee fans that give a hoot about the amount of money spent on revenue sharing via the luxury tax. I certainly don't think that they wax poetic how their luxury tax is keeping the bottom ten teams afloat. Yes, I do remember there was some complaining when it was found that the Marlins basically pocketed the money to post a profit, but people should have figured out that was happening. But I just don't see Yankees fans (or fans of the high-revenue teams) screaming that the low-revenue teams should be moved.
Again, there's only one Canadian MLB team. If there were a bunch of teams in Canada with little support playing baseball and losing tons of money while American cities with huge fanbases (basically licenses to print money) were left out of the league, American fans would indeed be complaining.

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What I do see is that many Canadians just claim Americans just can't appreciate the sport, and the lower your team is below I-70, the more the angst shows up.
I don't think the first part is true. Americans can appreciate the sport, and many of them do. The vast majority of NHL teams are American, and most of us here in Canada aren't calling for those teams to move. The only ones being targeted are teams in areas where it's clear the residents don't appreciate the sport and have not done so for many years.

A bunch of those cities happen to be in the south/sunbelt/whatever you want to call it, where hockey is not a traditional support. I don't think that's a coincidence.

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01-20-2012, 09:12 AM
  #94
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Originally Posted by Colin226 View Post

I can see why Canadians wouldn't want to expand.. Since Canada is pretty much "tapped out" when it comes to hockey (everyone loves/plays it), expanding can only mean fewer Canadians in the NHL, a tougher time winning international games, and possibly the prospect of not getting more NHL teams in Canada.. I'm sorry but if you truly love a sport then you want to share it and see it grow around the world, even if it means your country faces more competition
I do think Amercians forget all to easily that the NHL can have it's cake and eat it too.

They want to make money, they want to grow the sport to make more money. It's simple then, put teams in places that will make them money (QC and Hamilton) and then grow the sport.

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01-20-2012, 09:25 AM
  #95
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I do think Amercians forget all to easily that the NHL can have it's cake and eat it too.

They want to make money, they want to grow the sport to make more money. It's simple then, put teams in places that will make them money (QC and Hamilton) and then grow the sport.
How does that grow the sport? You've missed the points raised earlier.. Teams bring the game to the areas they play in, just look at the talent coming from the southern US lately (especially in southern California, and consider how long the Kings have been there)..

Like I said, are more kids in Winnipeg now interested in and playing hockey? NO! Why? Because it's already a part of life up there.. Will interest in hockey be boosted with teams in QC or Hamilton? Not really, because people there already love the sport

All that it would do is get more money for the league, which I agree is good, but it won't grow the sport and the NHL (and hockey in general) needs to grow.. The southern US is a great place for the NHL to work on growing itself and the sport.. It's a long-term investment that the league feels will be a struggle now, but pay huge dividends down the road.. It simply can't grow more in Canada, and it's not like the NFL that can prosper while really only limiting itself to one or two countries (you damn Canadians trying to be interested in our great American sport )

The whole argument is that Canadians don't seem to care about this long-term investment and would just rather see more teams in Canada and keep the sport primarily a Canadian-dominated one.. They just want more for Canada, and want to use the current struggles of southern teams as an excuse to get what they want.. The long-term health and growth of the league and sport is irrelevant to them because they just want more more more for Canada.. I get the passion behind it, but it's bad in the long run


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01-20-2012, 09:32 AM
  #96
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The best analogy for the move of the Jets, Whalers and Nords I can think of would be if The NFL would suddenly uproot, say the Cleveland Browns to China because it's a big potential market.

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01-20-2012, 09:45 AM
  #97
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The best analogy for the move of the Jets, Whalers and Nords I can think of would be if The NFL would suddenly uproot, say the Cleveland Browns to China because it's a big potential market.
That's not a good analogy.. Maybe if the NHL were considering expansion to Paris or London then I'd agree, but expansion by either league to a different continent cannot work due to travel and time differences..

Now if you had made it the NFL expanding to Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver then I'd agree.. And I do think it would be good for the NFL to expand there.. They make so much from the other teams that they could keep teams there on life support until the game catches on.. I'd totally support it.. I will say though that there are a lot more US cities with money than Canadian cities with money.. You can have a 30 team NFL in the USA, but you couldn't have a 12 team NHL in Canada (I mean you could, but the KHL would get the excess talent unable to make those rosters and over time you might even see them overtake the NHL)

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01-20-2012, 10:03 AM
  #98
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Like I said, are more kids in Winnipeg now interested in and playing hockey? NO! Why? Because it's already a part of life up there.. Will interest in hockey be boosted with teams in QC or Hamilton? Not really, because people there already love the sport
If you don't think the return of the Jets is going to increase interest in youth hockey in Winnipeg, you're out of your mind. Manitoba has a very large immigrant population, most of whom come from Asia or Africa -- not exactly hockey hotbeds. I live in Winnipeg's West End, which has a very large Filipino population. The number of Filipinos I've seen recently wearing Jets gear is huge. It's great to see. That certainly didn't happen with the AHL Moose, or even to the same extent with the original Jets.

Yes, I get the constant argument from Americans that hockey can't grow in Canada, but I completely disagree. It doesn't have as much "potential" as the southern US in terms of raw population numbers, but the culture and atmosphere up here, in my opinion, is way more geared towards encouraging interest and participation in hockey.

CBC broadcasts HNIC in a whole ****-ton of languages these days, including Punjabi. That, to me, indicates that Canadians from other cultural backgrounds are getting more interested in hockey than they ever were before. I think it's a much safer bet that immigrants from non-hockey cultures, in their new hockey-mad home, will be likely to embrace the sport than people in the southern US who already have football, baseball, basketball and other **** like NASCAR to get into. Hockey is not a part of the cultural experience down there. It's not part of "being American." Contrast that to the Canadian cultural experience.

By the way, I'm first-generation myself. My dad's from England, which is not exactly a hockey hotbed, and he had never even skated before he moved here. Now he's a Jets season-ticket holder, and he was an STH for the Moose for most of their existence prior to that.

There's no room for growth among traditional "Canadian" kids, maybe, but the definition of what "Canadian" looks like is changing rapidly. There's room for growth here.

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The whole argument is that Canadians don't seem to care about this long-term investment and would just rather see more teams in Canada and keep the sport primarily a Canadian-dominated one.. They just want more for Canada, and want to use the current struggles of southern teams as an excuse to get what they want.. The long-term health and growth of the league and sport is irrelevant to them because they just want more more more for Canada.. I get the passion behind it, but it's bad in the long run
I don't agree. Most Canadian fans will be happy to see the game grow, but at present, there are a handful of very strong Canadian markets without teams. Those markets will do nothing but make money for the NHL hand-over-fist -- at a time when the NHL is faced with a number of struggling franchises -- and then Canada will be done for the forseeable future.

It's not like there's this never-ending supply of Canadian cities that can host NHL teams. Would I like to see a team in Saskatchewan? Of course I would. They'd be a natural rival with the Jets. It would be great... but I know it's unfeasible. The focus now is Quebec City, first and foremost, then Hamilton, then maybe another Toronto team, and then we're tapped out. Our national population is smaller than California's. There's a limit to the number of teams we can realistically handle.

After those cities are sorted out, the NHL can expand anywhere it likes. The frustration is not that the NHL is expanding to untested (and sometimes unsuccessful) markets in the south, it's that it's leaving solid fanbases high and dry while going off adventuring in, frankly, ridiculous markets where hockey is not a popular sport. Should they go down there eventually? Sure, why not, but for now, they should make sure their existing fanbases -- who are willing to give them a lot of money -- are satisfied before gambling on "potential" in untested waters.

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01-20-2012, 10:53 AM
  #99
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I don't follow football at all, so I don't even know what city the Jaguars play out of, but I think this is a good question: is that city a traditional football market? Is football the most-popular (or close to it) sport in the region? If yes, I can see why the fans would give it some leeway. If there was an NFL team in, say, Winnipeg, a city far from football's heartland, and it was being kept there despite poor fan support while a traditional American football market was left wanting... then I assume US NFL fans would feel the same as Canadian hockey fans.
The Jaguars play out of Jacksonville, in the middle of the football heartland. Los Angeles hasn't had a team for almost two decades. I don't think it is too much of a problem.
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Again, there's only one Canadian MLB team. If there were a bunch of teams in Canada with little support playing baseball and losing tons of money while American cities with huge fanbases (basically licenses to print money) were left out of the league, American fans would indeed be complaining.
Huh? I don't see this as a border problem. See the Expos issue I presented earlier. Besides, for teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox, there are also teams such as the Royals, Pirates and Rays. There are franchise issues everywhere, in every sport. It just so happens when it comes to NHL hockey, it becomes a border problem.
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I don't think the first part is true. Americans can appreciate the sport, and many of them do. The vast majority of NHL teams are American, and most of us here in Canada aren't calling for those teams to move. The only ones being targeted are teams in areas where it's clear the residents don't appreciate the sport and have not done so for many years.

A bunch of those cities happen to be in the south/sunbelt/whatever you want to call it, where hockey is not a traditional support. I don't think that's a coincidence.
Coincidence? No.

But let's take a look at "the list":
Calgary
Edmonton
Vancouver
Ottawa
Toronto
Montreal
Winnipeg

The top four have made the finals the past eight years, the next two are hockey royalty, and the last is a new team that has a commitment from the fans for ticket purchases over the next decade. And other than Toronto, all of these cities only have an NHL team within the big-four.

Meanwhile, the teams with the worst "success" below I-70, and the problems over the past five years:
Tampa Bay
Dallas
Florida
Nashville
St. Louis
Phoenix

The first two have won cups, but it's been eight-plus years and their owners have been cycled. Florida hasn't been to the playoffs in ages. Nashville just won their first playoff series last year. St. Louis is looking to be sold, but there are problems relating to control of the team post-sale. Phoenix, well they have their own thread.

And let's not forget about Washington and Chicago, who six years ago were horrible financially. Nor shall we forget about Atlanta.

Sure, they may not be hockey hotbeds. And with the revenue pressures by the Canadian teams directly affecting the salaries that the lower revenue producing teams must pay, there will always be a problem with that disparity.

Which is exactly why the Yankees and Red Sox are constantly on the hunt for championships, while the Royals and Pirates are farm teams, with tepid fan support, and therefore, tepid revenues.

Yes, I believe in having another two teams (at least) in Canada. Yes, I believe the Coyotes may have worn out their welcome in Arizona. But this is the business board. I'd like to see what the NHL has up their sleeves to protect the business. And I'd definitely like it to be on the terms of how to increase revenues than to just say "bring it to Canada", even if it is somewhat true. Because maybe some of that can rub off down here. Heck, a Canadian just bought an NHL team in Texas that he has to rebuild, and I'm all for it. I'd be all for another NHL team in Texas only because it makes sense.

Quebec will get their team. Hamilton might, as I believe the MLSE sale will force the new owners hands to allow a second team in the horseshoe, just as there are three teams in the greater NY area and two in the greater LA area. Patience.

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01-20-2012, 11:45 AM
  #100
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It may come to shock to you that a lot of us think its already as big as it needs to be.
And you don't see why that would be offensive?

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