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What prevented the WHA from succeeding?

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Old
05-17-2012, 02:17 PM
  #26
kdb209
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Originally Posted by GKJ View Post
Why else did the AFL and ABA eventually fail?
The AFL didn't really fail - the AFL/NFL merger was driven by the NFL, which was tired of competing with the upstart league. All ten AFL teams joined the merged NFL, becoming the AFC (along with the existing NFL franchises in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Baltimore).

The AFL started after there were multiple unsuccessful bidders on the then Chicago (now Arizona by way of St Louis) Cardinals in 1959. When the NFL rebuffed their requests for expansion teams, they (Lamarr Hunt, Bud Adams, et al) decided to form their own league. The AFL forced NFL expansion to Dallas and Minnesota to co-opt some potential AFL owners.

In the end the owners who formed the AFL got what they originally wanted - NFL franchises.


Last edited by kdb209: 05-17-2012 at 03:07 PM.
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05-17-2012, 11:43 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by kdb209 View Post
The AFL didn't really fail - the AFL/NFL merger was driven by the NFL, which was tired of competing with the upstart league. All ten AFL teams joined the merged NFL, becoming the AFC (along with the existing NFL franchises in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Baltimore).

The AFL started after there were multiple unsuccessful bidders on the then Chicago (now Arizona by way of St Louis) Cardinals in 1959. When the NFL rebuffed their requests for expansion teams, they (Lamarr Hunt, Bud Adams, et al) decided to form their own league. The AFL forced NFL expansion to Dallas and Minnesota to co-opt some potential AFL owners.

In the end the owners who formed the AFL got what they originally wanted - NFL franchises.
Funny stories about Dallas. The AFL set up shop there with the Texans, and the NFL was trying to expand there to beat the AFL to the punch. George Preston Marshall, who owned the Redskins, had a feud going with Clint Murchison, who was applying to own the Cowboys. The leader of the Redskins' band also had a feud with Marshall, so he went to Murchison and said that he personally owned the rights to the song "Hail to the Redskins", not the team and not Marshall.

Marshall was firmly against expansion into Texas. One of his early players upon acquiring the team was Sammy Baugh out of TCU, and Marshall made a fortune by selling the rights to broadcast Redskins' games all across Texas. So there was money that had been made, and it also cultivate an enormous Redskins fan base all across Texas. Expansion into Dallas would kill that all off at once.

So Murchison bought the rights to the song. Before the expansion vote, with Marshall firmly in the "no" camp, Murchison told Marshall that he owned the song, and would either bar Marshall from having it played ever again or else charge an astronomically high royalty fee. Marshall flipped out, but knew when he was beaten...he voted in favor of expansion to Dallas, and Murchison gave him the rights to the song.

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05-20-2012, 09:05 PM
  #28
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I actually wrote a paper for one of my university courses this year detailing this very topic. My thesis was that the WHA's business model was flawed from the start, and it was doomed to never truly succeed, no matter what they did. I got 98% for it in my course, which detailed the rise of professional sports in America since 1960. If anyone is interested I'd gladly send a copy.

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05-20-2012, 10:24 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by kaiser matias View Post
I actually wrote a paper for one of my university courses this year detailing this very topic. My thesis was that the WHA's business model was flawed from the start, and it was doomed to never truly succeed, no matter what they did. I got 98% for it in my course, which detailed the rise of professional sports in America since 1960. If anyone is interested I'd gladly send a copy.
I'd be interested, and I'd venture a guess that others on the BoH board might be interested.

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05-20-2012, 10:56 PM
  #30
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I'd be interested, and I'd venture a guess that others on the BoH board might be interested.
I've already received a couple PM's for it, and if anyone else is interested, send me an email and I'll give you a copy. Though I handed it in back in October, I'd be interested in hearing any comments anyone has on my work.

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05-25-2012, 08:50 AM
  #31
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As a Leaf's fan I was interested in the WHA in Toronto, excited actually to have two teams to follow. But the Toros? The Avro cup? I just couldn't get into that stuff. I found myself following other teams like the Jets. I loved all the extra Canadian teams. The Jets in particular. That was it's biggest draw besides offering me a choice.

I also remember the WHA appearing to me to be all about offence which reminded me of lower tier hockey. I wasn't happy they folded but I was happy that more Canadian teams entered the NHL up to the point that some were allowed to move.

To this day hockey in the desert just plain annoys me. Give Quebec back it's team and perhaps I'll feel that that my sport isn't being taken away from my country by an obnoxious American opportunist.
My opinion may be off but thank the WHA for setting it in motion and the NHL's apparent marketing strategy for enabling it.

The WHA may have died but it had a big impact on me. Despite the lack of hockey tradition in the names of my local team and their trophy.

Just my rant. feel free to ignore.


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05-25-2012, 12:52 PM
  #32
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Winnipeg was actually on the radar for the 2nd expansion (1970) or the 3rd expansion in 1972.

Clarence Campbell offered Winnipeg a team but Ben Hatskin didn't have a 16,000 seat arena nor could he raise the 7.2M expansion fee.

Hence, Ben Hatskin was a major player in founding the WHA.

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05-25-2012, 02:48 PM
  #33
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As a Leaf's fan I was interested in the WHA in Toronto, excited actually to have two teams to follow..... Just my rant. feel free to ignore.
... Okeee dokeee, I will, as I completely disagree with you & its ot.

But getting back to the Toro's, ya, I too remember them well, coming in from Ottawa where the franchise was a bust, playing their first year out of Varsity Stadium, Gilles Gratton, Les Binkley, Carl Brewer, Frank Mahovlich, Paul Henderson, Vaclav Nedomansky & a very young Mark Napier playing for them over the 3yrs they were in Toronto.

Years 2 & 3 they played out of the Gardens, however as well documented & mentioned earlier Ballard played the "punisher" making it all but untenable if not impossible to survive & make a go of it. Steve Stavro's was a minority owner, John Basset, who had been on the Board at MLG & who was a lifelong Ballard nemesis involved in ownership; Bob Baun the Coach. Averaged about 10,000 o 12,000 a game, had 2 fifty plus goal scorers over 2 seasons, decent W/L record.

The thing I remember most about those very early years of the WHA, from the time it was really just a rumor around 1969-70, was the sudden opening up of possibilities if you were an elite junior player in having a World of opportunities that hadnt existed until then, as the NHL even post 67 Expansion was a closed shop, all controlling. As a 15 to 18yr old, 19 or 20yr old, you want it all and you want it now. With the WHA, if you were good enough, that was quite possible, within reach, Player Agents springing up like weeds, Scouts in every arena.

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05-25-2012, 10:56 PM
  #34
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One more question, how come the NHL paid the Cinncinati and Brimigham (the two teams ignored during the NHL-WHA merger) to disband rather than merge them into the league.
I would like to know this as well...the Bulls had a pretty good owner in Bassett.

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05-25-2012, 11:21 PM
  #35
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I would like to know this as well...the Bulls had a pretty good owner in Bassett.
...the NHL claimed at the time that they didnt think another team in the South would work, as at that time Cousins was running out of gas in Atlanta & the league wanted him gone anyway. Additionally, Ballard couldnt stand Bassetts guts so that was a problem; along with the fact that the team was stocked with some decent young talent that would obviously become available to whomever it was that had drafted them earlier.

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05-26-2012, 07:07 AM
  #36
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This gives a pretty good reason. It's from Sports Illustrated

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...4980/index.htm

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05-27-2012, 10:09 AM
  #37
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This gives a pretty good reason. It's from Sports Illustrated

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...4980/index.htm
With an old Pete Rose on the cover! Can't be good news.

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05-27-2012, 04:00 PM
  #38
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...the NHL claimed at the time that they didnt think another team in the South would work, as at that time Cousins was running out of gas in Atlanta & the league wanted him gone anyway. Additionally, Ballard couldnt stand Bassetts guts so that was a problem; along with the fact that the team was stocked with some decent young talent that would obviously become available to whomever it was that had drafted them earlier.
Interesting. What about Cinncinati?

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05-28-2012, 11:32 AM
  #39
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Interesting. What about Cinncinati?
The Cleveland Barons tanked and were swallowed up into the North Stars. Perhaps the league felt that Ohio was not a suitable location for the NHL.

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05-29-2012, 09:05 PM
  #40
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Ottawa Nationals on video

I miss the Ottawa Nationals! Can't fInd a video of them anywhere!!!!

Same with the Ottawa Civics in '76

Check this out:

Www.whauniforms.com


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05-29-2012, 09:54 PM
  #41
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The Cleveland Barons tanked and were swallowed up into the North Stars. Perhaps the league felt that Ohio was not a suitable location for the NHL.
Northeast Ohio and the Cincinnati metro area could not be more dissimilar...the gulf is about as big as that between Montreal and Vancouver.

However, knowing the group of buffoons who ran the NHL at the time, it's entirely reasonable to deduce that the league regarded the two as the same.

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05-30-2012, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by kdb209 View Post
The AFL didn't really fail - the AFL/NFL merger was driven by the NFL, which was tired of competing with the upstart league. All ten AFL teams joined the merged NFL, becoming the AFC (along with the existing NFL franchises in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Baltimore).

The AFL started after there were multiple unsuccessful bidders on the then Chicago (now Arizona by way of St Louis) Cardinals in 1959. When the NFL rebuffed their requests for expansion teams, they (Lamarr Hunt, Bud Adams, et al) decided to form their own league. The AFL forced NFL expansion to Dallas and Minnesota to co-opt some potential AFL owners.

In the end the owners who formed the AFL got what they originally wanted - NFL franchises.
AFL is obviously the most successful attempt, because all of the franchises were admitted into the NFL. The ABA and WHA had to cut off the dead weight, but were admitted generally for the same reasons. The NHL expanded to Long Island so that the WHA wouldn't make it, and eventually a few other places the WHA was in.

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06-02-2012, 02:52 AM
  #43
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AFL is obviously the most successful attempt, because all of the franchises were admitted into the NFL. The ABA and WHA had to cut off the dead weight, but were admitted generally for the same reasons. The NHL expanded to Long Island so that the WHA wouldn't make it, and eventually a few other places the WHA was in.
There was also the Continental League, a proposed third baseball league in the late 50's/early 60's which was to have teams in Denver, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, New York, Toronto and Buffalo. The league never got off the ground but all of those cities except for Buffalo eventually got teams.

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06-02-2012, 08:38 AM
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The WHA was successful... it grew quite prominent, taking on the Russians, taking a lot of star NHL talent out of the NHL, getting lots of press.

Of course, why it eventually DIED, that is an interersting question. But it was successful in many ways for the better part of a decade.

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06-02-2012, 05:12 PM
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The WHA was successful...

Of course, why it eventually DIED, that is an interersting question. But it was successful in many ways for the better part of a decade.
It ran out of money!

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06-02-2012, 05:15 PM
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They ended up in San Diego I think. The expansion of the Islanders was in direct response to the WHA putting a team in New York.


Why else did the AFL and ABA eventually fail? Tried too hard, and spent too much money doing it.
The AFL did not fail. Its ludicrous to suggest that. It was a resounding success.

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06-02-2012, 05:40 PM
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It ran out of money!
After seven seasons, yes. But hockey thrived in several of the markets for over half a decade. The Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, New England Whalers and Houston Aeros were great franchises, three of which continue today in the NHL.

Success does not always mean survive the longest. Restaurants are often successful for a few years.

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06-02-2012, 05:50 PM
  #48
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Proximity ws the issue. New England left Boston for Hartford after the first season. The Nordiques were about three hours away from Montreal.

In the early 1970`s The Garden and the Forum used to be SRO / sellouts so the Whalers and Nordiques found a niche outside the 50 mile radius. Also the Nordiques had a tv contract and a solid radio network covering most of the province of Quebec plus they had the local media support Le Soleil and Journal de Quebec where they were the sport story of choice.
You're right about the Whalers in the old Boston Garden, they were actually the 4th tenant, after the Bruins, Celtics, (AHL) Braves and were given crap days to play...and they still did fairly well as Boston was hockey mad at the time, leading the WHA with an average attendance of 6,981/game.

However, they also played most of their 2nd season there, but had to move to the Eastern States Coliseum in West Springfield, MA for the playoffs. They started their 3rd season there but moved to Hartford in January 1974

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06-06-2012, 10:57 AM
  #49
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There was also the Continental League, a proposed third baseball league in the late 50's/early 60's which was to have teams in Denver, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, New York, Toronto and Buffalo. The league never got off the ground but all of those cities except for Buffalo eventually got teams.
Precisely. Among the forgotten relics of major league sports, many potential owners wanted sports teams and had to take on the establishment in order to get one. However, the goals appeared to all be similar: get a major league franchise.

The American Football League was born in 1959 as the National Football League rebuffed potential owners that bid on the relocation-bound Chicago Cardinals. The bidders approached the NFL for expansion teams, but Commissioner Bert Bell did not want to add teams. Once the AFL was formed, the NFL did an about-face and awarded teams to Dallas and Minneapolis to stave off the AFL. The AFL awarded a group from Atlanta an expansion franchise in 1965; the NFL then offered that group an NFL franchise.

Stability for the AFL was key. After five seasons of play, in 1965, the AFL received a rather hefty television fee from NBC. That same year, the AFL's New York Jets won the bidding war for Joe Namath. The NFL saw the writing on the wall; within one year discussions were held and then a merger agreement was put into place.

However, even that was frought with payola. In order to obtain the anti-trust exemption required to merge two leagues into one, the NFL placed a team in New Orleans in order to gain the votes of a senator and representative from Louisiana.

The aforementioned Continental League of Baseball was also formed in 1959. They applied for status as a component of Major League Baseball, but were basically rebuffed. It caused the American League and National League, after both being 8-team circuits for 60 years, to both add two additional teams. The American League, after allowing the Philadelphia A's to move to Kansas City and the St. Louis Browns to become the Baltimore Orioles during the 1950's, approved the Washington Senators to move to Continental League site Minneapolis, and expansion franchises were granted for the New Washington Senators and the Los Angeles Angels, giving the AL a presence on the Pacific for the first time. The National League, having the Braves move from Boston to Milwaukee, and the Giants and Dodgers move from the Five Boroughs to California, granted expansion teams to Houston (a Continental League city) and to the owners of the Continental League's New York franchise, to become the Mets. The granting of the Mets effectively ended the Continental League. Major League Baseball was in full control and was able to supplant the upstart league, but the interests of the Continental League were able to claim a small victory: seven of the eight prospective Continental League team locations had teams by 1977.

So of course, with the advent of competing leagues working so well, the American Basketball Association was founded in 1967, competing with the National Basketball Association. Ten years later, the NBA took four teams from the seven that finished the last season, the owner of a fifth team purchased an NBA franchise, one team folded and the seventh received a four-seventh share of national NBA television revenues in perpetuity. The ABA may not have "won", but they were able to get their more interested teams into the NBA.

And of course there is the WHA. The four tenured teams of the WHA made it into the NHL, at a big cost.

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06-06-2012, 11:22 AM
  #50
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Boston Arena

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You're right about the Whalers in the old Boston Garden, they were actually the 4th tenant, after the Bruins, Celtics, (AHL) Braves and were given crap days to play...and they still did fairly well as Boston was hockey mad at the time, leading the WHA with an average attendance of 6,981/game.

However, they also played most of their 2nd season there, but had to move to the Eastern States Coliseum in West Springfield, MA for the playoffs. They started their 3rd season there but moved to Hartford in January 1974
Thought they played mainly at the old Boston Arena?

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

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