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Viability of a Nomadic NHL Franchise

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05-24-2013, 10:12 PM
  #1
RobNWT
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Viability of a Nomadic NHL Franchise

Would it be possible for the NHL to operate a franchise with no real home?

There are 36 arenas in the United States with a listed hockey seating capacity of over 15,000 that do not have an NHL franchise. (numbers from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._United_States)

List of US cities: Atlanta, Auburn Hills, Birmingham, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Des Moines, East Rutherford, Greensboro, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Inglewood, Kansas City x2, Las Vegas, Lexington, Louisville x2, Madison, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, North Little Rock, Oakland, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Paradise, Phoenix, Portland, Rosemont, Seattle, Syracuse, Tacoma, Tulsa

There are at least 4 Canadian cities without NHL teams (Hamilton, Saskatoon, Quebec City, Halifax) that would more than likely pay premium prices to fill an arena for a few NHL games a season.

There are 41 regular season home games that would need to be scheduled. Most of the scheduling would be based on regional rivalries or proximity to another NHL team. For example, Nomads vs. Toronto or Buffalo in Hamilton, vs. Montreal in Quebec City, vs. Columbus in Cincinnati or Columbus, etc.

I'm sure the Canadian cities would want at least 2 games each. Las Vegas could probably handle 2-4 games no problem.

Playoff games would go to the highest bidder. If the Nomads were playing Vancouver in the playoffs, maybe Vancouver bids the most for the games and all games are played in Vancouver. Maybe the Leafs miss the playoffs, but MLSE bids the most for the Nomads home games.

I'm sure the players would hate it, as they don't really have a home either. Maybe a 10% bonus to salaries for players for being so inconvenienced.

Regional TV revenues would also be non existent.

Essentially, it would operate very similarly to a concert tour or the WWE moving from city to city.

Thoughts?

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05-24-2013, 10:16 PM
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Killion
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Ya, the NHLPA simply wouldnt go along with this, has rights built into the CBA that forbids such, so no, Im afraid it simply wouldnt happen Rob. Interesting enough idea, but completely impracticable.

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05-24-2013, 10:32 PM
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I'm not sure why fans would attend one game of a team they wouldn't really care about since they would be spending their time in a bunch of different cities.

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05-24-2013, 10:43 PM
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RobNWT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Ya, the NHLPA simply wouldnt go along with this, has rights built into the CBA that forbids such, so no, Im afraid it simply wouldnt happen Rob. Interesting enough idea, but completely impracticable.
If there's money involved, the NHLPA would be interested. I'm not suggesting that they actually do this, I'm just wondering if they could actually make a go of this if they wanted to.

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I'm not sure why fans would attend one game of a team they wouldn't really care about since they would be spending their time in a bunch of different cities.
They're doing it already for the NHL Premiere games.

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05-24-2013, 11:01 PM
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Killion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobNWT View Post
If there's money involved, the NHLPA would be interested. I'm not suggesting that they actually do this, I'm just wondering if they could actually make a go of this if they wanted to.
In that case, hypothetically, for sure it could be done, and absolutely, Id think it would be a huge moneymaker.

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05-24-2013, 11:08 PM
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madhi19
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I put a team in London before I go this way.

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05-24-2013, 11:51 PM
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No Fun Shogun
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Being nomadic has really only worked for the Harlem Globetrotters....

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05-25-2013, 12:06 AM
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Make it a stepping stone to the league, with a priority system where teams can assign a young player to the teams while retaining their rights. Players would have to be scratched when playing their club. Would a 20 year old rather make 700k with no home city, or 60k riding a bus in the AHL? Players that would rather not go to the KHL are another option.


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05-25-2013, 12:21 AM
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Can't see anyone wanting to sign and play with the team except for the one or two players who could get a lot of money.

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05-25-2013, 06:48 AM
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Early National Teams

Quote:
Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Being nomadic has really only worked for the Harlem Globetrotters....
.... and the Washington Generals.

The early Canadian and USA national teams from the 1960s onwards into the 1980s were nomadic with limited success.

In terms of competitive team sports the nomadic concept does not work since travel costs increase - double while all the non-ticket revenues are reduced to virtually zero. TV and radio contracts are home market driven, local marketing and licensing virtually disappears. Playoff participation and revenues are another matter altogether.

The only successful nomadic concepts were/are entertainment based - Harlem Globetrotters, Pro Wrestling, novelty shows like Eddie Feigner(reducing costs by reducing the number of players helps), etc.

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05-25-2013, 07:32 AM
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tony d
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Yeah, this will never happen. Who would ever support a team for just 1 home game a year?

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05-25-2013, 06:23 PM
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sushinsky4tsar
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I think what I would rather see is every NHL team play one home game in a peripheral market (or swap with their AHL affiliate for one night). It would create some administrative challenges and some teams might see a noticeable hit to their revenue for the one game of 41. However, I think it could only help teams to expand their footprint and tv viewership in the long run. I also agree that some hockey starved markets might actually pack the arena at premium prices.

Maybe it goes something like this:

VAN- alternating years between Seattle and Portland
CAL- Saskatoon
EDM- Saskatoon
SJ- alternating between Fresno and Sacramento
LA- Las Vegas
ANA- Las Vegas
PHO- Las Vegas

COL- alternating between Omaha and Salt Lake City
DAL- alternating between Oklahoma City and San Antonio
WPG- Saskatoon
MIN- alternating between Madison, Des Moines, and Grand Forks
CHI- alternating between Madison and Indianapolis
STL- alternating between Tulsa and Indianapolis
NAS- Milwaukee

DET- Grand Rapids
TOR- Rogers Centre
OTW- Stockholm
MTL- alternating between Hamilton and Halifax
BUF- alternating between Rochester and Hamilton
BOS- Prague
TB- Orlando
FLO- San Antonio

CBJ- Cleveland
PIT- Moscow
WAS- Stockholm
CAR- Charlotte
NYR- alternating between Albany and Hartford
PHI- Helsinki
NJ- Albany
NYI- Long Island

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05-25-2013, 06:29 PM
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Jax1166
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The team would suck, didn't we just have a bunch of single-interest whiny western conference owners just gerrymander the NHL divisions for "travel" reasons?

What makes one thing any owner, any player, would go along?

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05-25-2013, 06:39 PM
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I think the team would need to split between 2-3 cities, one or two home games won't be enough to build a fanbase. Perhaps 20-30 games at each city (probably in the same region) could work.

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05-25-2013, 07:13 PM
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Brodie
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wasn't there an AHL or IHL team that did this at some point? just toured the league? They may have been CSKA Moscow by another name?

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05-25-2013, 07:59 PM
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tarheelhockey
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Shouldn't Charlotte be on that list?

Anyway, this would basically be a series of exhibition games. It might be informative to check exhibition attendance history (sneak preview: not good).

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05-26-2013, 12:07 AM
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MartysBetterThanYou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushinsky4tsar View Post
I think what I would rather see is every NHL team play one home game in a peripheral market (or swap with their AHL affiliate for one night). It would create some administrative challenges and some teams might see a noticeable hit to their revenue for the one game of 41. However, I think it could only help teams to expand their footprint and tv viewership in the long run. I also agree that some hockey starved markets might actually pack the arena at premium prices.

Maybe it goes something like this:

VAN- alternating years between Seattle and Portland
CAL- Saskatoon
EDM- Saskatoon
SJ- alternating between Fresno and Sacramento
LA- Las Vegas
ANA- Las Vegas
PHO- Las Vegas

COL- alternating between Omaha and Salt Lake City
DAL- alternating between Oklahoma City and San Antonio
WPG- Saskatoon
MIN- alternating between Madison, Des Moines, and Grand Forks
CHI- alternating between Madison and Indianapolis
STL- alternating between Tulsa and Indianapolis
NAS- Milwaukee

DET- Grand Rapids
TOR- Rogers Centre
OTW- Stockholm
MTL- alternating between Hamilton and Halifax
BUF- alternating between Rochester and Hamilton
BOS- Prague
TB- Orlando
FLO- San Antonio

CBJ- Cleveland
PIT- Moscow
WAS- Stockholm
CAR- Charlotte
NYR- alternating between Albany and Hartford
PHI- Helsinki
NJ- Albany
NYI- Long Island
That's a lot of teams in Saskatoon. Also, the Flyers game should be played in the Lehigh Valley somewhere, Allentown perhaps? The A-Devs are on their way out as there is not much in the way of support so the Devils should play in either Atlantic City or Moscow (for Kovalchuk, who is more popular than Malkin in the motherland). Put the Pens in State College. Put the Isles in Bridgeport and the Rangers in Albany. Put the Sabres in Rochester, Habs in Quebec or Halifax, Leafs in Hamilton, Bruins in Hartford, Caps in Norfolk, Canes in Charlotte, Preds in Atlanta, Columbus in Cleveland, Detroit in Indianapolis, Hawks in Des Moines, Wild in Milwaukee, Blues in KC, and I don't know/don't care about the rest.

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05-26-2013, 12:20 AM
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smitty10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brodie View Post
wasn't there an AHL or IHL team that did this at some point? just toured the league? They may have been CSKA Moscow by another name?
Yes, the Soviet Wings toured the IHL in the mid-90's. Most of the players never played in the NHL, but Alexei Morozov, Dmitri Nabokov and Alexander Korolyuk all spent some time in the NHL.

Anyways, I don't think this would work. Cool idea, but no player would ever play on that team.

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05-26-2013, 01:01 AM
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Glacial
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The NHL can turn it into an audition show for so many different cities: Who Wants a NHL Team? Just like the current 'show', the NHL can go four seasons without a single taker.

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05-26-2013, 04:46 AM
  #20
Shawa666
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Travelling road team?

That's bush league.

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