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

Will the NHL try Atlanta again?

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Old
11-11-2013, 04:28 PM
  #51
Tackla
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I'm tired of the thought process that the NHL decides where teams go. The NHL would love to be back in Atlanta because they still think someday they will get a lucrative US TV contract (I doubt it). They will go anywhere that offers them a stable ownership and a big expansion or relocation fee.

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11-11-2013, 04:35 PM
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tackla View Post
I'm tired of the thought process that the NHL decides where teams go. The NHL would love to be back in Atlanta because they still think someday they will get a lucrative US TV contract (I doubt it). They will go anywhere that offers them [a stable ownership and a big expansion or relocation fee.
Should read:

They will go anywhere that offers them a stable ownership and a big expansion or relocation fee.



Last edited by Fugu: 11-11-2013 at 04:47 PM. Reason: we don't allow 'fixing', so I moved it out of the quote area
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Old
11-11-2013, 04:50 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
What were they supposed to do? ASG owns the arena operating rights and they owned the team.
The NHL really had nowhere to go on this, though. ASG wanted out and had been apparently been working behind the scenes for a couple years to offload the team, there was no viable arena other than what ASG owned, there were no viable local buyers, and the local government wasn't willing to help out in any way, a la Glendale. Oh, and let's not forget that the league already had their hands full with the Yotes, taking on another white elephant with no way out on the horizon was a nonstarter.

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Old
11-11-2013, 04:50 PM
  #54
Guardian452
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Pigs have a better chance at flying. Quebec City, Seattle, Kansas City, Houston & Markham are all viable options with potential parties who have expressed interest in the NHL. When only 400 folks appeared at a rally to show support for the Thrashers, it pretty much signaled that there are not enough fans in Atlanta to support an NHL team in both good times and bad times.

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11-11-2013, 05:09 PM
  #55
Melrose Munch
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@Fugu

I think Bettman and the NHL bungled it more then anything. Phoenix, which has almost no economy, got help because of the tax money they offered. But Atlanta's support for the other sports teams has not been that great.

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11-11-2013, 05:11 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by aqib View Post
It makes perfect sense not to go there. Atlanta failed twice. The Flames were decent enough on the ice and still didn't draw. Houston, we've heard the song and dance with every southern city "large population, people moving there all the time, lots of transplants from northern cities, etc"

Until you get 10 teams in Canada the Southern markets will have to wait.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puckschmuck View Post
Regardless of the excuses for lack of fans, facts are facts. Overall, the fan support for NHL hockey in Atlanta was poor. Some southern markets work (see Nashville and LA) and others don't (see Phoenix, Atlanta and Florida). There is nothing wrong with that either. It's like trying to make Cricket popular in Mongolia; it ain't ever gonna happen because there will never be a large enough fanbase to provide that support. That is just life, and some people need to accept that.
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Originally Posted by Pinkfloyd View Post
Atlanta failed twice for different reasons, none of which should apply if they get competent ownership to run it the next time. The Flames were in a vastly different landscape that it's not relevant to now. If that Atlanta Flames team had started in this era, they would still be there. And the only reason the Thrashers failed was because they were sabotaged by the ASG group. There is plenty reason to believe Atlanta can work as a hockey market if they get an ownership group that is competent and wants to be there. However, with ASG still owning Philips Arena, that is the real reason why Atlanta is not an option at this point.

As for 10 teams in Canada, that's laughable. The Canadian teams don't even want 10 teams in Canada. They will be lucky if they get Quebec City but other than that, it isn't going to happen. I would bet easily on Sacramento getting an NHL team before there is a 9th team in Canada.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puckschmuck View Post
Go look up average fan support for both NHL Atlanta teams. That will bring you back into reality, unlike believing an NHL team in Sacramento will ever occur.
But Winnipeg's attendance was awful for much of the early 90's. Why did should the NHL be back in Winnipeg and not Atlanta?

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11-11-2013, 05:14 PM
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrose Munch View Post
@Fugu

I think Bettman and the NHL bungled it more then anything. Phoenix, which has almost no economy, got help because of the tax money they offered. But Atlanta's support for the other sports teams has not been that great.

Let's not mix up two issues though. There's the Atlanta market in general, and what it would take to make things work. One idea was an arena north of the city, closer to the potential core fan base. That actually removes the city of Atlanta out of the equation.

What Bettman et al cannot do is make a new arena materialize from thin air. They can work with a committed ownership group (e.g., Lemieux and Burkle in Pittsburgh) to get funding, for example.

Furthermore, ASG was fighting within itself for much of the time they owned the Thrashers. I think they decided they could make more money from other acts/bookings than keeping a hockey team in that venue.

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11-11-2013, 05:21 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian452 View Post
Pigs have a better chance at flying. Quebec City, Seattle, Kansas City, Houston & Markham are all viable options with potential parties who have expressed interest in the NHL. When only 400 folks appeared at a rally to show support for the Thrashers, it pretty much signaled that there are not enough fans in Atlanta to support an NHL team in both good times and bad times.
By the time that rally happened, the fans knew they were gone. Those people aren't oblivious to what was going on especially when ownership was saying it straight to their face in their season ticket meetings. There wasn't anything the league could do and there was nothing the fans could do. The owners didn't want the team there regardless of its potential if given the proper resources. If the owners of the building don't want the team there and that's the only building in town, what else do you think is going to happen? Another prospective owner would have to be able to purchase the team AND build a competing arena from scratch while somehow finding a way to have the previous ownership group sell it to them. And the last part just wasn't going to happen even if the prior two were fulfilled because they wanted them out and certainly wouldn't want arena competition to deal with on top of that.

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11-11-2013, 05:57 PM
  #59
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It wouldn't happen for a long time.

Not only do they have owners who would be interested in bringing it back it's also been moved from Atlanta twice so is it really worth going back for a third time?

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11-11-2013, 06:00 PM
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Let's not mix up two issues though. There's the Atlanta market in general, and what it would take to make things work. One idea was an arena north of the city, closer to the potential core fan base. That actually removes the city of Atlanta out of the equation.

What Bettman et al cannot do is make a new arena materialize from thin air. They can work with a committed ownership group (e.g., Lemieux and Burkle in Pittsburgh) to get funding, for example.

Furthermore, ASG was fighting within itself for much of the time they owned the Thrashers. I think they decided they could make more money from other acts/bookings than keeping a hockey team in that venue.
The Liberty media people could try to work out a deal for hockey in the new Atlanta braves arena.


My main problem is that Atlanta was a bigger more influential market, and we left it like that.


Last edited by Melrose Munch: 11-11-2013 at 09:26 PM.
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11-11-2013, 06:06 PM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrimper View Post
It wouldn't happen for a long time.

Not only do they have owners who would be interested in bringing it back it's also been moved from Atlanta twice so is it really worth going back for a third time?
Depends on the kind of ownership they have, how the building situation is handled, and whether they have competent hockey ops management. The fans, imo, aren't the problem in Atlanta.

However, as long ASG owns Philips, it's not going to happen.

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Old
11-11-2013, 07:28 PM
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guardian452 View Post
When only 400 folks appeared at a rally to show support for the Thrashers, it pretty much signaled that there are not enough fans in Atlanta to support an NHL team in both good times and bad times.
Knowing someone who was at that rally I can attest that the way it was covered in Canada was embarrassing, homeristic journalism at its finest. That was never even intended to be a rally, just some hardcore fans getting together to do their own thing, but once media personalities north of the border got wind of it they were basically called out on making it a "rally" and of course they weren't going to get a lot of people on short notice. And anything intelligent any Thrashers fan said at this "rally" was guaranteed not to be reported by TSN, Sportsnet, etc.

As for whether the NHL could work in Atlanta, there's two possibilities here. To work at Phillips, ASG would have to take a hike. Could it work then? Hard to say, maybe.

An intriguing possibility to me, which someone else above hinted at, would be the suburbs, most likely Gwinnett. I think if there was an NHL sized arena there, you could almost see a situation similar to what San Jose has been on the west coast. The demographics are more in line with traditional markets (more white and middle class, as crude as it is to put it like that). For fans in the suburbs the way the transportation works in Atlanta made it very impractical to go to games unless they went directly from work.

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11-11-2013, 07:39 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brec7 View Post

An intriguing possibility to me, which someone else above hinted at, would be the suburbs, most likely Gwinnett. I think if there was an NHL sized arena there, you could almost see a situation similar to what San Jose has been on the west coast. The demographics are more in line with traditional markets (more white and middle class, as crude as it is to put it like that). For fans in the suburbs the way the transportation works in Atlanta made it very impractical to go to games unless they went directly from work.
I would agree ultimately the reason why the Thrashers is due to a lack of place to play. So yes having an arena in the burbs would have been the best solution.

The challenge though would be getting that suburb/county to buy in and provide funding to an adequate arena knowing it would face stiff competition from Philips in bringing in non-sporting events would be a big deterrent. Looking at Glendale as one example, would there even be enough events to go between the 2 venues to make it viable?

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11-11-2013, 09:27 PM
  #64
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Do people think the folks moving the braves would be interested in a new NHL team?

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11-11-2013, 11:07 PM
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puckschmuck View Post
Go look up average fan support for both NHL Atlanta teams. That will bring you back into reality, unlike believing an NHL team in Sacramento will ever occur.
{Mod}

Personally, I think ATL could happen in the very long term. Over the next 30-40 years, I'd like to see:

Seattle - Quebec
Portland - Toronto2
Salt Lake City - Hamilton

And then it's anyone's guess at that point in the future. But I would think that the NHL would seriously consider Houston and Atlanta. Massive markets. They'd really need to do their homework, though. Learn from successful southern expansions and implement what worked there. Find deep-pocketed hockey-loving owners that own the arena. Create grassroots interest over a long period of time. Hell, start now, and plan to put teams there in 40-50 years.


Last edited by Killion: 11-11-2013 at 11:20 PM. Reason: ... not reqd.
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11-11-2013, 11:24 PM
  #66
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i wont say never, but you're talking 30-50 or so years out if it ever happens, which might as well be never.

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11-11-2013, 11:34 PM
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aqib View Post
It makes perfect sense not to go there. Atlanta failed twice. The Flames were decent enough on the ice and still didn't draw. Houston, we've heard the song and dance with every southern city "large population, people moving there all the time, lots of transplants from northern cities, etc"

Until you get 10 teams in Canada the Southern markets will have to wait.
Ok Vancouver, Ottawa & Winnipeg 2 teams in Alberta, GTA & Quebec, where does that last team go?


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11-11-2013, 11:39 PM
  #68
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Halifax! Let's have a merry time in the Maritimes.

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11-11-2013, 11:48 PM
  #69
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Ok Vancouver, Ottawa & Winnipeg 2 teams in Alberta, GTA & Quebec, where does that last team go?
Hamilton. 3 Teams in Southern Ontario.

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11-11-2013, 11:51 PM
  #70
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Hamilton. 3 Teams in Southern Ontario.
I just don't see 3 teams in Southern Ontario, Buffalo would throw a **** fit

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11-12-2013, 12:10 AM
  #71
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Hamilton's done, if it ever wasn't, now that the Sabres have their games back on TV there.

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11-12-2013, 12:21 AM
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave is a killer View Post
I just don't see 3 teams in Southern Ontario, Buffalo would throw a **** fit

They'd have to get in line behind the Leafs in that area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by danishh View Post
i wont say never, but you're talking 30-50 or so years out if it ever happens, which might as well be never.
What was the gap between the time the Flames and Thrashers were there????

That would be the minimum starting point.... and it'd take an ownership change in Phillips Arena or someone with a new arena (even less likely) before Atlanta would get another franchise.

OOW.... never is a pretty good estimate.... but the NHL is a funny thing.

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11-12-2013, 12:29 AM
  #73
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Hamilton's done, if it ever wasn't, now that the Sabres have their games back on TV there.
Oh? We'll just see about that. They'll likely need to play the game, new building etc but I wouldnt count Hamilton out, not by a longshot.

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11-12-2013, 12:41 AM
  #74
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What was the gap between the time the Flames and Thrashers were there????
I think 19 years.

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Old
11-12-2013, 12:45 AM
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanuuq View Post
IMHO the NHL has set itself up for 2 expansion teams in the east.
One in Quebec city, the other in Markham outside of Toronto.

anything else makes no sense over the next 20 years as these two expansion teams
will provide a great amount of funding to the current and future team owners.
If they didn't move over Detroit and Columbus I would agree but I think with doing so its going to have to be two western teams, Seattle for sure, Portland and Houston would be the other options IMO

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