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

Copps Coliseum is now officially a 'relic'

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Old
02-23-2017, 06:12 PM
  #101
Killion
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Originally Posted by Nullus Reverentia View Post
Been saying this for awhile. When I was in the construction industry I was familiar with a few of the firms in the GTA/GHA that would have bid for the contract to renovate FirstOntario and the cost was at likely double of what it was estimated to be when Balsillie was bidding.
Thats interesting. I believe the figure was around $175M~$225M if Im not mistaken. He had renderings drawn up, supposedly Civil Engineers, Architects & so on having scoped it all out. The MPP for the area & the Mayor of Hamilton supportive, combination private/public. Extensive. New entry ways, one major; widening concourse's, luxury suites, new dressing rooms, media, just on & on. I wondered at the time if that price tag wasnt a bit light. Also wondered if Rim-Jim there wasnt looking to acquire a team on the cheap going after distressed assets as he was & then threatening the League & both the Leafs & Sabres with anti-trust litigation so as to gain some leverage with the threat of litigation (and which he never did follow through on) & then dictate a lowball number in terms of cost of indemnification... or alternately have it adjudicated by some quasi panel of officials from the Canadian Competition Board or a Judge. Get it out of the hands of the NHL altogether.... Had he played it straight & from the inside, bought the Penguins or Nashville & really made a go of it, made it work, and then lobbied for a team in Hamilton (just not the Pens or Preds, like lets say by way of Expansion) then Hamilton would probably have had a team by now.


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Old
02-23-2017, 07:08 PM
  #102
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. . . Also wondered if Rim-Jim there wasnt looking to acquire a team on the cheap going after distressed assets as he was & then threatening the League & both the Leafs & Sabres with anti-trust litigation so as to gain some leverage with the threat of litigation (and which he never did follow through on) & then dictate a lowball number in terms of cost of indemnification... or alternately have it adjudicated by some quasi panel of officials from the Canadian Competition Board or a Judge. Get it out of the hands of the NHL altogether.... Had he played it straight & from the inside, bought the Penguins or Nashville & really made a go of it, made it work, and then lobbied for a team in Hamilton (just not the Pens or Preds, like lets say by way of Expansion) then Hamilton would probably have had a team by now.
Yeah, he was never going to win that kind of back-alley street fight with the people who run the NHL. They fight with knives, too.

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02-23-2017, 07:15 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by WildGopher View Post
Yeah, he was never going to win that kind of back-alley street fight with the people who run the NHL. They fight with knives, too.
That was his Achilles Heel not only in going after an NHL team but with RIM as well, overly litigious by nature. Well documented.

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02-23-2017, 07:18 PM
  #104
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Yeah absolutely. Hamiltons a great place though I see housing prices are really taking off, huge influx of Torontonians & people from elsewhere
driving up the prices which all in all bodes well for the future. Place still has a nice sense of community about it, very convenient location.
Yeah, its a shame. The coming all day go service makes things even more attractive. Oh well.

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02-23-2017, 07:29 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
Thats interesting. I believe the figure was around $175M~$225M if Im not mistaken. He had renderings drawn up, supposedly Civil Engineers, Architects & so on having scoped it all out. The MPP for the area & the Mayor of Hamilton supportive, combination private/public. Extensive. New entry ways, one major; widening concourse's, luxury suites, new dressing rooms, media, just on & on. I wondered at the time if that price tag wasnt a bit light. Also wondered if Rim-Jim there wasnt looking to acquire a team on the cheap going after distressed assets as he was & then threatening the League & both the Leafs & Sabres with anti-trust litigation so as to gain some leverage with the threat of litigation (and which he never did follow through on) & then dictate a lowball number in terms of cost of indemnification... or alternately have it adjudicated by some quasi panel of officials from the Canadian Competition Board or a Judge. Get it out of the hands of the NHL altogether.... Had he played it straight & from the inside, bought the Penguins or Nashville & really made a go of it, made it work, and then lobbied for a team in Hamilton (just not the Pens or Preds, like lets say by way of Expansion) then Hamilton would probably have had a team by now.
Got to remember that was awhile ago too. I heard that initial estimate was on the liberal end as well. Given we haven't had a serious proposal to renovate it since then, I'm inclined to believe that those cost predictions are relatively accurate.

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02-24-2017, 05:11 AM
  #106
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There were options Atlanta was never given a chance to save the team. There was also many US based options Milwaukee, Vegas, Portland, Houston, Indianapolis just to name a few, but the league perfered Winnipeg (which is fine).

Narrative before Jets: Bettman hates Canada and will never allow another team there.

Narrative after Jets: Bettman had no choice and was forced to allow the move. He will never allow it again!!

The truth is more likely any city that plays the game his (the BOG) way has a good chance at getting a team including Hamilton and Quebec.
Those were not options since there was either no arena or no ownership group interested. As for Atlanta, there was no secondary arena for the team to play in and these pseudo ownership groups in Atlanta probably had as much money as the Ice Edge clowns in Arizona. Tire-kickers just looking to get their name in the limelight.

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02-24-2017, 08:39 AM
  #107
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Just because you have a preference for Item A over Item B does not mean you necessarily "hate" Item B, but it does mean you will always take Item A if given a choice. In the case of the Thrashers, the NHL had NO choice but to allow the Thrashers to move to Winnipeg. Call it conjecture, call it speculation, call it a biased opinion.... but if Las Vegas had been ready for an NHL league team at the same time Winnipeg was ready, and the NHL had a choice between the two when the Thrashers needed to be moved.... I defy anyone to convince me Bettman and the NHL would have picked Winnipeg over Las Vegas... not in a million years.

But back to the topic of Hamilton. IMO the fact that people want to call the arena a 'relic' doesn't matter... what it was and should have been called was a mistake. Building an arena in Hamilton for an NHL team without first working out a deal with the Sabres and the Leafs and figuring out the whole territorial rights issue... was a mistake. Just putting an arena up doesn't guarantee getting an NHL team. Most certainly when you are going to have to fight the Leafs to do it.
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There were no options in Atlanta. Name one potential owner that was willing to play in the arena as a tenant under ASG.

And the league by-passed nothing. ASG bought the team on Sept 21, 2003 with a 7 year /season no-relocation clause starting with and including the 2003-04 season. That 7 year/season agreement ended after the 2009-10 season, which was seven seasons. At that point they could move the team. TNSE bought the team on May 20, 2011 announced on May 31, 2011.
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Originally Posted by Gnashville View Post
There were options Atlanta was never given a chance to save the team. There was also many US based options Milwaukee, Vegas, Portland, Houston, Indianapolis just to name a few, but the league perfered Winnipeg (which is fine).

Narrative before Jets: Bettman hates Canada and will never allow another team there.

Narrative after Jets: Bettman had no choice and was forced to allow the move. He will never allow it again!!

The truth is more likely any city that plays the game his (the BOG) way has a good chance at getting a team including Hamilton and Quebec.
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Originally Posted by blueandgoldguy View Post
Those were not options since there was either no arena or no ownership group interested. As for Atlanta, there was no secondary arena for the team to play in and these pseudo ownership groups in Atlanta probably had as much money as the Ice Edge clowns in Arizona. Tire-kickers just looking to get their name in the limelight.
Well yes and no. None of those cities wanted anything to do with the team at that moment. Because if they did, the Jets would be there and not Winnipeg. As cbcwpg admitted, Winnipeg was not the first choice.

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Old
02-24-2017, 09:57 AM
  #108
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Originally Posted by Killion View Post
That was his Achilles Heel not only in going after an NHL team but with RIM as well, overly litigious by nature. Well documented.
Missed this comment before. RIM being litigious was a reaction to the environment not the owners. The tech industry is under constant legal threats, and RIM dealt with plenty of patent trolls and frivolous lawsuits that became serious due to the nature of the US legal system.

I've met Jim a couple of times and he really doesn't seem like that type of person. Where he erred in his NHL bid was not his personality but him just not knowing how things ought to be done (and worse on his part, not going through the right channels to find out).

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02-24-2017, 10:25 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by Nullus Reverentia View Post
Missed this comment before. RIM being litigious was a reaction to the environment not the owners. The tech industry is under constant legal threats, and RIM dealt with plenty of patent trolls and frivolous lawsuits that became serious due to the nature of the US legal system.

I've met Jim a couple of times and he really doesn't seem like that type of person. Where he erred in his NHL bid was not his personality but him just not knowing how things ought to be done (and worse on his part, not going through the right channels to find out).
Yes Ive met him more than a few times as well, has a cottage in my knick of the woods. On a personal level, great guy. And sure, the Patent Trolls did indeed crawl out from underneath their bridges from far & wide but there were a couple of instances whereby RIM had in fact breached a Patent & rather than settling out of court or when losing in court, you had Jim going into orbit, and in one rather notorious case, name & details fail my memory, wound up costing RIM hundreds of millions when it couldve been settled for what amounted to peanuts. So sorry, but I stick by that assessment. Then there was the whole modus operandi of his old UofT buddy, the very aggressive & always grating Richard Rodier. He was the architect of Balsillies hostile relo attempts, Rodier played dirty, and Balsillie simply must have known & approved of such tactics. Rodier called a "pit bull" by various media, reporters, team personnel etc, most unpleasant fellow... and when push really came to shove turned out the guy like so many was all bark & no bite. With friends like that representing your interests who needs enemies?

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02-24-2017, 11:54 AM
  #110
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Pretty easy to see why Seattle is taking so long, given what has happened here.

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02-24-2017, 12:33 PM
  #111
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Yes Ive met him more than a few times as well, has a cottage in my knick of the woods. On a personal level, great guy. And sure, the Patent Trolls did indeed crawl out from underneath their bridges from far & wide but there were a couple of instances whereby RIM had in fact breached a Patent & rather than settling out of court or when losing in court, you had Jim going into orbit, and in one rather notorious case, name & details fail my memory, wound up costing RIM hundreds of millions when it couldve been settled for what amounted to peanuts. So sorry, but I stick by that assessment. Then there was the whole modus operandi of his old UofT buddy, the very aggressive & always grating Richard Rodier. He was the architect of Balsillies hostile relo attempts, Rodier played dirty, and Balsillie simply must have known & approved of such tactics. Rodier called a "pit bull" by various media, reporters, team personnel etc, most unpleasant fellow... and when push really came to shove turned out the guy like so many was all bark & no bite. With friends like that representing your interests who needs enemies?
Yeah that was the NTP Inc. vs. RIM case. NTP was a patent troll given egregious awards, and they would have got Blackberry's network shutdown in the U.S. if not for the Fed's saying they wouldn't allow it because it threatened national security. You need to understand where they're coming from though, I can understand getting aggressive when you get hit by a patent troll. RIM did infringe on NTP's patents but NTP was a non-practicing entity who held the patents for litigious purposes. Balsillie made the mistake of trying to beat them in court (and honestly, non-practicing entities who cannot demonstrate that they will use their patent should not be able to bring about copyright suits).

I'll agree the fault, I just don't think we can necessarily blame Balsillie for RIMs litigious history, tech industry is constantly under siege by scavangers trying to get a piece of the massive pie. RIM took an aggressive approach to fight them off and it backfired pretty big, but hindsight is 20-20. Now I can blame him for not properly understanding the US legal system and how companies exploit the rules, but it's easy to critique it after the fact. On the NHL, I completely agree however. I'm a little weary about blaming Jim personally though. He's a phenomenal person with a down to earth attitude not seen very often (he's true to his small town roots and doesn't act like he's better than anyone else).

I'm not entirely sure Hamilton would have worked even if he did everything right. When he was going after a Canadian team, I've been led to believe that ideally he would have rather put the team in Kitchener rather than Hamilton (so Hamilton was a stop gap until an arena could be built in Kitchener), and would have absolutely not foot the bill for Copps renovations. If the province/city was unwilling to provide a majority, I don't know if he would have done it. Got to remember his net worth plummeted shortly after due to RIMs implosion. I believe he'd had the lowest net worth by a significant margin if he was an owner today.

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02-24-2017, 04:16 PM
  #112
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If Copps is considered a relic, I can only imagine what today's braintrust would call 57 year old Windsor Arena(AKA The Barn, for a very obvious reason) when it hosted its first Memorial Cup in 81.

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02-24-2017, 09:06 PM
  #113
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This article is such junk. The CHL claimed a dehumidification system and HD scoreboard were the hangups.
Hardly makes the place a "relic".

It needs upgrades, it did the day it opened. It was built for them. Now, it needs upgrades to make up for neglect over the years.

The building itself is fine, better than fine. It's in an ideal location and built to be adaptable/expandable. If $100M to $200M was flogged into it you could have a venue that would be in the top half or top ten possibly.

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02-24-2017, 09:27 PM
  #114
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As the difficulties & obstacles in securing an NHL team for the market are now so well known, and in light of what's transpired with Copps/First Ontario over the past 30yrs youve just got to figure were probably looking at a Seattle like situation whereby the City & County are looking for the Leagues to guarantee them a team before deciding whether or not they'll back whatever project. Still indecisive despite Hansen dropping his P3 demands & going private. Hamilton like Seattle snake-bit. The Leagues of course expect Cities, entrepreneurs interested in securing teams to build it first & maybe they'll come, no guarantee's or at least thats what they claim publicly and it's just not true.

Harold Ballard, then owner of the Leafs & the CFL's Hamilton Tiger Cats needing public monies to renovate & upgrade the decrepit Ivor Wynne Stadium essentially offering up his support & encouragement for a Hamilton NHL Club, City enthusiastically figuring they were a shoe-in, charge ahead and build an arena, taking care of Ivor Wynne for Ballard & the Ti-Cats. There were other sentiments of encouragement from within the League emanating from the team levels however when push came to shove in 1990, Ron Joyce & Hamilton left whistling up a dark alley. Despite Balsillies efforts, not even close to realizing their objectives for the building (anchoring a hoped for downtown revitalization as well), sitting their incomplete (interior build, suites etc all haulted), essentially a shell for 30 years now.

When it opened, architecturally it was way ahead of its time & copied by other cities (Vancouver for eg) during the arena building booms of the 90's & 00's. I'm not buying the articles premise that its a "relic", far from it, however, it may have reached a point whereby it would be prudent to rather than spend at least $200M in bringing it up to speed, better to just build a new facility down on the waterfront site thats been talked about. However, without a comprehensive plan & guarantee's by the NHL backed by beyond Big Money, why even bother? Serious complicated & complex. You have land acquisition, construction costs, huge price tag to be paid to the NHL along with some major heavy duty indemnification payments to Toronto & Buffalo.... the whole dealeo seriously daunting. Very likely looking at over 1.2 Billion Dollars & thats being conservative.
Solid post and agree with most, except the idea of building a new facility.

NHL or not.....Hamilton NEEDS a venue of this size or close to it. London is 200k smaller than Hamilton (519,950) and they have a 9,100 seat facility. Factor in that Hamilton is the centre of Burlington (175,780), Brantford (90,190), Cambridge (120,375), Kitchener (204,688), Guelph (114,940) .....that puts the population using this venue for entertainment purposes at 1,225,923. Throw in Oakville (182,520), Milton (110,128), Woodstock (37,754) and St. Catharines (131,990) would put that figure up to 1,688,315.

A population of 1,688,315 needs a large venue for entertainment purposes. So forget the NHL, Hamilton needs this regardless. The study looking at potential renos and upgrades to Copps will show a whole bunch of options. The city can hold on to that.....act on some, wait on others. IF an NHL team is secured they can commit to act on some.

It's cheaper than demolishing the existing building, acquiring new land, building a new facility and carrying on. Copps was built to have upgrades done to it. The footprint is much larger than the arena, there is an enormous amount of space below the venue, the roof is designed to be raised for future expansion, etc.

Possessing a venue this adaptable....in the location it is in....building new seems foolish to me. Plunk $150M-$200M into Copps and you have a top knotch venue for another 20-30 years. The alternative would be to demolish it (big bucks), and use the lands acquired for the football stadium in the West Harbour (if they haven't been re-purposed already) to build new. I bet it would cost more and you'd end up with less.

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02-24-2017, 09:35 PM
  #115
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Given the segmentation of the metro area, would a team in Copps be called Hamilton or do you think they'd market the whole area and call it Ontario?

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02-24-2017, 09:50 PM
  #116
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Given the segmentation of the metro area, would a team in Copps be called Hamilton or do you think they'd market the whole area and call it Ontario?
If you're naming a team based on who your customers are....it'd be named Ontario. However, I think most hockey fans in Ontario (and Canada) would see that for what it is....and prefer a team to be named after the city it plays in.

After all.....people don't follow the Ontario Blue Jays or Canada Blue Jays. I don't think the Jays are worried about alienating any of their fans because they're named after where they play.

I just can't imagine a die hard hockey fan in Guelph saying "Humphhh...I WAS going to buy season tickets....but it's called HAMILTON.....no way! If it was called ONTARIO....I'd totally go watch and support this team!"

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02-24-2017, 10:04 PM
  #117
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The closest we ever came was the expansion in the early 90's when we lost out to Ottawa and Tampa. That was a tough one to swallow for Hamiltonians as it seemed we had a very good shot.

We are never going to get an NHL team and that's fine. The ship sailed long ago.

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02-24-2017, 10:16 PM
  #118
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Thats interesting. I believe the figure was around $175M~$225M if Im not mistaken. He had renderings drawn up, supposedly Civil Engineers, Architects & so on having scoped it all out. The MPP for the area & the Mayor of Hamilton supportive, combination private/public. Extensive. New entry ways, one major; widening concourse's, luxury suites, new dressing rooms, media, just on & on. I wondered at the time if that price tag wasnt a bit light. Also wondered if Rim-Jim there wasnt looking to acquire a team on the cheap going after distressed assets as he was & then threatening the League & both the Leafs & Sabres with anti-trust litigation so as to gain some leverage with the threat of litigation (and which he never did follow through on) & then dictate a lowball number in terms of cost of indemnification... or alternately have it adjudicated by some quasi panel of officials from the Canadian Competition Board or a Judge. Get it out of the hands of the NHL altogether.... Had he played it straight & from the inside, bought the Penguins or Nashville & really made a go of it, made it work, and then lobbied for a team in Hamilton (just not the Pens or Preds, like lets say by way of Expansion) then Hamilton would probably have had a team by now.
From what I've read and heard he was fine with owning the Pens in Pittsburgh. Never intended to move them. It was a short flight from Kitchener.

After a deal was agreed to, while the Pens are in talks for a new building (and threatening to leave themselves) the NHL tells Balsillie he can buy the team but he can't legally move them for 7 years. I'm not sure how you negotiate a new arena build without the threat of leaving town. The current owners had toured Kansas City, Houston, Vegas and Oklahoma.....Mario Lemieux admitted they were much closer to moving the Pens than he wants you to think.

But, the new guy buying the team....couldn't legally move it, so any threat to move it would be gone.....no leverage. No decent new arena deal. From everything I've read and heard.....Pittsburgh was close enough, would've been thrilled to own the team there. Eventually attempting to get a team in Hamilton and sell the Pens.....but the NHL wouldn't have it.

Then of course.....he went all lawyery on the NHL and started "proving demand" of the potential market by holding season ticket deposits on Ticketmaster (that did very well, lol) and holding rallies. Quite the gaff in using the Predators logo....but aside from that the NHL asks for this type of data. Vegas did it, and Hamilton did it previously for expansion (also with amazing results).

You can look at how he handled it and say how he did things wrong. But, look at Jerry Moyes.....that guy didn't even want to be an NHL owner. Look at the original owners of the Lightning....they were crooks. Look at 'Boots' Del Biaggio who the NHL seemed to love. At least this guy loved hockey and just honestly wanted to bring an NHL franchise to his area and his wife's hometown. He was in it for the love of hockey.....the passion and civic pride. And the NHL realized his end game....and did everything they could to avoid having an Owner like that.

The league should be seeking out Owners like that....not doing everything they can to make sure he never joins "the club". He was the perfect Owner trying to get a team in the perfect location. The NHL fought him harder than they have fought anyone else. I still can't understand why.

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02-24-2017, 10:20 PM
  #119
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For anyone that doesn't think it's a relic this was a hit #1 song the year it opened


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02-24-2017, 10:37 PM
  #120
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From what I've read and heard he was fine with owning the Pens in Pittsburgh. Never intended to move them. It was a short flight from Kitchener.

After a deal was agreed to, while the Pens are in talks for a new building (and threatening to leave themselves) the NHL tells Balsillie he can buy the team but he can't legally move them for 7 years. I'm not sure how you negotiate a new arena build without the threat of leaving town. The current owners had toured Kansas City, Houston, Vegas and Oklahoma.....Mario Lemieux admitted they were much closer to moving the Pens than he wants you to think.

But, the new guy buying the team....couldn't legally move it, so any threat to move it would be gone.....no leverage. No decent new arena deal. From everything I've read and heard.....Pittsburgh was close enough, would've been thrilled to own the team there. Eventually attempting to get a team in Hamilton and sell the Pens.....but the NHL wouldn't have it.

Then of course.....he went all lawyery on the NHL and started "proving demand" of the potential market by holding season ticket deposits on Ticketmaster (that did very well, lol) and holding rallies. Quite the gaff in using the Predators logo....but aside from that the NHL asks for this type of data. Vegas did it, and Hamilton did it previously for expansion (also with amazing results).

You can look at how he handled it and say how he did things wrong. But, look at Jerry Moyes.....that guy didn't even want to be an NHL owner. Look at the original owners of the Lightning....they were crooks. Look at 'Boots' Del Biaggio who the NHL seemed to love. At least this guy loved hockey and just honestly wanted to bring an NHL franchise to his area and his wife's hometown. He was in it for the love of hockey.....the passion and civic pride. And the NHL realized his end game....and did everything they could to avoid having an Owner like that.

The league should be seeking out Owners like that....not doing everything they can to make sure he never joins "the club". He was the perfect Owner trying to get a team in the perfect location. The NHL fought him harder than they have fought anyone else. I still can't understand why.
The 7 year no relocation rule was a confidential agreement and even the city of Pittsburgh may have not known about it. It was Balsillie that made it public. Bettman had told him that if the team had to be moved it could be waived. Balsillie did not lose any leverage at all if he had kept his mouth closed.

His escapades in Nashville is what made him persona non grata. He signed a purchase agreement in which he agreed to abide by the lease and instantly started violating it. He also has interfered in the Predators lease at least a full year before offering to buy the team. Mutiple lies and threats of lawsuits.

Yes others have done bad things and it embarrassed the league, but Basillie had already started to be a rouge owner before he even owned one. He tried to force his will on the BOG and proved to be a pain in the butt.

Don't you think most owners are passionate fans of their teams and have civic pride? Some are losing money and care more about their cities than money.


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Old
02-24-2017, 10:37 PM
  #121
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Given the segmentation of the metro area, would a team in Copps be called Hamilton or do you think they'd market the whole area and call it Ontario?
They'd be the Hamilton Tigers.

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02-24-2017, 10:40 PM
  #122
Jeffrey93
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Originally Posted by kovacro View Post
The closest we ever came was the expansion in the early 90's when we lost out to Ottawa and Tampa. That was a tough one to swallow for Hamiltonians as it seemed we had a very good shot.

We are never going to get an NHL team and that's fine. The ship sailed long ago.
That expansion was corrupt AF. The ONLY bid that met the criteria was Hamilton. The issue came down to the NHL not willing to tell Hamilton what they would have to pay in territorial fees. So Hamilton didn't front the entire deposit until that figure was known. Prudent choice.

So the league instead expanded to Ottawa (went bankrupt) and Tampa (criminal ownership).

It's actually quite amazing those two franchises are still where they are.

Ottawa is already looking for a new rink....due to location. Another issue a Hamilton franchise wouldn't be dealing with.

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02-24-2017, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnashville View Post
The 7 year no relocation rule was a confidential agreement and even the city of Pittsburgh may have not known about it. It was Balsillie that made it public. Bettman had told him that if the team had to be moved it could be waived. Balsillie did not lose any leverage at all if he had kept his mouth closed.
HA! You think the city, county and state wouldn't have known about it?!?!

Besides.....the Penguins at the time without a 7 year itch clause vs. the Penguins at the time WITH a 7 year itch clause would be valued very differently.

Balsillie was aware of this, so was the Pens Ownership....and the Pens Ownership didn't like it either.

He was going to plunk down $15M in a deposit for the team....THEN the 7 year itch clause was told to him. From a transcript during these legal proceedings, "this nested contingent event of an arena that was designed when Eisenhower was President".......the issue was being FORCED to stay in a rink that was outdated years prior.

There was no clause that would allow the team to be moved or the terms could be waived. Regardless......If you're plunking down $15M as a non-refundable deposit and purchasing the team for $175M......some clause stating you have to play in an archaic arena for 7 years is absurd. He was aware of the current arena proposals.....was willing to work with the 'Plan B' option depending on the vote for Plan A.

Didn't matter......and in my opinion the NHL used Balsillie as a way to get Pittsburgh a new arena. Balsillie felt similarly it seems as his view towards the league was less after that.

Regardless......Copps could easily be turned into what he envisioned, and more. Without a major tenant the question is obviously 'Who pays for it?'. But, Hamilton has to realize.....that venue is drawing from about 1.5M in the surrounding area for concerts and other events.....even without a major tenant.

A city that size....in a surrounding area that size....needs a large venue (that is kept up) to draw people into the city. Development downtown is booming lately.....GO Transit Service is increasing, LRT is coming........you NEED a venue that size, NHL or not.

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02-24-2017, 11:31 PM
  #124
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
From what I've read and heard he was fine with owning the Pens in Pittsburgh. Never intended to move them. It was a short flight from Kitchener.

After a deal was agreed to, while the Pens are in talks for a new building (and threatening to leave themselves) the NHL tells Balsillie he can buy the team but he can't legally move them for 7 years. I'm not sure how you negotiate a new arena build without the threat of leaving town. The current owners had toured Kansas City, Houston, Vegas and Oklahoma.....Mario Lemieux admitted they were much closer to moving the Pens than he wants you to think.

But, the new guy buying the team....couldn't legally move it, so any threat to move it would be gone.....no leverage. No decent new arena deal. From everything I've read and heard.....Pittsburgh was close enough, would've been thrilled to own the team there. Eventually attempting to get a team in Hamilton and sell the Pens.....but the NHL wouldn't have it.
In short, the NHL correctly sniffed out that Balsillie had no interest in owning a team in Pittsburgh. His further actions in Nashville and Glendale only reinforce that the NHL got it completely right.

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02-24-2017, 11:36 PM
  #125
Melrose Munch
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
That expansion was corrupt AF. The ONLY bid that met the criteria was Hamilton. The issue came down to the NHL not willing to tell Hamilton what they would have to pay in territorial fees. So Hamilton didn't front the entire deposit until that figure was known. Prudent choice.

So the league instead expanded to Ottawa (went bankrupt) and Tampa (criminal ownership).

It's actually quite amazing those two franchises are still where they are.

Ottawa is already looking for a new rink....due to location. Another issue a Hamilton franchise wouldn't be dealing with.
Every single time...the expansion was "rigged". Why should the NHL tell them the indemnification fees? They have never done that before so why? If Hamilton will make a lot of money, then pay up. You'll get it back right?

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