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Bettman shares thoughts on Thrashers ownership

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Old
02-09-2010, 03:39 PM
  #51
Jeffrey93
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Originally Posted by He Lied to Mario View Post
Where were you when Bettman was fighting for the Penguins to stay in Pittsburgh? Bettman worked on the Penguins situation, kept saying they needed a new arena and forced the hand of the Pennsylvania government to finally fund the arena. Bettman met with the governor Ed Rendell and different mayors of Pittsburgh. What part of that doesn't show "commitment".
He forced their hand by saying if it isn't going to be done they would have to explore other options. Mario said it too.

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02-09-2010, 03:41 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Canadian91 View Post
Would you look at that... Bettman isn't the only one who is ignorant.

If Winnipeg was "bleeding money" as you call it, then what are Phoenix, Atlanta, Carolina, Colorado, Tampa Bay and NYI doing???

Yes, Canadian franchises have had some trouble in the past, but they've fixed themselves because they are natural hockey markets, and have the fan and media support, we don't know if the SAM's will rebound from their downward spiral, because they have little fan support and no media coverage.
Yup. The trouble Canadian teams have been in previously were related to either arena situations or the exchange rate. Not support.

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02-09-2010, 03:59 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
Meanwhile, Atlanta has had a team and lost it...now has a team again and are struggling again. Was it mis-managed the last time too? What are the odds of that?
Do you even know the circumstances behind the Flames move to Calgary or are you just spouting the same nonsense that's propagated around here and unchallenged to the point where it's seemingly become "fact"?

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02-09-2010, 04:27 PM
  #54
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Because, Balsillie was trying to move the team to Canada. If he would've been somebody trying to move the Pens to let's say Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bettman wouldn't have done a thing about it.
Bettman was working for a new arena before Balsillie became involved with the Pens. Riddle me that one Batman?

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02-09-2010, 04:30 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Elyoric View Post
Do you even know the circumstances behind the Flames move to Calgary or are you just spouting the same nonsense that's propagated around here and unchallenged to the point where it's seemingly become "fact"?
Poor ticket sales...losing money...had the WHA to contend with....Atlanta wasn't a planned expansion but the NHL wanted to keep the WHA out of the new Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, so to balance out the schedule they also granted an expansion team to Atlanta as the Omni had just been built and the group that owned it was interested in a NHL team. The group got tired of the financial losses and were approached by Calgary, so they sold the team.

Unless there is much more to this story that you would like to share.

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02-09-2010, 04:55 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Canadian91 View Post
Because, Balsillie was trying to move the team to Canada. If he would've been somebody trying to move the Pens to let's say Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bettman wouldn't have done a thing about it.
I don't actually believe this. I think the NhL viewed Pittsburgh as an important strategic market and as such worked hard to help get the arena deal done.

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02-09-2010, 06:33 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Thomas Steen View Post
The NHL has NO control over Atlanta Thrashers owners because they own the arena. (the only NHL ready arena in Atlanta) This is not a similiar situation at all to Phoenix... The NHL can not force the "Spirit" to not sell the Thrashers to people that would keep the team in Atlanta. Nor can the NHL take over the team. The Spirit could evict an NHL owned team from Phillips arena.. The NHL are helpless because the Spirit group would not negotiate with any new local NHL team owners.. or it would be a bad negotiation for a new owner.

Basically the NHL has no control as to what happens in Atlanta except to approve the sale to new owners and a new NHL approved city.. This is the only thing the NHL has control of.
This will happen sooner than later. Sorry Atlanta fans.
This is simply nonsense. Your suggestion that the current owners would LOCK OUT new owners! The Atlanta spirit would be happy to accept rent from a new Thrashers owner and let the new owner take profit/loss risks.

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02-09-2010, 08:06 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by He Lied to Mario View Post
Bettman was working for a new arena before Balsillie became involved with the Pens. Riddle me that one Batman?
That's not the point. I was saying that if the option to move Pittsburgh to a Southern American Market, he would definitely pounce on it since the arena deal wasn't set in stone yet. He has some sort of unexplainable love for any place south of St. Louis...

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02-09-2010, 08:42 PM
  #59
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This is simply nonsense. Your suggestion that the current owners would LOCK OUT new owners! The Atlanta spirit would be happy to accept rent from a new Thrashers owner and let the new owner take profit/loss risks.
You missed the point. Atlanta Spirit would not be friendly to any new owners as far as fair rent goes, box revenue, concessions, ice times etc etc... You really think a team could survive under those conditions without availablility to "other revenues" just on seat tickets alone??? If they don't own all revenue coming out of that building then what is the advantage? The Atlanta Thrashers are losing them millions so why not get rid of them and get great revenue from other events on those open nights..
Also what was pointed out was that the NHL would have no control over the fact
that if Atlanta Spirit decided to sell and not want any NHL team in Phillips arena. Then what ? Maybe they decide they make more money by filling the arena with concerts, events etc...?? This is the point.. More money available to Spirit than rent would pay !
You are really assuming Atlanta Spirit would want a team owned by someone else in their building... Is there precedent where a owner owns the arena, the NBA team and not the NHL team that share the same building???


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02-09-2010, 11:21 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by He Lied to Mario View Post
Bettman was working for a new arena before Balsillie became involved with the Pens. Riddle me that one Batman?
i am wondering if the penguins would've moved if the city government decided not use public funds to keep the pens there....

the reason why the US has more hockey teams because those cities are more open to use tax money to build arenas compared to canada where taxpayers are vehemently against it...

if canada was like the US, say allow tax money to build new arenas, winnipeg and quebec would still be in the NHL.......

recently, pat laforge, the CEO of the oilers, was threatening that the oilers may relocate if the city rejects using public funds to build a new arena....

the oiler's lease ends in 2014....i can see them moving....bettman would only support in keeping a team in a city if taxpayers come in to bail them out...


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Old
02-09-2010, 11:25 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by kcspence View Post
Let me make it simple for the few, but persistent, cold climate fans who just don't get it.

Canadian interest in the NHL is arguably at a peak. That market is saturated. Moving a "failed" southern franchise to Hamil-Que-Winn-ifax does nothing to grow the league or the sport.

There is a potential hockey market an order of magnitude bigger than Canada's in the country immediately to the south, and it just happens to be the richest nation on the planet. The league would be asinine to ignore that reality.

If you want to argue that the NHL/Bettman have done a poor job of marketing, selecting owners, etc., that's perfectly valid. Criticizing the very existence of southern teams, and insulting their fans at every opportunity, is short sighted and foolish.
It's funny that the best league in North America doesn't follow this flawed logic. Yeah, they might play a game in an area where they are trying to grow interest, but they won't keep teams in markets which don't support them. The Jags won't be going to Mexico city in order to grow the game, they'll go to LA where the game is already big.

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02-10-2010, 12:04 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Respect Your Edler View Post
It's funny that the best league in North America doesn't follow this flawed logic. Yeah, they might play a game in an area where they are trying to grow interest, but they won't keep teams in markets which don't support them. The Jags won't be going to Mexico city in order to grow the game, they'll go to LA where the game is already big.
Yes, when you scratch the surface you discover that the NFL and MLB have expanded or relocated in the name of growing the game. The NBA did, placing teams in Canada, Minnesota and other places with no basketball tradition... and those efforts were successfully planned by senior vice president Gary Bettman.

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02-10-2010, 01:10 AM
  #63
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Good points all, and all repeated to death for who knows how long. Unfortunately, posts like yours don't typically get responses from the "few, but persistent" because, I guess, they're not sure how to respond.

How do you argue a saturated market of 30M that will bring some additional ticket sales and concession sales can compete with an unsaturated market of >150M?

1) New teams in Canada will generate ticket sales in those cities. Depending on proximity to other hockey markets, some percentage will shift from one franchise to another, but the vast majority will be new ticket sales.

2) TV ratings won't change. They'll shift, but no significant "new" viewers will be brought to the game.

3) Media advertising revenues would also likely shift more than grow. There should be some new local advertising that will be generated, but the national advertising simply gets carved up as only so many dollars to go around. And with no real growth in viewership, there is little motivation to increase advertising spending.

4) Merchandise sales might increase in the beginning, but likely flatten out when the vast majority who already cheer for another team shift their merchandising dollars from their old team to their new team.

5) Corporate sponsorships for individual teams is a wild card. I don't know enough about the Canadian markets many consider ripe for teams and whether those locales have the businesses to partner with the team and buy the corporate suites. What I do know is ticket sales alone cannot carry a franchise long-term, and corporate sponsorships are critical to long-term success.

Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix, Florida, Carolina, San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Tampa are valued at >$1.8B as of Nov. 2009 (about $180M a team).

The six Canadian teams are worth >$1.6B (Toronto and Montreal combine for half of that total; the other four average worth is ~$200M).

I'm no economist or accountant, but I doubt there's a Toronto or Montreal market waiting to be tapped in Canada. And with the other four admittedly successful Canadian franchises valued only ~10% greater than what is constantly argued as the "failed" southern strategy teams, why would you give up now?

Long-term US expansion makes sense. Will it work? Can't know that yet. Until someone is unwilling to step up and buy a team and keep it in the local market the "experiment" will continue.
Good post, growth is important forsure, but I fail to see how moving a couple of struggling teams into Canada will have any long term negative impact on the league. I personally don't think people are clueless about what the NHL is trying to do, but I think a lot of people are concerned with how the NHL has gone about doing it.

For myself, I think the NHL was too hasty in its southern expansion, they went in to fast and to hard. I would of liked to see them take a more conservative approach to it.

I think the league atm has too much invested in very risky teams like Phoenix, Atlanta and Nashville for example. Moving some of those teams to markets with established fan bases like Winnipeg and Quebec City imo would really help the financial health of the league in the short and medium run be improving the leagues mixture.

I'm under no illusion that Winnipeg and Quebec would ever be big money makers for the NHL, but I think they could be very low risk low reward healthy franchises. I'd put them in the group of teams consisting of Ottawa, Buffalo and Edmonton as relatively stable franchise's.

If you liken the NHL to an Investment portfolio, you have your Blue chip stock/teams in the Montreal's, Toronto's and NY's of the league, you also have your emerging blue chips in Dallas, Colorado etc. You have your low risk Cash items/teams, Ottawa, Edmonton etc and then you have your High risk Speculative stock/investments, Phoenix, Atlanta etc.

As I said earlier I believe that the league has too much invested in high risk speculative teams and that moving a couple of them to low risk markets like Winnipeg and QC would allow the league to do three things.

1) Improve its financial health and stability by eliminating some of its long and short term risk.

2) It would allow the league's emerging success stories, the SJ's and Dallas's of the league to fully gain a foothold without having to worry about propping up to many struggling franchises.

3) It would allow the NHL to focus more resources into growing the game in the remaining risky markets.

So yes in the long term developing markets is important, but I still believe that having more teams in Canada will also really help the league now and in the future.

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02-10-2010, 01:24 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
Poor ticket sales...losing money...had the WHA to contend with....Atlanta wasn't a planned expansion but the NHL wanted to keep the WHA out of the new Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, so to balance out the schedule they also granted an expansion team to Atlanta as the Omni had just been built and the group that owned it was interested in a NHL team. The group got tired of the financial losses and were approached by Calgary, so they sold the team.

Unless there is much more to this story that you would like to share.
The Flames did lose money in Atlanta, but they weren't bleeding money. Cousins (the owner) was totally strapped for cash at the time and was happy to sell the team to the highest bidder. A more stable owner would have kept The Flames in Atlanta.

In the decade before Orr you couldn't give away tickets to Bruins' games, and during the ugly "Boycott the Bruins" period the Thrashers outdrew the B's. Funny, when the Thrashers do well, they sell out just like any other normal NHL team. Now that the Drama Queen Coast-All-Chump is gone, the T-Birds will be respectable again.

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02-10-2010, 06:00 AM
  #65
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Originally Posted by RR View Post
Good points all, and all repeated to death for who knows how long. Unfortunately, posts like yours don't typically get responses from the "few, but persistent" because, I guess, they're not sure how to respond.

How do you argue a saturated market of 30M that will bring some additional ticket sales and concession sales can compete with an unsaturated market of >150M?

1) New teams in Canada will generate ticket sales in those cities. Depending on proximity to other hockey markets, some percentage will shift from one franchise to another, but the vast majority will be new ticket sales.

2) TV ratings won't change. They'll shift, but no significant "new" viewers will be brought to the game.

3) Media advertising revenues would also likely shift more than grow. There should be some new local advertising that will be generated, but the national advertising simply gets carved up as only so many dollars to go around. And with no real growth in viewership, there is little motivation to increase advertising spending.

4) Merchandise sales might increase in the beginning, but likely flatten out when the vast majority who already cheer for another team shift their merchandising dollars from their old team to their new team.

5) Corporate sponsorships for individual teams is a wild card. I don't know enough about the Canadian markets many consider ripe for teams and whether those locales have the businesses to partner with the team and buy the corporate suites. What I do know is ticket sales alone cannot carry a franchise long-term, and corporate sponsorships are critical to long-term success.

Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix, Florida, Carolina, San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Tampa are valued at >$1.8B as of Nov. 2009 (about $180M a team).

The six Canadian teams are worth >$1.6B (Toronto and Montreal combine for half of that total; the other four average worth is ~$200M).

I'm no economist or accountant, but I doubt there's a Toronto or Montreal market waiting to be tapped in Canada. And with the other four admittedly successful Canadian franchises valued only ~10% greater than what is constantly argued as the "failed" southern strategy teams, why would you give up now?

Long-term US expansion makes sense. Will it work? Can't know that yet. Until someone is unwilling to step up and buy a team and keep it in the local market the "experiment" will continue.
To play the devils advocate, you make a very strong argument for contraction rather than expansion. The NHL should eliminate the following teams

NYI, NJD, Pittsburgh, Washington ---> covered by NYR, Boston and Philadelphia
San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix---> covered by LA
Florida, TB, Carolina, Nashville-->covered by Atlanta
Minnesota, Columbus, St. Louis---> covered by Chicago and Detroit
Edmonton---> covered by Calgary
Ottawa -->covered by Montreal and TO
Buffalo--> covered by TO, Detroit, NYR

This leaves

Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, LA, Colorado, Dallas, Atlanta, NYR, Boston, Philly, Chicago and Detroit.

Since 13 is a difficult number to work with one more has to go to make scheduling work out. Calgary is the smallest of these cities and is pretty close to Vancouver. Any former Flames fan will soon be a die hard Canucks supporter after the loyalty shift takes place. In fact, I would bet that Calgary as a whole goes Canuck crazy, as I am sure Edmonton would as well.

Since local representation only really impacts ticket sales, and a lot of that will just shift anyway as fans in places like Miami and Nashville make the trip to Atlanta to get their fix, this group should eventually make everyone in NA a hockey fan and grow NHL revenues to unimaginable heights while reducing cost for players and improving the quality of the on ice product.

It seems this is a can't miss proposition, or is there something I am missing here?


Last edited by Fourier: 02-10-2010 at 07:00 AM.
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Old
02-10-2010, 06:42 AM
  #66
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Very very simple solution to all of this BS! Get rid of the worthless revenue sharing program and this will take care of itself!

Everyone wants to talk about growing the game! People other then a small % people win lose or draw could care less about hockey. When questioned about attendance every excuse known to man comes out. The Caps were playing one of these team on Sunday afternoon and didn't come close to a sellout. And then start the excuse machine: Football, basketball and my favorite, biblebelt and will never draw on Sundays!

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02-10-2010, 07:43 AM
  #67
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people leave out the fact that there are many sunbelt franchises that are successful. San Jose, Dallas, Carolina, Anaheim, Tampa(up until the last few years).

notice anything different about those teams compared to the ones not doing so well (Atlanta, Florida, etc).

WINNING

none of the teams doing poorly have done enough winning to really build enough of a fan base to get them through the tough years.
Show me a sport where every team is a winner. Baseball, football, basketball all have perennial bad teams who never win. It will always be that way. Ken Holland can't run all the American franchises.

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02-10-2010, 07:49 AM
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I don't actually believe this. I think the NhL viewed Pittsburgh as an important strategic market and as such worked hard to help get the arena deal done.


that was exactly the rationale. There was & continues to be strong corporate support, good TV ratings & fan support when we went through that garbage. The league did not want to lose that. They correctly determined that the only thing missing was a new arena which is being taken care of.

Even Lemieux himself didn't want to move the team. He used KC as a stalking horse to get a deal done here. He said as much at the ground breaking for the Consol Energy Center....

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02-10-2010, 07:59 AM
  #69
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In some Canadian markets people would have driven through that, Winnipeg being one of them.
I'm sorry, but you have no way of knowing what 18,000 people in Winnipeg would or would not have done in that situation.

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02-10-2010, 08:03 AM
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Are you completely unaware of the weather situation in DC?
The game I was talking about wasn't in DC! It was in one southern markets!

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02-10-2010, 08:06 AM
  #71
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I'm sorry, but you have no way of knowing what 18,000 people in Winnipeg would or would not have done in that situation.
They seemed to have no problem with 14000/15000 as I recall. I could be wrong.

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02-10-2010, 08:18 AM
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well if the edmonton oilers continue to keep losing season after season and drafting busts (horcoff, hemsky, schremp), do you think the sellouts in edmonton will continue?

and with the debate about the oilers getting a new rink, i'll predict the oilers would relocate to KC in the next 3 years since the taxpayers in alberta would reject having tax money to build a new arena...


The Oilers have NOT made the playoffs sincs their Cup run in '06. Since then, they have been basement dwellers with no sign of relief in the near future. But, guess what continues to happen? They STILL sell out EVERY game.

With their arena seating just shy of 17,000 people, no wonder they're near the back of the league in Attendance!! Same thing goes with Pittsburgh...

In a couple of years, the same thing that happened in Pittsburgh with the Arena, will happen here. Their contract will expire, talk of relocation will come up, yadda, yadda yadda... but if Bettman wants these Struggling American Markets to continue to lose money in their current homes, Edmonton WILL NOT move. However, it is a Canadian franchise, so who knows..

This thread has turned into the "bash Canadian teams that are in the middle of the league in Attendance" thread.

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02-10-2010, 08:41 AM
  #73
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I'm sorry, but you have no way of knowing what 18,000 people in Winnipeg would or would not have done in that situation.
But we do know that attendance at the Winnipeg pre-season game was rather poor this year. But some people will promise you that market will willingly pay a higher-than-average ticket price needed in that smaller-than-average building.

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02-10-2010, 09:03 AM
  #74
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But we do know that attendance at the Winnipeg pre-season game was rather poor this year. But some people will promise you that market will willingly pay a higher-than-average ticket price needed in that smaller-than-average building.
What if a Winnipeg team played 5 games in Saskatoon to increase profitability?

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02-10-2010, 09:09 AM
  #75
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But we do know that attendance at the Winnipeg pre-season game was rather poor this year. But some people will promise you that market will willingly pay a higher-than-average ticket price needed in that smaller-than-average building.
Holy cherry picking pot-shot Batman!

Could you give me a list of the attendances for all of the other preseason games this year?

Then could you give me a list of the ticket prices for those preseason games.

Then could you tell me how many of those games involved teams with no connection to the city whatsoever.

Then tell me how many Thrasher fans pay less-than average ticket prices to 'fill' an above-average sized building during the regular season? (I use 'fill' loosely)

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