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Old
03-17-2011, 12:06 PM
  #26
tarheelhockey
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Birmingham isn't a big-league town by a long stretch. It doesn't have the economy or the population base, and is basically a far-flung suburb of Atlanta in some ways.

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03-17-2011, 12:11 PM
  #27
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I wonder what Birmingham's attendance numbers were like in the WHA. They had a pretty solid owner in John Bassett.

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03-17-2011, 01:50 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nutbar View Post
I wonder what Birmingham's attendance numbers were like in the WHA. They had a pretty solid owner in John Bassett.
They were above avg (#5 in the league) in '76-'77 & '77-'78 and dropped down to last in '78-'79. They even outdrew the Jets & Oilers in '76-'77.

http://www.super70s.com/Super70s/Spo...Attendance.asp

Code:
1976-77  	G  	Total  	Average
Indianapolis Racers 	40 	371,787 	9,295
New England Whalers 	40 	356,726 	8,918
Houston Aeros 	40 	353,209 	8,830
Quebec Nordiques 	40 	343,922 	8,598
Birmingham Bulls 	40 	338,711 	8,468
Winnipeg Jets 	40 	337,874 	8,447
Edmonton Oilers 	40 	334,805 	8,370
Cincinnati Stingers 	40 	305,860 	7,647
Phoenix Roadrunners 	40 	279,384 	6,985
Minnesota Fighting Saints 	25 	155,280 	6,211
San Diego Mariners 	40 	240,508 	6,013
Calgary Cowboys 	40 	172,535 	4,313
LEAGUE 	465 	3,590,601 	7,722
 
1977-78 	G 	Total 	Average
Edmonton Oilers 	41 	429,862 	10,484
Winnipeg Jets 	41 	397,085 	9,685
New England Whalers 	41 	381,075 	9,295
Quebec Nordiques 	41 	372,336 	9,081
Birmingham Bulls 	41 	359,860 	8,777
Houston Aeros 	41 	314,698 	7,676
Cincinnati Stingers 	41 	303,404 	7,400
Indianapolis Racers 	41 	301,891 	7,363
LEAGUE 	328 	2,860,211 	8,720
 
1978-79 	G 	Total 	Average
Edmonton Oilers 	40 	450,207 	11,255
Quebec Nordiques 	41 	362,201 	8,834
Winnipeg Jets 	41 	355,994 	8,683
Cincinnati Stingers 	41 	288,967 	7,048
New England Whalers 	41 	286,503 	6,988
Indianapolis Racers 	12 	76,075 	6,340
Birmingham Bulls 	41 	258,975 	6,316
LEAGUE 	257 	2,078,922 	8,089
It is worth noting that the only NCAA D1 hockey program in the south is in Alabama - UAH (Univ of Alabama, Huntsville).

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03-17-2011, 07:50 PM
  #29
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Originally Posted by tony d View Post
Interesting to see some of the cities mentioned here. I wonder how hockey would have worked in a city like Baltimore or Indianapolis.

To add to this topic I can remember Houston was mentioned as a new location for the Edmonton Oilers if they had moved in the 90's.
Speaking of Houston, the Houston Aeros of the WHA were originally supposed to play in Dayton, Ohio. That was likely the first and last time Dayton was linked to a major pro hockey league.

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03-17-2011, 09:58 PM
  #30
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Saskatoon could likely support an NHL team, just as Regina could. Saskatchewan is a weird place man... people have no problem driving the Regina from all over the province to go see a Rider game.

If they had green jerseys and were called the Saskatchewan Rough riders, I see absolutely no way how they could fail.

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03-17-2011, 10:13 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanconn View Post
Saskatoon could likely support an NHL team, just as Regina could. Saskatchewan is a weird place man... people have no problem driving the Regina from all over the province to go see a Rider game.

If they had green jerseys and were called the Saskatchewan Rough riders, I see absolutely no way how they could fail.
I think that was Bill Hunter's reasoning as well. But to be fair here, that's for 9 home dates between July and November and not 41 home dates between October and April. And the Roughriders have had a long time to build a fan base with a good amount of success as well.

I don't know how many people would come in from Prince Albert or Swift Current on a cold, snowy February night if the team's out of the play-off race and playing rather uninspired hockey.

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03-17-2011, 10:36 PM
  #32
bossy22
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The San Francisco Sharks (WHA) became the Quebec Nordiques who became the Colorado Avalance to replace the only other NHL team from the Centennial State, the Colorado Rockies, who became the New Jersey Devils prior to being the Kansas City Scouts.

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03-18-2011, 11:08 AM
  #33
HabsByTheBay
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The Seals almost moved to San Francisco. The Seals had been bought by Melvin Swig, a rather rich SF chap who had owned the WHL Seals, and Swig was planning on moving the team to San Francisco. The WHL Seals had been very popular in San Francisco but attendance cratered when they and later the NHL moved to Oakland, so a proposed new arena in the South of Market district near where the Giants play now looked like salvation.

The fanbase was SF/Peninsula-based and they just weren't willing to travel in sufficient numbers over to Oakland. In addition, BART didn't go from San Francisco to Oakland (where there's a stop at the Coliseum) until 1974, by which time the Seals were in serious trouble.

Without being an expert on the situation, I suspect moving the Seals to SF would have, at the very least, given them a stay of execution, by which time they could have gotten the organization back on its feet after the Finley debacle and put together a good team. Playing out of Oakland was clearly a bad idea for the franchise - the NHL had refused to allow them to play out of the Cow Palace because of its size (11,000), one of the many, many examples of the NHL's eyes being bigger than its stomach...

Unfortunately mayor Joe Alioto was defeated for re-election and that killed any hopes of a new arena being built.

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Old
03-18-2011, 12:12 PM
  #34
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Interesting:

..If the Original 6 era would have looked liked this:
EAST:
1=Montreal Canadiens.
2=Ottawa Senators
3=Boston Bruins
4=New York Americans
5=New York Rangers
6=Toronto Maple Leafs

WEST:
1=Detroit Red Wings
2=Chicago Black Hawks
3=St-Louis Blues {Eagles}
4=Pittsburgh PIRATES
5=Philadelphia Flyers `{Quakers}
6=Cleveland Barons....

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Old
03-18-2011, 12:32 PM
  #35
Buck Aki Berg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossy22 View Post
The San Francisco Sharks (WHA) became the Quebec Nordiques who became the Colorado Avalance to replace the only other NHL team from the Centennial State, the Colorado Rockies, who became the New Jersey Devils prior to being the Kansas City Scouts.
Qu'est-ce what?

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Old
03-18-2011, 01:07 PM
  #36
Theokritos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haymaker View Post
Qu'est-ce what?
According to Wikipedia:
The Quebec Nordiques formed as one of the original World Hockey Association teams in 1972. The franchise was originally awarded to a group in San Francisco, as the San Francisco Sharks. However, the San Francisco group's funding collapsed prior to the start of the first season, and the WHA hastily sold the organization to a group of six Quebec City-based businessmen who owned the highly profitable Quebec Remparts junior team. They were named the Nordiques because they were one of the northernmost teams in professional sports in North America.

Voilą!

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Old
03-18-2011, 01:26 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
According to Wikipedia:
The Quebec Nordiques formed as one of the original World Hockey Association teams in 1972. The franchise was originally awarded to a group in San Francisco, as the San Francisco Sharks. However, the San Francisco group's funding collapsed prior to the start of the first season, and the WHA hastily sold the organization to a group of six Quebec City-based businessmen who owned the highly profitable Quebec Remparts junior team. They were named the Nordiques because they were one of the northernmost teams in professional sports in North America.

Voilą!
...and my mom said I'd never learn anything screwing around on the internet all day

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Old
03-22-2011, 11:57 PM
  #38
Grudy0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theokritos View Post
Defeated or withdrawn bids for an NHL franchise in the 60s and 70s:

1967 expansion: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Vancouver.
(Approved: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St.Louis, Minneapolis-St.Paul, San Francisco-Oakland, Los Angeles.)

1970 expansion: Baltimore (withdrawn: $6 million fee too expensive), Washington, Cleveland (withdrawn: see Baltimore), Atlanta, Kansas City.
(Approved: Buffalo, Vancouver.)

1972 expansion: Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Denver, San Diego.
(Approved: Long Island, Atlanta.)

1974 expansion: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Dallas, Phoenix, San Diego.
(Approved: Washington, Kansas City.)
Now let's overlay the reasons behind the expansions:

1967 expansion: CBS extorts NHL to expand by mentioning they may actually look to another circuit (WHL) for a national television contract. The league doubles in size, but there appear to be issues with the selections of certain cities.

1970 expansion: After the outcry from Vancouver and Buffalo regarding the 1967 expansion, where the NHL actually gave a franchise to a city WITHOUT having an ownership group in place, the NHL rights the two main wrongs from the 1967 expansion by granting these cities franchises.

1972 expansion: The NHL adds a team in Atlanta and a second team in New York, to head-off the upstart World Hockey Association.

1974 expansion: The NHL once again adds teams where there are brand new arenas, again to fend off the WHA.

There was a 1976 expansion, where Denver and Seattle were selected, but there were problems with the Kansas City Scouts, which ended up moving to Denver.

How long did it take for the league to get pro-active?

I have read a rather well-written dissertation regarding pro sports in Cleveland. This probably provides more insight to Cleveland and the NHL than anything else that could be read. Link


Last edited by Grudy0: 03-23-2011 at 12:07 AM.
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Old
03-23-2011, 12:20 AM
  #39
SidGenoMario
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Sadly, there's no way Saskatoon or Regina could have an NHL team. It's true that there are enough people in surrounding towns and cities to give it a proper fanbase, but if the team sucks and plays the Coyotes on a Wednesday night in January, people aren't going to drive to see it.

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Old
03-23-2011, 06:35 AM
  #40
Buck Aki Berg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grudy0 View Post
1970 expansion: After the outcry from Vancouver and Buffalo regarding the 1967 expansion, where the NHL actually gave a franchise to a city WITHOUT having an ownership group in place, the NHL rights the two main wrongs from the 1967 expansion by granting these cities franchises.
I'm assuming this was KC?

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Old
03-23-2011, 07:55 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grudy0
the NHL actually gave a franchise to a city WITHOUT having an ownership group in place...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haymaker View Post
I'm assuming this was KC?
It was St. Louis. Bill Wirtz was looking to unload the St. Louis Arena.

The NHL was basically going to add two teams in the east, two teams in the central and two teams in the west. However, IIRC Minnesota was the only "central" team with everything in place. The NHL did feel that Vancouver had a rather strong bid, as well as Buffalo.

That is why when the expansion was announced and that St. Louis without an ownership group and Pittsburgh somehow beat out Vancouver, Buffalo and Baltimore, it caused a lot of commotion.

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Old
03-23-2011, 08:22 AM
  #42
saskganesh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanconn View Post
Saskatoon could likely support an NHL team, just as Regina could. Saskatchewan is a weird place man... people have no problem driving the Regina from all over the province to go see a Rider game.

If they had green jerseys and were called the Saskatchewan Rough riders, I see absolutely no way how they could fail.
too many dates (41 not 9), need to build and finance an 18000 seat arena, serious competition with WHL and SJHL and Rider payroll is like 1/6- 1/8 of an NHL team. It's not a good comparison.

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03-23-2011, 05:08 PM
  #43
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Hampton Roads came close to getting a team. That area has no arena large enough to host a professional team (largest arena there is 12,600). Also, arenas in VA must be privately funded.

It could have done very well, but the Canes moved to Raleigh, killing that opportunity.

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Old
03-26-2011, 03:06 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by kaiser matias View Post
Also a shame that during the WHA merger, the NHL didn't allow the Cincinnati Stingers and Birmingham Bulls join with the other 4 teams. Can't remember why they were paid to disband (though both joined the Central League the next season; the Stingers folded 33 games in, while the Bulls lasted 58 games until the following year), but having an NHL team in Alabama would have made future expansion interesting, provided the Bulls could last that long.
I still have an old Cincinnati Stingers banner from the WHA days. Also have an Oilers one and a Nordiques one. Probably some of the coolest memorabillia I own.

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Old
03-28-2011, 09:38 AM
  #45
tarheelhockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grudy0 View Post
How long did it take for the league to get pro-active?
I'd say the league didn't really get its act together until the early-1990s expansion phase, at which time it was probably 20-30 years behind the curve. And even then, they showed questionable judgment with things like allowing a Japanese consortium to buy a team.

And it didn't take them long to snap right back into shortsightedness, grabbing up expansion fees at the cost of stability.

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