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Old 02-05-2013, 11:47 AM
 
6,310 posts, read 9,551,097 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedd View Post
I definitely believe Atlanta could be a viable market, heck the MSA is 5M people. The way the Thrashers were abruptly relocated is kind of rude given how many chances Phoenix has been given to find a savior in that market. The Atlanta and Phoenix situations do have a lesson though - rich people (in other words, prospective owners) do not see much value in investing in the NHL in these non-traditional markets. That is definitely a problem as the NHL would benefit enormously from success in many of the large sunbelt cities.
Phoenix is a weird, weird situation. I can't think of anything quite like it in pro sports.

In order for Glendale to keep the team there, they needed to pony up $$$, because the NHL owned the team (via bankruptcy). If they didn't pay, the former Jets franchise would be back in Winnipeg.

Atlanta could not pay the NHL to keep the Thrashers in town, because the NHL did not own them (I mean, conceivably, the NHL could have "bought" the team back -- but with them already owning Phoenix, that simply was not going to happen).

In the end, though, it looks likely that Phoenix (Glendale, really) won't be able to keep their team...and at a huge cost to the taxpayers. While Atlanta may be upset they lost their team, they're fortunate they didn't waste ~$50 million+ of taxpayer money in the process.

I somewhat disagree with your last statement. There ARE some rich owners that are dedicated to making teams work in Sun Belt cities. Sure...not nearly as many as in the cold weather/traditional areas...Phoenix and Atlanta are two very different situations, also. Phoenix apparently has a lot of red ink on their books...the asking price is very high for someone who wants to keep the team there. They had one potential buyer who was willing to buy the team at a lower price and attempt to make it work. The bankruptcy + NHL ownership really muddied this situation up.

Atlanta's misfortune was ASG not wanting them to exist in the Atlanta market, and the only real possibility of keeping the team being an owner (or really, group) to basically buy the entire Philips Arena operations for something north of half a billion. There aren't a ton of people anywhere, north or south, that could've made that work in a very short period of time.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,423 posts, read 7,562,533 times
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If the NHL expands or teams are relocated, IMO a number of the teams should be located in Canada. I'd add teams in Quebec City, Hamilton, Toronto (second team), and Montreal (second team) for starters. Hockey-mad Canada can handle 3 teams in southern Ontario (and a team in nearby Buffalo) and 3 teams in Quebec. I do think Saskatoon, which has been bandied about as a possibility, and Saskatchewan in general is too small population-wise, as is Halifax.

In addition to the above, I think Hartford should have a team again, and Seattle and/or Portland are viable options (though the NBA makes more sense for Seattle and either the NFL or MLB makes more sense for Portland). I don't think Kansas City would be a good market; it's too small and not in a hockey-oriented area (and has Kansas and Missouri college basketball as focal sports during the winter). Milwaukee would also be marginal and a team would compete against the NBA Bucks and Marquette college basketball. Providence, even though it is 50 miles from Boston, would be a reasonably solid choice (though it would rank behind Hartford). Houston, which supported the Aeros fairly well back in the WHA days, is another viable possibility even though it is in the U.S. South.

Last edited by CHIP72; 02-08-2013 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:22 PM
JJG
 
Location: Fort Worth
12,646 posts, read 17,061,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIP72 View Post

In addition to the above, I think Hartford should have a team again, and Seattle and/or Portland are viable options (though the NBA makes more sense for Seattle and either the NFL or MLB makes more sense for Portland). I don't think Kansas City would be a good market; it's too small and not in a hockey-oriented area (and has Kansas and Missouri college basketball as focal sports during the winter). Milwaukee would also be marginal and a team would compete against the NBA Bucks and Marquette college basketball. Providence, even though it is 50 miles from Boston, would be a reasonably solid choice (though it would rank behind Hartford). Houston, which supported the Aeros fairly well back in the WHA days, is another viable possibility even though it is in the U.S. South.
Houston still supports Aeros now as well. I'd think they would be the only so-called "non-hockey market" that should have NHL. Also agree about KC.

Seattle is trying to get the Coyotes with their new arena (along with the Sacramento Kings).

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Old 02-09-2013, 07:58 PM
 
1,302 posts, read 2,543,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJG View Post
Houston still supports Aeros now as well. I'd think they would be the only so-called "non-hockey market" that should have NHL. Also agree about KC.

Seattle is trying to get the Coyotes with their new arena (along with the Sacramento Kings).
The arena looks like a cut of salmon on a block of ice.
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:02 PM
JJG
 
Location: Fort Worth
12,646 posts, read 17,061,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ2MDdude View Post
The arena looks like a cut of salmon on a block of ice.
It's supposedly not the final product, but close it it.

Everytime I see it, I think: Art Museum.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
4,377 posts, read 5,458,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ2MDdude View Post
The arena looks like a cut of salmon on a block of ice.
Ha! It dure does.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
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For whatever it is worth, the Port of Seattle (you can see the container cranes in the background behind the arena rendering) is fighting hard against the arena, or more accurately the arena site. The port has concerns arena traffic would negatively hurt the port's operations. (I personally think the concerns are overstated but also are not without reason.)
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:08 PM
 
9,973 posts, read 13,022,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIP72 View Post
For whatever it is worth, the Port of Seattle (you can see the container cranes in the background behind the arena rendering) is fighting hard against the arena, or more accurately the arena site. The port has concerns arena traffic would negatively hurt the port's operations. (I personally think the concerns are overstated but also are not without reason.)
They are going to have to get a new arena built--especially since it's almost a given that the Kings are going to become the Sonics now. Part of that deal was that they'd play in Key Arena for a few years until the new downtown arena is built. Otherwise Seattle would have a situation like last time, where they're searching for some other location--possibly in the suburbs, and could risk not getting the Kings or a hockey team if that location near the waterfront isn't possible.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Carlton North, Victoria, Australia
101 posts, read 71,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIP72 View Post
If the NHL expands or teams are relocated, IMO a number of the teams should be located in Canada. I'd add teams in Quebec City, Hamilton, Toronto (second team), and Montreal (second team) for starters. Hockey-mad Canada can handle 3 teams in southern Ontario (and a team in nearby Buffalo) and 3 teams in Quebec. I do think Saskatoon, which has been bandied about as a possibility, and Saskatchewan in general is too small population-wise, as is Halifax.

In addition to the above, I think Hartford should have a team again, and Seattle and/or Portland are viable options (though the NBA makes more sense for Seattle and either the NFL or MLB makes more sense for Portland). I don't think Kansas City would be a good market; it's too small and not in a hockey-oriented area (and has Kansas and Missouri college basketball as focal sports during the winter). Milwaukee would also be marginal and a team would compete against the NBA Bucks and Marquette college basketball. Providence, even though it is 50 miles from Boston, would be a reasonably solid choice (though it would rank behind Hartford). Houston, which supported the Aeros fairly well back in the WHA days, is another viable possibility even though it is in the U.S. South.
When David Berri did his study of what cities could viably support a expansion or relocated franchise, an NHL review was planned but never written.

I find the NHL very interesting, though, for two reasons.

The first is that when I tried to analyse the relative costs of supporting a franchise into the various variables that might explain the diferences between the sports, I came to the conclusion that an NHL franchise ought to cost relatively more to support than the figure given, which is only very slightly larger than for NBA or NFL.

The second is that, if we follow your very sensible step of excluding places like the Inland Empire with territorial issues, we have the following markets: Atlanta, Houston, Las Vegas, VA Beach/Hampton Roads/Norfolk, Richmond, Austin, Sacramento, Louisville, San Antonio, Birmingham, Portland, Honolulu, Rochester, Seattle, Tulsa, Albany, Omaha.

Of these, we can exclude all but Portland, Rochester, Seattle and Albany as very poor fits for hockey culture, though I am uncertain about Sacramento and Omaha. Sacramento despite its hot climate is of course close to high, icy mountains. The rest are in hot climates on flat terrain where people have never seen natural ice and would have no interest in ice hockey. Seattle creates territorial problems with the Cannucks, leaving Portland, Rochester an Albany as the sole definite possibilities. All of these are quite marginal financially too.

Thus, I would argue that re expansion/relocation potential the NHL is more akin to MLB than to the NFL or NBA. There exist extremely few unoccupied markets which are reasonable “fits” for hockey culture and have the economy to support an NHL team, and yet people seem to think ice hockey can expand a great deal.

Unlike MLB, the NHL is not declining in popularity, so overcoming the territorial problems that plague North American sport and lead to teams playing in culturally or economically unviable markets is most critical here. Should the NHL do this, it has much more hope of thriving in the long term.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:56 PM
 
9,973 posts, read 13,022,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mianfei View Post
Of these, we can exclude all but Portland, Rochester, Seattle and Albany as very poor fits for hockey culture, though I am uncertain about Sacramento and Omaha. Sacramento despite its hot climate is of course close to high, icy mountains. The rest are in hot climates on flat terrain where people have never seen natural ice and would have no interest in ice hockey. Seattle creates territorial problems with the Cannucks, leaving Portland, Rochester an Albany as the sole definite possibilities. All of these are quite marginal financially too.
Portland has a weaker economy than Seattle, but in comparison with the other cities you mentioned it's stronger and much larger in terms of metro population(2.3 million vs. 1 million or 800,000) compared with Rochester or Albany. Though I'm not sure if it's the best place for a NHL franchise either, though the Portland Winterhawks have a good local fanbase for a WHL franchise.

I don't think the territorial issues with Vancouver makes that big a difference for a Seattle. I go to Seattle frequently, and I've never met anyone up there who was a die-hard fan of the Canucks.

Although, I'm all for another hockey franchise in Canada, I don't think being a places where people have seen natural ice or being close to snow is neccesarily a pre-requsitie for a successful NHL franchise. It's just that you need a real local interest with an owner who's going to be willing to build a competitive team... Teams in Canada can be mediocre or bad for many years(like the Maple Leafs or Oilers recently) and still sell out, which isn't true for many teams in the US outside of the old school franchises. But if you have a team that remains competitive and has local support--like say San Jose has been or Carolina has been from season to season--you can look at non-traditional hockey markets.

Last edited by Deezus; 02-13-2013 at 01:34 PM..
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