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Old 10-19-2009, 07:41 AM
 
3 posts, read 8,565 times
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I've been thinking about this for awhile. Mostly as a hockey fan, I want the Van Andels to buy the Red Wings and move 'em to GR.
But really, do you think Grand Rapids is capable of supporting a major league team? Do you think it's possible, given Detroit's current situation, that someone might move the team to Grand Rapids? Keeping them in Michigan, they wouldn't lose any fans.
It would be really great for the city.
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Old 10-19-2009, 10:06 AM
 
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Well, with a metropolitan population somewhere in the neighborhood of 700-800k, that puts GR in about the same range as cities like Baton Rouge, El Paso, Greensboro, Akron, and Knoxville... none of which has historically done it. I just don't see getting 5% of the population in any area to show up to 80+ games per year.

Even cities almost twice this size (Oklahoma City, Jacksonville, Louisville, Memphis) struggled to get their one team, and don't particularly have an easy time filling their stadiums.

Seems like the lower limit for a real multiple sports area is about 2M, which is about where Cleveland, Orlando, San Antonio, and Kansas City is. Notable exceptions of Milwaukee at around 1.5M and Indianapolis around 1.7M, and New Orleans who are currently rebuilding at around 1.1M all have more than one team. The lower limit for areas with just one team can get as low as 1M though (Salt Lake)... again, the notable exception being Green Bay.

If you're talking about having just one sports team, you're going to have to stand out as some particularly rabid fans of that sport (like Memphis in basketball, or Green Bay in football), as you'll be competing with some other fairly large metropolis who don't even have one franchise right now (Vegas, Portland). Even cities smaller than GR are going to be able to make a claim that they are more deserving of it, whether based on area, history, or whatever (Colorado Springs, Boise, Des Moines, Durham, Spokane, etc). The fact that GR is basically mid-way between Detroit and Chicago, who already have 3 baseball teams and 9 pro-teams between them in the big four sports, probably won't help. Being only 3 hours from another team is going to be tough once you get outside the New England area (granted, the Orioles and Nats are only like 40 miles apart).

Would I like it? Of course... the more options for watching professional baseball the better. But I don't think it's likely.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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I think it would be terrible if the Wings ever moved. They've been in Detroit forever, and it would be a huge mistake to move that team anywhere else, especially GR.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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That would be a disaster for the Red Wings franchise. They would lose a whole lot of fans because the Red Wing fans identify the team with the region of Detroit, not the state of Michigan. People aren't going to travel that many hours and there's nowhere near the population base that even a struggling metro Detroit has.

Per the above post about city sizes, I've heard that the NFL would never again create a Green Bay situation. When all the professional sports teams moved to big cities (many began in smaller cities), the Packers didn't and it's been a tough road ever since for the NFL in dealing with the logistics of such a big team in a small city owned by the fans.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
8,219 posts, read 16,825,323 times
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There are 2 million people plus within 60 miles of downtown Grand Rapids, and the GR Nielsen tv market is bigger than Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, or Buffalo. (only 4 tv markets are larger than GR and don't have a major league level team)

If they'd actually designed Van Andel to build out to 18K for sporting events, I could have actually seen some of the Amway money being players for the Phoenix Coyotes Chapter 11 sale. The demographics would be better for GR than they would be for Winnepeg, Quebec City, or Hamilton.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, Isanti County, MN
3,194 posts, read 4,803,977 times
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Is this supposed to be a serious thread? The Red Wings franchise has been in Detroit since 1926, is an original six member of the NHL, and has won 11 Stanley Cups. They've made the playoffs 18 years in a row, and are one of the most respected organizations in all of sports based in one of the most storied and revered sports towns in the United States. Although the city of Detroit has lost signifigant population since the mid 20th century, the metro statistical area remains one of the nations largest, with well over 5 million residents.

Is this just another pot shot at Detroit, or is the OP really ignorant enough to believe there is ever a chance of the Wings leaving the Motor City for Grand Rapids? GR is a nice town on the upswing, but any of the big 4 pro sports leagues putting a team there is a pipe dream at best. It will most likely never see anything more than minor league squads in our lifetime.

Sorry if my response is harsh, but as a die hard Wings fan I found the premise of this thread quite silly.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:09 PM
 
11,145 posts, read 14,226,116 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
There are 2 million people plus within 60 miles of downtown Grand Rapids, and the GR Nielsen tv market is bigger than Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, or Buffalo. (only 4 tv markets are larger than GR and don't have a major league level team)

If they'd actually designed Van Andel to build out to 18K for sporting events, I could have actually seen some of the Amway money being players for the Phoenix Coyotes Chapter 11 sale. The demographics would be better for GR than they would be for Winnepeg, Quebec City, or Hamilton.
It might be slightly more realistic to bring in a franchise from the Southwest or somewhere that doesn't have a hockey culture. I could see Michigan supporting two pro hockey teams, but certainly not separating the Red Wings from Detroit unless it was to shut one of the best teams in all of professional sports down, which I don't see happening even with tough times.
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, Isanti County, MN
3,194 posts, read 4,803,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefly View Post
I could see Michigan supporting two pro hockey teams.
I couldn't. Michigan is Red Wings territory through and through. Training camp in Traverse City, AHL affiliate in GR, etc. The Wings organization has gone to great lengths over many years to build allegiances across this state, and would never allow another NHL team to try and set up shop here. Nor should they, IMO.

Look, Grand Rapids may be a big time town one day, but it just isn't there yet. On top of that, Michigan is the LAST place the NHL or any other major league would consider moving a team to right now, both because of the resident franchises, and the constant economic struggles that plague the state.
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Old 10-20-2009, 04:32 PM
 
Location: America
903 posts, read 1,714,054 times
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..............

bad idea Mike Illitch is too commited to (own) Detroit , it will never happen . Besides most of the fans that attend games at the Joe , are from surburban Detroit .
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:10 AM
 
484 posts, read 1,105,922 times
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I doubt GR will have a pro team in the foreseeable future. Cities around our size that do have a pro team also has a major college that contributes to the sport. For example, Memphis also has a great college basketball program.

GR, on the other hand, has no major college sports teams. GVSU has a great football program but its Division II. There are no notable college basketball teams in the area.

What I would like to see is a WNBA franchise. I was kinda hoping the Detroit franchise would swing this way. I think GR would be perfect for one. We have the Pistons in Detroit, MSU basketball in the middle...why not a WNBA team here? I also think GR is ripe for a NCAA basketball tourney site and was disappointed that we came up short.

The one good thing about GR is that we support the teams that we do have. Both the Whitecaps and Griffins get good attendance. However, that is mostly due to the affiliation with the Detroit teams.

While GR is on the upswing, I don't think we'll ever replace Detroit...at least when it comes to sports. Most of us are fine with being Michigan's "second city".
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