Madison, Wisconsin

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by katodelder, Oct 28, 2005.

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  1. katodelder

    katodelder Registered User

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    Could Madison, Wisconsin ever support an NHL team?

    The NHL in Columbus seems succesful. Like Ohio, Wisconsin is a good hockey state. Rather tahn Cleveland or Cincinnati, the NHL chose Columbus. So rather than Milwaukee, could the NHL ever consider Madison?
     
  2. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    Columbus is the largest, and more centrally locted city in the state of Ohio. Market size and geography aside, I don't think Cleveland or Cincy were in the running. As for Columbus, the arena deal was pretty much secure when it came time for the NHL to make their decision, as well as fan interset and a nice, wealthy, stable owner willing to put up the $80 million expansion fee. The right pieces were in place at the time, much like Nashville, and Atlanta.

    As for Madison, well again, the right pieces must be in place. Mad-town is probably the most 'hockey mad' city in the state, but outside of Madison, WI pales in comparison to its more hockey-orientated neighbors of Minnesota and Michigan. I don't think WI could support an NHL team in any of its bigger cities. Look what the lack of publicity has done for the Admirals over the past few years, and they have been at or near the top of the 'A' with a Calder to boot. The new owners seem to be changing that, but you need to be living within 15-20 minutes of the Marquette interchange to notice it.

    I do, however, beleive that any major sports team could make it it any market, in theory. The key is having enough people to go to and tune into the games regularily, as well as purchase the merchandise. By this notion, the NHL could exsist in Cheyenne, WY. Or the NFL in Green Bay, WI.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2005
  3. Dr Love

    Dr Love Registered User

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    Not at all. Maidson has nearly one third of the population of Milwaukee, forget NHL team, it wouldn't even be in the top half (let alone middle third) of AHL market sizes.

    Also, Columbus is the same size Cincinatti (and Milwaukee).
     
  4. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    To avoid an argument, and I know I'm walking right into this:

    Off-topic, just googled "largest US citeis" and got a list of 50 from infoplease:
    Cincy doesn't crack the top 50 in terms of the size by population, Columbus is in the top twenty twice the size of Cincy when I did find info on Cincy, and Milwaukee has been fading for years and lags behind Columbus by about 150k. Of coarse these seem to be the pop. numbers of the city proper. In terms of the overall metro area, Columbus beats out Milwaukee by quite a bit, and seems very much bigger than Cincy. Having been to all three cities within the past 5 years.

    Thing about Columbus is it seems like a small big city, a college town atmosphere, Cincy is/was a run-down Ohio River town going through a renewal. Milwaukee is just fading.
     
  5. Dr Love

    Dr Love Registered User

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    Admiral,

    The infoplease list is just actual city limit size. It has it's uses, for say, size of a school or tax purposes, but for market size for a sports franchise, it's not the way to go, you need to take into account for the metro area. Otherwise you're saying that Austin, TX is a bigger market than Boston, and that Albuquerque, NM is bigger than Atlanta; which of course isn't true. These sources are better:

    Nielsen DMAs

    US Census Metro Areas
     
  6. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    Absolutely agree, the first part of my post was city proper info. I noted that. Also gave an observation having been to each city/metro area in the second part. Having been to Cincy last year, it just doesn't seem like it compares to Columbus size/market-wise. I usually try not to just post links to stats and throw out a personal perspective, something I should have held back on in this case having seen those Nielsen stats, which surprise me.

    Anyway, back to the Madison discussion.
     
  7. Dr Love

    Dr Love Registered User

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    Yeah, reading that back I realize I might have sounded harsh. My apologies.

    As for Madison, it's just not big enough. It doesn't have the population support or the corporate support, and it's 80 miles away from Milwaukee, so there wouldn't be a sizeable amount of Milwaukee area people going to games. I think it's pretty telling that it doesn't even have a minor league sports team. It's an excellent mid-sized college town (University of Wisconsin), but it's got no shot to even be considered for a pro sports town.
     
  8. Sp5618

    Sp5618 Registered User

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    I lived in Madison in the late 80's - mid 90's. It is a great "town" but it is not a hockey crazy city. The hockey interest is mainly within the University of Wisconsin student population, where support for the UW Badgers is always strong.
     
  9. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    Agreed snafu. When I said Madison was the most 'hockey mad' I ment that in comparison to the other WI cities and only at certain levels (midget, low junior, high school). It certainly is not St. Paul or TO 'hockey mad'. Madison is all college, and it's great. Holloween on State Street...Mifflin, drifting there. Minor pro teams in all sports have come and gone, and come and gone again. A-level baseball, the USHL team (junior) had a good run years ago before the Gamblers came to GB, the Monsters of the CoHL (now the UHL) rotted away.
     
  10. kdb209

    kdb209 Global Moderator

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    I agree that the Nielsen DMAs are a reasonable neasure of market size.

    The US Census numbers are great for cities and counties but there Metro Area definitions sometimes are a bit arbitrary. For example they split the SF Bay Area into two seperate MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas), one with SF & Oakland and another with San Jose, when by all realitic measures it is one Metro Area.

    But many Metro Area definitions are really too expansive to accurately cover a teams market reach (at least for attendance). That's why I prefer to break down the large metro areas by county. The Sharks core market is not the 7+M of the 9 counties (or 10 or 11 or 12 depending upon your definition) of the SF Bay Area, but the 4.5M of the four counties which have the vast majority of the fanbase.

    Another good source for metro areas:

    http://www.demographia.com/db-usmet2000.htm

    Columbus is the largest city in Ohio, but its Metro Area is smaller than either Cleveland of Cincinnati. The only possible site in Wisconsin is Milwaukee (#26, larger than Columbus, Nashvuille, Carolina, and Buffalo). Madison at #97 is a non-starter.
     
  11. buckyhockey8

    buckyhockey8 Registered User

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    I live in the city of Madison and the Badgers are a great draw, but the NHL no way the Badgers pretty much rule all sports in Madison. Our Club, High School, and AAA Club hockey programs seem to be putting out a number of good young players, but hockey crazy I wouldn't say so.
     
  12. Skydog

    Skydog Registered User

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    Those Nielsen numbers are the way to go. I live in Cincinnati and it sits just across the Ohio River from Kentucky and borders Indiana. There is a sizable population that lives on the south side of the river and the Nielson numbers take those into consideration as well as the south east part of Indiana. Other measures might cut off the people in other states.

    That being said I don't think Cincinnati is a good hockey market.
     
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