Milwaukee

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Chinstrap, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. Chinstrap

    Chinstrap Registered User

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    With all the recent talk of relocation/expansion, Milwaukee is very rarely, if never, mentioned in discussions. My question is why?

    1) They have a major-league arena (Bradley Center - host Bucks and Admirals and holds 17,800 for hockey)
    2) They have shown the capability of supporting two major league sports franchises (Brewers and Bucks)
    3) They are a tradtional hockey market, which reduces the risk associated with new teams
    4) They have shown PLENTY of support for the Admirals
    5) Wisconsin in general has shown PLENTY of support for the Badgers (when I checked a while back, they had the highest attendance in NCAA hockey)
    6) Its metropolitan area has a population of nearly 2 million (~1.75)
    7) The entire hockey-loving state, while surrounded by the Wild, Red Wings and Blackhawks, doesn't have a franchise of its own, which reduces competition. Wouldn't a Milwaukee have fierce rivalry with these surrounding cities?

    Milwaukee submitted a formal application during the sixth NHL expansion (1991, 1992, 1993), but withdrew prior to presentations to the Board. The area has had hockey teams on various levels for a long time, including the IHL, USHL, NCAA, EHL, CnHL and AHL.

    Shouldn't the NHL be salivating to have another American franchise in a popular sporting area? I am not from Milwaukee, have never been to Milwaukee, have never met anyone from Milwaukee. But it always seems that they get ignored when relocation/expansion talk comes about. What is the possibility of Milwaukee getting an NHL team?
     
  2. jkrdevil

    jkrdevil UnRegistered User

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    My guess it because it's a small market smaller than Columbus, Nashville, and Kansas City and unlike those cities they already have a winter team (Bucks) that a proposed team would have to compete with.
     
  3. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    Kansas City has a metro population of 1,967,000 - 28th in the USA
    Las Vegas has 1,777,000 - 31st (and growing fastest)
    Columbus has 1,725,000 - 32nd
    Milwaukee has 1,509,981 - 38th
    Nashville has 1,455,000 - 39th
    Buffalo has 1,137,000 - 46th (plus St. Catherine's/Hamilton etc)
    Raleigh has 995,00 - 51st

    Milwaukee is the most "Natural" market except Buffalo. It is small but supports the MLB, MLB and to a degree the NFL in Green Bay. Plus it is a central place for Breweries who could not possibly find a better thing to market beer with than hockey.

    I am surprised Milwaukee is not mentioned more often. Not that they should be front runners but they should be a choice.

    What everyone always seems to forget is the most important thing a city needs is an owner willing to pt up $200, $300, $400 million to get an expansion team or move a team. Nothing else matters. If a "Jim Balsillie" type guy was willing to spend hundreds of millions for an expansion team and he wanted it in Quebec City or Winnipeg or Milwaukee or Portland or Indianapolis then that is where the team will end up. The owner is the important thing.
     
  4. deadwing57

    deadwing57 Registered User

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    Went to Milwaukee two years ago for the Calder Cup Finals. Both nights they didn't fill the lower bowl. Great team too.
     
  5. Buffaloed

    Buffaloed webmaster

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    There's many cities, including Milwaukee, that might be able to support an NHL franchise. The ones that get mentioned are actively seeking franchises with an ownership group that has the money and commitment to obtain one. Milwaukee isn't a potential market until someone or some group that can afford a franchise steps up and says "I want to bring an NHL team to Milwaukee".
     
  6. triggrman

    triggrman Registered User

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    Wait Leipold is from Milwaukee, maybe he should move the Predators there.....:sarcasm:
     
  7. CHRDANHUTCH

    CHRDANHUTCH Registered User

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    no he is not but(Racine) essentially controls the Admirals or hockey market in Milwaukee I don't think 2 hockey franchises in Milwaukee would be successful.
     
  8. Free Edler

    Free Edler Enjoy retirement, boys.

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    One would assume the Admirals would move if Milwaukee ever got an NHL team. It's not a Philadelphia or Chicago-sized city that can support both NHL and AHL hockey.
     
  9. axecrew

    axecrew Registered User

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    Bottomline?......Never will happen as Bill Wirtz will invoke his 90 mile no competition clause. In English.....bill wirtz won't allow an nhl team within 90 miles of the hawks and the NHL has a policy in place to prevent that.LA had to waive theirs for Ana. to come in. Milwaukee has tried in the past for an NHL team and has been blocked because of this clause in the NHL Bylaws. That was the whole reason the Bradley Center was built in the 1st place,for NHL hockey. Wirtz blocked the Petits(SP) from entering the NHl with the no competition clause.
     
  10. CorpseFX

    CorpseFX Registered User

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    aside from this Wirtz business, there is absolutely no hockey culture here in the city. theres the typical club hockey and schools in the more wealthy areas pushing programs but as for pro hockey coverage, interest and support - none.

    Plenty of support for the Badgers (Madison) because around the state there is more hockey culture. Milwaukee is beer, bowling and Packers. the Brewers and Bucks are bandwagon appeal for when theyre doing good. hockey would struggle here on catastrophic levels attendance wise.

    the Pettit's did a lot for hockey like building the Bradley Center specifically for hockey (and built a whole ice complex on the state fair grounds. lots of Olympic speed skaters train there. plus theres a few rinks, etc... and that place is even struggling.) in the area and its sad it never took off.

    there was suppose to be a huge powerAde sports complex built in a "developing" old factory city of cudahy too with a junior team moving into it - that whole thing got kaboshed. it was suppose to have like 3 rinks, an inline court and something else... maybe figure skating specific i forget. the whole thing was shady but the fact is, the city didnt care if they had it or not.

    hockey in milwaukee = crap.
     
  11. kdb209

    kdb209 Registered User

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    Actually - as came up MANY times in the whole Balsillie soap opera - it is a 50 mile limit, not 90 miles.

    Yahoo maps gives a driving distance between the two of ~92 miles. The NHL limits are based on city-limit to city-limit, as the crow flies - and that seems to be > 50 miles - so Wirtz objections might be moot.

    And even if Milwaukee falls within the Hawk's home territory - Wirtz would not necessarily have any veto power. First, those restictions could be challenged under US Anti Trust law (See Davis, Al and the Oakland Raiders). Secondly, NHL Bylaw 36, passed in the 80's in response to the Raider's situation, requires only a simple majority vote to approve a move.

    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=18c34495-8adc-491e-b73e-e70e1fa02456&k=0
     
  12. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    Many AHL teams don't sell very well during the playoffs... The lower bowl at the BC seats more people than a few AHL arenas... AHL attendance is by no means a benchmark to judge a potential NHL market... Need I invoke any other statements to debunk the generalization?

    =============
    I love how Milwaukee pops up every few months arouond here. I relieves me to know that people haven't forgotten about us :D

    Few bits that I spew each time this topic is mentioned:
    The Bradley Center was built in the late 80s with the intention of bringing a team to Milwaukee but the then $50 million expansion price tag plus potential territorial payments to the Hawks squelched the expansion movement back in 89/90 when Milwaukee was up against Ottawa, TB, and the like. Not sure where these territorial boundaries begin or end, but the 92 miles kdb refers to is approximately the Marquette to the Loop (i.e. downtown Milwaukee to downtown Chicago)

    The almost 20-year old BC would need improvements. Improvements that the Bucks would like to see and that I do not think the County is willing to chip in for.

    Actually, Leipold has a (maybe it's his only) home just outside of Green Bay. The company he presides over is headquartered in Racine.

    "To an extent the Packers" is a bit of an understatement, Milwaukee is every bit the Packers as the rest of Wisconsin - save, of course, for Green Bay and a few pockets of Packer elitists here and there.

    CorpesFX summed it up pretty good, but I would shy away from the "hockey in Milw. = crap" statement. Hockey falls behind other sports, like any other market, except in Milwaukee it lags a bit further behind. While the Petits did their share of promoting the sport in Milwaukee there were a series of untimely events that led to the sport taking a negative hit in the market, even though some of it was not neccessarily negative.
    The pulling out of the expansion race... hoping for a relocated franchise (I think Buffalo and Vancouver were mentioned way back)... The 95 lockout... the affiliation with an expansion team in 1998... the move to the AHL (A perceived inferior league to the I) the passing of Jane Bradley and the MilAds being placed in a trust for three seasons without a stippend for advertising...

    In short, the NHL, even if the Bucks were to move, probably wouldn't float in Milwaukee. I cannot say this with any certainty, however.
     
  13. Sens Rule

    Sens Rule Registered User

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    How does Milwaukee support the Brewers? I don't mean what is the attendance numbers but how does a city the size of Milwaukee still have an MLB team? Are they drawing from a lot larger area than just the metro Milwaukee? Like Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha and all other small towns/cities?

    Is almost everyone in Milwaukee a Green Bay Patriots fan? Where is the cut off between Cubs/WhiteSox/Packer fans and Brewers/Green Bay fans as you go south from Milwaukee? The state border? Kenosha?

    Just Wondering
     
  14. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    Yes, they do draw a lot of fans from those areas. A lot of Wisconsin teams draw from the surrounding area. Maybe it is because I am a Brewer fan, but they don't seem to be THAT much of a bandwagon team, outside of the Milwaukee listening areas seems far more "bandwagon". They get plenty of press, mostly bad, but you expect that from a franchise that has missed the playoffs each season since '82.

    It's the Green Bay Packers, but I'll let it slide ;). Not long ago, the Packers played three home games pe season at the old County Stadium in Milwaukee. When the Pack moved all home games to Lambeau in '95 or '96 they set up two season ticket packages: one was the "Green Bay package" and the ther was the "Milwaukee" package, to keep it simple.

    And the cutoff for Chicago vs. WI teams is generally the WI/IL state line.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
  15. Blackhawkswincup

    Blackhawkswincup Seabrook = Thief

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    Been to Milwaukee plenty of times. No mention of hockey by papers, media or people in city when i was there. The city is also very down financially. Would be stupidest move to put team in that city. It would be the Cleveland Barons all over again!
     
  16. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    Did you use the door-to-door, blanket survey, or random telephone call approach? :D Because in my trips to Minneapolis I could make the same claim.
     
  17. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    I remember in the early 90's when the NHL was talking about expansion, Milwaukee was a city that was often mentioned as a possible expansion city. I don't want the NHL to expand but if they did I think that a team in Milwaukee would work.
     

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