Return of the Jets campaign (the sequel)

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Irish Blues, Jul 3, 2007.

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  1. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    The original thread in this series: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=347608

    We now return to the discussion of the potential viability of the NHL in Winnipeg and other stories about those thrilling days of yesteryear, already in progress ...
     
  2. King_Stannis

    King_Stannis Registered User

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    Well, you certainly don't have to, they are opinions after all. :) But Atlanta is perceived as a notoriously poor sports town. The NHL failed there once, so at least I have a historical foundation to fall back on. I can also point to the abysmal TV ratings in the Atlanta area for their playoff series against NY. In a time when bad ratings stories are not that uncommon, that one was very sobering. If I'm correct it was just a few thousand households in the Atlanta area that bothered watching the series on TV. That isn't even headscratching bad. That's jaw agape, eyes wide-open and unblinking bad. This was the Number Three seed in the playoffs, the winner of their division. And almost nobody watched their series in their own hometown.



    I'm not sure how to answer that first line. It's almost akin to saying that if pigs could fly, they could fly very far. But they can't, so they won't. Well, hockey is not succeeding in those two places. Not by a long shot. Now it's just a matter of how long the owners want to keep throwing money at it.

    As to the Winnipeg person, I think they were being very realistic. I'm not sure how you can say that teams at or near the bottom in attendance and revenue deserve chance after chance, but when someone comes and says that Winnipeg could jump up to the middle of the pack they are derided. Ask the owners of some of those teams if they'd take middle of the road versus what they have now year after year. My guess is that they'd be on it in a heartbeat. So what if Winnipeg will never be number one. I have news for all of you, neither will Florida or Atlanta - despite the capacity of their arenas.

    So in this case putting the game in a place where it will be appreciated is far better, even if it does mean that it will never be a Detroit or Toronto. I'd rather watch 15,000 screaming fans in Winnipeg than 13,000 (2,000 of whom came dressed as empty seats) docile customers in Miami.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2007
  3. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    My bad.

    I need to accord the proper respect for the good Doctor. A Ph.D. and a reported lawyer with better-than-average business acumen engaging in a debate with me! I am truly humbled.

    BTW, thank you IB for creating a new thread on this topic on your own initiative. We do not often agree for some reason, but I respect you for doing that.

    GHOST
     
  4. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    Why do you say "reported lawyer"?
     
  5. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    There's more than one way to read that I guess. See the emphasis below to understand my meaning:

    A reported lawyer with better-than-average business acumen.

    GHOST
     
  6. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    Go to CJOB audio vault for July 4th at 7:00 P.M. and forward to 13:00 and listen to the conversation. Balsillie's lawyer makes it clear Winnipeg made an "expansion pitch" as recently as this year. Mccown says they were told to "go home." See/hear here:

    Link: http://www.cjob.com/station/audiovault_preview.aspx

    GHOST
     
  7. BrianSTC

    BrianSTC Registered User

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    GHOST,

    You will never convince these Bettman cheerleaders that Bettman might just be a little anti-Canadian....

    I watched that interview on Sportsnet and Balsillie's lawyer was pretty much saying that the ONLY REASON Balsillie's bid was falling through was because Balsillie wanted to move the team to Canada...

    Bettman doesn't seem to have a problem with Kansas City though....
     
  8. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    I'm a lot of reported things ... and a few of them are even complimentary. :D

    I'm not going to dispute the accuracy of that statement (though I doubt the response from the NHL was as harsh as is made out to be) - however, the context is questionable. I wouldn't necessarily read, "the NHL doesn't want a team in Winnipeg" out of that - because a few cities have talked to the NHL about an expansion team. I think the NHL doesn't want to mess with expansion right now, and even letting on that they're entertaining the idea of expanding soon would open up a Pandora's Box of activity that they're not prepared to deal with right now. This would further back up Daly's comments about a team in Las Vegas, when he indicated that any talk of expansion was still 4-5 years down the road.

    Now ... if/when the league decides to expand to 32 teams, I fully expect Winnipeg to put up a hell of a bid. Hopefully it will be more impressive than the feeble attempt Hamilton put up 10 years ago which was outshined by Oklahoma City.


    (Psst ... this is a Winnipeg thread ... take the Nashville/Hamilton/Kansas City/[insert other rumored destination for the Predators] talk back to the Nashville thread.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2007
  9. EbencoyE

    EbencoyE Registered User

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    Hockey is not succeeding in those places? Or the franchises aren't? It amazes me that people lump the two together so easily. Just because a HORRIBLE team such as the Panthers don't draw well (In a town that is known to be full of bandwagoners for any team besides the Dolphins) doesn't mean that the sport of hockey just "doesn't work" there.

    Now if the Panthers had been making the playoffs regularly and made a run for the Cup within the past 10 years AND STILL drew poorly, you may have a point.

    Your other example, the Thrashers, have been getting much better support recently thanks to... you guessed it... the team actually performing well! Gasp! Amazing how that works.

    And what happens in 10 years when the Winnipeg franchise is one of the worst in the league and attendance starts to slip? We're back at square one. A large market team that performs poorly on the ice might only get 13,000 people in the gates, but atleast they know if the team performs well they'll be raking in the profits. Much more corporate money, potential fans, and a larger arena in Miami than there is in Winnipeg. It's no wonder owners are quite content with where their teams are now.
     
  10. BrianSTC

    BrianSTC Registered User

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    Good plan. I agree totally.
    Lets move the Panthers to Hamilton and then put a winning AHL team in Miami...
    If hockey works in Miami, the AHL team should do just fine.

    Please check:
    Stanley Cup Finals 1996

    Winnipeg?

    Please check Winnipeg Jets:
    A grand total of 4 winning seasons out of 17 in the league.
    A grand total of 2 playoff series wins.
    Overall record of 506 wins, 660 losses, and 172 ties.

    Are we talking about the same Winnipeg?
     
  11. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    Current year: 2007
    Year of last Finals appearance: 1996
    Number of years since last Finals appearance: 2007 - 1996 = 11

    As an added bonus ...
    Year of last playoff appearance: 2000
    Number of years since last playoff appearance: 2007 - 2000 = 7
     
  12. BrianSTC

    BrianSTC Registered User

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    So?

    Your point is?

    There have been plenty of other teams that have missed the playoffs for several consecutive seasons and drew good crowds regardless.

    The Florida Panthers actually made it to the Cup finals which is more playoff success than a lot of other teams have had recently. Florida won more playoff games in that season than the Winnipeg Jets won in their entire existance!

    I don't think you can question what kind of support a Winnipeg franchise would get 10 years down the road when Winnipeg supported a losing team for 17 years.

    And Florida fans better get used to missing the playoffs if the salary cap continues to go up...
     
  13. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    Really?

    Name them - and don't start going through teams in other sports. We're talking about the NHL in general, a franchise that went to the Finals in its 3rd year of existence and in 13 years total, has made the playoffs three (3) times in particular at the moment.
     
  14. BrianSTC

    BrianSTC Registered User

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    Before their Stanley Cup appearance in 2004, Calgary missed the playoffs 7 consecutive years.

    Their attendance during those years"
    1996-97 = 17,089
    1997-98 = 16,847
    1998-99 = 16,202
    1999-00 = 15,322
    2000-01 = 16,623
    2001-02 = 15,719
    2002-03 = 16,239

    It's called having actual hockey fans.
    Maybe attend a game or two in Calgary and you would see for yourself...

    And btw, using your "logic", Winnipeg should have phenomenal attendance if they get a winning team since NHL attendance figures from Winnipeg were all figures with a losing team
     
  15. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    In 1984-85, the Winnipeg Jets were 43-27-10, and averaged 12,766 in attendance per home game.

    In 1989-90, the Winnipeg Jets were 37-32-11, and averaged 13,100 in attendance per home game.

    Just thought you would like to know.
     
  16. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Worth waiting for :)

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    Hmm .... interesting - so with all of those "actual hockey fans", the Flames still weren't selling out themselves in that period. Oh, I know - the economy was bad, the owners were crap, blah blah blah ... but it's really hard to take shots at another market when your own example doesn't really stand as a shining beacon of fan devotion itself. If Calgary has "actual hockey fans", then why wasn't the Saddledome selling out during that stretch anyway?

    Probably because in some markets, there's an actual correlation between winning and attendance - yes, even in a couple of markets in Canada.

    See the Doctor's post above.
     
  17. BrianSTC

    BrianSTC Registered User

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    And?

    Maybe if they would have followed up with a decent 85-86 season, maybe the Jets would have picked up the "bandwagon fans".

    And you do realize that Jets went on a 17 game unbeaten streak to end the season?
    I guess you wouldn't realize that by looking at the stats...
    So until the end of February 1985 the Jets basically had a 500 record...
     
  18. BrianSTC

    BrianSTC Registered User

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    How many teams are selling out arenas currently?

    Nashville? lol
    Boston? They sure haven't missed the playoffs as long as Calgary did...
    And how much are those attendance figures from these hotbed hockey markets padded?

    http://proicehockey.about.com/b/a/255966.htm

    At least Calgary held its own while they were losing. That is more than what Nashville can do while they are winning...
     
  19. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    And apparently your entire purpose here is to make unfounded claims and expect us to believe them. And apparently when they're disproven, you either disappear (see the other threads) or come back with non-responses.

    Actually, I'm well aware of the Jets' record at the end of 1984-85. As it happens, I've been researching the 1984-85 season for my website over the past several weeks.

    The point remains that you invariably make a claim without supporting evidence, it gets disproven, and then you get angry and defensive. And we seem to repeat that in every single thread.
     
  20. King_Stannis

    King_Stannis Registered User

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    I'm pretty sure the Florida Panthers would kill for those attendance numbers. We're talking about some games getting 8-10,000 through the turnstiles in Miami. That's horrible.

    And you guys who are saying "well, what if ______(insert canadian market here) went on a losing streak for X number of years? Their attendance would drop off too!". Well, the Calgary stats prove that at least when they fall off in Canada, it's to maybe 80% of capacity. That comes from the fact that the fans love the game and are more likely to go out and see even a losing team. Will they put up with it forever? Probably not, but I would imagine their fuse is quite a bit longer. But when they fall off in places like Florida, they're falling off to, let's be realistic here, 50-60% of capacity.

    Let's also not discount the fact that Florida wasn't actually that bad this year - 35-31 is not exactly terrible. I know, I know. Give it time. Patience seems unlimited for the great southern experiment teams. If Winnipeg and Quebec City were given half the amount of time these places were they'd probably still have their teams.
     
  21. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    Florida has been in the league for thirteen seasons.

    Half of that time would be seven seasons (rounding up).

    The Winnipeg Jets were in the NHL for seventeen seasons.
     
  22. King_Stannis

    King_Stannis Registered User

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    I meant the amount of time when they were probably working under crisis conditions. For Winnipeg and Quebec City, that probably didn't come until the nineties.
     
  23. Sotnos

    Sotnos Registered User

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    Honestly, you new guys are retreading old ground and using made up excuses that have already been disproven. We've all seen the Jets attendance numbers (though it doesn't seem like you have) and we know how long they were around (longer than the teams you want to get rid of). Go read the other Winnipeg thread and try to come up with something new, at least.

    As for teams "padding" attendance, all teams count it the same way, in case you didn't know.
     
  24. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    As someone that attended Jets' games in the 80's and early 90's and that has attended games of many other teams in the 00's of this century, including games in so-called "un-traditional" markets, I will dispute that.

    We are talking about two very different eras for one thing, different arena sizes, different expectations. The attendance figures reported in Winnipeg in the past were never padded by my estimates. I.E., what you saw when you attended a game corresponded to what you saw in the box score the next day in the local paper. The "padded attendance" phenomenon is of a more recent variety and is mostly practiced by said "non-traditional" markets that were trying to "grow the game" by distributing comp tickets from my observations.

    Choose not to believe me Sotnos, but that is why I posted the net gate receipts per game data from the G&M which are the more important figures. As I have stated many times, arguing about the NHL's "announced attendance" figures is a waste of time.

    GHOST
     
  25. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    I know I will probably be criticized for posting this data yet again, but it is very important for “new-comers” to see the below and also the TV ratings and revenue data (see the thread dedicated to that discussion). Cities like Edmonton or Ottawa are not necessarily much greater sports towns than Winnipeg although they have a slightly larger population. Keep in mind also the Canadian dollar has appreciated substantially since the below data was collected.

    Here are the per game gate receipts net of taxes in USD as per the Globe and Mail report for the last season as of January 31, 2007.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/v5/content/pdf/NHLweb.pdf

    Above 1.5 million

    1) Toronto

    Between 1.5 million and 1 million

    2) Montreal
    3) New York (Rangers)
    4) Detroit
    5) Vancouver
    6) Colorado
    7) Minnesota
    8) Edmonton

    Between 1 million and 900,000

    9) Calgary
    10) Philadelphia
    11) Dallas
    12) Ottawa

    Between 900,000 and 800,000

    13) San Jose
    14) Columbus

    Between 800,000 and 700,000

    15) Tampa Bay
    16) Anaheim
    17) Boston
    18) Carolina

    Between 700,000 and 600,000

    19) Los Angeles
    20) Buffalo

    Between 600,000 and 500,000

    21) Pittsburgh
    22) New Jersey
    23) Phoenix
    24) Nashville
    25) Florida

    Between 500,000 and 400,000

    26) Atlanta
    27) Washington
    28) New York (Islanders)
    29) St. Louis

    Between 400,000 and 300,000

    30) Chicago

    GHOST
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2007
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