ATLANTA: Thrashing about for answers

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by LadyStanley, May 13, 2011.

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  1. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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  2. macavoy

    macavoy Registered User

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    The NHL doesn't have millions invested in Atlanta like it does Phoenix. Secondly, they can't own two teams at once. Phoenix is a more important hockey market than Atlanta.

    But more importantly, Atlanta's legal problems prevented it up until recently.
     
  3. Cornwall OHL

    Cornwall OHL That's my O face.

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    Why do you think Phoenix is a more important hockey market than Atlanta? I would figure that Atlanta would be a much more important market for two reasons. The first reason being that Atlanta has already had one failed team, so the NHL would probably not get another kick as the can in Atlanta if they let the Thrashers go.

    The second reason being that Atlanta is the 8th largest TV market in America according to Neilson ratings. Neilson Link

    Phoenix being the 12th.

    Here is an updated list: Neilson Rankings
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  4. Fugu

    Fugu Guest

    Interview with Vivlamore from AJC:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/2011/05/13/thrashers_future/?source=video


    http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-thrash...whether-spirit-true-north-are-in-negotations/
     
  5. Buck Aki Berg

    Buck Aki Berg Done with this place

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    It's been pointed out here several times that the Atlanta Flames did not fail. A gentleman approached the owners with an extremely large bag of money and said "This is for you if you let me fly back to Calgary with the keys to your hockey team in my pocket". That's not failure.
     
  6. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    No, silly, you forgot the way things work in hockey.

    It happened to Atlanta: market failed, no one cared, people thought pucks were either snacks or what gets stuck in the bottom of urinals.

    It happened to Quebec: fans got screwed, greedy owner, inept NHL, Canadian-hating commissioner, and ignoring the fact that roughly 26 billion locals would all be season ticket holders if given the chance.

    The fact that they are literally exactly the same scenario doesn't matter. If it benefits Canada, it must be right and proper. If it benefits America, it must be bad for all parties, involved or uninvolved.
     
  7. Strawman argument of the month goes to...
     
  8. Tinalera

    Tinalera Registered User

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    I guess with PHX in place for at least another year-I guess Atlanta is becoming the discussion de jour? ;)
     
  9. macavoy

    macavoy Registered User

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    I have a rather simplistic viewpoint in this scenario. I'm blindly following the NHL's lead in the matter, I'll trust 28 billionaireish owners who are willing to prop up one franchise for their benefit and not the other.
     
  10. Gump Hasek

    Gump Hasek Spleen Merchant

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    I've a sneaky suspicion that the shoe photo of the mysterious Balkan is simply the shoe of Kincade's buddy, SI fantasy football writer Jay Clemons. Just a thought.
     
  11. xtra

    xtra Registered User

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    i think someone is upset that Canada doesn't respect Columbus
     
  12. cbcwpg

    cbcwpg Registered User

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    Quote from one of the potential buyers... Tom Glavine

    Former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine, who has been trying to pull together an ownership group to keep the Thrashers in town, admitted he’s having absolutely no luck. “You have to get somebody willing to write a cheque and keep the team here,†he said. “So far, that’s been tough to get done.â€

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/spor...t-is-on-in-atlanta-no-kidding/article2022067/
     
  13. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Well no, the NHL hasnt been doing anything of the kind for any length of time seriously. The spittle from the leagues lipservice wont douse the flames of the inferno the pyromaniacs at ASG started 10 years ago. These guys want out period. Surely there must be interested parties out there who would willingly take on the Thrashers, Hawks & Arena Mgmnt Contract in a prime market like Atlanta. I suggest to you the guys at ASG are being at best disingenuous in asking anyone to believe they've been seriously trying to sell "for years". They were ordered to turn over court documents and nowhere was there a peep about it. This just reeks of a cash grab very much like the Moyes-Balsillie gambit absent the BK.
     
  14. Alex The Loyal

    Alex The Loyal Grimace Returns

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    Yeah I was wondering what was going on with Glavine. I thought Glavine was gonna get the team or part of it, which was I was pretty damn surprised about the Relocation talk hitting a new high. But well, it seems Glavine can't do it. Is there anyone else other than TNSE willing to buy the team?
     
  15. DeathToAllButMetal

    DeathToAllButMetal Let it all burn.

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    Bottom line -- who cares? Private business. I don't get how or why so many people think these teams are held as some kind of public trust, like there is some mystical covenant between team and fan.

    Nope. Never worked that way, never will. If an owner -- any owner, anywhere -- can get a better deal elsewhere, then have at it. I don't care if it's a Canadian team or an americamn one, either. The league itself shouldn't be messing with these transactions unless they involve a move into a disputed territory or a deal with an owner who can't afford the team or the new location.

    Too much league interference just leads to messes like with Phoenix. Being hands off means you wind up with the odd situation like the Sonics leaving Seattle or LA having no NFL team. But them's the breaks. You want a successful league, you have to respect the free market system. It's good enough for the players, who can be swapped at will. It should be good for the owners as well.
     
  16. Ashe

    Ashe Registered User

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    5.5 Million people in atlanta care.
    The fans who have put up with this care
    The players care
    Sorry, but just because Winnipeg offers up money to buy a team, doesn't mean they automatically get it. Exhaust all Local options, then proceed to other options. Much like they are trying to in PHX.
     
  17. Whileee

    Whileee Registered User

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    I fully agree that the fans and the players care, and should be afforded respectful treatment by the ownership and the NHL. Thus far, they have not received their due respect.

    I think it goes a bit far by saying that 5.5 million people in Atlanta care. I know quite a few professional folks in Atlanta who are not even aware of the team's existence when I have tried to engage in discussions about hockey with them. To be fair, I am quite sure that not all Winnipeggers care about the return of an NHL franchise either.

    But the interest of the local citizenry and their elected politicians cannot be taken for granted, since I believe that there is at least an indirect link between Phoenix, Atlanta and Winnipeg. As Bettman has stated clearly, one of the reasons that they are putting resource and effort into keeping the Coyotes in Glendale is that the City of Glendale has been very generous in their offer of subsidies to keep the team there. If Glendale had not stepped forward, I believe that the Coyotes would be headed to Winnipeg and the NHL would be scrambling to preserve a team in Atlanta. But the local government support does not appear forthcoming in Atlanta, and Bettman has as much as stated that as a factor... (http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=562657#&navid=nhl-search)

    So, I suppose that if 5.5 million citizens in Atlanta did care, it appears that the NHL is saying that in order for the NHL to step in they should quickly convince their elected officials to come up with a subsidy package akin to Glendale's.

    And as many of us have suggested previously, perhaps the most ominous sign for Atlanta fans was when Glendale decided to pull out all stops to ensure that the Coyotes didn't leave them.
     
  18. Finlandia WOAT

    Finlandia WOAT Bench Constance Garnett

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    I disagree with this.

    When an owner purchases a team, they are giving up the right to operate their franchise however they please. The pertinent right that they surrender being the right to move their team wherever they please. Other rights include rink size, salary cap, team size, etc.

    The NHL has the right to decide where an NHL franchise can operate, and who may own it. If an owner wants the sacred right of moving their franchise wherever they may please, purchase an AHL franchise.

    The owner isn't the be all end all, they are part of the NHL. They must be willing to abide by the NHL's rules. And the NHL's rules are very clear; they may decide where a franchise may be, not the owner.

    I am astounded when people say this is a bad thing- this kind of deal is what has kept 6 teams in Canada, not 2 or 3.
     
  19. Finlandia WOAT

    Finlandia WOAT Bench Constance Garnett

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  20. danishh

    danishh Registered User

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    yeah, i noticed that during tonight's game. Seems like an odd time for atlanta to make that type of commitment.

    you'd think carolina would have found another team to do it.
     
  21. Whileee

    Whileee Registered User

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    I agree. So why is the NHL apparently open to the possibility of a sale and relocation of the Thrashers. It clearly must not be their first choice. I can think of a couple of speculative reasons:

    1) They really have tried to find a local buyer for the Thrashers, but have completed struck out. This might be due to the fact that ASG wants to retain the Hawks and operations of Philips Arena and no investors can see any upside to just owning the Thrashers in that configuration. But the NHL can hardly force ASG to divest themselves of non-NHL assets, can they.

    2) It has been reported that there is a specific time period during which the owners have a non-relocation covenant, and that expires this year for ASG and the Thrashers. Perhaps others can clarify. But if that is the case, then I would expect that the NHL would have to have compelling reasons for rejecting an application for sale and relocation lest they set a rather chilling precedent for future prospective owners. Given the uncertainty of the financial prospects of NHL franchises demonstrated over the past few years, it would send quite a chill on the market if the NHL essentially said that if you buy a team, you are stuck with it ad infinitum at our discretion, for better for worse, richer or poorer. Who would consider purchasing a franchise if they are essentially told that there is no clear path to future sale should they run into personal financial problems or the franchise loses scads of money? I think that the NHL needs to have a path to selling a team, even if a local sale is not achievable, or else establish some sort of standard bail-out package for owners that are swimming in red ink. At this point, it seems clear that the NHL expects local municipalities to handle the bail-out package.
     
  22. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    Good post. I like the Bettman quote which is line with what I've felt were important factors in the efforts the NHL has made in Glendale versus what they might do in Atlanta.

    Let's consider the NHL has two troubled franchises:

    Franchise A:
    - City built a $180MM plus NHL specific arena for franchise with mainly public funding
    - NHL team is only anchor tenant and arena could be white elephant if NHL team leaves according to some (NHL wants to give appearance of doing everything to help city that built a next to free arena for the NHL)
    - City willing to spend $200MM to subsidize franchise (plus interest)
    - no owner can be found, but at least the city will fund most of the losses for next year (buys time)
    - NHL owns team providing greater control
    - relocation of franchise, however, would help NHL recover the money put into the franchise since it purchased out of bankruptcy

    Franchise B:
    - City built arena, but bonds tied to NBA team playing there
    - more popular NBA team shares arena with less popular NHL team
    - City not willing to spend any money to subsidize franchise
    - NHL doesn't own franchise and thus has limited control
    - owners desperately want to stop funding losses...could bankrupt franchise as last resort
    - owners therefore want to sell franchise asap
    - NHL might be able to obtain a potential $60MM relocation fee which can placate board on money spent on PHX situation

    What do you do if you can't save both? Not saying they can't, but we shall see.

    GHOST
     
  23. Melrose Munch

    Melrose Munch Registered User

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    I want ATL to stay but I hate when I hear things like this, I read the AJC Blogs. That does not sound like 5.5 million people care.
     
  24. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Thats an interesting take on things, but Im afraid I'll be disagreeing with your premise there Whileee. The parallels between the 2 situations are similar in many respects, but fundamentally different in one; direct or indirect governmental subsidies are not being sought by the current owners nor by prospective buyers in Atlanta, nor do I read any inference from the league that suggests such would be or should be a pre-requisit to completing a sale. Gary Bettman is not saying that. He is not telling ASG to seek out governmental assistance. He is not basing his decision to so far seemingly do little to nothing in helping usher along the process (because he's too busy elsewhere me thinks) by laying it on the City of Atlantas' doorstep. He knows what the problem is in Atlanta. Its ASG. He cant stand them. The fans cant stand them. They gotta go. Someone will buy the whole shooting match off of them & good riddance. Its your next leap (not just yours, but the medias, posters here & elsewhere) that I have a real problem with.....

    The 3 Way that connects the NHL's contortions in Arizona to a relocation of the Thrashers in Atlanta to Winnipeg. I disconnect at this point. Veer off the hwy. Not drinking the Kool Aide. I simply, categorically refuse to believe that the NHL is hanging onto Phoenix in order to leave open a path for the Thrashers to be sold & moved to the only vacant market with an NHL ready arena & willing buyers. Who does this?. Who lets go a market like Atlanta without a serious fight to source & secure ownership to keep the team in place?. Leaves it entirely up to a bunch of Rounders in ASG to determine?. Or worse, gives them their blessing to do so after just signing a broadcasting contract, while turning its back, for good, on the Capital of the South, 5.5M people, a major center of corporate H.O.'s like Coke, Home Depot & RJR Nabisco; along with a vibrant media & high-tech sector?. It just doesnt make sense to me.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  25. Dado

    Dado Guest

    "If you force us to sell local at a reduced price, we will drag you into court."

    I don't think the NHL is doing what it's doing in either city because it wants it that way - dollars to donuts that if Glendale didn't blink this week as Bettman held a gun to their head we'd be talking about the Winnipeg Coyotes right now.

    IMO the NHL is in far less control than people are seem to be willing to believe - realities have outrun their ability to deal with them in the way they would like.
     
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