Bad Expansion Cites that will become good hockey cites?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by DaBadGuy7, Jun 5, 2005.

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  1. DaBadGuy7

    DaBadGuy7 Registered User

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    Which expansion team that "so called" put in a bad hockey city will become a good hockey city? I'm going to say Tampa, The Lightning came off a Cup win and it seem that more fans in the Tampa area were starting to show interest in the Lightning and the team is still on the rise.
     
  2. Hawker14

    Hawker14 Registered User

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    very interesting question.

    everybody loves a winner so for me a good hockey market will still support the team in bad times.

    tampa has had on-ice success, so it will be interesting to see if fans support the team if there is a downturn in competitiveness. same with dallas and denver. these markets' fan support during bad times, to me, will dictate the nhl's ultimate potential to be successful in non-traditional markets.

    that being said, i think most markets with solid ownership and a committment to being competitive can see a more solid fanbase cultivated.

    two markets which i currently have little hope for are carolina and pittsburgh.

    let me start with pittsburgh by saying it's solely the arena issue. i've experienced what a delay in building an arena will do to a franchise that needs one, ie. the jets, and if pittsburgh doesn't build one very soon, the team will certainly leave which will be a shame for the loyal fans there.

    with carolina, i've done some research into the team's marketing, and just don't think raleigh will ever be a stable hockey market. i'm no fan of karmanos (especially for what he did to hartford), but he has spent money on the hurricanes and the team has enjoyed some on-ice success, which doesn't seem to have translated into fanbase.

    i wouldn't claim pittsburgh to be a bad hockey market, and with a new arena, i think the Pens will rekindle the passion in their fans and the team will have much better attendance figures. with a new arena, i expect the pens to have the biggest turnaround of currently underperforming markets.

    as far as expansion teams, i wouldn't be surprised to see anaheim more successful (a name change should add a couple thousand fans per game, lol)
     
  3. Sixty Six

    Sixty Six Registered User

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    I'd like to say Atlanta, but the Braves don't even sell out playoff games sometimes, so why would the thrashers? However with the team they are assembling, i think they could build up a very good fan base. So i'll say possibly Atlanta
     
  4. salty justice

    salty justice Registered User

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    Even though its technically not an expansion city, but its the same idea -- I think Phoenix will turn into a hockey city. What else does that place have going for them sports wise? A boring baseball team? I also heard that the whole state is growing fastly in population and I think they will have a winning team in a couple of years.
     
  5. davemess

    davemess Registered User

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    Penguins games still pull in excellent local tv ratings, cant remember the number but i believe its top 10 in the league.

    The fans are still there, problem last few years is that the team lost pretty much all its star players

    Jagr, Straka, Kovalev, Lang and Kaspar have been the faces of this franchise along with Mario for the last 5 or 6 years.

    For your none hardcore fans its trickier to go and watch a team when you dont know anybody wearing the Pens jerseys.
     
  6. missK

    missK Registered User

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    FYI - Tampa was awarded the franchise BEFORE Bettman came to the NHL.
     
  7. Hunter74

    Hunter74 Registered User

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    I think anyone of those new markets can create a strong fan base. They just a need a cuople years of back to back success on the ice. Not necessarily win a cup but make the playoffs and maybe even go deep 1 year. Then on top of that the team has to market themselves heavily during these winning times and get those players out there making positive impressions on fans. Hockey is already known for having very loyal fan bases. Its just a matter of tapping into the bandwagon and turning some of those bandwagon fans into die hards. Everyone loves a winner, especialy and entertaining one.

    This isn't easy by any means but it is achievable imo.
     
  8. Shizuka

    Shizuka Registered User

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    As I understand it, Columbus has a very solid and loyal fan base, as they are at or near capacity and certainly with the rise of young Nash and Zherdev it bodes well for that market. I am genuinely surprised, and pleasantly so, that a place in middle America has embraced the team as it has when football / baseball / collegiate sport compete for fans as well. Good on you Columbus...
     
  9. WC Handy*

    WC Handy* Guest

    Before answering this question I would like to know what were the Bad Expansion Cities?
     
  10. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Go _____ Go!

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    Ohio is a northern state, it's only across Lake Erie from Canada. It has 3 NCAA hockey programs including Ohio State that is located in Columbus.
     
  11. StevenintheATL

    StevenintheATL Registered User

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    The Braves don't sell out playoff games because the Braves making the playoffs is no longer the novelity it was the first 5-6 years they made the playoffs. The Braves have been in the playoffs every year since 1991 (with the exception of the strike year), so folks here are so used to them making the playoffs (and in the cases of the last few years, losing in the opening round). The Braves are not really the example to go by these days in Atlanta. The Falcons really are the ones to go by. The change in ownership from the Smith Family to Arthur Blank really affected the way the team was viewed not only among the other owners (The Smith family was referred to by many of the owners as the Clampetts) but among the fans in Atlanta. Sure a lot of the reason why the Falcons are a hot ticket is #7, but Blank attracted a lot of new season ticket holders by offering really sweet deals ($100 season ticket packages for some areas of the Georgia Dome, that sold out within days). The Falcons for the first time in years actually have a waiting list for season tickets, and for all practical purposes, have already sold out every game for the upcoming season even before individual tickets go on sale.

    Atlanta has always been a pretty decent hockey city. The Flames drew very respectable numbers during their time in Atlanta. The Flames left Atlanta not because of attendance problems, but because of the financial problems of their owner (The real estate market in downtown Atlanta took a real dump in the late 1970s, and Tom Cousins got in a pickle). It was a difference of $8 million that kept the Flames from staying in Atlanta. The only other bid was $8 million dollars, which was half the amount Skalbania's group was offering. The Atlanta Knights always drew well, and whenever Atlanta would host a neutral site NHL game, the Omni would sell out. The Omni is what kept Atlanta from returning to the NHL any earlier. It lacked the amenities that more modern facilities had, and without a new arena, Atlanta would be a minor league hockey town. The Stars almost ended up in Atlanta, but the Omni and the lack of any plans to replace it at the time killed that. Ted Turner was offered the Quebec Nordiques and turned the offer down due to the Omni. Had an arena proposal been for a location downtown other than where the Omni was, Atlanta may have gotten a team earlier. The Thrashers early on were a hard sell to hockey transplants. You'd go to game and there would be more fans wearing stuff of the opposing team than there would be folks wearing Thrashers stuff. These days, it has become the exact opposite, as those fans have become Thrashers fans as a result of the young players the team has drafted. You think these fans would be cheering for the Thrashers if they still had a roster full of no name players? No. Dany and Ilya, along with bringing in a real NHL coach (Curt Frasier was not cut out to be a NHL head coach.) made converts of the fans from NY, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh.
     
  12. DW3

    DW3 Registered User

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    What football and baseball are near them? Cincinnati is about 2 hours south and Cleveland is about 1 1/2 hrs. eastward of them. Their only real compition is Ohio State University, which competes with them regularly for football and basketball games.

    The town that I'm impressed with the most is Nashville. The town has supported the team from the very beginning, with both a top rate arena and plenty of stuff to do around it. It's one of the few places where you can park in one spot at 4 pm and not have to move your car until 4 am.
     
  13. X0ssbar

    X0ssbar Guest


    Actually the entertainment option around Nationwide Arena are a big benny for C-bus as well.

    arena district
     
  14. MattintheHatt

    MattintheHatt Registered User

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    The Suns? The Cardinals (close enough)? both will be quite successful next year.
     
  15. London Knights

    London Knights Registered User

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    Atlanta has a big chance. Win a championship before the Braves get too old and fall apart and you could really get some fan interest. Braves fans are sick of seing a team too good to get high draft picks but not good enough to win the big games in the playoffs. Winning the division for a decade doesn't mean much when you don't win the World Series.

    Nashville personally really impressed me with the fan excitement during their brief playoffs in the 03/04 season. It doesn't mean that Nashville was will or was a viable expansion, but if they could build on that, it is possible that they could build enough interest to get a core fan base to get solid crowds, even if they are limited in what they can do outside of their region.

    Pheonix is in trouble as far as I am concerned. The Suns had a phenominal year and will get better as Amare Stoudamire will improve defensively and they will probably make a good move that will make them yet again a threat for an NBA Championship. I don't think Pheonix is close to a Cup. They may make the playoffs in the next season, but I can't see them doing that much damage.

    Carolina is a dead end as far as I am concerned. It is college country to the core.
     
  16. hyena

    hyena Registered User

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    i don't know why i bother, but here goes.

    you've "done some research", huh? care to elaborate? just asking because i live here and can vouch for the existence of a pretty hardcore fanbase. and i'm talking hockey fans, not just Canes fans.

    we had the misfortune to have 2 horrible years after our cup run, cutting into some of the bandwagoners. that, plus the boring hockey that was being played didn't help the situation. i'm pleased to inform you however that with a new coach and improved play the last bit of 04, plus the prospect of a new CBA, our future looks pretty bright.
     
  17. Hawker14

    Hawker14 Registered User

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    i didn't claim that the canes do not have a hard-core fan base. every team does. however is it 50-100K strong ? imo, not a chance

    as for research, yes it includes all the comp'ed tickets that have been floating around to inflate the canes attendance figures and get fans to come out to the building. heck, i hope the canes do well, i just wouldn't count on it. then again, perhaps you and karmanos are in on the ground floor of what could be the nhl's next big thing.

    it's nothing personal against the fans of the hurricanes. the problem is there aren't enough of them.
     
  18. McDonald19

    McDonald19 Marcus Pettersson

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    The population growth in Orange County and all of Southern California is crazy to say the least.

    If the game of hockey becomes exciting again Southern California could easily sell out two hockey arenas.

    Just look at the Angels attendance...make hockey an attractive sport again and those people will go across the street to the Pond as well.
     
  19. Gary Buttman

    Gary Buttman Registered User

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    Carolina's support for their cup run was astounding. Pittsburgh might be near the end, and Florida as well. But after P-Burgh, I dont know where the NHL can cut and run, at least in the US. A lease deal with the RBC Center in Raleigh could cost a lot to cut (the arena was built for them, really), and I wonder if the NHL wants to part with the largest market in Florida, or the historic franchise in Pittsburgh. But I guess if they can move the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Colts, they can move any team in sports.
     
  20. futurcorerock

    futurcorerock Registered User

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    Every franchise will make it's home a good hockey city.
     
  21. canes-sth

    canes-sth Registered User

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    First off, the Hurricanes are not an expansion team. Just have to pick that nit.

    No really, it wasn't. The arena was planned for NC State's basketball program and would have been built no matter what. The arena plan was modified when Karmanos chose to move to Raleigh and is now operated by Gale Force Holdings via an original 20 year lease.

    This lease and its terms are what makes this market attractive to begin with from a financial standpoint, but of course the fans have to return.

    When the Canes had "on ice success" (as mentioned by another poster) the fanbase responded, but 2 years of horrible performance will hurt any club with a total of 5 years of history in a non-traditional market.

    Gotta say - it's been longer than 2 days since the last "expansion sucks" thread. Impressive.
     
  22. nyrmessier011

    nyrmessier011 Registered User

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    in comparison to the rest of the league type good: tampa bay has a chance, phoenix has a chance if gretzky coaches and those people in Arizona have the slightest idea of his greatness. Otherwise none.

    in comparison to the rest of major sports in the US: not a chance in hell

    no bash intended to fans of those cities...i actually feel bad for you...screw em...u love hockey, why care if others do.
     
  23. HeShootseyScores

    HeShootseyScores Registered User

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    Nashville will be good again when the Preds are consistently successful and it is once again the thing to do in town. The first several years, it was great. Great crowds. Great excitement. But the losing kept coming (but never won less than 27 games per year) and no realistic chance at the playoffs in sight.

    Then Titans went to the Super Bowl in 1999-2000 and now this town gets media updates on when any Titan player has a bathroom break or gets a paper cut.

    We can be good again. The playoff run helped greatly, but can we build on it after being off for a year.
     
  24. ObeySteve

    ObeySteve Registered User

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    Phoenix is dead last in the league in revenue. 30th freaking place....even less than near-bankrupt teams on league welfare like Buffalo and Edmonton.
     
  25. blitzkriegs

    blitzkriegs Registered User

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    Because fans attend hockey games to watch the coach? :biglaugh:

    You win, you generate interest. You lose, nobody wants to spend their 'entertainment dollar' on you. Simple as that.
     
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