Could a Maritime NHL team succeed?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by SwolePatrol, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. SwolePatrol

    SwolePatrol Eberle=Clutch

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    If the NHL were to move a team to Halifax/Moncton do you think it would succeed? Halifax and Moncton are the two most populated maritime Cities and the most likely to get an NHL team (although very unlikely that happens). both currently own QMJHL teams and the attendance for both is rather well.

    Now i know this is wack but if the team went to say Moncton would it be able to succeed?

    I think it would. Moncton is certally located in the maritimes and would be an ideal drive for many maritimers wishing to watch NHL hockey. I believe the loingest drive would be between 7-8 hours. Currently its a minimum 6 hour drive to Montreal, which i believe is the closest NHL location (this drive is from places which is 3 hours from Moncton).

    Many fans would be willing to spend money to watch NHL games and although there wouldnt be tons of season ticket holders, i could see many people purchasing 10 game/20 game ticket packages which would be enough to support the team.

    The team wouldnt be a TML salary cap team but would be more like a Buffalo salary cap team. It would provide fans in places such as Maine an easy location to go and watch some hockey as well.

    If a NHL team went to Moncton, would it not be enevitable that more people would move there to see the team, creating more ticket sales and boosting the population from what it is?

    The team would draw fans from NB,PEI,NS, Maine, and maybe Very eastern quebecers. Thats not a great draw but not horrible either and Phoenix itself proves, its not how many people live in an area, its how many people live in an area that love hockey and tons of people in these regions due (they are canadian after all)

    So do you think a team could succeed in this location?

    Extra: If they get a team in time, maybe Crosby comes to play here to be closer to home and we get an instant ticket seller? thatd be insane but highly unlikely
     
  2. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    Short answer: probably not. There isn't really a large enough city with the type of population density and corporate presence to sustain an NHL team. I'd like to see someone try to make the case for it though.

    GHOST
     
  3. David_99

    David_99 Registered User

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    Moncton may have nearly 2mil people within a 3 1/2 h drive, but there's no way in hell Maritimers could afford 41+ games, filling a non existent 18,000 building at NHL prices. There's plans to build a 10,000 seat arena downtown, which will serve the Wildcats well, but that's it. Stick to having some NHL preseason games. Moncton's focusing on getting a CFL team anyway.

    Halifax is closing in on pop. of 400,000. That's still half the size of Winnipeg.
     
  4. bacon25

    bacon25 Unenthusiastic User

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    I would love to see more teams in Canada, I think a team in Winnipeg, Hamilton, Another GTA team, Quebec city and a Halifax team would be sweet. Halifax would need to get support from the Hartford Whalers crowd in order to succeed.
     
  5. Kebekoi

    Kebekoi Registered User

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    I think there's potential in Canada for four more teams :
    Toronto, Ontario, Quebec and Winnipeg.

    Saskatoon and Atlantic Canada are too small to maintain a healthy NHL franchise.

    As the other poster said, they should focus on getting the CFL there with Ottawa ('13) and hopefully Quebec.

    BC
    Calgary
    Edmonton
    Saskatchewan
    Winnipeg

    Hamilton
    Toronto
    Ottawa
    Montreal
    Quebec/Atlantic
     
  6. htpwn

    htpwn Registered User

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    Halifax would need to go through a population boom double of the one that Calgary experienced in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s to be in serious discussion for a franchise in my opinion. Unless a ******** of oil is found under the city, its not happening.
     
  7. Jets4Life

    Jets4Life Registered User

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    No.

    An NHL team in the Maritimes would need 750,000+ in the metro area of the city it called home. No city even comes close to that figure.
     
  8. Not a chance. Many reasons why, but just one for you: if your Gary Bettman, would you rather the Phoenix Coyotes on FSN or the Halifax Coyotes on ****ing Eastlink (Nova Scotia's proverbial "channel 10")? Bobby Smith has really ****ed the Mooseheads up. Far from beyond repair but things have been a lot worse here since he came. If that trend continues, it might be possible that Halifax could shun junior hockey and Scott Ferguson (president & CEO of the arena) will be knocking on the AHL's door for a professional team. If that happens, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Cape Breton wanted the Oilers back, PEI wanted the Senators back, St. John's wanted the Leafs back, Saint John wanted the Flames back and, maybe, Moncton wanted the Hawks back. That is what the Maritimes should work towards.
     
  9. GreatCanadian

    GreatCanadian Registered User

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    From what I can see, Monctonians are aware that we are too small to even consider NHL. We do, however, think that the CFL is possible and the city is currently making a big push for that to happen.

    The only time Moncton/Halifax might consider the NHL, is if one city ever hit 700,000+ and that might never happen.

    You can, however, expect a CFL franchise soon :naughty:
     
  10. Hmm, I don't know. I was at the Eskimos/Argos game and Moncton did a great job, but I still would be surprised if Moncton can get the investors and sponsors to bring a CFL team into the city.
     
  11. Kevin Forbes

    Kevin Forbes Registered User

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    I really don't think so either.
    I remember reading about population when it came to all those failed concerts on the Commons and I think the same thing applies here. I'll reference Halifax, because I live here and it's larger than Moncton.

    HRM has a population of roughly 400k.
    Nova Scotia has a population of roughly 940k.
    Now it's probably unlikely that you're going to draw a large number of season ticket holders from Cape Breton (5 hour drive to Sydney), but you might still draw from places like Moncton (3 hour drive away), so let's just assume that in total, an NHL team in Halifax has a population of about 1 million people to draw from.
    Let's assume the new hockey arena that would be needed for this club holds 18 000 people (a bit on the small side compared to some of the other rinks, but trying to be conservative).

    So for a sellout, the team would need to draw almost 2% of their available population base to the game. (1.8% or 18000/1 million). When you consider just people in Halifax itself, that number gets even worse: 4.5%

    Comparison wise: Toronto itself has 2.5 million people with the GTA having 5.5 million people. So that's 0.75% of Toronto's population or 0.34% of the GTA to fill the 18800 seats at the ACC.

    Even for places that might be considered much smaller, like the Raleigh-Durham area in Carolina have a population base of 1.7 million (2.7 million if you go a bit broader and include Fayetteville, which would be comparable in distance to including all of Nova Scotia/Moncton). So for the Hurricanes, that's between a 1.1% and a 0.69% of the population.

    The Tampa Bay area is also 2.7 million. The Phoenix metro area is 4.2 million. The list goes on and on.

    But that's really not the absolute end of the discussion.

    What kills the hope is taking those numbers and pairing them with the economic realities of the province and the area. Nova Scotia's GDP per capita (which might be the simplest way to compare the province on equal footing to other Canadian provinces) is $36 500 which lags behind Ontario ($45 440), Alberta ($80 997), British Columbia ($45 151) and Quebec ($38 979).

    When looking at these numbers, the question becomes less "Does Nova Scotia have the population to support an NHL team?" and more "Do Nova Scotians have the money to support an NHL team?"

    Frankly, I don't think there are enough Maritimers with the money and inclination to pony up to purchase enough season ticket packages to support an NHL squad.
     
  12. Kevin Forbes

    Kevin Forbes Registered User

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    There's good reasons why the AHL left the Maritimes en masse.
    Ownership and fan support. I don't see how either of those factors have magically changed in the past 20 years. The Mooseheads, even right now, are outdrawing what the Voyageurs were able to put through the gate on most nights.

    I also think you're over blowing a few tough years in Halifax, after what has been a pretty charmed life for the Mooseheads and the city thus far.
     
  13. Well, the same could have been said for NHL hockey in St. Paul and Denver. It's hard to say whether the AHL would have success in the Maritimes.

    As for the Mooseheads, I'm not meaning to sensationalize anything; I'd be shocked if I read in the Herald that the Mooseheads were having any kind of trouble. However, the don't seem to be the same event as they were half-a-decade ago. In ten, fifteen years; it wouldn't surprise me if the QMJHL had worn out their welcome.
     
  14. Brodie

    Brodie Marxist-Harbaughist

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    Moncton should stay focused on the CFL... football lends itself much better to the kind of regional thing the Maritimes have going on. The answer to this question is obviously no for population reasons... frankly, I feel like the QMJHL is probably best for the region.

    Now, St. John's is desperately in need of a team in either the Q or the AHL. But that's another story.
     
  15. Melrose Munch

    Melrose Munch Registered User

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    In 2031 they could. Halifax is expected to have 550k by then.
     
  16. Yes and they're already coming up with ways to market the team to Syrians. :sarcasm:
     
  17. htpwn

    htpwn Registered User

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    Yes, but the problem in that case is that everybody else will also be adding population. In that same timeframe, Vancouver's estimated population will be 3.5 million. Montreal's will be 5 million. Toronto's will be nearly 10 million within the GTA, that's not even counting Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara Falls, and London!

    Today people are saying that the lowest population needed to support an NHL franchise is between 800,000-1,000,000. In 20 years, that could very well be 1,500,000 and Halifax, despite its population gain, will continue to be regarded as too small to support a NHL franchise.
     
  18. Tinalera

    Tinalera Registered User

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    No, you can get one quicker than that: Just take all the disenchanted fans from all the Canadian teams, move them en mass to Halifax, and plunk em down there....:sarcasm:
     
  19. Melrose Munch

    Melrose Munch Registered User

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    True. The goal posts will shift. Besides Bettman will never allow it. Not to mention the lack of corporate support.
     
  20. jessebelanger

    jessebelanger Registered User

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    Halifax is not only small, its quite poor compared to NHL cities. The major industry is "small business" for petes sake. Mooseheads are currently drawing something like 2 thousand a game.

    Just don't see any evidence that an NHL tema would be successful for any length of time - possibly a game or two, maybe even a season. (overlooking the major barrier of no Arena).
     
  21. Kevin Forbes

    Kevin Forbes Registered User

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    Come on... you're comparing what happened with the Rockies and the North Stars to AHL teams?
    As I said before, the failure of the AHL in the Maritimes boiled down to ownership AND fan support. In both of your NHL examples, it was clearly a case of poor ownership groups, which has been easily proven by the success of the Wild and the Avalanche.
    The Voyageurs were a quality team and never came close to garnering the fan support that the Mooseheads have enjoyed. Certainly the AHL lasted longer in Cape Breton, Saint John, PEI and St. John's, but it's the same story. The economics of the AHL changed enough that the Maritimes were no longer a viable option.
    I really don't see the AHL returning to the Maritimes, especially considering how the NHL and the AHL are now placing minor league franchises, with a desire to keep them close to NHL parents as well as expand the reach of the game (witness Oklahoma City and Texas).

    That's a whole different story eh?
    I know that St. John's is eager to get a new tenant for that big empty building and that they're looking more fondly at the AHL considering the history there, but it's more likely to happen with SJSE moving in a Q franchise.
    The economies of it are the big tightrope. The Fog Devils had to kick in to help cover the travel costs to bring teams to Newfoundland and they also had a crap deal with SJSE. If SJSE owns the team, hopefully the added expenditure of covering travel costs will be a bit easier to swallow.

    Give them some credit. The Mooseheads are averaging about 5000 a game right now (announced...but that's another story). It still places them second in the Q and just outside the top 10 in the entire CHL.
    I've been at game this year with a low of about 4000 and a high of about 7500.
     
  22. Probably not, but I wish Halifax could've gotten in on things. It seems like a really cool town.
     
  23. Fidel Astro

    Fidel Astro Registered User

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    I don't see it happening, but I still think a Halifax crowd would embrace an NHL team in a much greater way than fans in the southern US.

    I don't like football personally, but I hope they put a CFL team in the Maritimes.
     
  24. Kevin Forbes

    Kevin Forbes Registered User

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    Halifax has a bit of a little man complex unfortunately.
    A lot of effort and money is wasted in efforts to 'put Halifax on the map!'.

    Simply because the city is the largest community east of Montreal, somehow the powers that be think that makes them on equal footing to larger cities like Montreal.

    So a lot of stupid dreams are chased after, like the Commonwealth Games bid or major concerts on the Commons which lose a lot of public money because there simply aren't 50 000 people willing to shell out $100 for Paul McCartney or whoever. I fear the recent news about the Women's World Cup bid will be a similar facepalm worthy event, the same goes for the new convention centre downtown when it's clear there isn't a market out there for it.

    I really wish this city could tail back their dreams and concentrate on realistic happenings. Stuff like the Canada Games, which is bringing in a solid amount of infrastructure for both the city and province is almost an afterthought, but that's the kind of stuff that actually makes sense.

    Moncton, to their credit, seems to be much more aware of their place in the world, and thus they've got a new sensible stadium and have likely pulled ahead of Halifax when considering CFL expansion (which is a whole other hill of beans).
     
  25. Mihairokov

    Mihairokov Registered User

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    An NHL team in the Maritimes? No.

    The only places in Canada that can support additional NHL teams currently are Winnipeg, Quebec, Southern Ontario, and Saskatchewan. Everywhere else is no man's land.

    If the Acadie-Bathurst Titan move any time soon, it will be either to St. John's or Fredericton, and I have suspicions that Fredericton could not support a team for very long.
     
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