Did Bettman try and save the Jets?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by timmy12, Jan 5, 2007.

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  1. timmy12

    timmy12 Registered User

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    I remember hearing somewhere that Bettman fought to keep the Jets in Winnipeg and something about him putting a huge fee if they were sold to someone who was going to move them. Does anyone know any details on if Bettman did try and save the Jets and if so, what did he do?
     
  2. Trizent

    Trizent Registered User

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    Bottomline is Winnipeg based owners wanted to sell the team and no one in Winnipeg wanted to buy the team, so it was sold to the Phoenix group. If someone had stepped up and bought the team and wanted to keep the team in Winnipeg it would have happened.

    Ditto, Quebec City to Denver.
     
  3. AdmiralPred

    AdmiralPred Registered User

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    I had thought there was more of a political aspect to each case. Such as funding for new arenas at the time.
     
  4. jamiebez

    jamiebez Registered User

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    Long story short - he tried, but he didn't bend over backwards or anything.

    When Shenkarow first put the team on the market (early 1995, IIRC), Bettman threatened him with a large fine if he attempted to sell the team before giving any local ownership groups a chance to bid. So, yes, he tried to make sure local owners would be given a fair shake.

    On the other side of the coin, he insisted that any ownership group be responsible for building a new arena, and creating a fund to hedge against any future losses while the building was being built - PLUS the actual purchase price of the team. Total cost about $250M Cdn at the time, and no local group was able to raise the capital before the deadline expired (although they came close).

    My personal feeling is that in the end, local owners couldn't find a way to make it work. Bettman's not really to blame, but he's hardly a saviour, either.
     
  5. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Go _____ Go!

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    The Jets were playing in an old building with no prospects of a new one being built anytime soon, no one in Winnipeg was willing to buy and operate it there after Barry Shenkarow put the jets on the market. There was hardly anything Bettman could have done.
     
  6. Burnside_1

    Burnside_1 Registered User

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    Yep, it's exactly that. In QC, Aubut wanted to sell the team no matter what, but he blamed the government all along for not giving him everything he wanted. In fact he wanted all the rewards and no risk.
     
  7. Trizent

    Trizent Registered User

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    True statement.

    Neither the government nor anyone privately wanted to build a new building in either location.
     
  8. jamiebez

    jamiebez Registered User

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    In Winnipeg's case, the government was on board for the most part ($94M combined from the city, province and feds). The private sector fell about $20M short of their side of the bargain and the whole thing just kind of died out.

    It wasn't a case of local ownership not stepping up - they stepped up, but the price was too high in the end.
     
  9. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    Yeah he ran and dove in front of the check yelling "NOOOOO!!!!!" in slow motion.
     
  10. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    If you can't come up with what is needed, that is called "not stepping up".
     
  11. TheDanceOfMaternity

    TheDanceOfMaternity Registered User

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    I'm the only guy who doesn't know this, but amidst all these whinings about attendence, were the Jets and Nords bankrupt because of it or not?
     
  12. Trizent

    Trizent Registered User

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    Not bankrupt, but losing a good chunk of money each year. Small, old buildings plus really low Canadian dollar really hurt things.
     
  13. jamiebez

    jamiebez Registered User

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    To me, "not stepping up" is not trying at all. They raised over $60M in capital and $13M in private donations, something that was never done before or since.

    Winnipeg "stepped up" and failed, yes. But we tried a hell of a lot more to keep them than any other city.
     
  14. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    To each his own, I guess.

    By "something that was never done before or since" I assume you mean "in Winnipeg". It certainly has been done elsewhere, particularly in the US where sports team shakedowns of government has been a common occurrence.
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jan 6, 2007
  15. jamiebez

    jamiebez Registered User

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    I meant donations from private citizens to try and help buy the team.

    Certainly, the shakedowns are commonplace by now (see Karmanos, Peter).
     
  16. Creator

    Creator Registered User

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    If the peg was serious about getting a team back, they should of made the MTS Centre bigger when building it!!!! Sometimes if you build it they will come, or in this case back. (Kansas City as an example) I give them 3 years and they will have a team.
     
  17. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer The future ain't what it used to be.

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    See Mario !!!!

    Small market Cdn teams cannot compete with small market U.S. teams that get free rinks, see K.C.
    The current NHL is a losing business unless teams get subsidized with sweet-heart rinks deals, except for 5 or 6 markets it just does not work.
     
  18. WheatiesHockey

    WheatiesHockey Registered User

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    It would be wrong to personalise the issue too much and blame Gary Bettman for NHL policies and practises during the 90's.The NHL had a policy of rapid expansion into the US Sunbelt and losing the Jets to Phoenix was part and parcel of the bigger strategy for expanding hockey into non traditional markets. The Oilers during that period were in jeopardy of being sold and moving to Houston and the future did not look promising for the Calgary Flames either.
    The whole rapid expansion into the Sunbelt has literally headed south for the NHL and the promised riches in Phoenix and elsewhere have yet to materialise. Winnipeg losts its team and after all these years is still mourning the loss of the Jets.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2007
  19. saskganesh

    saskganesh Registered User

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    hehehe.:clap:
     
  20. Foy

    Foy Registered User

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    And died from a lethal paper cut.
     
  21. Tuggy

    Tuggy Registered User

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    Save the Jets? No one can save the Jets today...oh wait.
     
  22. EbencoyE

    EbencoyE Registered User

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    I hope not. Unlike the Jets, the Penguins actually deserve being saved.

    The Penguins are an actual NHL team not a WHA team that was lucky to exist at all let alone be accepted into the NHL.

    The Penguins also have won two Stanley Cups and a winning tradition that has built a solid fanbase.

    Pittsburgh has MLB and NFL teams too, yet the Penguins still manage to stay competitive in the sports market and may even be more popular than the Pirates. Winnipeg had 0 competition.

    But most of all - Pens fans have always supported their team well. Much better than Jets fans ever did.
     
  23. Jeffler

    Jeffler See You At Game 3

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    There is no argument in what you said. You say a team isn't deserving becasue it came from another league? So by this theory....the Oilers should be kicked out of the NHL, am I right?

    Also, Winnepeg has a CFL team that draws crowds as well. And they had lots of support, the Jets.
     
  24. GSC2k2*

    GSC2k2* Guest

    No, they didn't.
     
  25. Well, the Jets did play in the NHL for over 10 years. They had NHL players and played agains NHL teams over a season. They were in the NHL as far as I am concerned.
     

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