Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by DickSmehlik, Feb 9, 2011.
Was it over a new arena?
They had just left the season I started to follow hockey.
City/owner wouldn't put up the money to build a new arena and they had pretty serious attendance issues.
Final four years were 11,354, 7,838, 13,447 and 13,910 (one of those a Stanley Cup Finals team).
But the biggest issue by far was the building, the same story you had in QC, Winnipeg and Hartford (and what almost happened in Pittsburgh). When the building got old and the owner couldn't get someone to ante up, the team almost invariably moved.
a) poor attendance when the team sucked.
b) failure to secure money for a new area.
c) Norm Green (owner) was accused of sexual assault and his wife threatened to leave him if he didn't move the team.
I still miss the North Stars. Such a good logo and colors.
Read this for a more in depth explanation.
The fact that the ****** Minnesota Timberwolves still call Minneapolis home tells me that the choice to put the North Stars out in the 'burbs in the Met Center was ultimately the problem. That must be at least a partial explanation as to why one of the best hockey states had trouble filling an undersized NHL arena, be it a bad team or not. With the City of Minneapolis buying the Target Center from the NBA franchise in 1995, the North Stars seemed to have missed out on staying in the Land Of 1,000 Lakes by only two years. An absolute shame. Ironically, once the NHL fired up expansion by granting the Gunds, who abandoned the North Stars, a franchise in San Jose in 1991 made up of (also ironically) North Stars players/prospects, the U.S.'s most populated state was bound to get a franchise, be it through expansion or relocation.
Aside from that 7,838 season, that still looks better than quite a few teams today.
All about the Benjamins
I think they were just misplaced, probably slipped between the couch cushions.
Including the 7,838 it still looks better than quite a few teams today. The league average then wasn't what it is now.
To be extremely jejune, the south was built on the back of the north.
iirc Norm Green ran the team into the ground, even though they had that miracle run in '91.
What was stopping them from playing out of the Target Center without municipal ownership? Or did Green have an I-don't-want-to-share-my-arena-with-nobody mentality?
Lou Nanne's book on the history of the North Stars which came out a couple of years ago gives a pretty good account of why the team left. As I remember it the Metropolitan Sports Commission and the City of Bloomington thought the land at the Met Center location was more valuable for other uses, being that the Mall of America had recently opened next door, and wanted to strongarm the North Stars into moving into the Target Center. They were in a rush to knock down the Met Center to use the real estate to build stores to sell crap on a large scale (an Ikea store stands today where the Met Center once did). Green actually came up with very reasonable proposals for renovating the Met Center and revenue sharing. The move to the Target Center was unacceptable to the North Stars because they would have been more or less tenants of the upstart Timberwolves, could not advertise their sponsors as they liked (Coke vs. Pepsi, for example), and the terms of the deal were generally not advantageous at all, particularly when weighed against what Dallas was offering. Again, Nanne's book gives a pretty concise picture of what happened, and as vilified as Norm Green was, he really was being squeezed.
Psst, the North Stars played in the Met Center from their inception in 1967. The Target Center was built/finished in 1990.
The Met Center had great ice, only held just under 16,000 (about the size of the Forum in L.A.), but had great sightlines and was pretty highly regarded around the league. The location, "out in the burbs" as it was, was along a major freeway, very convenient.
Indeed it was. The Target Center on its best day is a second-rate arena and inferior to the Met Center from day one. But, it's downtown. That's what they wanted....
Sorry, poor choice of words. Ikea does have some nice stuff.
California already had a team when the Sharks were awarded the expansion. Remember LA? They had been around for quite a while...
Indeed, I think people are quick to forget that the Kings were part of the Expansion 6 that came into the League in '67.
And Northern California already had a team before as well. Seals!!!
But the reason for the MNS leaving was mostly arena related and partly jerk owner.
I think a better question is this:
Would the Minnesota North Stars have left if the NHL had "pulled a Phoenix," bought the team, and jumped through hoops to ensure they stayed in MN?
I really wish that the Stars would have taken a new name when they went to Dallas. It would have been nice if the Wild could have been called the North Stars instead.
The name "Dallas Stars" was too perfect for them not to use.
I think the likelihood of that happening would have been pretty low, the circumstances were different at that time and for that market for a couple of reasons:
1. Gary Bettman was hot to expand the NHL south of the Mason-Dixon line, and a lucrative location like Dallas was quite an option.
2. There was a clear understanding that if Minnesota lost the North Stars, they would be a prime candidate for an expansion club in the near future. The NHL could get back in the MN market pretty easily after a new arena was built, expand their league, and collect a huge expansion fee from the team owners.
Ask people in Ottawa how convenient the location of Scotiabank Place (highway-adjacent) is.
Gary became commish on February 1, 1993; the Stars began play in Dallas in October 1993. Given the timeline, I think this was something Ziegler (or perhaps Stein) put his signature on.
The Met Center was only about 12 miles from downtown Minneapolis, and, as I said, very conveniently located in general, lots of hospitality and lodging establishments nearby, and the airport was 5 minutes away. The location of the Corel Centre/Scotiabank Place really isn't germane to this topic.
Re: Bettman. Very well. I had forgotten that he did not begin before that, and how long the whole Gil Stein scenario carried on. Then we can say, "the NHL" was hot to expand to the southern regions at that time; that cannot be disputed.
Do recall that the Gunds wanted to move the Stars to Bay Area. (They sold the team and got the expansion instead.)
So, you need to look pre-Bettman at the mindset around the league, economy, etc., for part of the reason.
Separate names with a comma.