State, Provincial, or close proximity rival teams

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by MoreOrr, Mar 29, 2011.

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  1. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    What's the take on the two Florida based teams; has having the two helped both in any way to survive? No one ever talks of much of a rivalry between them, but then I suppose with rarely having both teams being competitive at the same time it really hasn't helped build a rivalry between them, even those they're in the same Division.

    I've often heard talk that a team in Houston would be an immediate rival for the Stars, that it would be good for both teams (the Stars and the Houston team). Is there logic behind such thinking?

    Sure, unless we're talking an extremely large metropolis, like the New York City area or the Los Angeles area, then too close a proximity can I'm sure be detrimental. Though in the case of the NYC area teams and the LA area teams, it seems clear that the existance of the two or three teams together has enhanced fan interest by the rivalries that 'immediately' exist.

    Certainly also one could say that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, for which Florida and Tampa were almost Expansion carbon-copies, having come into the League at the same time were then set to become natural rivals. I wonder if even having the two Alberta teams has served to be beneficial to both.

    I don't know, I suppose depending on where you stand on this subject of "State, Provincial, or close proximity" teams being beneficial or not as rivals to each other, then what would be you're opinion regarding these questions:

    1. Would an Expansion team in a Houston truly be beneficial to both the Houston team itself and also to Dallas?

    2. Could the same be said for an Expansion team in Kansas City, with respect to a rivalry with St. Louis?

    3. Would an alignment that put Atlanta and Nashville in the same Division be beneficial to both those teams?

    4. Would having Columbus in a Division with both Detroit and Pittsburgh be beneficial to the Blue Jackets? (Certainly at this very moment the Blue Jackets would be struggling on ice in comparison.)


    Part of the idea for this thread came from the other thread asking about scheduling to favor weaker markets; the final impetus came from a discusion on the Main Board about possible small market locations in the US.
     
  2. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    IMO, the effects are marginal unless both teams are contending. Pro sports rivalries are based primarily on competing for some sort of title, especially as it pertains to playoff matchups.

    There are some benefits, though. Atlanta and Nashville fans would certainly travel to see their teams on the road, and that's good for some extra ticket sales. I'd imagine they would get to know each other better and therefore their matchups would be a little more interesting. But it wouldn't matter very much until they both get good enough to contend -- then it would be all-out rivalry.
     
  3. MAROONSRoad

    MAROONSRoad f/k/a Ghost

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    Ever heard of "the Battle of Florida?" I haven't. Hockey just isn't on the radar in certain locations.

    GHOST
     
  4. Moobles

    Moobles Registered User

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    guess the deal-breaker is whether they're (1) competitive and (2) whether they can face each other in the playoffs. That's where rivalries are born: look at the brief animosity between Vancouver/Chicago, Nashville/Detroit or Detroit/Colorado. In what other sport do Colorado and Detroit share any sort of rivalry? No geographic, state, cultural or whatever basis for it. It came from some intense playoff matches. If you have a geographical/state/cultural/economical w/e rivalry outside of hockey, I think that probably amplifies the effects and animosity generated by the rivalry. You might get teams who don't need the playoffs to hate each other (Edmonton/Vancouver), but I think in order to keep that rivalry strong you need to have them meet in the post-season (or meet along the way there in some meaningful game).
     
  5. molsonmuscle360

    molsonmuscle360 Registered User

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    Rivalries either take years or a really heated playoff battle to pick up. Honestly the only new rivalry I can think of in the last 15 years or so is Colorado/Detroit, and that has even mellowed alot since guys like Claude Lemiuex retired.
     
  6. Shawa666

    Shawa666 Registered User

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    I'd say that the old divisional playoff system helped a lot to build those regional rivalries.

    Demonstration:

    The Nordiques played 10 divisional series under that system
    1. Montreal (4 times)
    2. Boston (2 times)
    3. Hartford (2 times)
    4. Buffalo (2 times)

    On the other hand, The Lightning, since their inception, played 7 series in the first two rounds of the playoffs, which used to be the divisional rounds.

    During these series, they played only 1 team more than once, the Devils, which are not in the Bolts' division.

    A way to correct this could be to make the first two teams in each division against each other and the two remaining wildcard teams against each other, then continue the playoffs as they are today.
     
  7. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    But is it not clear that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have a rivalry, that Calgary and Edmonton have a rivalry, that Toronto and Ottawa and Ottawa and Montreal have rivalries, that even Philadelphia and Washington and Washington and Pittsburgh had rivalries in the old Patrick Division?? And isn't it true that those rivalries helped those teams?
    Add in another: Philadelphia - New Jersey/Rangers

    Sure, without competitive teams on both sides, rivalries sometimes take a while to develop, but shouldn't more of these newer teams have the same potential rivalry opportunity that those longer-established teams have had? Put teams like Atlanta and Nashville in the same Division, and the dividends might not be immediate but at least you've set both franchises up with a potential proximity rival situation, that once it gets established won't likely fade away as often do those rivalries between more distant teams.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  8. Melrose Munch

    Melrose Munch Registered User

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    Rivalries are made in the playoffs.


    Toronto should be back in the western conference. I hate playing Ottawa and Montreal.
     
  9. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    Is that because hockey isn't on the radar in Florida, or because there hasn't been a point where both teams are simultaneously competitive?

    I don't hear of a big Edmonton - Toronto rivalry (just to name one), and that isn't because hockey isn't on the radar in Canada.

    Rivalries happen when teams are good.
     
  10. Evil Doctor

    Evil Doctor Cryin' Hank crying

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    Well there's a completely arbitrary example. Wouldn't a better example be Edmonton-Calgary since they are both in the same province? Hell, they could call that the Battle of Alberta...oh...wait a minute.....:sarcasm:
     
  11. Shawa666

    Shawa666 Registered User

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    Also, Battle of Ontario, and the former Battle of Quebec.
     
  12. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    Not completely arbitrary, and I didn't pick Edmonton-Calgary or Montreal-Quebec because both teams were (for non-trivial periods) good at the same time.
     
  13. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    The anomaly in Florida is that the fans in Tampa simply dont care about Miami or the Panthers as they've been lousy for so long any rivalry that might have existed seems a bit of a joke. And what of Buffalo/Toronto?. That went nowhere. The novelty wore off when Imlach left the Sabres. As another posted stated, rivalrys' created during the playoffs'. Too many regular season games and a lack of cohesion in alignment tends to negate what should be playoff style games in January or November, combined with a mediocre team in close proximity to its nearest neighbour with superior mgmnt, coaching & talent.
     
  14. dj4aces

    dj4aces Registered User

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    Atlanta's two closest opponents are Carolina and Nashville. Fans from Atlanta typically make the 4-6 hour trip to the other arenas for away games. Carolina and Nashville fans also make the trip here for games against their teams. I can't comment on Carolina <-> Nashville commutes, because I don't know, but I suspect something of the sort happens along those lines as well.

    With that in mind, if an alignment could be accomplished that would bring Nashville into the SE Division, I think that would benefit all three teams, in multiple ways.
     
  15. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    They're generally made in the Playoffs, but they endure through regular Seasonal play, which means being in the same Division together.
     
  16. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    A better example might be Buffalo - Rangers/Islanders, but then again, they're not in the same Division. So how about San Jose - Anaheim/Los Angeles?
     
  17. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    A rivalry based on geography can only work if you either have a natural rivalry between two areas based on non-sports-related factors (what drives many European soccer rivalries) or you need the shared territory effect. Fan territories need to rub against each other, leading to the "oh jeeze the <insert team> fans at work will give me hell for this" effect or the "family gathering heated argument" effect which puts added animosity into it.

    You have that between the Wings and Leafs, the teams haven't played each other in a meaningful way in almost 20 years and there's hardly any rivalry to speak of between the teams at this point, but then there's enough Leafs fans near Detroit to put Leafs fans in numbers into the Joe and enough Wings fans in Ontario to create animosity. Result was probably the most rivalry-like non-playoff atmosphere in ages at the Joe last Saturday.

    I doubt this would work in Florida or Texas though. Massive populations of whom a big % is extremely apathetic to hockey even amongst sports fans. Animosity has a hard time festering if your committed fan bases are small in number and thin in density. In both states transplants who'd be loyal to their hometown teams are another factor watering down the possibility of a dynamic rivalry between the teams and fan bases.
     
  18. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    San Jose and Anaheim have faced each other in the playoffs. (LA played a series against the long gone California/Oakland [Golden] Seals.)

    There's an underlying rivalry between NorCal and SoCal (based in part on the old MLB NY rivalries of the Dodgers and Giants, now in Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively).

    In addition, there's the issue of the Sharks' former GM now in LA, and other exchanged personnel between the three teams.
     
  19. edog37

    edog37 Registered User

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    You can't be serious with this statement. The Pens & Flyers have had a long standing hatred.
     
  20. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    I was responding to the posts above that post. The point being though that those teams have had decades to develop their rivalry, and the benefit also of being in the same Division which fosters that rivalry during the spans when they're not meeting in the Playoffs.
     
  21. Kritter471

    Kritter471 Registered User

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    To answer the specific question re: Dallas, a team in Houston would greatly benefit the Stars and/or the fanbase because of two factors - reduced travel cost to away games (either for fans wanting to make a trip to see the team play or the team proper) and a team in the division in the same freaking time zone. Dallas, Minnesota and Vancouver are the only three teams in the league without a team in the division in the same time zone, and Dallas deals with by far the biggest variation (three teams always two hours off, one team sometimes one, sometimes two depending on the time of year whereas Minny and Vancouver are an hour off from three teams and two hours off from each other).

    Would it drive a rivalry? Dallas and Houston sports fans generally don't get along, and the teams in the other three sports play each other fairly regularly so there's already some underlying groundwork there.

    Time zones are a lot more important than people think to both "rivalries" and general team popularity because it affects television viewership and casual interest. The roughly 20 percent of the Stars games (40 percent of the road games) that end around midnight local time don't get a lot of eyeballs.
     
  22. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    Doubtful. The Blues rivalries are already well established (Chicago & Detroit) and there's no telling they'd even be in the same division. I think the Wild are next in line to move to the central if one were to leave (say CBJ going east or something)
     
  23. Buck Aki Berg

    Buck Aki Berg Done with this place

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    That free pass to the next round of the playoffs starting to wear thin? :laugh::cry:
     
  24. Moobles

    Moobles Registered User

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    As I said before, I think the sticking point is that (1) repeated post-season competition where the stakes are high (or regular season competition where the stakes are high) OR (2) games where a high level of intensity is played by the players (fights, injuries, drama) without contention [rare I think] is the strongest way to build rivals. Geographic, socio-cultural, economic, etc. reasons follow and can intensify the rivalry and as one poster said- especially when you have 'family feud' rivalries arising from geographically contingeous areas supporting different teams with high levels of hockey interest , you have a great opportunity to 'entrench' it and get something like the Battle of Alberta, Toronto/Detroit, Toronto/Ottawa going.

    In the case of Dallas/Houston, it probably depends. If they both have competitive teams that fight for a division title and have playoff matches (Montreal/Boston style) yeah I bet their fans will start to hate each other rival style. If one's good when the other is I'm not sure. Some fans might hate them on principle but you might end up with a much weaker, Florida/Tampa or Los Angeles/Anaheim type thing.
     
  25. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    I'm getting the general impression here, from most of the posts, that the teams which constitute Divisional groupings don't or wouldn't make much difference in most cases with respect to fanbase development. That it likely wouldn't matter much if teams like Atlanta and Nashville were in the same Division, or if a new team in Kansas City were put in a Division with St. Louis (or Houston in with Dallas).

    I would be tempted to ask then why teams or fans of teams like the Flyers would be up in arms if Philadelphia were put in a Division separate from both the Penguins and the Devils, for instance. But of course, the response would likely be that those rivalries have long-ago developed and it wouldn't be a good thing to break them up. But then the question comes back to why or how did those rivalries develop so strongly, if not for those teams being in the same Divisions together?

    An answer given above, to that question, appears to be that those rivalries were helped along when there had been Divisional Playoffs in the Past. If that's the case, then would finding a way to bring back Divisional Playoffs be something useful to hopefully develop more fan interest through greater Divisional rivalries? Then I would still add that if that is the case then wouldn't it still be more conducive if these weaker teams had Divisional opponents with more geographical proximity or same State respresentation, though admittedly perhaps not absolutely necessary?
     

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