The Hamilton Blues?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by AnAirplaneOverTheSea*, Jun 1, 2011.

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  1. How bad do things have to get in St.Louis before they realize that no local buyers will materialize and nobody from the outside will step in an subsidize the franchise that continues to bleed money despite selling out nearly every home game? Is it within the realm of the possible that St.Louis, which has almost lost a team at least once that I can recall off the top of my head, might lose their team to Hamilton? I understand that St.Louis is a great sports city and the hockey tradition there is pretty good (and the youth hockey programs are among the best in the US) but if there are no local buyers what can the NHL do? You can't materialize a buyer out of thin air.

    I realize this is all very premature and we're not anywhere near the point where this is a concern but I'm curious as to whether or not this will eventually become an issue and possibly even a reality. I'm sure the NHL would hate to lose the St.Louis market.
     
  2. Space Herpe

    Space Herpe Arch Duke of Raleigh

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    I'm stuck on GB's statement of "30 healthy franchises."

    I don't see 30.

    The question is: In GB's tenure has the number of "healthy franchises" gone up?
     
  3. Retail1LO*

    Retail1LO* Guest

    I think you're spot on. Let's take a look at the market changes during Bettman's tenure. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Quebec->Colorado, Winnipeg->Phoenix, Hartford->Carolina, Minnsota->Dallas. The expansion teams were Ottawa, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Anaheim, Atlanta, Nashville, and Florida.

    I wonder what most think of the collective success, health of those teams. I think there are some good stories in there, but some really disturbing ones too.

    How much of the league's trouble resides within the most recent additions to the league, versus what existed prior?

    What percentage of the existing teams can be considered healthy? Which are struggling? Which are just getting by?

    I don't think if you moved all of the struggling teams to new markets, you'd have a chance of having 30 healthy franchises. I simply do not think there are enough markets out there that can make "30 healthy franchises" a reality, much less 32 if expansion were to occur. I think the game's popularity is growing...however, I think they need to let the game grow, THEN expand...instead of expanding as a means of attempting to grow the game. I think the growth of the game cannot be heaped on the shoulders of the NHL alone (and I know it's not), and we have to let the AHL and other lesser leagues help carry the load. They're especially valuable because they can exist in more obscure locations, where NHL caliber teams aren't even viable. I think the minor leagues can actually reach more people.

    But to answer your question as to whether the number of healthy franchises has gone up during Bettman's tenure, I think the answer is no. However, I think it's worth mentioning, that even if the answer is technically "yes", you have to consider the number of teams has increased. Maybe the better question is, Is there are larger percentage of teams that can be considered healthy, than before Bettman took over.
     
  4. Badger36

    Badger36 Registered User

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    Hamilton is a stretch and I dont expect the Blues to be going anywhere anytime soon.
    Theres plenty of NHL teams in Hamilton's area already and if the league is talking about putting a team in Kansas City then clearly there is interest in hockey in Missouri.
    Besides, if the league truly wants 30 healthy teams then Hamilton isnt the answer of where to move the Blues.
    I know the popular thing these days is to ask the question, "why American NHL can we move to Canada?" but it doesnt always work.
     
  5. Mr Dangles

    Mr Dangles Made of 100% genuine star stuff.

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    The Blues won't move over other teams that are in more trouble than us. I just don't see it. If the NFL locks out we may have a buyer come quicker.
     
  6. Megalodan

    Megalodan Registered Loser

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    Well, regardless of who buys the Blues, they're not going to want to relocate. Anyone who buys the team is going to look at the traditional fan-base you noted, the fact that the team is generating local interest and selling out all their home games (even without making the playoffs two years in a row), and most importantly that the franchise comes along with an arena that has primo location (downtown, accessible from all major highways). If someone wants to buy a team to move to Canada, they won't be looking to buy the Blues.

    If I recall correctly, the owners aren't in a dire "we're out of money, sell now" situation which could warrant relocation-investors; their majority investors are simply looking to sell their ownership to make profit (something fairly common in sports investing) and Dave Checketts simply couldn't gather a new group of investors to let him be minority owner AND head of the group, so he's forced to sell. Right now there is a local buyer, Tom Stillman, who was a minority owner before and is now trying to gather a group to buy the whole team. There's apparently some other buyers snooping around, but Checketts is hush-hush on the matter.

    Now, if the market doesn't look appealing enough to someone wanting to buy the Blues, and if Checketts and friends simply have to sell-off immediately, the franchise still won't be relocated because, quite honestly, if Bettman is going to fight to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix he will fight tooth-and-nail to keep the Blues in St. Louis. The market just has too much promise, considering the sell-outs in a non-playoff season and that the St. Louis Blues have one of the Top 5 average household TV ratings for hockey teams in the United States, and a 41% increase in TV viewership this season alone.

    So, to answer your question, things would have to be damn-near apocalyptic to boot the Blues from St. Louis: current owners would have to go bankrupt and force sale to new ownership that would have to forsake a traditional market and bypass a Board of Governors who know the potential revenue that's just waiting for a post-season run to crawl out of the wood-work.

    This post might be overkill, but relocation has been a silly worry for some Blues fans.
     
  7. Melrose Munch

    Melrose Munch Registered User

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    ON a general note, St Louis has been bleeding pop for some time and the Metro has stagnated, I expect the rams to leave to LA.
     
  8. Finlandia WOAT

    Finlandia WOAT Bench Constance Garnett

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    It seems Phoenix has spoiled some of us.

    Just because all negotiations were out in the open for that one situation does not make it the norm. The norm is that every and all dealings happen behind closed doors.

    Just because we have heard nothing does not mean that the end is coming.
     
  9. This is a great reply. Thanks.
     
  10. dronald

    dronald Registered User

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    I want to throw it out there that I think a team in Hamilton would be called the "Ontario" or "Southern Ontario whatevers." For marketing purposes... It's hard to advertise "Hamilton" to many places in the States. Nes pas?
     
  11. Ryan34222

    Ryan34222 Registered User

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    :shakehead
    even it thats true.. i'd have the team do random bench clearing brawls when visiting other arenas.. give them something that they can market .. lol
     
  12. berklon

    berklon Registered User

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    I doubt many more even know where "Ontario" is. They'll just think it's Ontario, California.
     
  13. HansH

    HansH Unwelcome Spectre

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    Only some ECHL fans and Southern California people would think that -- the city of Ontario is nearly invisible outside of SoCal, and would be even more so if the Kings didn't own their own ECHL Franchise out there.

    But hey, if it insults the "hockey intelligence" of people in the US, it has to be true, right?
     
  14. GKJ

    GKJ Global Moderator

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    Hulsizer has been linked to the Blues should the Coyotes fall apart. And it's been said he's been getting impatient.
     
  15. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    Two things:

    1) Hamilton isn't going to get a team for a while, if at all. Buffalo and Toronto will both move to block such a relocation, and Quebec City and Kansas City are both sure to be higher on the NHL's totem pole for a team than another Ontario team.

    2) Even if Hamilton does get a team, there's no way that the NHL will allow the freaking Blues to move.
     
  16. Ryan34222

    Ryan34222 Registered User

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    the same totem pole that had Phoenix, Atlanta and the Florida's pegged as good markets? ;)
     
  17. Hamilton Tigers

    Hamilton Tigers Registered User

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    The only way Hamilton will get a team, is by getting both Toronto and Buffalo on board, or if something drastic happens to the Buffalo franchise and it has to relocate.

    Is it known how much the Blues are losing? If they're selling out, then isn't the market telling them that they could command higher ticket prices?
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2011
  18. berklon

    berklon Registered User

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    What does knowing or not knowing the name of a city/provice in another country have to do with "hockey intelligence"? Don't know why you're so defensive.
     
  19. JMROWE

    JMROWE Registered User

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    I do not see 30 healthy franchises I see maybe 24 but not 30

    Unhealthy Franchises
    Phoenix
    Florida
    Columbus
    St. Louis
    NY. Islanders
    Dallas
     
  20. Mayor Bee

    Mayor Bee Registered User

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    Wow.

    Minnesota to Dallas was already a done deal when Bettman took office.

    San Jose (1991 expansion) was under Ziegler's reign.

    Tampa and Ottawa (1992 expansion) was also under Ziegler's reign.

    Anaheim and Florida (1993 expansion) was a combination of Ziegler before he got booted and Gil Stein during his short and disgraceful tenure.

    Nashville, Atlanta, Minnesota, and Columbus were all Bettman for expansion. Three of those have been successful, and the fourth would have been if not for ASG.
     
  21. DeathToAllButMetal

    DeathToAllButMetal Let it all burn.

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    I don't know about the Blues in particular, but Pandora's Box has been opened with the Atlanta move. You have to think that other owners of money losers in the US are taking note of this. Also, it seems really clear from the Atlanta and Phoenix troubles that it is well known that the NHL is a big money loser in most of the US. Who would pay real cash for the likes of Columbus, St. Louis, Florida, Dallas, etc.?

    We're getting into a two-tier NHL now. In Canada and select US markets, the NHL is big league, and can fill houses with big-buck tickets. In the newer southern markets, you either can't fill houses at all or have to resort to super cheap prices.

    This doesn't bode well for stable franchise values in the future. Or league stability overall. Why would anyone sell a team in Florida, for instance, for $75 million or whatever, when you could sell it to some guy from Kitchener for $200 million? These offers are coming, and the league is going to be hard pressed to reject them, because that casts an even greater chill on franchise values. Also, good luck trying that in US courts.

    Back in the 90s and early 2000s, the NHL could BS potential owners on all the good PR, how the future was so bright. Those days are long gone. People now know what they're buying.
     
  22. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    :facepalm:

    Stan Kroenke didn't just buy his home-state team with an only 16 year stadium just so he could move them :shakehead
     
  23. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    If you're stuck on it, you should probably get it right - Bettman never said that there were 30 healthy franchises. Here's what he *did* say:

    "With the right economic system, all 30 of our clubs can be healthy and competitive."

    Note the words "can be" (as opposed to "are"), and "with the right economic system" (not necessarily what the owners and players ended up agreeing to).

    SOURCE: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=1902274
     
  24. sh724

    sh724 Registered User

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    Yea except the NFL just changed their rules to allow the team to be sold to a guy who is from STL, and the previous owners were from LA but sold the team rather think about moving them to LA. Please do not comment on things you do not know about.
     
  25. sh724

    sh724 Registered User

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    Did you just pick a random team that was available and want to know if they might move? Out of all the US teams that are for sale the Blues are the least likely to be moved.

    Things are not bad in STL at all, There is local interest to buy the team. The only offer that has been made public was made by a local group including a few of the current minority owners who are currently negotiating to buy the team. The Blues lease for the Scottrade center is described as 'long term' so even if a foreigner bought the team they would not be able to move the team for several years. They almost lost the team in the 80s because of owner issues it had nothing to do with the teams profitability.
     

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