Waddel on HNIC: There were 3 buyers for the Thrashers

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Magnus Fulgur, Jul 2, 2011.

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  1. Magnus Fulgur

    Magnus Fulgur Registered User

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    A good look at how things really went down on the Thrashers sale:
    “We had 20-some groups that we were in contact with. Probably three that were fully vetted legitimate buyers that could afford to buy it,†he said. “We were down the path with one, way down the road, I actually thought it was going to happen. At the last moment, a couple things happened and it fell apart.

    “We had a lot of phone calls and a lot of meetings, but at truly there (were) about three potential buyers at the end.â€

    On top of this, Waddell says he's still employed at Atlanta Spirit to try and sell the Hawks.

    http://www.examiner.com/atlanta-thr...ashers-sale?fb_comment=34964191#ixzz1QzTgd1PX

    Very happy for Winnipeg, but this didn't have to happen this way. Now Atlanta Spirit has no NHL and probably no NBA next year.
     
  2. Tinalera

    Tinalera Registered User

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    Why does Waddell come out and say this-just curiosity-to me (again) this is rubbing the salt in the Thrasher fans "Oh, we almost had a deal, but it fell through"-what's the point in this? Atlanta fans are trying to move on-why keep throwing it in their face? It really isn't fair to them IMO.
     
  3. Dado

    Dado Guest

    When did Waddell become a trustworthy source for, well, anything?
     
  4. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    Sure, let's everyone wear blinders. It's simply good to know that Atlanta isn't a market that nobody had an interest to have the NHL in. Truly, the League needs to have a better way of monitoring who owns the teams and what their objectives are. And still, this long drawn out problem in Phoenix, while Thrashers' just got dumped on.
     
  5. Motown Beatdown

    Motown Beatdown Need a slump buster

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    Lets be honest, the best think for the NHL at the time was to let the Thrashers move to Winnipeg. It allowed them what they thought was plenty of time to solve the mess in Phoenix. My guess is if the Phoenix issue was settle last year like it should have been the thrashers would still be in Atlanta.
     
  6. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    Apparently he got branded with that iron while one of many "Assistant GM's" with Detroit pre-Atlanta. As such, were supposed to take everything he says as the Gospel according to Donald. Duck. And I do mean duck. Zefrons' cleanin out the barnyard. Wild with a pitchfork. :madfire:
     
  7. Magnus Fulgur

    Magnus Fulgur Registered User

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    The NHL was probably right to not try and salvage The Thrashers (and I was a Thrashers fan that went to 12-20 games a year). Not because of the market, but strictly because of the owners.

    Last year, The Thrashers lost $20m while being at the cap floor. Nobody wanted to go see this team (I and many die hard fans included) because we knew this team was a lame duck. So, they had one of the worst attendance records.

    Now, compare that to The Atlanta Hawks. They lost $7m despite being #5 in the East (and being in the playoffs the past few years and steadily improving) and they even beat the #4 seed Orlando in the first round. The Atlanta Hawks still lost money despite having a better TV deal and playoff success...and one of the worst attendance records in the NBA. Also remember that Atlanta Spirit had to take a $125m loan this Jan. from the NBA to re-finance their bond on Philips Arena. These guys are in a world of hurt...and if the NBA is locked out? LOL!!! :)

    Living in Atlanta, I can assure you that people hate the NBA Hawks franchise and the current owners and think it's a total joke. The same was true of the hockey team. I knew many hockey-playing transplants that refused to ever go into Philips Arena except when their team came to town, and they wanted nothing to do with The Thrashers even though they were active in and supportive of the local hockey scene outside of the NHL franchise. Even the season ticket holding die-hards knew deep down that The Franchise was an embarrassment, but not because of the fans. We all kept rooting for them hoping that someday the court case would be settled and new ownership would buy the team.

    Well, we got our wish I suppose. I haven't enjoyed going to Philips over the past three seasons at all really, and was going to more and more Gwinnett Gladiators games. Some of my friends went 100% for The Glads and swore off the Thrashers all together.

    Again, I'm happy for Winnipeg and it will be interesting to see what this roster can achieve with responsible ownership and a fanbase that believes that there is something worth supporting.
     
  8. knorthern knight

    knorthern knight Registered User

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    Maybe they really do want to follow the Sprint Center model in KC, i.e. run the arena without a major league pro team. Last year, KC was the #3 busiest venue in the US, behind #2 Philips. If that model can succeed in KC, it might work in Atlanta. Sucks for NHL+NBA fans, however.

    The chances of a standalone NBA franchise at Philips aren't that much better than an NHL franchise, once they're both separated from concessions+parking revenue. And if they can't keep the team in the city, they just might sell it to a relocation group. "Vancouver Hawks" in 2012-2013, anybody? Just to annoy them, I hope the NBA takes a "relocation fee" out of any such sale. Another possibility is to madly book events at Philips for the strike, and even if a partial NBA season is possible, the Hawks might be shafted in terms of arena availability.

    With a lockout looming, who in his right mind would offer cash for an NBA franchise today?
     
  9. saskganesh

    saskganesh Registered User

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    I dunno, a year ago the Yotes apparently had half a dozen 'serious' inquiries. I don't think any of them are serious today.

    I suspect there were not all that serious. Unless serious now means 'lack of commitment.'

    I think the key phrase in Waddell's burblings is the "a couple things happened and it fell apart." Like what "things" Mr. Waddell? Could you be a bit more substantive here?
     
  10. ExplosiveLEAFman

    ExplosiveLEAFman Registered User

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    The worst part of the article is how smug Waddell is. He goes on about how proud he is of the ownership and his 13 years there. "Not many people last that long in this business" No kidding, especially with your track record. You enjoy the business side of things, really? Color me befuddled.
     
  11. wilty00

    wilty00 Registered User

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    That's what I'm thinking too.

    I really doubt it would've gotten to this point and the team would be in Winnipeg if there were any "serious" offers on the table; the NHL invests alot in their franchise's success and the community that comes with it. They aren't going to uproot a franchise if there are "serious" buyers that are willing to keep the team in the area, they just have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

    Although it's not the first story of this kind about Atlanta and I'm sure it won't be the last.
     
  12. Magnus Fulgur

    Magnus Fulgur Registered User

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    Keep in mind that two years ago there was a serious suitor for the Thrashers (not True North) and they didn't get it done. Too concerned about winning the court case to do the right thing. They should have settled with Belkin and got the team sold.

    No way in knowing if any of these three serious offers would have kept the team in Atlanta.

    What ticks me off is that Atlanta Spirit said there were NO vetted offers from serious people with money...and now there were some? Liars.
     
  13. VAThrasher

    VAThrasher Registered User

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    Tell Don and Gary B we've moved on - if that's the best effort they can muster to keep a city of 5+ million potential hockey fans after letting it slip away 30 years ago, we've got better things to do than support this mismanaged "business". Another NHL franchise? No thanks.
     
  14. GreenHornet

    GreenHornet Registered User

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    Speak for yourself. I, for one, WANT another shot — a LEGITIMATE shot this time with a committed ownership willing to work to put a winning team on the ice. And from what we're learning more and more with each passing day, there appears to have been more interested than A$G AND Bettman were trying to lead people to believe.
     
  15. William Satterwhite

    William Satterwhite Registered User

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    Waddell has mentioned elsewhere that a midwestern family was very close to buying the team when a member of the family came down with a serious illness. There's also the aforementioned buyer from a few years ago who backed off due to the then ongoing legal issues.
     
  16. headsigh

    headsigh leave at once!

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    The job DW did in his tenure as GM here can be summed up in two words: Laugh Riot

    He and the ownership group are the two reasons that Atlanta left and why we aren't going to see NHL hockey in a very long time, if at all.
     
    Last edited by moderator KevFist: Jul 4, 2011
  17. GreenHornet

    GreenHornet Registered User

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    Unfortunately, there was NOTHING funny about the end result.
     
  18. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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  19. badinsults

    badinsults TWO WEEKS

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    Considering how things went, I think Gary Bettman wanted to be rid of the Spirit Group as quickly as possible, and took the fastest and most profitable route. Trying to find a local owner that would have to work out a deal with the Spirit Group with the arena would likely have been enough to scare any legit buyer. I think the only way it could have happened would have been if Spirit sold the Hawks first.
     
  20. Rhodes 81

    Rhodes 81 grit those teeth

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    i hope that at some point in my lifetime the nhl will come back here with an owner that actually wants to own the team and doesn't sabotage it.
     
  21. not a trapdoor

    not a trapdoor I swallowed my keys

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    ...and this may well be why things fell apart at the last minute: anyone who showed serious interest wasn't offered a decent arena revenue sharing deal from ASG.
     
  22. Buck Aki Berg

    Buck Aki Berg Done with this place

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    I seriously hope this isn't true - the league shouldn't be responding to a troubled franchise with "Sorry, hands are full over here".

    After two years with the keys to the team, there's still a very real chance that the Coyotes could skip town. I'd hate to find out that the Thrashers relocated so the league could help another team, and they end up skipping town too...
     
  23. btn

    btn Gone Hollywood

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    In the Roman times, a man who ran a business into the ground took the honorable way out.

    It is pretty clear Waddell was one of the lucky ones to be born without a sense of dignity or honor, it makes life so much easier to function without those gifts.

    At some point the real story will get out, perhaps from Larry Simmonds or another person high up in ASG.
     
  24. Caeldan

    Caeldan Whippet Whisperer

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  25. saskganesh

    saskganesh Registered User

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    OK, thanks, this is something. I'd like to have names, but I know that's not always possible. I just don't think Waddell is very trustworthy or competent, but that might just be me.
     

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