For full article, see http://www.zillow.com/blog/research/2011/05/08/no-respite-from-housing-recession-in-first-quarter/ The business of hockey requires discretionary spending by fans on hockey tickets, parking, concessions, sweaters, etc. That type of discretionary spending requires some consumer confidence. Local house prices are one major factor in consumer confidence. And that factor is negative right now. The above URL points to an article on the Zillow real estate website. In addition to the article, there are some graphs/charts/tables/etc. One nugget in the numbers is the Year-Over-Year percentage change in housing prices. I've selected a subset that includes NHL cities. You'll notice that the numbers are all negative, i.e. house prices have declined March 2010 to March 2011. Here they are... New York -8.2 Los Angeles -7.6 Chicago -13.8 Dallas-Fort Worth -6.9 Philadelphia -10.3 Miami-Fort Lauderdale -12.8 Washington -7 Atlanta -17.3 Detroit -17.3 Boston -5.3 Phoenix -11.2 Minneapolis-St Paul -15.1 St Louis -9.6 Tampa -10.9 Denver -9.6 Pittsburgh -0.1 San Jose -5.9 Columbus -11.9 Nashville -7.3 Raleigh -7.3 The decline is a symptom of a stalling/falling economy. This is a triple-whammy, cutting into the ability of... fans to buy tickets and stuff businesses to buy luxury suites and spend money on advertising and sponsorships team owners to absorb heavy losses As noted in the first paragraph of the story, the decline is accelerating, and is at the same level as in the dark days of 2008. This is scarey. Unless some economic miracle happens, I expect several relocations, if not outright contractions, in the NHL (and possibly other sports) in the next 12 months. Depending on how bad things get, we may even see one or two foldings/relocations during the course of the season, unless the NHL bites the bullet and cleans house now. The bad days for the US economy are probably the last best hope for QC and Winnipeg, maybe even Hamilton. I'm OK with including other sports MLB/NFL/NBA/CFL/MLS/etc in the discussion if the moderators don't mind. The NFL and NBA may even prefer to force lockouts this year to minimize their losses. Maybe I'm just cynical.