the admiral

NHL Anti-Thread: Bad Business Decision Aggregator

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Gothamite    5,959

I'd tend to agree. There have been so many failed expansion/relocation markets that the burden of proof on new ones should be high.

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Drakonius26    0

Whoops, worded that incorrectly there. My mistake I had a couple more windows open, and had to re-read what had gotten posted, anywho...

Actually the Aeros were extremely well-supported when they were in Houston, more so than the Rockets, though the Rockets took a long time to get good. Even with their NBA Finals run in 1981, fans didn't start coming until the Hakeem and Ralph era of the mid-1980's. One of the main reasons for the Aeros not merging with the NHL which would later lead to the Molson Boycott by the Canadian cities like Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Quebec that were trying to get into the league, was the initial merger agreement in 1977. As a result, during the merger discussions it was revealed that those three cities would be included, as would other hockey teams, instead of an earlier proposal that could've guaranteed those three cities, as well as Cincinnati, Hartford, and Houston all a spot at the table. Basically it was proposal initially made by then-commissioner Ziegler, and later stated by Cincinnati Stingers owner Bill DeWitt Jr. When Harold Ballard and some of the other owners he was close with, voted down that proposal, which would be a key in triggering the boycott, some the folks with both leagues with detailed information of the negotiations told the Aeros owner Kenneth Schnitzer the final team would be the New England/Hartford Whalers instead of the club in Houston, he basically told both leagues to go :censored: themselves and soon attendance plummeted with this news and he closed up shop the following year. He also tried to ask that the Aeros be put in as a pure expansion franchise or to relocate another failing club to Houston to replace the WHA Houston Aeros, but once again the NHL refused.

I think you misunderstood my point. I'm not debating pro hockey's viability in Houston in the past. I'm debating its viability in the present. The Aeros are long gone. Any NHL team in Houston, even if they use the Aeros name, will have to start from scratch. They'd have to compete with the Rockets for fans, ticket sales, merchandise sales, tv ratings, and local corporate dollars. The Rockets, being the more entrenched of the two teams, would have a marked advantage in all of these areas.

Um, what? I mean, I know what you're getting at (the loss of the WHA Aeros) but it's not like there isn't a current team that's top-10 in the AHL in attendance named Aeros playing an an NHL-ready rink right now (Toyota Center opened in 2003 with 17,000 seats for hockey). The rest of your premise is correct - that they'll have to battle with the Rockets for market share - but, and this is a big but, they are also in a top-10 media market in this country with a track-record for supporting hockey. It's not like putting a third team in Atlanta, or replacing a failing Coyotes team with another franchise. I honestly think Houston could give it a go, if, and only if, the NHL put some contingencies on it, like they did in Winnipeg. And that may be the new norm - guaranteeing a certain level of ticket sales. Maybe not as high a level as the 'Peg was required to support, but maybe a place like Houston would be required to sell 7,000 season tickets with 1-3 year commitments.

Okay, I agree mostly with the first part of what you're saying, but Sodboy makes a point. You have to prove that for the first few years that such a market could support the team. 7,000 tickets is quite low, and while holding Houston to Winnipeg's standards is rather unfair (American vs. Canadian market, 3 existing professional teams compared to none for Winnipeg until recently), if they could guarantee maybe 13,000 season tickets, with 3-5 year commitments (because Houston has a much larger pool of corporate sponsors than Winnipeg), that could be a much more reasonable agreement. Obviously, Houston could be classified as a non-traditional market, but I'd rather give them a try, along with Milwaukee, possibly Portland/Seattle, or even Quebec, than keep a team in Phoenix (failed market) or try again in Atlanta.

Some quick comparisons... Manitoba averaged 8,404 fans per game during the regular season, while Houston averaged 6,326 fans per game during the regular season. That's 2nd and 8th respectively. Obviously, Winnipeg will shatter those marks this coming year, and oh, by the way, Milwaukee averaged 5,796 fans per game, 11th overall, and behind Houston. Like I said, there's potential there, and obviously I would imagine it would be an easier sell, professional hockey, compared to minor-league hockey.

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DaytonBlue    42

I feel like Houston would only work if Les Alexander owned them, just like how an NBA team would only work in St. Louis if they and the Blues were owned by the same person.

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Atlanta might be in business if Atlanta Spirit soon sells the Hawks and Philips Arena to a prospective owner that wants to give hockey half-a-chance.

The NHL let the Thrashers relocate because they wanted to rid themselves of the Atlanta Spirit under any means necessary. On some reports, Atlanta Spirit wouldn't sell the Thrashers to local ownership because they didn't want to give up 41 dates for hockey unless the prospective owner paid rent fees out the ass.

With Winnipeg out of the way, there's very few realistic places (and just as many prospective owners) that are breathing down the necks of Glendale and the NHL to get a deal done.

This. Media MArket dollars are to be had here. This wasnt a failure of fanbase, it was a mass murder of hockey by the owners.

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*slow clap*

Well played Commissioner, well played.

trollface.jpg

U MAD ATLANTA?

no :censored: sherlock. FU*K You Coyotes. FU*K YOU BETTMAN. FU*K YOU ARIZONA.

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Oh, Christ... not this :censored: again.

don't worry, i'm done.

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Crash    24

I can't help but wonder if the NHL shouldn't take the NBA approach a bit and look to "alternative" markets. Instead of being #3 or #4 in a big market that just doesn't care that much because they have other options (and their sports hearts are already taken), head to the Portlands and Salt Lakes and San Antonios of the world, where you're the big dog. I'm not saying those cities specifically, just using them as examples. There are plenty of cities with metro areas of around a million where the NFL and even NBA don't have teams. If you're the only professional winter sport in town, I think you stand a better chance than in a place where teams from the 3 more popular sports are already entrenched.

It makes sense to me to be the big dog for a million people, rather than the small fish for four million.

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nash61    851

I honestly think Houston could give it a go, if, and only if, the NHL put some contingencies on it, like they did in Winnipeg. And that may be the new norm - guaranteeing a certain level of ticket sales. Maybe not as high a level as the 'Peg was required to support, but maybe a place like Houston would be required to sell 7,000 season tickets with 1-3 year commitments.

This I disagree with. I feel the Winnipeg arragement should be the new accepted standard for any and all proposed expansion or relocation. You want a team? Prove your market wants it. Give us 13,000 season ticket committments and guaranteed corporate support for five years off the bat.

I would argue that such contingencies are even more necessary in a market like Houston, which hasn't had a whiff of major-league professional hockey in 35 years - two generations. "It'll work because there's a big media market and all these corporate dollars" gave us Atlanta and Phoenix.

Hamilton sold something like 14,000 season tickets when they were trying to move the Preds here, and it did nothing.

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the admiral    10,294
I can't help but wonder if the NHL shouldn't take the NBA approach a bit and look to "alternative" markets. Instead of being #3 or #4 in a big market that just doesn't care that much because they have other options (and their sports hearts are already taken), head to the Portlands and Salt Lakes and San Antonios of the world, where you're the big dog. I'm not saying those cities specifically, just using them as examples. There are plenty of cities with metro areas of around a million where the NFL and even NBA don't have teams. If you're the only professional winter sport in town, I think you stand a better chance than in a place where teams from the 3 more popular sports are already entrenched.

Yes, this is what they should do. Pursuant to a move to Quebec City, you might even say they're doing this now.

Hamilton sold something like 14,000 season tickets when they were trying to move the Preds here, and it did nothing.

Well, that's largely because a team didn't move there first. There's a difference between "we just bought a team and we're going to have the sale approved in a month, would you like three years of season tickets?" and "let's say a team were to move here and if they don't I'll give you your money back; would you buy season tickets?"

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I am all for the coyotes moving...anywhere. I was 10 minutes away from keeping my team. Move em. Test the waters of QC first i think. I remember the 'Nordique Nation' earlier this year were loading up tour buses and going to NYI and Devils games.

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Ice_Cap    7,637

Whoops, worded that incorrectly there. My mistake I had a couple more windows open, and had to re-read what had gotten posted, anywho...

Actually the Aeros were extremely well-supported when they were in Houston, more so than the Rockets, though the Rockets took a long time to get good. Even with their NBA Finals run in 1981, fans didn't start coming until the Hakeem and Ralph era of the mid-1980's. One of the main reasons for the Aeros not merging with the NHL which would later lead to the Molson Boycott by the Canadian cities like Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Quebec that were trying to get into the league, was the initial merger agreement in 1977. As a result, during the merger discussions it was revealed that those three cities would be included, as would other hockey teams, instead of an earlier proposal that could've guaranteed those three cities, as well as Cincinnati, Hartford, and Houston all a spot at the table. Basically it was proposal initially made by then-commissioner Ziegler, and later stated by Cincinnati Stingers owner Bill DeWitt Jr. When Harold Ballard and some of the other owners he was close with, voted down that proposal, which would be a key in triggering the boycott, some the folks with both leagues with detailed information of the negotiations told the Aeros owner Kenneth Schnitzer the final team would be the New England/Hartford Whalers instead of the club in Houston, he basically told both leagues to go :censored: themselves and soon attendance plummeted with this news and he closed up shop the following year. He also tried to ask that the Aeros be put in as a pure expansion franchise or to relocate another failing club to Houston to replace the WHA Houston Aeros, but once again the NHL refused.

I think you misunderstood my point. I'm not debating pro hockey's viability in Houston in the past. I'm debating its viability in the present. The Aeros are long gone. Any NHL team in Houston, even if they use the Aeros name, will have to start from scratch. They'd have to compete with the Rockets for fans, ticket sales, merchandise sales, tv ratings, and local corporate dollars. The Rockets, being the more entrenched of the two teams, would have a marked advantage in all of these areas.

Um, what? I mean, I know what you're getting at (the loss of the WHA Aeros) but it's not like there isn't a current team that's top-10 in the AHL in attendance named Aeros playing an an NHL-ready rink right now (Toyota Center opened in 2003 with 17,000 seats for hockey).

Um, yeah. Houston hasn't seen top tier pro hockey since the WHA went under. Saying that the AHL Aeros' success is proof of 1) the market and 2) that a Houston NHL team wouldn't have to start from scratch doesn't hold water. The differences between an AHL presence and an NHL presence are too great.

The rest of your premise is correct - that they'll have to battle with the Rockets for market share - but, and this is a big but, they are also in a top-10 media market in this country with a track-record for supporting hockey. It's not like putting a third team in Atlanta, or replacing a failing Coyotes team with another franchise. I honestly think Houston could give it a go, if, and only if, the NHL put some contingencies on it, like they did in Winnipeg. And that may be the new norm - guaranteeing a certain level of ticket sales. Maybe not as high a level as the 'Peg was required to support, but maybe a place like Houston would be required to sell 7,000 season tickets with 1-3 year commitments.

This is the type of thinking that put teams in Miami, Atlanta, and Phoenix. The "potential" for media and corporate dollars has led to the NHL sunbelt madness to begin with. It's time to turn away from "potential" markets and refocus on markets that actually care about hockey. Seattle, Milwaukee, and Quebec City should all be considered before Houston.

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the admiral    10,294
I was 10 minutes away from keeping my team.

I'm not sure that I agree with you 100% on your police work there, Lou.

I remember the 'Nordique Nation' earlier this year were loading up tour buses and going to NYI and Devils games.

Oh, man. Phoenix fans got all buttshook about nice polite midwesterners perhaps wanting their team back if it wasn't any trouble. They're not going to like les Quebecois descending upon the Jobberdome by the busload, honking "OW CAN YOU AVE A TEEM DERE IF YOU NO AVE ANY HICE?!?" and rudely demanding gravy on their fries.

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Lee.    413

As much as I may not care for Les Quebecois, fries with gravy is delicious. Brown gravy, none of that weird white stuff you Merkins love so much.

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Gothamite    5,959
I was 10 minutes away from keeping my team.

I'm not sure that I agree with you 100% on your police work there, Lou.

yeah, how do you figure?

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the admiral    10,294

As much as I may not care for Les Quebecois, fries with gravy is delicious. Brown gravy, none of that weird white stuff you Merkins love so much.

Frank's Red Hot or Texas-style BBQ for me.

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illwauk    420

As much as I may not care for Les Quebecois, fries with gravy is delicious. Brown gravy, none of that weird white stuff you Merkins love so much.

That's a Quebecois thing? Around here (and I would assume Michigan too) that's considered "Yooper Style."

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the admiral    10,294

Yeah. Poutine (pronounced roughly "poo-CHEEN," if I'm not mistaken). I think it's Quebec's national food, either that or simmering discontent.

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illwauk    420

I can't help but wonder if the NHL shouldn't take the NBA approach a bit and look to "alternative" markets. Instead of being #3 or #4 in a big market that just doesn't care that much because they have other options (and their sports hearts are already taken), head to the Portlands and Salt Lakes and San Antonios of the world, where you're the big dog. I'm not saying those cities specifically, just using them as examples. There are plenty of cities with metro areas of around a million where the NFL and even NBA don't have teams. If you're the only professional winter sport in town, I think you stand a better chance than in a place where teams from the 3 more popular sports are already entrenched.

It makes sense to me to be the big dog for a million people, rather than the small fish for four million.

I agree, the only problem is that most of the markets by this description are in the Southeast and likely aren't interested in supporting a "yankee" sport (or anything but college football for that matter).

That said... what about Grand Rapids? They'd obviously have to build a bigger arena, but they have a firmly entrenched fanbase for hockey (the Griffins are consistently in the top 5 for AHL attendance) and while the media market isn't huge, at #41 it's at least bigger than Buffalo and has that all-important "only game in town" factor going for them.

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Lee.    413

Fries and Gravy are more Canadian than anything, I think. I tried ordering it once in the states and got fries with sausage gravy all over them.

Poutine is Fries and gravy and cheese curds, but some places like to kick it up some. I'm barbecuing profusely overnight, and will likely make some with a :censored:ton of pulled pork or brisket on it.

This is why I'm fat.

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