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Failed Franchise Expansion & Relocations

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On 5/7/2018 at 4:35 PM, smzimbabwe said:

Again, I don't know if this counts, but my program from the 1983 MLB All-Star Game in Comiskey had a 2 page ad spread touting the possibilities should MLB ever expand to Vancouver. I went to a Mariners exhibition game in Vancouver a couple years later and the people of Vancouver were hoping to use it as a convincing point should MLB expand.

 

That makes sense. I remember watching ESPN Sportscenter later that year, and they were talking about potential MLB expansion sites. Vancouver was one of them.

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Prior to PA and Allegheny County capitulating on Heinz Field, the Steelers rather subtly mentioned they'd look to relocate somewhere 'bigger' as Pittsburgh is always labeled a 'small market'.

 

I don't think it ever went beyond an idle threat, but they quite clearly implied that 'Cleveland' could happen again if they didn't get a new stadium. The Browns being a team nobody thought would move put the fear of god into almost every other market to build a new stadium or lose their NFL team. And with wide-open LA, it was an easy threat to make.

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7 hours ago, dfwabel said:

This is the first time that I've ever heard of such an attempt.  Why would the Bucks move from the smallest venue in the NBA, to one of two even smaller ones in Tampa with no plan for arena plan in the city or county for another five years and that one was the private attempt to build Tampa Coliseum on the grounds of Al Lopez Field, next to Tampa Stadium. 


About 2:15 in.
 

 

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3 hours ago, NicDB said:


About 2:15 in.
 

 

 

Whoa.  Flashbacks. 

 

Good find.  

 

And then keep watching as she reads the next news story, about a guy suing Pennsylvania for five quadrillion dollars - she can’t keep a straight face. 

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7 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

Prior to PA and Allegheny County capitulating on Heinz Field, the Steelers rather subtly mentioned they'd look to relocate somewhere 'bigger' as Pittsburgh is always labeled a 'small market'.

 

I don't think it ever went beyond an idle threat, but they quite clearly implied that 'Cleveland' could happen again if they didn't get a new stadium. The Browns being a team nobody thought would move put the fear of god into almost every other market to build a new stadium or lose their NFL team. And with wide-open LA, it was an easy threat to make.

The Steelers threat was more of moving out of Allegheny County to either Washington County by The Meadows or Cranberry in Butler County, the Steelers moving to LA was bs from sports radio talk show hosts.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

Whoa.  Flashbacks. 

 

Good find.  

 

And then keep watching as she reads the next news story, about a guy suing Pennsylvania for five quadrillion dollars - she can’t keep a straight face. 

I think the designers here will also enjoy the "alcohol" graphic just before the Bucks story.

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I'm enjoying all the graphics.  :D   I watched plenty of Wisconsin's Superstation in those days.

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Hoping the Columbus Crew to Austin relocation becomes failed at some point soon. Precourt's doing all he can to botch it right now as we speak. 

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Here are a couple others I found in my Googling adventures ...

  • The Jazz were close to moving to Miami (1985) and Minneapolis (1986) before being saved by Larry H Miller both times.
  • This was mentioned earlier, but the failed move of the Blues to Saskatoon has always fascinated me, especially considering they forfeited their 1983 draft. 
  • Toronto was awarded a NBA expansion team for the 1975-76 season, but was rescinded later. Not sure exactly why? Could have been issues with the Braves failed attempt to relocate to Florida, uncertainty with the ABA-NBA merger or the expansion fees weren't met?
  • This might have been mentioned here before, but the Minnesota North Stars were planning on relocating to Anaheim to become the Los Angeles Stars before the NHL awarded Disney the team that would become the Mighty Ducks. As part of that deal the NHL gave Green the okay to move the Stars anywhere he'd like.

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8 hours ago, NicDB said:


About 2:15 in.
 

 

Thanks, but Tampa and Southern California (through the Gardens Partnership)  seem just like local conjecture as neither area covered the story.  However, you overlooked them moving to Minneapolis as the same YouTuber posted this from KSTP.

 

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33 minutes ago, McCarthy said:

Hoping the Columbus Crew to Austin relocation becomes failed at some point soon. Precourt's doing all he can to botch it right now as we speak. 

 

MLS Miami has a chance to make the list, too.

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I was 11 in 1985.  I have no memory of the Bucks considering Minnesota.  I would have been disappointed to see that fall through.

 

Just look at that shot of the Metrodome.  It was the most sterile sports facility on earth.

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Indianapolis was pushing hard for a MLB team in the mid 80s. They even had the name and logo ready to go. The Indianapolis Arrows... terrible.  An article from December 31, 1985:

 

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Arrows, a group seeking a major league baseball franchise in its city, will begin refunding fans who placed deposits on season tickets, a spokesman said.

Arrows president Arthur Angotti said the refunds will include the promised 5.5 percent interest on each $50 deposit.

 

Angotti had promised complete refunds by Dec. 31, 1987 if Indianapolis did not have an expansion franchise.

Major league officials have not decided if and when expansion might occur, making it obvious no new teams will play by 1987, Angotti said.

'I want to stress that we are not in any way letting up our efforts to obtain an expansion team,' he said. 'At this point we feel we can be as effective without holding hundreds of thousands of dollars.'

Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth assured Angotti a refund would not hurt the city's chances of landing a franchise.

'We proved our point,' Angotti said. 'There is a lot of grass roots enthusiasm for baseball in Indianapolis. We got over 11,000 season ticket orders without a team.'

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https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1389473-nhl-relocation-close-calls-seven-scares-that-never-happened

 

This article has some interesting ones:

Toronto Oilers and Edmonton Maple Leafs
Blues to Saskatoon

Devils to Nashville

Oilers to Houston (bet some would have loved this)

Penguins to Hamilton/Kitchener-Waterloo or Kansas City

Predators to Hamilton (Balsillie really wanted a team in Hamilton)

Coyotes to Hamilton (like...REALLY WANTS a team in Hamilton)

Islanders to Kansas City

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Before both regions eventually got their own teams (and later, arenas named after the same airline LOL), Dallas and South Florida (specifically in the Broward County suburbs) were in the running to bring-in the-then Buffalo Braves to one of those two areas.  More than likely, the Dallas-based team would have played in temporary quarters throughout the Metroplex (and probably elsewhere in north Texas) until Reunion Arena opened in 1980.  There's also a tie to this--Norm Sonju was the last general manager the Braves had before they eventually moved to San Diego in 1978, and was one of the original founders and general manager of the Mavericks.

 

The South Florida-based team would have played at the Hollywood Sportarium, which at the time was the only major (and biggest) indoor arena in Miami-Fort Lauderdale until Miami Arena came along in 1988.  The Braves were slated to moved there by the 1976-77 season, and had a pledge of 8,000 season tickets sold, but the city of Buffalo sued the team and force them to honor the final two years of their lease at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.  The following year, the team was sold to (and traded by) new ownership, and were on their way to America's Finest City.  The Sportatorium had several attempts to acquire a long-term tenant (mostly involving hockey, but did have one in the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL, for a season), but prospective tenants just like didn't the arena (aesthetics, acoustics, etc.), and location was another big issue--its location was 20-plus miles from both Fort Lauderdale and Miami.  At the time it was in operation, there was only one highway (State Route 820) to and from that area until Interstate 75 opened in 1986...basically, this was South Florida's cheaper and smaller version of Richfield Coliseum.

 

1024px-Aerial_photo_of_the_Hollywood_Spo

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12 minutes ago, MadmanLA said:

Before both regions eventually got their own teams (and later, arenas named after the same airline LOL), Dallas and South Florida (specifically in the Broward County suburbs) were in the running to bring-in the-then Buffalo Braves to one of those two areas.  More than likely, the Dallas-based team would have played in temporary quarters throughout the Metroplex (and probably elsewhere in north Texas) until Reunion Arena opened in 1980.  There's also a tie to this--Norm Sonju was the last general manager the Braves had before they eventually moved to San Diego in 1978, and was one of the original founders and general manager of the Mavericks.

 

The South Florida-based team would have played at the Hollywood Sportarium, which at the time was the only major (and biggest) indoor arena in Miami-Fort Lauderdale until Miami Arena came along in 1988.  The Braves were slated to moved there by the 1976-77 season, and had a pledge of 8,000 season tickets sold, but the city of Buffalo sued the team and force them to honor the final two years of their lease at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.  The following year, the team was sold to (and traded by) new ownership, and were on their way to America's Finest City.  The Sportatorium had several attempts to acquire a long-term tenant (mostly involving hockey, but did have one in the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL, for a season), but prospective tenants just like didn't the arena (aesthetics, acoustics, etc.), and location was another big issue--its location was 20-plus miles from both Fort Lauderdale and Miami.  At the time it was in operation, there was only one highway (State Route 820) to and from that area until Interstate 75 opened in 1986...basically, this was South Florida's cheaper and smaller version of Richfield Coliseum.

 

1024px-Aerial_photo_of_the_Hollywood_Spo

 

Good Lord!  I can't imagine a place like that hosting a Big Four franchise in the late 70s or early 80s.  It looks like a local ice rink.

 

EDIT:  Wiki says it had a capacity of 15,532.  It sure doesn't look like it would.  I guess it's bigger than it looks from the outside.

 

spotor_lanscape2.jpg

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4 hours ago, dfwabel said:

Thanks, but Tampa and Southern California (through the Gardens Partnership)  seem just like local conjecture as neither area covered the story.  However, you overlooked them moving to Minneapolis as the same YouTuber posted this from KSTP.

 


I don't know what you're trying to prove, but I didn't overlook anything. I came across the WVTV clip a few weeks ago over something totally unrelated  and remembered it when I saw this thread.

But LOL @ that Minneapolis sportscaster claiming Milwaukee stole the Seattle Pilots.

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2 hours ago, ZapRowsdower8 said:

Indianapolis was pushing hard for a MLB team in the mid 80s. They even had the name and logo ready to go. The Indianapolis Arrows... terrible.  An article from December 31, 1985:

 

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Arrows, a group seeking a major league baseball franchise in its city, will begin refunding fans who placed deposits on season tickets, a spokesman said.

Arrows president Arthur Angotti said the refunds will include the promised 5.5 percent interest on each $50 deposit.

 

Angotti had promised complete refunds by Dec. 31, 1987 if Indianapolis did not have an expansion franchise.

Major league officials have not decided if and when expansion might occur, making it obvious no new teams will play by 1987, Angotti said.

'I want to stress that we are not in any way letting up our efforts to obtain an expansion team,' he said. 'At this point we feel we can be as effective without holding hundreds of thousands of dollars.'

Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth assured Angotti a refund would not hurt the city's chances of landing a franchise.

'We proved our point,' Angotti said. 'There is a lot of grass roots enthusiasm for baseball in Indianapolis. We got over 11,000 season ticket orders without a team.'

 

That logo, though...

 

il_fullxfull.764974050_s1cv.jpg

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On 5/8/2018 at 12:12 AM, Bmac said:

Penguins almost moved to Kansas City in the early 2000's. I believe the Islanders and Predators were rumoured to be looking at KC at one point as well.

The Penguins move was a half-serious bluff on Mario's part to get a new arena.  There's no way he'd have actually moved that team or sold it to someone who'd move it.  He'd literally never have made it out of Pittsburgh alive if he had.

 

8 hours ago, ltp74 said:

The Steelers threat was more of moving out of Allegheny County to either Washington County by The Meadows or Cranberry in Butler County, the Steelers moving to LA was bs from sports radio talk show hosts.

This is the first I'd heard of this, but the thought of the Steelers playing in, say, Uniontown, Aliquippa or Butler cracks me up for some reason.

 

3 hours ago, ZapRowsdower8 said:

Indianapolis was pushing hard for a MLB team in the mid 80s. They even had the name and logo ready to go. The Indianapolis Arrows... terrible.  An article from December 31, 1985

The problem is that MLB had no interest in Indianapolis.  I'm not even sure if MLB could control it directly Indianapolis would even have a 'AAA' team.  I'm not sure why though; maybe proximity to Cincinnati/Detroit?

 

Oh, one I'd forgotten about, or several depending on how you look at it:  when the Giants and Dodgers moved out of New York, the National League's owners initially tried to get at least two teams (Cincinnati and Pittsburgh) to move to New York to restore an NL presence there.  When both refused and the CL concept came to light, they opted to expand into the city instead, essentially killing Branch Rickey's idea for a third Major League in the crib.

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41 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

That logo, though...

 

il_fullxfull.764974050_s1cv.jpg

 

Wait, isn’t that the Dallas Mavericks/Charlotte Bobcats’ font (with modifications)?

 

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0icn2sxk3ai2gmfeig44nne0c.png

 

If so, I doubt its authenticity.

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