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Failed Franchise Expansion & Relocations

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On 5/12/2018 at 12:30 PM, Mac the Knife said:

I'm curious to this day what the NHL's problem with Jim Balsille (sp?) was.  They were, for some reason, bound and determined to keep him out of the ownership club when, in all likelihood, he'd have alleviated the league of a major headache in at least one less than optimal market.

 

Well, for starters, Balsillie was selling Hamilton Predators tickets before he got NHL approval or actually got through with purchasing the Nashville Predators. You could see how that's not the greatest first impression between Mr. Blackberry and the league.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Still MIGHTY said:

 

Well, for starters, Balsillie was selling Hamilton Predators tickets before he got NHL approval or actually got through with purchasing the Nashville Predators. You could see how that's not the greatest first impression between Mr. Blackberry and the league.

 

Okay, but that's something that can be forgotten; chalked up to over-enthusiasm, eagerness or whatever.  There's no way they turn him down on (by my recollection) three different franchise acquisition scenarios unless he ****ed in somebody's Post Toasties.

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3 minutes ago, Mac the Knife said:

 

Okay, but that's something that can be forgotten; chalked up to over-enthusiasm, eagerness or whatever.  There's no way they turn him down on (by my recollection) three different franchise acquisition scenarios unless he ****ed in somebody's Post Toasties.

 

He didn't follow the NHL's rules for franchise acquisition. After he was denied the Predators, it really seemed like he tried the circumvent the NHL in his attempt to get the Coyotes. None of it was exactly above board.

 

And when it went to an independent arbitrator, the honorable judge Redfield T. Baum, Balsillie's purchase of the Yotes was denied twice, the second time with prejudice.

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Balsillie tried to buy the Penguins before he tried to buy the Predators, but was a little cagier about whether he would move them to Hamilton without a new arena in Pittsburgh, which is to say at all -- he was loud and clear that the Predators were bound for Copps and possibly a new arena in Cambridge. Even though he wasn't selling Hamilton Penguins tickets, the league still shooed him away. And Quebec City interests ran a season-ticket campaign before a new arena was even approved, and while the NHL hasn't exactly welcomed Quebec City with open arms, they certainly haven't gone DEFCON over it, either. It was simply a matter of shutting out Hamilton at all costs.

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On 5/12/2018 at 2:30 PM, Mac the Knife said:

I'm curious to this day what the NHL's problem with Jim Balsille (sp?) was.  They were, for some reason, bound and determined to keep him out of the ownership club when, in all likelihood, he'd have alleviated the league of a major headache in at least one less than optimal market.

 

He got uppity and jumped the queue and didn't have the media friends a certain nameless billionaire in Winnipeg did.

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I still don’t understand the logic of a team in Hamilton. 

It’s dead center between Sabre & Leafs territory. 

In what world would the league, let alone The owners, allow that? 

 

Plus the city is congested as hell, how would they deal with the added traffic, and where would they even put an arena? 

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6 minutes ago, ozzyman314 said:

I still don’t understand the logic of a team in Hamilton. 

It’s dead center between Sabre & Leafs territory. 

In what world would the league, let alone The owners, allow that?

 

And that’s why the NHL couldn’t just excuse his actions.  If he had a plan to move the club to Seattle, perhaps they would have been willing to overlook his faults.  But you have to earn that kind of grace, and all he was offering was something they didn’t want in the slightest. 

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On 5/7/2018 at 4:08 PM, Dilbert said:

-Milwaukee applied for the 1992 expansion and were favorites with the new Bradley Center but the potential ownership cancelled the application.

 

What recollection I have of this was that the Blackhawks ownership blocked this due to infringing on their market in Wisconsin and the north burbs. Was that the reason for the cancelled application?

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2 hours ago, MiK said:

What recollection I have of this was that the Blackhawks ownership blocked this due to infringing on their market in Wisconsin and the north burbs. Was that the reason for the cancelled application?

 

That’s my recollection as well.  So the Bucks ended up playing in a hockey arena built for an NFL team that never came. 

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I've heard it was partially Dollar Bill Wirtz blocking it and the Milwaukee group not wanting to pay the 50 million expansion fee. Is the new Bucks arena going be NHL ready? Chicago will likely block future attempts anyway.

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Honestly, I think it was way less about Balsillie, and way more about Hamilton. It would be the smallest Canadian market, it's a stone's throw from two existing NHL markets, and it's overwhelmingly Leafs fans. You'd be trying to build a following in the middle of the territory of an extraordinarily dedicated and large fanbase. We saw how long it took the Devils to build a fanbase, and the Rangers aren't far-and-away the most popular sports team in the region, like the Leafs are. (And keep in mind that a Hamilton team likely wouldn't have the benefit of winning 3 Stanley Cups in their first 25 years.) And I don't think Hamilton has a large corporate base to drive advertising and luxury suite revenue.

 

It's just not a very desirable market for the NHL, frankly. Quebec City has a ready-made arena and built-in fanbase, and Southern/Western cities have considerably larger corporate bases. Hamilton falls a bit short in almost any metric possible.

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Hamilton would be fine. We're not talking Maple Leafs levels here, but they'd do fine, especially on rights/carriage fees. Same with Hartford.

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For Arena Football: 

 

Dan Snyder payed for an expansion team for DC, called the Washington Warriors.  The announced uniform design was what ended up being the Redskins 70th Anniv. Uniforms.  Team never started playing because Snyder could not sign a deal with a local arena to play games.  

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13 hours ago, kmccarthy27 said:

For Arena Football: 

 

Dan Snyder payed for an expansion team for DC, called the Washington Warriors.  The announced uniform design was what ended up being the Redskins 70th Anniv. Uniforms.  Team never started playing because Snyder could not sign a deal with a local arena to play games.  

 

More like Snyder wanted to control the market and prevent any football alternative to his team from starting up-the word on the street back in the day was this was a "Sonics block the NHL expanding to Seattle" situation.

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Before folding after only one season the XFL was looking at possible expansion: Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington, Texas and a west coast city were some of the rumored possibilities. 

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2 hours ago, rams80 said:

-the word on the street back in the day was this was a "Sonics block the NHL expanding to Seattle" situation.

Did we get this one in this thread yet? Barry Ackerley made a bid for an NHL expansion team only to walk out on his meeting at the last minute. He's dead now, good.

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4 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Did we get this one in this thread yet? Barry Ackerley made a bid for an NHL expansion team only to walk out on his meeting at the last minute. He's dead now, good.

Yeah I mentioned it a few posts back. Gotta love Backstabbing Barry. It was all set to be Seattle & Milwaukee in 1992 after San Jose in 1991. Ackerley & Wirtz ruined that so it became Ottawa & Tampa. 

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Man, I can't believe I forgot this one. 

 

In January of 1953, with St. Louis clearly unable to support two clubs, Fred Saigh almost the St. Louis Cardinals to Fred Miller and a group of Milwaukee investors.

 

MilwaukeeCardinals_pennant.png

 

They agreed on a number, but Saigh backed out at the last minute and sold to that other brewery owner instead.

 

I'm happy to have the Brewers today, and it's hard to argue with the legacy of the Braves as long as it lasted, but think how different the baseball landscape would look today if Stan Musial had gotten his 3,000th hit in front of the hometown fans at Milwaukee County Stadium.

 

StanMusial_MilwaukeeCardina.png

 

 

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Both the Browns and Cardinals were in the rumor mill as far as Milwaukee was concerned.  IIRC Saigh had to sell the Cardinals due to being convicted of a crime or something (I'm too lazy to look it up), and Bill Veeck thought he was going to have the St. Louis market all to himself.  But once Saigh sold to Auggie Busch, Veeck knew it'd be him rather than the Cardinals that'd be leaving town.  Veeck sold him Sportsman's Park, in part because it was in bad shape and needed more repair than he could pay for, and in part because he had Milwaukee in mind for 1954.  Didn't quite work out that way for him.

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Yeah, the St. Louis situation was a strange one.  By the 1940s, it was clear St. Louis wasn't a two-club town.  The Cardinals had more fans, but the Browns owned the ballpark they shared.  Veeck considered moving the Browns to Milwaukee or Miami (two towns in which he had owned minor league clubs) but ran into resistance from the old-fashioned men who controlled the American League and hated his showmanship.  But no worries, Veeck was confident that he could wait out the Cards in St. Louis.

 

And then Cardinals owner Fred Saigh was indicted for tax evasion.  He feared the other National League owners would force him out, so he decided to jump while he could.  He fielded offers from Houston (where the Cards had a Texas League affiliate), and Milwaukee.  Milwaukee was the clear favorite, since the city had a brand new major league-ready County Stadium already under construction.  

 

Frederick Miller (yes, of that Miller family) negotiated a deal to buy the Cards, but after they had agreed on a number Saigh turned around and sold them to August Busch.  That's when Veeck knew he was done, that Busch's deep pockets would eventually swamp the Browns.  So he sold Sportsman's Park to Busch and moved the Brownies to Baltimore.  And the American League forced him out in the deal.

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