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Ot:  who'd be able to compete?


Mac the Knife

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There's a thread here on the boards regarding the new WHA and its efforts to take on the NHL in 2004, ostensibly while the older league's players association is on strike - a strike that some say will last a year or more.

The WHA has me thinking - which of the "Big Four" (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey) sports do you think is most ripe for a competing league to emerge, and what do you think it would take for that league to succeed?

My thought?  Baseball is a viable target, even with the new collective bargaining agreement with the players.  Fans are by and large pissed at MLB, and a viable alternative with low-cost tickets, players that don't get paid 9 digits over the life of their contracts, playing in stadia where you don't take your life into your own hands when you walk in (see Comiskey Park, Oakland Coliseum) might just be able to succeed with some well-healed ownership that's prepared to spend for the long haul.

What'dya think?

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Personally, I believe the NBA would be the easiest league to compete with. We can establish that the NFL is a dominant power and can't be competed with. The MLB is stale, yes, but it has thousands upon thousands of minor league baseball teams all across the country. The NHL doesn't have a large enough fanbase to really constitute needing competition. Their TV ratings are the equivalent of the WNBA, who no one really gives a crap about. The NBA, however, is not the answer just by process of elimination. There are certain factors to consider.

Take into account that there is no strong minor league basketball system. There's college, yes, but that's different. You have only a handful of teams for these talented players to go to, and the rest get shunted or go to Europe to play. I believe if a new league formed and instituted a similar salary cap plan like the NFL has so the league stays balanced, instead of having the same team win for three or four years in a row by buying their way to a title *cough*Lakers*cough*), as well as a strict substance abuse policy, you may have a winner. I also think if the league put more focus back on the game itself instead of on these shoe deals, criminal records, and all the other "show time" stuff that goes along with, it wouldn't hurt. The key is in the front office, though. The talent pool for players is endless, but administration will make or break any league. By theway, did I mention talented players? Those would probably help.

One other key element would be staying away from cities with a dominant franchise already there, like Los Angeles. It would be absurd to think that any team could compete with their fame. It would be better to target markets who have no team, like Jacksonville, Tampa, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Nashville, San Diego, Baltimore, and even Canada with Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa... There are plenty of possibilities.

Edit: I don't intend to say that any new league should be a minor league. The point I'm making is that because there is no minor league system, there is no outlet for other talent, and people in other cities are probably hungry for basketball.

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I think no new major league could compete because of over expansion in the other leagues, wouldn't be a talent pool.

If I had to pick own though I would say the NBA. The rolsters are small compared to the other sports plus there is many people who play that could play at a high level. This new league would fail due to the NBA's money. Like I said no new leagues would work.

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No new league can really compete for one reason alone- History. As long as the old leagues keep the old teams with historic names and fan loyalty no league can emerge to challenge. PERIOD- NEVER- CANT HAPPEN (Just think a baseball league without the Yankees, Football without the 49ers, Hockey without the Leafs, Basketball without the Lakers???) Doesnt bare thinking about, whether you like those teams or not, I could have picked 4 or 5 from each league!

That is why the XFL lasted for one year, and why any league hoping to rival one of the historic 4 is bound to fail. The only change that could happen is maybe you Yanks will see the light and the MSL will emerge as a major player.

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