Sign in to follow this  
Brass

NHL back to Hartford?

Recommended Posts

If I'm not mistaken, the Devils, Rangers, Islanders, and Bruins were all in the area when the Whalers were around in the 90's. Their location had nothing to do with their move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How many times do we have to endure Pittsburgh New Arena talks before the team FINALLY leaves?

Well, the Penguins can't leave untill 2007.

Not sure if Hartford would survive givin the proximity to the Bruins, Rangers, Islanders, and to a lesser extent the Devils.

Well, right there is why you can't consider Hartford because there is no chance of a move to Hartford being viable. Any new ownership group that has plans to move to Hartford will not get approved by the NHL. That's already is 4 teams voting against it. That means only 3-7 teams need to join in to voice opposition. Getting that many teams to join in will be easy because the owners look out for each other. Plus, on top of all that the Bruins may have territorial rights which means they can block the move on their own. Thus you can't consider Hartford a possible location for a team because it's not possible.

Remember that Hartford was a WHA team. They were originally in Boston but because of the Bruins it didn't work out there so they moved to Hartford so the league could maintain a New England presence. The league (or what was left of it) then merged with the NHL. Had the WHA just folded up and not have merged with the NHL, the NHL would have never expanded to Hartford.

As for Winnipeg I don't see that happening as well. Sure a team like Pittsburgh may have better economic success in Winnipeg individually the league as a whole would not be better economically with a US bases team moving to Canada. Thus a move to Winnipeg would not get league approval. The fact that Bettman says all but Winnipeg isn't getting a team should clue you into the fact that Winnipeg isn't getting a team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please tell me you're not presuming that Winnipeg and Hartford are peers of much larger communities such as Denver and Atlanta, are you?

The point is that if Minnesota, Atlanta, Denver, etc... all got second chances, why not Winnipeg and/or Hartford?

That was exactly yh's point. It's not a case of "deserving a second chance" or whatever, but a simple matter of economics, based on market size and saturation.

(As for the Blues... you're seriously going to count the Eagles' one season in the 30s, during the infancy of the NHL, against St. Louis? That's a stretched argument if ever I've heard one.)

yah but if you have 5 million people in atalnta yet only 100,000 hockey fans and you have 700,00 people in Winnipeg and 500,000 of them are hockey fans what city is better? just cause you have a greater popualtion doesn't mean greater success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The fact that Bettman says all but Winnipeg isn't getting a team should clue you into the fact that Winnipeg isn't getting a team.

Bettman can say whatever he wants, and I'll admit, getting a team in Winnipeg is a longshot at best. Look at it this way though. If the Pens (or any other team) are bought and the new owners want to put the team in Winnipeg, who's going to stop them? No one has territorial rights over Winnipeg. If a new owner seriously wanted to move his newly aquired team to Winnipeg it will happen. The only thing that could stop the move then would be if the owners voted against it, and I don't see any of the excisting NHL teams having any problem with a team in Winnipeg. Maybe Vancouver, just because that's where their farm team is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yah but if you have 5 million people in atalnta yet only 100,000 hockey fans and you have 700,00 people in Winnipeg and 500,000 of them are hockey fans what city is better? just cause you have a greater popualtion doesn't mean greater success.

You're still trying to cite attendance and fan interest as the only factors in a team's success. That's great, but pro sports these days are all about financial success, which is not solely determined by gate receipts.

It sucks, but it's the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yah but if you have 5 million people in atalnta yet only 100,000 hockey fans and you have 700,00 people in Winnipeg and 500,000 of them are hockey fans what city is better? just cause you have a greater popualtion doesn't mean greater success.

You're still trying to cite attendance and fan interest as the only factors in a team's success. That's great, but pro sports these days are all about financial success, which is not solely determined by gate receipts.

It sucks, but it's the truth.

yes, but how are you suppose to make money if no one likes your product? how can you make money when you have no fans?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(As for the Blues... you're seriously going to count the Eagles' one season in the 30s, during the infancy of the NHL, against St. Louis? That's a stretched argument if ever I've heard one.)

I'm not counting the Eagles lone season against the city of St. Louis, just using it as an example that the NHL has a history of going back to old markets. So the argument "well they had and lost a team so they shouldn't get a new one" dosn't hold much water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not counting the Eagles lone season against the city of St. Louis, just using it as an example that the NHL has a history of going back to old markets. So the argument "well they had and lost a team so they shouldn't get a new one" dosn't hold much water.

Yes but going back to a city 40 years later versus 10-15 years later is a big difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yah but if you have 5 million people in atalnta yet only 100,000 hockey fans and you have 700,00 people in Winnipeg and 500,000 of them are hockey fans what city is better? just cause you have a greater popualtion doesn't mean greater success.

You're still trying to cite attendance and fan interest as the only factors in a team's success. That's great, but pro sports these days are all about financial success, which is not solely determined by gate receipts.

It sucks, but it's the truth.

yes, but how are you suppose to make money if no one likes your product? how can you make money when you have no fans?

Broadcast rights generate millions more than gate receipts in any sport. Even for the local stations - they pump so much money into clubs just to televise or radio broadcast that it's sick. And when you have a bigger city, advertisers are more likely to spend more bucks, therefore broadcast contracts get even higher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

minnesota got a team in less then 10 years. just cause you loose a team doesn't mean it ain't successful teams get moved cause the owners think they'll make more money somewhere else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yah but if you have 5 million people in atalnta yet only 100,000 hockey fans and you have 700,00 people in Winnipeg and 500,000 of them are hockey fans what city is better? just cause you have a greater popualtion doesn't mean greater success.

You're still trying to cite attendance and fan interest as the only factors in a team's success. That's great, but pro sports these days are all about financial success, which is not solely determined by gate receipts.

It sucks, but it's the truth.

yes, but how are you suppose to make money if no one likes your product? how can you make money when you have no fans?

Broadcast rights generate millions more than gate receipts in any sport. Even for the local stations - they pump so much money into clubs just to televise or radio broadcast that it's sick. And when you have a bigger city, advertisers are more likely to spend more bucks, therefore broadcast contracts get even higher.

true, that is a good point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The fact that Bettman says all but Winnipeg isn't getting a team should clue you into the fact that Winnipeg isn't getting a team.

Bettman can say whatever he wants, and I'll admit, getting a team in Winnipeg is a longshot at best. Look at it this way though. If the Pens (or any other team) are bought and the new owners want to put the team in Winnipeg, who's going to stop them? No one has territorial rights over Winnipeg. If a new owner seriously wanted to move his newly aquired team to Winnipeg it will happen. The only thing that could stop the move then would be if the owners voted against it, and I don't see any of the excisting NHL teams having any problem with a team in Winnipeg. Maybe Vancouver, just because that's where their farm team is.

Well, first off the league has to approve new ownership. New owners would likely already announce their intentions on moving the team to Winnipeg. As I have stated before the move doesn't benifit the league as a whole. The other owners wiould probably not approve the new ownership as they would probably like to see the team move to a bigger American Market with more upside for the league. On top of that the league has to approve any move. Bettman as commissioner has lots of influence over the votes.

Personally, I don't know if Winnipeg would work. They don't have an arena up to NHL standards. The new arena they bult there has only 15,015, well below league standards. Plus, it only has 46 suites. Compared that to the Xcel center, one of the newer arenas, which has 74 suites. In order for a team to want to move to Winnipeg they would seriously need to expand upon an arena that was just built.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jkr brings up another very good point, the MTS Centre. I'm sure it's a great place, but it's not up to what you might expect for an NHL team. That leads me to believe that Winnipeg took a very pragmatic approach--they built an arena good enough for the level of their team, knowing that the NHL is not planning to return. Good on 'em, I say.

I did a little research in terms of metropolitan areas. I got data from the 2000 US census as well as 2001 population data from Canada, so the numbers should be similar enough to compare. I combined the two lists to create an overall ranking.

Current NHL market sizes, with overall rank (in millions of people):

1. New York/Northern New Jersey/Long Island - 18.32 [3 teams]

2. Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana - 12.37 [2 teams]

3. Chicago/Naperville/Joliet - 9.10

4. Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington - 5.69

5. Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington - 5.16

6. Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Miami Beach - 5.01

7. Washington DC/Arlington/Alexandria - 4.80

9. Toronto/Missisauga - 4.68

10. Detroit/Warren/Livonia - 4.45

11. Boston/Cambridge/Quincy - 4.39

12. Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta - 4.25

14. Montréal/Laval - 3.43

16. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale - 3.26

18. Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington - 2.97

20. St. Louis - 2.70

22. Pittsburgh - 2.43

23. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater - 2.40

24. Denver/Aurora - 2.18

27. Vancouver/Surrey - 1.99

31. San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara - 1.74

34. Columbus - 1.61

42. Nashville/Davidson/Murfreesboro - 1.31

45. Buffalo/Niagara Falls - 1.17

51. Ottawa/Gatineau - 1.06

55. Calgary - 0.95

56. Edmonton - 0.94

65. Raleigh/Cary - 0.80

Now, for the areas having been kicked around on here for relocation/expansion:

8. Houston/Baytown/Sugar Land - 4.72

17. Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue - 3.04

25. Cleveland/Elyria/Mentor - 2.15

28. Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton - 1.93

29. Kansas City - 1.84

47. Hartford/West Hartford/East Hartford - 1.15

74. Québec City/Lévis - 0.68

77. Winnipeg - 0.67

Not coincidentally, the six Canadian franchises are in the six most populous metropolitan areas in the country. Two of those areas fall below one million people, with one more riding just above.

Population alone is not the only indicator of the potential success of placing a team in a particular market, but it is a large factor. Relative popularity of the sport is another factor, as is the availability of an NHL-calibre arena (or the feasability of one being built).

The arena issue is a cornerstone factor. It is not the headline reason for a market being considered, but the lack of an arena will break any potential deal, no matter the size or attractiveness of the market. Houston, Portland, and Cleveland certainly have a leg up in this regard, already having buildings built within the last fifteen years. The exceptional newness of Houston's building makes it even more attractive. Kansas City is also in the process of building a new downtown arena.

On the other hand, Seattle is seen as a dead market because of its arena issues--its relatively new arena is not suitable for hockey, and it's unlikely that a new building would be built. Winnipeg's new arena is not up to NHL capacity, which would be seen as a strike against it. Hartford's existing arena is not to NHL standards, and it's unlikely that a new building would be built. I don't know that it's very likely that Québec City will build a new arena soon, either.

Even if arena plans were to surface in Hartford or Québec City, the size of the markets does not lend itself to today's NHL. This is not the 1980s, when the NHL was largely a regional league--Canada, the Northeast, and upper Midwest (...and L.A.)--which could rely mostly on gate receipts. The league now needs investors and sponsors for money on which to survive, and therefore it needs to stay in larger markets to make itself attactive to its suitors.

Hartford and (to a lesser extent) Québec City also have the issue of being very close to other franchises. The NHL has in recent times looked to move to "new" areas--areas not already covered by existing teams.

All things considered, I think I'd put expansion/relocation candidates in this order:

Houston

Kansas City

Portland

Cleveland

Winnipeg

Seattle

Hartford

Québec City

Given that the NHL's expansion to 30 teams may have been too many, too soon, the likelyhood of those cities at the bottom of that list are not very likely at all to see the NHL come to their city, unless a team is looking to move.

So, in summary, no matter how much you want to romanticize Hartford and Winnipeg, it's very unlikely that the NHL will return to either place. It's not that they're being punished for the Whalers and Jets moving, it's simply the reality of today's NHL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

31. San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara - 1.74

Wouldn't San Jose's market also include SF and Oakland? I agree with the point you are making, I just think the SJ market includes the bay area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

31. San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara - 1.74

Wouldn't San Jose's market also include SF and Oakland? I agree with the point you are making, I just think the SJ market includes the bay area.

I thought that, too. However, for the US Census's purposes, they're separated out.

San Francisco/Oakland/Fremont is listed as 15th, 3.25mil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

31. San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara - 1.74

Wouldn't San Jose's market also include SF and Oakland? I agree with the point you are making, I just think the SJ market includes the bay area.

Ditto Raleigh. There are over 1.5 million people just in the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill...and Cary), and they draw from the Greensboro area as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ditto Raleigh. There are over 1.5 million people just in the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill...and Cary), and they draw from the Greensboro area as well.

83. Greensboro/High Point, NC - 0.64

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jkr brings up another very good point, the MTS Centre. I'm sure it's a great place, but it's not up to what you might expect for an NHL team. That leads me to believe that Winnipeg took a very pragmatic approach--they built an arena good enough for the level of their team, knowing that the NHL is not planning to return. Good on 'em, I say.

I did a little research in terms of metropolitan areas. I got data from the 2000 US census as well as 2001 population data from Canada, so the numbers should be similar enough to compare. I combined the two lists to create an overall ranking.

Current NHL market sizes, with overall rank (in millions of people):

1. New York/Northern New Jersey/Long Island - 18.32 [3 teams]

2. Los Angeles/Long Beach/Santa Ana - 12.37 [2 teams]

3. Chicago/Naperville/Joliet - 9.10

4. Philadelphia/Camden/Wilmington - 5.69

5. Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington - 5.16

6. Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Miami Beach - 5.01

7. Washington DC/Arlington/Alexandria - 4.80

9. Toronto/Missisauga - 4.68

10. Detroit/Warren/Livonia - 4.45

11. Boston/Cambridge/Quincy - 4.39

12. Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta - 4.25

14. Montréal/Laval - 3.43

16. Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale - 3.26

18. Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington - 2.97

20. St. Louis - 2.70

22. Pittsburgh - 2.43

23. Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater - 2.40

24. Denver/Aurora - 2.18

27. Vancouver/Surrey - 1.99

31. San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara - 1.74

34. Columbus - 1.61

42. Nashville/Davidson/Murfreesboro - 1.31

45. Buffalo/Niagara Falls - 1.17

51. Ottawa/Gatineau - 1.06

55. Calgary - 0.95

56. Edmonton - 0.94

65. Raleigh/Cary - 0.80

Now, for the areas having been kicked around on here for relocation/expansion:

8. Houston/Baytown/Sugar Land - 4.72

17. Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue - 3.04

25. Cleveland/Elyria/Mentor - 2.15

28. Portland/Vancouver/Beaverton - 1.93

29. Kansas City - 1.84

47. Hartford/West Hartford/East Hartford - 1.15

74. Québec City/Lévis - 0.68

77. Winnipeg - 0.67

Not coincidentally, the six Canadian franchises are in the six most populous metropolitan areas in the country. Two of those areas fall below one million people, with one more riding just above.

Population alone is not the only indicator of the potential success of placing a team in a particular market, but it is a large factor. Relative popularity of the sport is another factor, as is the availability of an NHL-calibre arena (or the feasability of one being built).

The arena issue is a cornerstone factor. It is not the headline reason for a market being considered, but the lack of an arena will break any potential deal, no matter the size or attractiveness of the market. Houston, Portland, and Cleveland certainly have a leg up in this regard, already having buildings built within the last fifteen years. The exceptional newness of Houston's building makes it even more attractive. Kansas City is also in the process of building a new downtown arena.

On the other hand, Seattle is seen as a dead market because of its arena issues--its relatively new arena is not suitable for hockey, and it's unlikely that a new building would be built. Winnipeg's new arena is not up to NHL capacity, which would be seen as a strike against it. Hartford's existing arena is not to NHL standards, and it's unlikely that a new building would be built. I don't know that it's very likely that Québec City will build a new arena soon, either.

Even if arena plans were to surface in Hartford or Québec City, the size of the markets does not lend itself to today's NHL. This is not the 1980s, when the NHL was largely a regional league--Canada, the Northeast, and upper Midwest (...and L.A.)--which could rely mostly on gate receipts. The league now needs investors and sponsors for money on which to survive, and therefore it needs to stay in larger markets to make itself attactive to its suitors.

Hartford and (to a lesser extent) Québec City also have the issue of being very close to other franchises. The NHL has in recent times looked to move to "new" areas--areas not already covered by existing teams.

All things considered, I think I'd put expansion/relocation candidates in this order:

Houston

Kansas City

Portland

Cleveland

Winnipeg

Seattle

Hartford

Québec City

Given that the NHL's expansion to 30 teams may have been too many, too soon, the likelyhood of those cities at the bottom of that list are not very likely at all to see the NHL come to their city, unless a team is looking to move.

So, in summary, no matter how much you want to romanticize Hartford and Winnipeg, it's very unlikely that the NHL will return to either place. It's not that they're being punished for the Whalers and Jets moving, it's simply the reality of today's NHL.

What's the link to full stats?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pulled them from two different sites.

I got the US data directly from the US Census website. I downloaded Table 1a in Excel format. There might have been a better version sorted properly, but I don't fear the sort function. ^_^

To that spreadsheet I added the top ten from Wikipedia's list of the 100 largest metro areas in Canada. I sorted for population, and renumbered them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to consider about Hartford is the current arena there, the Civic Center, is owned by Cablevision who owns MSG and the Rangers. They will probably try to block a new arena gettign built as it would compete with the Civic Center (Much like how they defeated the West Side Stadium in New York). They may renovate the Civic Center and put that option out there to try to stop a new arena from being built. If the Civic Center does get renovated you can be assured that no NHL team is going there because Cablevison/Rangers will not sign a lease to be played there.

So here you will have a case of a NHL owner trying to stop the arena being built. That makes it even harder for Hartford to get a team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this