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Help Bring Back The Jets


josh_cat_eyes

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Yes, if they built a new stadium when the team was thinking about relocating we wouldn't be having this discussion, but why not give them a second chance? I keep asking that because no one's given me an answer yet.

Why not? If the Twin Cities built a new stadium back in the early 90's the North Stars wouldn't have moved, but Minnesota got a second chance. If fans had supported the Colorado Rockies during their run they wouldn't have bolted for New Jersey, but Denver got a second chance. Both cities have had success after their second chances, so why not give Winnipeg that opportunity?

Talk about comparing "apples and oranges". That's precisely what you're doing when you compare the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver pro sports marketplaces to Winnipeg.

Here are the reasons that the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver Metro Areas received second chances at playing host to NHL franchises while Winnipeg's days as an NHL market are, quite frankly, more than likely over:

Metropolitan Area Population

Minneapolis-St. Paul: 3,502,891 people

Denver: 2,927,911 people

Winnipeg: 694,668 people

Fortune 500 Headquarters

Minneapolis-St. Paul: 7 Fortune Global 500; 12 Fortune U.S. 500

Denver: 1 Fortune Global 500; 12 Fortune U.S. 500

Winnipeg: 0 Fortune Global 500

Arenas

Minneapolis-St. Paul: Xcel Energy center (Opened in 2000... 18,064 capacity)

Denver: McNichols Sports Arena (Opened in 1975... 16,061 capacity) and Pepsi Center (Opened 1999... 18,007 capacity)

Winnipeg: MTS Centre (Opened in 2004... 15,003 capacity)

Bottom line? Compared to Minneapolis-St.Paul and Denver, Winnipeg's market has too small a population, it's arena has too small a capacity and it's corporate environment isn't robust enough.

I humbly request that you immediately stop making so much bloody sense.

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Yes, if they built a new stadium when the team was thinking about relocating we wouldn't be having this discussion, but why not give them a second chance? I keep asking that because no one's given me an answer yet.

Why not? If the Twin Cities built a new stadium back in the early 90's the North Stars wouldn't have moved, but Minnesota got a second chance. If fans had supported the Colorado Rockies during their run they wouldn't have bolted for New Jersey, but Denver got a second chance. Both cities have had success after their second chances, so why not give Winnipeg that opportunity?

Talk about comparing "apples and oranges". That's precisely what you're doing when you compare the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver pro sports marketplaces to Winnipeg.

Here are the reasons that the Minneapolis-St. Paul and Denver Metro Areas received second chances at playing host to NHL franchises while Winnipeg's days as an NHL market are, quite frankly, more than likely over:

Metropolitan Area Population

Minneapolis-St. Paul: 3,502,891 people

Denver: 2,927,911 people

Winnipeg: 694,668 people

Fortune 500 Headquarters

Minneapolis-St. Paul: 7 Fortune Global 500; 12 Fortune U.S. 500

Denver: 1 Fortune Global 500; 12 Fortune U.S. 500

Winnipeg: 0 Fortune Global 500

Arenas

Minneapolis-St. Paul: Xcel Energy center (Opened in 2000... 18,064 capacity)

Denver: McNichols Sports Arena (Opened in 1975... 16,061 capacity) and Pepsi Center (Opened 1999... 18,007 capacity)

Winnipeg: MTS Centre (Opened in 2004... 15,003 capacity)

Bottom line? Compared to Minneapolis-St.Paul and Denver, Winnipeg's market has too small a population, it's arena has too small a capacity and it's corporate environment isn't robust enough.

I humbly request that you immediately stop making so much bloody sense.

Doesn't look good, does it? But that's the thing. Winnipeg's strength has never been it's higher-ups... keeping the Jets around for an extra season after the somber funeral was a grassroots efforts. In Winnipeg, the populace leads the charge and the suits follow, not the other way around.

Mark Chipman, presently the owner of the Manitoba Moose and the driving force behind the MTS Centre, has been widely reported on numerous occasions confirming that the operation of a team in Winnipeg is feasible; the stumbling block is finding enough initial capital to bring a team here in the first place (the purchase price, if you will).

Brian, you make a lot of sense, however you're incorrect on one issue; the smallest metropolitan population, according to my research, is Edmonton at 1,034,945, which has approximately 350,000 people more than Winnipeg (Winnipeg is 2/3 the size, essentially).

Still not a great comparison, but one mitigating factor is that the population in Winnipeg is generally more established (and presumably attached to the city) - Edmonton's population surged in recent years on account of the local oil industry. Winnipeg has also shown on numerous occasions throughout the past decade that it is able to put on financially successful world-class events previously thought to be impossible for a city of this size, and has exhibited a passion for hockey that I would say rivals any community in North America (the most successful World Juniors at that time in 1999, the Grand Forks World Juniors two years ago, the most successful Women's World Hockey Championship ever this past year).

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Put the Coyotes back in Winnepeg, Put the Hurricanes back in Hartford, Put the Avs in Quebec, Move the Panthers to Denver to replace the Avs, Move the Blue Jackets to KC

As a Coyotes fan, I reject the proposal. :cursing:

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I brought back the Jets!!!...

... In NHL Hitz 20-02 that is. I bought the Jets jerseys traded for Khabibulin, Selanne, Numminen, create Bobby Hull, Ulf Nilsson and, Andres Hedberg. Now if only I can afford Keith Thachuk.

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Brian, you make a lot of sense, however you're incorrect on one issue; the smallest metropolitan population, according to my research, is Edmonton at 1,034,945, which has approximately 350,000 people more than Winnipeg (Winnipeg is 2/3 the size, essentially).

You're right. I meant to specify that I was comparing Metro Winnipeg to the smallest U.S. NHL market - Buffalo. I did this because many Winnipeg supporters in this thread seemed to bemoan the fact that a "deserving", "traditional" market in Canada is going without hockey, while "undeserving" markets in the U.S. play host to teams.

The fact of the matter is that U.S. Metro Areas similar in size to Winnipeg aren't on the NHL's radar screen either. You don't see the NHL looking to set-up shop in Youngstown (OH), Springfield (MA) or Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice (FL) either.

"Traditional" has nothing to do with where major-pro sports leagues place franchises anymore and what constitutes "deserving" is a combination of metro population, corporate presence/high-end fan-base and facility quality. That's the problem that Winnipeg is facing.

Winnipeg has also shown on numerous occasions throughout the past decade that it is able to put on financially successful world-class events previously thought to be impossible for a city of this size, and has exhibited a passion for hockey that I would say rivals any community in North America (the most successful World Juniors at that time in 1999, the Grand Forks World Juniors two years ago, the most successful Women's World Hockey Championship ever this past year).

Hosting limited-run special events - no matter how prestigious - is one thing. Modern major pro sports leagues must be convinced that deep-pocketed, long-term support can be sustained over the long haul.

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There's a little matter of corporate support to consider, as well.

At the moment, in Canada, corporate support for hockey goes to one team, the Leafs. The bulk of the corporations are centred in Toronto, so they're going to keep the money flowing to the team that they can see regularly. Most of the other support for the other teams is local, and quite honestly, if Vancouver is having trouble attracting the big money for the Canucks, Winnipeg simply doesn't have a chance.

The locals would support the NHL for two years, before it came time for the big-money boys to kick in. Once that honeymoon is over, and the team begins to struggle (if the team begins to struggle, the Jets weren't ever a powerhouse franchise post-WHA), you'll see attendance start to dwindle away, and when that happens, look out.

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There's a little matter of corporate support to consider, as well.

At the moment, in Canada, corporate support for hockey goes to one team, the Leafs. The bulk of the corporations are centred in Toronto, so they're going to keep the money flowing to the team that they can see regularly. Most of the other support for the other teams is local, and quite honestly, if Vancouver is having trouble attracting the big money for the Canucks, Winnipeg simply doesn't have a chance.

The locals would support the NHL for two years, before it came time for the big-money boys to kick in. Once that honeymoon is over, and the team begins to struggle (if the team begins to struggle, the Jets weren't ever a powerhouse franchise post-WHA), you'll see attendance start to dwindle away, and when that happens, look out.

Absolutely correct.

As I pointed out in one of my earlier posts, you can bank on the fact that National Hockey League officials are well aware of just how many major corporations are headquartered in each of the league's existing markets, as well as potential relocation/expansion sites.

Of the fourteen Canadian companies that were listed in the 2006 FORTUNE Global 500, nine are headquartered in Metro Toronto (eight within the City of Toronto), four are headquartered in Montreal and one is headquartered in Calgary.

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I think people are forgetting about the fact that there are current NHL markets who are failing in every aspect off the ice. Some teams are losing in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years.

Winnipeg is never going to outperform Toronto, Vancouver, Detroit, or Minnesota. But I think people are severely underestimating the possibility that the franchise can survive and even prosper. Especially in comparison to some of the financial messes that the NHL is currently dealing with.

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So your argument boils down to "Because the NHL is performing poorly in other markets, it should consider performing poorly in the market of my preference."

Fascinating, from a business standpoint. "But other teams are losing money, too" is not sufficient criteria to place a franchise in Winnipeg.

Listen. It's nice that you like your team and all and miss it. I miss the Whalers. But I've long accepted they're not coming back barring some astoundingly, nigh-on improbable dramatic changes in the current state of affairs, and I've moved on. But in spite of all the cold hard facts in front of you, the harsh economic realities of the league, the town, and its arena, you continue to go all Pollyanna and insist we aren't seeing things your way, aren't seeing the real story, the positive aspects of the situation. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were the White House Press Secretary.

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Hmm, let's review the facts:

Houston

Non-traditional Market

5,641,077 Metro area population

22 Fortune 500 Companies

8 Fortune Global 500 Companies

Large northern US/Canadian expat community as a result of said Fortune 500 companies

Arena built in 2003 with 17,800 seats (Sellout would put it 14th in NHL attendance) and up to 103 Luxury Boxes

Top 20 US media market for NHL television ratings

10th in AHL average attendance (6,422)

Winnipeg

"Traditional" market

694,668 Metro area population

0 Fortune Global 500 Companies

Arena built in 2004 with 15,003 (Sellout would put it 25th in NHL attendance) and up to 46 Luxury Boxes

4th in AHL average attendance (7,769)

Why are we having this discussion again?

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Hmm, let's review the facts:

Houston

Non-traditional Market

5,641,077 Metro area population

22 Fortune 500 Companies

8 Fortune Global 500 Companies

Large northern US/Canadian expat community as a result of said Fortune 500 companies

Arena built in 2003 with 17,800 seats (Sellout would put it 14th in NHL attendance) and up to 103 Luxury Boxes

Top 20 US media market for NHL television ratings

10th in AHL average attendance (6,422)

Winnipeg

"Traditional" market

694,668 Metro area population

0 Fortune Global 500 Companies

Arena built in 2004 with 15,003 (Sellout would put it 25th in NHL attendance) and up to 46 Luxury Boxes

4th in AHL average attendance (7,769)

Why are we having this discussion again?

Because someone realized that the Jets aren't in Winnipeg anymore.

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Hmm, let's review the facts:

Houston

Non-traditional Market

5,641,077 Metro area population

22 Fortune 500 Companies

8 Fortune Global 500 Companies

Large northern US/Canadian expat community as a result of said Fortune 500 companies

Arena built in 2003 with 17,800 seats (Sellout would put it 14th in NHL attendance) and up to 103 Luxury Boxes

Top 20 US media market for NHL television ratings

10th in AHL average attendance (6,422)

Winnipeg

"Traditional" market

694,668 Metro area population

0 Fortune Global 500 Companies

Arena built in 2004 with 15,003 (Sellout would put it 25th in NHL attendance) and up to 46 Luxury Boxes

4th in AHL average attendance (7,769)

Why are we having this discussion again?

Houston may be a large city, indeed 7 times the size of Winnipeg. However, is it possible that Winnipeggers are seven times more likely to be hockey fans?

Corporate support is a big issue. Having big companies around to compete for your attention while you're at the game and to support the team for PR reasons is a huge benefit. Companies like Can-West Global, MTS, Manitoba Hydro, and Richardson International don't show up on the Fortune Global 500, it's true.

But ultimately, the value to a company of attaching their name to a team is based on the value their customers place on that company's attachment to the team. And in Winnipeg, any company seen as having helped bring the Jets to Winnipeg will also benefit from a boost that you wouldn't see from a company seen as bringing the NHL to the Toyota Center.

Sellouts would put us 25th in attendance, but remember, those would be sellouts, not giveaways.

...and if we use the traditional logic of luxury boxes, city size, etc. as an estimator of the team's expected success, why did Nashville (metro pop of 1.5 million) get a team first? Why did Raleigh (metro pop of 0.91 million) get a team first? Why do the Florida Panthers often come up in relocation talk (metro pop of 5.4 million)? Why are the Phoenix Coyotes (metro pop of 3.87 million and the sixth largest city in the USA) losing $30 million in one season?

I know I'm focusing on the metropolitan population factor, but all of those teams are widely considered to be failing to some degree, and most are losing gobs of money. Most of them are comparable to Houston in every way (if Houston doesn't have the advantage), and yet in every instance Houston was passed over. And all of them have every advantage over Winnipeg... and yet Winnipeg refuses to be left out of the potential relocation destination discussion.

It was Winnipeggers who made the World Jr's in Grand Forks, North Dakota a veritable Jets love-in, it was Winnipeggers who saved the Jets for another year after corporate support failed, and it's Winnipeggers who are leading the charge in the hopes of one day seeing their beloved team return.

The strength of Winnipeg's bid for NHL hockey, relative to competing cities, will never be the potential corporate tie-ins or the quick-buck opportunities. The strength of Winnipeg's been has been and will continue to be Winnipeggers themselves and their desire to see top-tier hockey return to the city. Although that's not currently grabbing the ear of the NHL bigwigs, it's my hope that, as non-traditional markets continue to fail, that desire will one day prevail.

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...and if we use the traditional logic of luxury boxes, city size, etc. as an estimator of the team's expected success, why did Nashville (metro pop of 1.5 million) get a team first? Why did Raleigh (metro pop of 0.91 million) get a team first? Why do the Florida Panthers often come up in relocation talk (metro pop of 5.4 million)? Why are the Phoenix Coyotes (metro pop of 3.87 million and the sixth largest city in the USA) losing $30 million in one season?

I know I'm focusing on the metropolitan population factor, but all of those teams are widely considered to be failing to some degree, and most are losing gobs of money. Most of them are comparable to Houston in every way (if Houston doesn't have the advantage), and yet in every instance Houston was passed over.

Amongst the reasons that Nashville received a team ahead of Houston is that the Predators were to be the primary tenant in their arena, as opposed to sharing the facility with an NBA franchise. Raleigh became home to an NHL franchise ahead of Houston because Peter Karmanos didn't want to sell a portion of his franchise to Leslie Alexander or become a secondary tenant to the Rockets. The Florida Panthers often come up in relocation talks because team management made a significant mistake in moving into the "middle-of-nowhere" BankAtlantic Center and have been inconsistent in terms of building a winner. The Phoenix Coyotes are losing $30-million a season because of mismanagement.

All of this said, the shortcomings in a handful of existing NHL markets don't change the fact that a new NHL franchise in Winnipeg would be operating from a position of weakness in the modern world of major-professional sports. Simply put, despite the rabid enthusiasm for professional ice hockey that exists in Winnipeg, an NHL team in the market would eventually join the list of hand-to-mouth business operations in the league. Why? Because success in modern pro sports is no longer solely - hell, primarily - about rank-and-file fans purchasing tickets. Sad, but true. The Winnipeg marketplace is not populous enough, it's corporate base is not substantial enough and the city's arena is not large enough to successfully sustain a major pro sports franchis... even in the NHL.

Bottom line? An NHL return to Winnipeg would simply be setting-up yet another franchise to operate, at best, in mediocrity. If that's not good enough in "non-traditional" markets in the United States, why should it be a goal in a Canadian market?

The strength of Winnipeg's bid for NHL hockey, relative to competing cities, will never be the potential corporate tie-ins or the quick-buck opportunities.

Which marks the city's bid as hopelessly outdated in the modern era of major pro sports marketing and management.

The strength of Winnipeg's been has been and will continue to be Winnipeggers themselves and their desire to see top-tier hockey return to the city.

Which is quaint, but not good enough. That is, unless one of thw Winnipeggers in question is possessed of a Bill Gates, Paul Allen or Larry Ellison-like fortune and is enamored of the idea of blowing vast amounts of it on chasing an NHL pipe-dream.

Although that's not currently grabbing the ear of the NHL bigwigs, it's my hope that, as non-traditional markets continue to fail, that desire will one day prevail.

Not every "non-traditional" market is a failure, nor are certain "traditional" markets equipped to succeed in the modern era of big-time pro sports.

Who knows? Maybe the major pro sports industry - the NHL included - will grow so large and bloated that it will collapse in upon itself. Then, perhaps a pared-down NHL will rise from the ashes with Winnipeg as a member? Frankly, I don't see that happening for quite some time - if at all.

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Put the Coyotes back in Winnepeg, Put the Hurricanes back in Hartford, Put the Avs in Quebec, Move the Panthers to Denver to replace the Avs, Move the Blue Jackets to KC

Or, move the Panthers to Quebec, leave the Avs alone, and uproot one less franchise. Taking a team out of a city and then putting one back in its place is ludicrous.

From what I've read, this is coming to a lot of nostalgic types basically promising that the population of a mid-sized city with a business infrastructure not on par with cities it is competing with for an expansion team guaranteeing 41 sellouts per year to offset the fact that they built their arena too small for NHL standards. That doesn't strike me as logical. I'm all for the old days when Winnipeg had a team and we all stared at the gigunda portrait of QE II on the arena wall during stoppages of play. But the reality is it'd economic suicide. Sure, there are plenty of cities where the NHL is bleeding hugs sums of money. That doesn't mean it's wise to throw the same money into a situation that will be no better than the bad situations that already exist. As Lee said, the shine would wear off in a couple years, and hockey mad or not, leaving the onus on the fans to keep the team out of the red is financial suicide. Making online and unfounded guarantees that people you don't know WILL buy these tickets is one thing; stepping up with your check for a couple thou per seat, year in and year out, is another. Nobody is going to move to a situation with the prospects of losing money and maybejustmaybewithourfingerscrossedprettypleasewithacherryontop things will all come together just perfectly and the owners scratch out a meager enough profit one season to remain solvent and hope it all works out the same way again. The Law of Averages says that miracles won't happen annually, and a lot of those arguing for a team in Winnipeg are basically betting on a miracle every year to keep the team afloat. It doesn't work that way.

Now, Sydney on the other hand... we bring back the Millionaires, change their name to the Sydney Crosbies, get the Kid to come back to the Maritimes, and let them wreak havoc on the NHL. I'm on board with that. :P

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If I was the Commisioner, I would've made the owners of the Jets, Whalers, and Nordiques to leave thee colors, logo, uniforms, and history just like what the NFL did to the Browns. They should a team back before Carolina, Columbus, and Nashville and I'm sorry for the Hockey fan that I may have offended.

Why?

The owners own the teams and are free to do with them what they like.

And yes, the Browns thing was stupid.

Yea... because it made perfect sense for fans in Atlanta to cheer for Warren Spahn when he had his number retired in spite of the fact he never played a single game in ATL.

And I hope you keep that "owners can do what they want" mentality when the guy who owns the place you work for finds a way to get some Indian worker to do your job for 3 cents an hour...

Hmm, let's review the facts:

Houston

Non-traditional Market

5,641,077 Metro area population

22 Fortune 500 Companies

8 Fortune Global 500 Companies

Large northern US/Canadian expat community as a result of said Fortune 500 companies

Arena built in 2003 with 17,800 seats (Sellout would put it 14th in NHL attendance) and up to 103 Luxury Boxes

Top 20 US media market for NHL television ratings

10th in AHL average attendance (6,422)

Winnipeg

"Traditional" market

694,668 Metro area population

0 Fortune Global 500 Companies

Arena built in 2004 with 15,003 (Sellout would put it 25th in NHL attendance) and up to 46 Luxury Boxes

4th in AHL average attendance (7,769)

Why are we having this discussion again?

Houston may be a large city, indeed 7 times the size of Winnipeg. However, is it possible that Winnipeggers are seven times more likely to be hockey fans?

Corporate support is a big issue. Having big companies around to compete for your attention while you're at the game and to support the team for PR reasons is a huge benefit. Companies like Can-West Global, MTS, Manitoba Hydro, and Richardson International don't show up on the Fortune Global 500, it's true.

But ultimately, the value to a company of attaching their name to a team is based on the value their customers place on that company's attachment to the team. And in Winnipeg, any company seen as having helped bring the Jets to Winnipeg will also benefit from a boost that you wouldn't see from a company seen as bringing the NHL to the Toyota Center.

Sellouts would put us 25th in attendance, but remember, those would be sellouts, not giveaways.

...and if we use the traditional logic of luxury boxes, city size, etc. as an estimator of the team's expected success, why did Nashville (metro pop of 1.5 million) get a team first? Why did Raleigh (metro pop of 0.91 million) get a team first? Why do the Florida Panthers often come up in relocation talk (metro pop of 5.4 million)? Why are the Phoenix Coyotes (metro pop of 3.87 million and the sixth largest city in the USA) losing $30 million in one season?

I know I'm focusing on the metropolitan population factor, but all of those teams are widely considered to be failing to some degree, and most are losing gobs of money. Most of them are comparable to Houston in every way (if Houston doesn't have the advantage), and yet in every instance Houston was passed over. And all of them have every advantage over Winnipeg... and yet Winnipeg refuses to be left out of the potential relocation destination discussion.

It was Winnipeggers who made the World Jr's in Grand Forks, North Dakota a veritable Jets love-in, it was Winnipeggers who saved the Jets for another year after corporate support failed, and it's Winnipeggers who are leading the charge in the hopes of one day seeing their beloved team return.

The strength of Winnipeg's bid for NHL hockey, relative to competing cities, will never be the potential corporate tie-ins or the quick-buck opportunities. The strength of Winnipeg's been has been and will continue to be Winnipeggers themselves and their desire to see top-tier hockey return to the city. Although that's not currently grabbing the ear of the NHL bigwigs, it's my hope that, as non-traditional markets continue to fail, that desire will one day prevail.

While I do agree that Winnipeg is a better hockey market than any of the non-traditional cities, the truth is that arena was built too damned small. Whoever was in charge of planning really dropped the ball (puck?) on this one.

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As Phil pointed out, the issue of population is a dead one. Consider Raleigh and Nashville with Metro populations of 0.9 and 1.5 million respectively.

Winnipeg's population of 0.7 million is dwarfed by these cities. But isn't it possible that individual Winnipeggers are many times more likely to spend money on hockey?

The point is: Raw population doesn't matter. Non-hockey fans don't buy tickets or merchandise, and they certainly don't watch hockey on TV.

Otherwise there'd be a team in Mexico City right now. ;)

Also, A Winnipeg NHL team doesn't have to compete with College football and basketball, NBA basketball, NASCAR, and many other sports that rank much higher in popularity in these regions than hockey.

In Winnipeg, hockey is number one. There is no close second.

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While I do agree that Winnipeg is a better hockey market than any of the non-traditional cities, the truth is that arena was built too damned small. Whoever was in charge of planning really dropped the ball (puck?) on this one.

You must have had the idea as I did....

They could have built an arena to keep the team there. They could have built a 17-18 thousand seat arena, but they didn't. They dropped the ball (or puck if you will) more than once.

:D

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As Phil pointed out, the issue of population is a dead one. Consider Raleigh and Nashville with Metro populations of 0.9 and 1.5 million respectively.

Winnipeg's population of 0.7 million is dwarfed by these cities. But isn't it possible that individual Winnipeggers are many times more likely to spend money on hockey?

The point is: Raw population doesn't matter. Non-hockey fans don't buy tickets or merchandise, and they certainly don't watch hockey on TV.

Otherwise there'd be a team in Mexico City right now. ;)

Also, A Winnipeg NHL team doesn't have to compete with College football and basketball, NBA basketball, NASCAR, and many other sports that rank much higher in popularity in these regions than hockey.

In Winnipeg, hockey is number one. There is no close second.

You are proving exceedingly good at ignoring any all all facts presented to you which shoot down your argument. Stop.

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