Jump to content

Fans in Non-NHL Markets


lafountain
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am curious about something for those of you who don't live in NHL markets (if there are any besides myself).

If the NHL were to expand (hope not) or a team were to move into your market, would you jump on board of that team or would you stay loyal to the team you are currently a fan of.

Since I cheer for every Seattle team but one (Can't stand the Mariners), if an NHL team were to come to Seattle I am sure I would cheer for them, but I don't know if they would supplant the Sabres as my favorite team.

I am wondering how others out there feel about this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether or not they became my favorite team would depend on the players, the uniforms, the accessibility and the quality of the overall product on the ice. Granted, even then there is at least a 97% chance that they would never surpass the Sabres, but that's to be expected. Personally, there will never be a team in the area I'm in for the time being, because New York already has three teams and The Devils are even closer to where I am than any of those three teams, but in the hypothetical realm, even if they weren't my favorite team, if an NHL organization sprang up around here in Poughkeepsie, for example, I'd buy a jerseys and get season tickets for sure, just because I'd be psyched to be able to attend 40 NHL games a year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious about something for those of you who don't live in NHL markets (if there are any besides myself).

If the NHL were to expand (hope not) or a team were to move into your market, would you jump on board of that team or would you stay loyal to the team you are currently a fan of.

Since I cheer for every Seattle team but one (Can't stand the Mariners), if an NHL team were to come to Seattle I am sure I would cheer for them, but I don't know if they would supplant the Sabres as my favorite team.

I am wondering how others out there feel about this.

The Coyotes supplanted the Islanders as my favorite team, but it's like a 1 and 1A thing. I didn't drop the Islanders, but it's so easy to pull for the team that is in driving distance. I spend more $ on the Coyotes than on anyone else, I suppose that is one criteria to use to explain this. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Coyotes supplanted the Islanders as my favorite team, but it's like a 1 and 1A thing. I didn't drop the Islanders, but it's so easy to pull for the team that is in driving distance. I spend more $ on the Coyotes than on anyone else, I suppose that is one criteria to use to explain this. :)

I agree with the 1 and 1a theory. The Sabres will likely always be my team, but it's easy to cheer for the team closest to home, especially if they're within short driving distance. If I ever do decide to move to Montreal, the Habs will likely become my 1a team, especially since I already like them a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Coyotes supplanted the Islanders as my favorite team, but it's like a 1 and 1A thing. I didn't drop the Islanders, but it's so easy to pull for the team that is in driving distance. I spend more $ on the Coyotes than on anyone else, I suppose that is one criteria to use to explain this. :)

In that vein, I spend more money on Bruins merchandise than Red Wings because it's tougher to get Bruins gear in Detroit. I look at all the Wings t-shirts, hats, flags, stickers, jerseys, mugs, etc. in all the retail stores and think "yeah, I can pick that up any time." But I wear my Bruins cap to death and it's so broken in that it's just more comfortable to wear than any of my multitude of Red Wings caps.

So I suppose I'm an ardent long-distance supporter of the Bruins (maybe the only one ;)) even if I can only catch next-day highlights and reports about games. But that's not really answering the question :)

If I lived in a non-NHL market, and was a fan of a distant team, would I become a fan of the local team. I probably would, but it would definitely depend on the players and team management. I'd be hard pressed to not be disgruntled if a new Detroit team came into town and Darcy Tucker was picked up in the expansion draft ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh...it's tough to take teams out of the Southeast right now. The last two Cup champs are there in Carolina and Tampa Bay. Plus, Washington and Atlanta are two franchises on the way up and at the top of the league respectively. The only slug is Florida really and even they've been to the Finals.

The franchises that are really struggling right now are the Coyotes and Blue Jackets. These are, historically, two non-traditional markets for the NHL and now that the so-called 'honeymoon' is over with the two teams, the lack of interest is starting to show. Moreso in Phoenix obviously because they've got the longer tenure. Attendance there has been dreadful lately. Also, throw into the mix that the PHX/WPG franchise has only been in the playoffs for 5 of their 10 year history AND hasn't won a playoff series since 1987.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh...it's tough to take teams out of the Southeast right now. The last two Cup champs are there in Carolina and Tampa Bay. Plus, Washington and Atlanta are two franchises on the way up and at the top of the league respectively. The only slug is Florida really and even they've been to the Finals.

The franchises that are really struggling right now are the Coyotes and Blue Jackets. These are, historically, two non-traditional markets for the NHL and now that the so-called 'honeymoon' is over with the two teams, the lack of interest is starting to show. Moreso in Phoenix obviously because they've got the longer tenure. Attendance there has been dreadful lately. Also, throw into the mix that the PHX/WPG franchise has only been in the playoffs for 5 of their 10 year history AND hasn't won a playoff series since 1987.

The fact that Phoenix just moved into a new arena basically eliminates them from consideration from moving in my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah ordinarily I would agree with you on that but in this case, the franchise has made absolutely no progress since getting the new building. You just have to wonder A: when/if Gretzky can turn this team into a competitor and B: how long the fans and even the head honchos will continue to support the team if they keep freefalling. It's a tough call right now in Phoenix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Columbus also needs its scorers to start SCORING. Nobody wins with nothing on the scoreboard.

I'm telling you, Biron and Kalinin or Kotalik (and a pick) for LeClaire and Klesla, or all three and Columbus throws in a defensive prospect or pick. :D

One way or the other, I heard Gretzky's time may be up behind the bench in Phoenix. He may just have to sit back as part of the ownership soon, because he hasn't been getting it done.

On the same note, if Columbus doesn't want to deal, than Biron, Kalinin and Kotalik for Leneveu and Boynton.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fact that Phoenix just moved into a new arena basically eliminates them from consideration from moving in my opinion.

la, You are correct. The Coyotes are not leaving, but a lot of people get their jollies by suggesting that they will. :angry: It gets REALLY OLD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
la, You are correct. The Coyotes are not leaving, but a lot of people get their jollies by suggesting that they will. :angry: It gets REALLY OLD.

Wasn't there an article in the AZ Republic after last season about their lease in Glendale running for 30 years or something to that effect? I really don't know what that team needs right about now. I'm kinda pulling for them to do a fire sale and rebuild.

As for the Blue Jackets.

When the Coyotes were playing in Columbus earlier this season on FSN AZ they made a comment about how the Blue Jackets sell out practically every game (whether or not that's true is another matter of course...but still...). I've always considered Ohio to have a pretty good hockey following there. When I played in high school and youth leagues whenever we'd have road games in Ohio they were always interesting places to be, they have some real diehards there.

Now to the original question...haha...

Being from Indianapolis, I don't think it has enough of a following there to warrant an NHL team. While I was growing up they were in the IHL and the top farm team of the Blackhawks and they always did alright, but in later years their numbers dwindled and well the Blackhawks were the Blackhawks (think management and you'll know where I'm coming from). Once they moved to the CHL in 1999, their crowd sizes dwindled even more and after the 03-04 season they became a junior team. I don't think the NHL could ever survive there, plus with the Red Wings, Blackhawks, Blues and now Blue Jackets you risk oversaturating the market. That for me personally is why I don't think it should happen there. I'd just as soon see an AHL team or even an ECHL team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I'd share this story...

I wore my Thrashers Kovalchuk jersey. My boss and the other guy I work with asked me how to pronounce the name on the back. I of course said, "just as you read it". They could not get it right, not even close. This mistake could have happened with a European name of a player from any sport and could happen in any place, but Kovalchuk isn't THAT hard! Ovechkin, maybe, I mean, put a 'chk' together in a word and it can throw you off a little. Still, 7 and a half times out of 10, a name is pronounced just as you see it. :shot:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the North Stars moved away from Minnesota, we took a different route.

We started a Fantasy Hockey League. That way we were cheering for players, not teams. I couldn't care less if Vancouver won or not, as long as Pavel Bure got 50 goals, I was happy.

When the playoffs would come around, we'd usually latch onto a team or two for whatever reason struck us. Local guys on a team, former North Stars now on a new team, thought the jerseys were cool. Whatever.

Then when we got the Wild, we had to cheer for them. They were ours, they were local so we could see them in person and that's who the media covered.

The first year the Wild played, you would see a lot of jerseys for various successful teams in the Wild's home arena. Colorado and Detroit in particular, but those two teams had two things in common. Relatively close to the Twin Cities, but they also were recent Stanley Cup winners. Not nearly the same response for the Blackhawks, event though they were the closest team, they weren't winners. All those people were just being front runners. It just so happened that Colorado and Detroit were reasonably close. It just as well could have been the Kings and the Bruins if they were winning cups in the 90's.

After two seasons that all but stopped.

I think the conclusion you can draw is that the local team will take over for any previous favorites with the vast majority of fans. The daily coverage you are exposed to all but assures who develop a vested interest in the local team and slowly the players you may have been cheering for from another city eventually drift off. Sure, there's exceptions to that rule, but for the most part, the local teams wins out.

JeffB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you're right to a certain degree. The local team more times than not can and does win out in the hearts of the fans. However, there have been and will continue to be cases were franchises have a very difficult time converting fans from other local teams. The hardcore fan isn't going to root for another team just because of proximity. Case in point; the Devils. The only time they can sell out a game is when they play the Rangers and that's only because 8,000 Rangers fans fill out the arena. When you already have three teams within a 100-mile span who have already had success, you really don't need a fourth.

Another good example is Buffalo(sorry guys!). When the Sabres came into the league, the Leafs were really irritated about it, feeling the new team would take fans away from their own club. But then when the team went to the Cup Finals 5 years later, I'm sure that was a HUGE converting point for most of the now die-hard fans.

So I guess it can work both ways. It just depends on the location of the team sometimes. By the way, the new owner of the Penguins is from Hamilton, Ontario. There's a big rumor that if the new arena deal for the Pens falls through, this franchise could be going to Hamilton. Right smack in the middle of Leafs, Sabres and even Wings country. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if you're going to bring a franchise to a new city, maybe you should consider doing it A: in a city somewhat devoid of 'doorstep' rivals or B: bring a franchise back to a city that has already had a franchise like Winnipeg or Quebec.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I am currently living in Winnipeg. I would not cheer for who ever came back here, it's Canucks forever. I also don't think that Winnipeg could support a NHL team, they think they can but I don't see i happening not with a newer arena that seats ~1500. If however my hometown of Saskatoon ever managed to get a team, then I may have devided loyalties.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

It'd be a 1 and 1A thing. Don't know if a NHL team in Richmond would supplant the Rangers, but I'd support them. Then again I don't know if an NHL team in Richmond would work, we can barely get 2,500 to our minor league team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...