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Is this really a good idea?


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http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/6150

"There is now a serious plan afoot for the league to grant two new franchises to those hockey hotbeds in Las Vegas and Kansas City before the current collective bargaining agreement can be reopened by the NHLPA at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season. Why? For the approximately $450-500 million in expansion fees, the expansion franchises would contribute to the pot for the privilege of joining this invisible enterprise that the 30 league owners would be able to divide among themselves without sharing so much of a nickel of it with the players under terms of the current labor agreement."

I mean honestly...is this really what the NHL needs to think about doing right now? Is this really a good idea? You've got teams in the Southern U.S. who aren't doing well financially and they want to put more teams in the NHL?

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http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/6150

"There is now a serious plan afoot for the league to grant two new franchises to those hockey hotbeds in Las Vegas and Kansas City before the current collective bargaining agreement can be reopened by the NHLPA at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season. Why? For the approximately $450-500 million in expansion fees, the expansion franchises would contribute to the pot for the privilege of joining this invisible enterprise that the 30 league owners would be able to divide among themselves without sharing so much of a nickel of it with the players under terms of the current labor agreement."

I mean honestly...is this really what the NHL needs to think about doing right now? Is this really a good idea? You've got teams in the Southern U.S. who aren't doing well financially and they want to put more teams in the NHL?

The last thing the NHL should do is add franchises. My biggest concern is the talent pool. Just what we need, another 50 minor leaguers masquerading as the world's best hockey players.

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Is this really a good idea?

In so many words:

NO.

Don't be a fool, Bettman. Stabilize what you have first before trying to expand. Fix the Panthers. Help the Predators stay in Nashville. Get the Blackhawks and Kings out of the hands of their current owners. Move the Coyotes back to Winnipeg. DON'T EXPAND!!!

And quite frankly Vegas is the LAST place in the country that should have a professional sports team.

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I agree, this would be a horrible idea. The league needs to make sure that the franchises it already has are stable. Even if the league were to consider expansion, I would hope that they would look to a few Canadian cities first. Though in the end, the league has 30 teams right now and that is more than enough.

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Is this really a good idea?

In so many words:

NO.

Don't be a fool, Bettman. Stabilize what you have first before trying to expand. Fix the Panthers. Help the Predators stay in Nashville. Get the Blackhawks and Kings out of the hands of their current owners. Move the Coyotes back to Winnipeg. DON'T EXPAND!!!

And quite frankly Vegas is the LAST place in the country that should have a professional sports team.

You move to Winnipeg, you're so in love with it.

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I have never liked this bonehead Bettman since he took over the league. He rubbed me the wrong way from the moment he changed from the Campbell/Wales Conferences and all the division names (Smythe, Patrick, Adams, Norris) to Eastern and Western. Its been beyond me how he's managed to keep his job. It seems like I was one of the few people who sided with the players when it came to this last lockout (me personally, I blamed Bettman and the owners just as much as the players). The salary cap was supposed to help, yet you still have owners who keep paying guys outrageous contracts, only to put their names in the rumour mill the next season about unloading salary.

Maybe its me, but when the NHL had 24 teams, things were great. You had numerous 100 point scorers and even guys who scored 76 goals in a season (Selanne and Mogilny 92-93). There were always possibilities of having 50, 60, and maybe even 70 goals scored by a player over the course of a season. Instead of having one or two decent players on a team, you may have a handful of possible future hall of famers on the roster. I loved seeing Mogilny, Hawerchuk, Lafontaine with the Sabres. I mean heck, even the Rangers had Weight, Amonte, Messier, Graves, Leetch, Zubov, Kovalev, Vanbiesbrouck, and Richter all at one point in time! Not to mention, it always seemed like you'd have fairly good continuity on a roster from one season to the next. Even 95-96 was a great season scoring wise.

I don't understand, why if your league and teams are losing money, you're a joke in the sports media, and you're on an obscure network not many people get, why on earth do you even think about putting new teams in the league? If you believe what ESPN and the ratings say, not many people care about the NHL here in the states. As much as I love hockey, its not the NFL, which can think about something like that. I heard someone on the radio make a comment about the old USFL, how it was the last major pro sports league to fold... I have to admit, I got nervous.

I also know a couple of my favorite teams are relocated from Canada. I always figured Colorado would be a good hockey state with its winter sports reputation in skiiing and yes I was surprised by Phoenix at first, but they have grown on me since I've followed them so much the last few seasons now. I would love to see the Coyotes have a stronger following in Phoenix. Las Vegas would probably be a nice rivalry with the Coyotes, but lets be serious, the last thing this league needs to do is put more teams down. IMO, I think its the owners and the commissioner who are a danger to the league...

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You move to Winnipeg, you're so in love with it.

Heh...sorry dude. I know you hate it when I say it but I just can't see that team staying in Phoenix without some SERIOUS overhauls. For the last five years, the Coyotes have been in the lower half of the league in average attendance:

2001-02: 29th - 13,165

2002-03: 29th - 13,229

2003-04: 19th - 15,592

2005-06: 22nd - 15,582

2006-07: 14th - 14,988

That's pretty low for a lower-than-average arena capacity at 17,500. Granted, the teams have been pretty bad but still, winning fixes everything and that franchise just seems to be a chronic loser for whatever reason. I'm not sure that Gretzky and Co. has what it takes to turn that team into a winner. Maybe it's time for a changing of the guard...but does that organization really have the balls to fire the Great One?

Another unfortunate situation is the fact that they haven't been BAD in the recent years so their draft picks haven't been high enough to really get some quality. It's also unfortunate that the year they DO get a good pick at #3, the crop isn't as good as it could be.

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They have 25 more years in their deal that keeps them in Glendale. They ownership has the bucks and local business interest to keep the team going AND survive the brunt of dismal seasons. That doesn't mean they like losing. The organization must improve the on-ice product and get results, that goes without saying. Like with every other team in Phoenix, when they start winning, the attendance figures will grow and people in the east will quit talking about this ;) . Fans and businesses here are always willing to pump cash and admiration into teams that win.

One thing about Nashville, the impression is that the local businesses are not pumping the money in that franchises have grown to rely on.

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The problem with the NHL is that it is almost solely dependent on gate driven revenue. Merch and tv contracts do add to the overall kitty but its really the attendance of games that makes the mare go. If Nashvegas is a great team and in contention every year- why is attendance averaging below 14k? Sure its a Southern city but its more cosmopolitan than most and should have no excuses. That being said, I don't want the team moved out of there- the sport is just beginning to grow and local businesses will come around. I have no problem with a city like Vegas hosting an NHL team. It would become something to go to for the tourists and generate a steady stream of income and visability. The NHL has been at the forefront of youtube and blogging- why not expansion or relocation?

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See, that's just the thing about Vegas though...the majority of the people out there are TOURISTS. It's nearly impossible to develop a solid fan-base if you're trying to cater to people who are only showing up to games during their vacation. How many people who actually LIVE in the Vegas area have the kind of steady income to pay for season tickets to a pro sports team? I'm sure that most of them are probably making close to or at minimum wage in the casinos and/or working night shifts. Is this really the kind of people that are gonna fill an 18,000 seat arena 41 times a year? I don't know. It doesn't sound like a very good idea...especially not when you can put the team in a city like Seattle or Winnipeg or Hamilton and give a team to a city who actually WANTS a team.

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ONE thing you an I agree on, Brilliant, is that Vegas is not a good place for an NHL team. Here's an article which bolsters that... http://www.thestar.com/article/223144

I don't see ANY proof that Seattle WANTS a team. They can barely keep an NBA team and nobody there wants to spring for a new arena, which would be an absolute must. When people in Winnipeg and/or Hamilton experience the financial brunt of 21st-century NHL prices multiplied by 45 games, they'd be looking for a new home within a year. I'm not sure that Balsillie really understands what he's getting himself into. The NHL hasn't even approved the sale. Still, he's planning to hit up people in Hamilton for season ticket deposits as soon as today, acting like it's a done deal that there will be a Hamilton Predators.

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They have 25 more years in their deal that keeps them in Glendale. They ownership has the bucks and local business interest to keep the team going AND survive the brunt of dismal seasons. That doesn't mean they like losing. The organization must improve the on-ice product and get results, that goes without saying. Like with every other team in Phoenix, when they start winning, the attendance figures will grow and people in the east will quit talking about this ;) . Fans and businesses here are always willing to pump cash and admiration into teams that win.

One thing about Nashville, the impression is that the local businesses are not pumping the money in that franchises have grown to rely on.

Wouldn't it cost them more to get out of that lease than the team is worth? I remember seeing a price in one of the local papers that would cost more to get out of the lease than it would to buy the team and settle them somewhere else. Jobing.com arena is an awesome place for hockey as well. That's one of the first things my wife and I noticed when we were in Anaheim. Jobing.com has better sight lines, I haven't felt as crammed there as I did in Anaheim.

With the different areas of the country and even Canada represented down here during the season, everyone brings their loyalties from somewhere else and until the Coyotes start capturing Phoenix's attention, I can't see that changing. The Doggies have grown on me in the 2+ years I've been down here, but I still have my original loyalties. Whenever they play other teams, you're guaranteed to see quite a bit of the other teams jerseys in the stadium. I would love to see them get a solid fanbase, but it'd be fleeting if they started losing again. I would hate to see what would happen if the Suns started losing again. Hockey down here, IMO, is a niche sport. Not to mention hockey coverage down here sucks anyway...

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Westgate is doing well. There are now places to go eat right within walking distance of the arena. They're still putting more retail there and are a good part of the way done with the Renaissance hotel. The arena is fantastic, more people need to get their butts in there and see what they've been missing. The Coyotes have to win games, since winning will get people down interested. There could be overall general excitement over anything down there with Super Bowl XLII to take place in February. When the Suns were a bad team (late 80s), it was very easy to get tickets and the drug scandals did not help. When they made the playoffs again and beat the Lakers in 1990 (?), they took over the town. Add Barkley and the Finals in 1993 and getting a ticket to a Suns game was very difficult for a few years. When teams slip here, the novelty wears off until they win again or you build a stadium and almost name it Pink Taco Stadium. :D

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Westgate is doing well. There are now places to go eat right within walking distance of the arena. They're still putting more retail there and are a good part of the way done with the Renaissance hotel. The arena is fantastic, more people need to get their butts in there and see what they've been missing.

They've really made Westgate gorgeous. It seems like everytime I go up there there is something new. It was very nice this year being able to stop and get something to eat before a game and then walk RIGHT over to the arena. That's one of my new favorite places to go this year. Not to mention Just Sports has a decent hockey selection. :)

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Another unfortunate situation is the fact that they haven't been BAD in the recent years so their draft picks haven't been high enough to really get some quality. It's also unfortunate that the year they DO get a good pick at #3, the crop isn't as good as it could be.

Huh, what about the Flyers? The first time they've ever been so bad as to get a shot at the first overall draft pick and there's no Crosby or Ovechkin caliber players. <_<

Didn't Vegas have an XFL team? Well, we all know how that turned out.

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Huh, what about the Flyers? The first time they've ever been so bad as to get a shot at the first overall draft pick and there's no Crosby or Ovechkin caliber players. <_<

Didn't Vegas have an XFL team? Well, we all know how that turned out.

The problem wasn't Vegas it was the XFL. I certainly think a pro sports team would be successful there- why not have the NHL lead the way (although I would rather see them do it through relocation rather than expansion at this point).

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I can't believe anyone is lumping the XFL into a serious conversation.

The only pro sport that has maintained a long stay in Las Vegas is minor league baseball (the Stars and then the 51s). UNLV college hoops have and always will be there.

As for Las Vegas (my favorite vacation spot):

- the TV market is very small. although nobody watches games anymore on TV, as the playoff ratings indicated

- they have no NHL-sized arena, just one-ended halls in the Orleans and MGM and the can't-fit-a-full-size-rink Thomas & Mack Center

- most workers work nights, when the games take place

- even with all the labor unions, most workers aren't making enough to comfortably fit NHL prices into their budgets

- the entertainment dollar is stretched very thinly in that town

- visitors will want to spend their money on shows, buffets, adult entertainment, gaming

- transient fan base

I'd love to see a team there and see the map balanced a little more. I don't think an NHL team would be profitable there, too many wild cards. If I had the cash to invest, I'd be doing it in something less risky.

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I can't believe anyone is lumping the XFL into a serious conversation.

The only pro sport that has maintained a long stay in Las Vegas is minor league baseball (the Stars and then the 51s). UNLV college hoops have and always will be there.

As for Las Vegas (my favorite vacation spot):

- the TV market is very small. although nobody watches games anymore on TV, as the playoff ratings indicated

- they have no NHL-sized arena, just one-ended halls in the Orleans and MGM and the can't-fit-a-full-size-rink Thomas & Mack Center

- most workers work nights, when the games take place

- even with all the labor unions, most workers aren't making enough to comfortably fit NHL prices into their budgets

- the entertainment dollar is stretched very thinly in that town

- visitors will want to spend their money on shows, buffets, adult entertainment, gaming

- transient fan base

I'd love to see a team there and see the map balanced a little more. I don't think an NHL team would be profitable there, too many wild cards. If I had the cash to invest, I'd be doing it in something less risky.

Though they are a somewhat recent team, the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL have drawn pretty well in that area.

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Here is my take:

As for Las Vegas (my favorite vacation spot):

- the TV market is very small. although nobody watches games anymore on TV, as the playoff ratings indicated

TV IS A LOSS LEADER UNTIL THE NHL FULLY EMBRACES HDTV- HOCKEY LOOKS AMAZING ON IT AND HOCKEY WILL DO NOTHING RATINGS WISE IN THE US UNLESS IT FULLY GOES TO HD.

- they have no NHL-sized arena, just one-ended halls in the Orleans and MGM and the can't-fit-a-full-size-rink Thomas & Mack Center

THIS IS TRUE, AN ARENA WOULD HAVE TO BE BUILT BEFORE A TEAM MOVES IN.

- most workers work nights, when the games take place

I THINK IN VEGAS, THE PRIMARY AUDIENCE WOULD BE TOURISTS. I THINK A LOT OF HOCKEY FANS WOULD DECRY THIS AS LACK OF A FAN BASE BUT I KNOW A LOT OF HOCKEY FANS WHO TRAVEL TO VEGAS OFTEN AND WHO WOULD ATTEND GAMES. IF PEOPLE GO TO SEE CELIENE DION, WHY NOT HOCKEY?

- even with all the labor unions, most workers aren't making enough to comfortably fit NHL prices into their budgets

AGAIN, I DON'T THINK THE SPORT SHOULD BE MARKETED TO BLUE COLLAR WORKERS TO SUCCEED IN VEGAS

- the entertainment dollar is stretched very thinly in that town

I AM SURE THAT IS THE CASE

- visitors will want to spend their money on shows, buffets, adult entertainment, gaming

WHY NOT HOCKEY? A PRO SPORT IN A TOWN WITH TONS OF SPORTSBOOKS.

- transient fan base

AS I STATED EARLIER, I DON'T THINK THIS IS A PROBLEM. I THINK AN INFLUX OF PEOPLE WOULD BE A GOOD FAN BASE FOR THE TEAM.

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