Saturday, May 09, 2009

Oh noes!

The Thrashers are moving to Hamilton! As are the Panthers, 'Yotes, Lightning, Canes, Sharks, Ducks, and every other weird market team. Sorry - I laughed when I read that article. Hard.

Atlanta's a big market. A big and very FICKLE market. Anyone familiar with Atlanta sports knows that people only show enthusiasm when the product on the field, court, or ice is winning. The Hawks are playing well, so everyone here's a basketball fan. When they were horrible a couple of years ago, you couldn't give tickets away. I was at a Braves/Cardinals game a few weeks ago, and less than half the stadium was full - and half of that were Cards fans like me. The Falcons only started to sell tickets last season.

Oh no, are the Braves going to move, too?

The Thrashers had several sell-outs the season they made the playoffs, and both of the playoff games sold out as well. There are hockey fans here, but they only show up when the team wins. The last game of the season this year was a sell-out, and attendance improved the 2nd half of the year because the team started playing better. This isn't a market who will support a team through good and bad and average times. The success of a franchise in Atlanta depends upon the product on ice, and that depends on competent ownership who are more concerned about running a team than they are about fighting in court.

Some Canadian/Northern US fans think that the Southeastern Division's worthless. Which would explain why there are two SE teams in the semi-finals right now, 2 of the last 4 Cups were won by Southeast teams, and the last time a team from the NE won it it was NJ Devils in '03. Geographic location has nothing to do with the on-ice success of a product. If that were true, why did the last Canadian team win it in 1993? Ownership, drafting, cultivation of prospects and running a franchise correctly leads to success.

Wait... Tampa Bay's not in Canada? Tell me more.

I wish that people would stop trying to turn this discussion into Where in North America is Carmen Sandiego. The Leafs have been average for the past 10 years. Oh noes! It's all because they're in Toronto! Move them to a different city and then they're going to be WONDERFUL. Wonder why we don't hear that argument... when a traditional market city's team is horrible, we hear the blame being placed in the right spots. When a non-traditional market team has troubles, it's all the location and fans' fault. Use some common sense.


Jared in Tallahassee said...


Mortimer Peacock said...


vancitycanuck said...

I don't ever think it is the cities or the fans of the teams' fault. The 'Canadian' fans, especially that of S. Ontario feel that the demand for a team is there, but the NHL has been ignoring the demand for the product in their area. Until the League actually presents understandable reasons as to why it would not be beneficial for putting a team in S. Ontario, the Canadian media and fans will continue to want a team. The stories written about the sunbelt teams not being fan enough are weak and give a bad name to NHL fans in general.

Laura said...

I totally agree, VC. I don't understand Winnipeg and Quebec not being able to find the $ backing for the teams, because the fans were all over the place. Hamilton has the dough and the fans, and I don't mind them getting a team - if the league expands again, Hamilton should be at the top of the list if Toronto and Buffalo'd allow it.

But I don't want them to get an existing team - you look at people in Winnipeg, Quebec City, and even Hartford still and it's sad. I have the Blues, but I still love the underdog Thrashers, and they need to stay put.

Thank you for sympathizing... talk to some of your provincial neighbors for us, eh? :D

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