Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Post by mlindr.. » Thu, 05 Mar 1992 21:22:22


So the Whalers are in trouble? Big deal. Any American NHL city with a
population of less than 1 million *AND* located on the overcrowded Atlantic
coast had better come up with a good explanation why it has a team. Love for
the game of hockey? Although the Whalers usually have done OK at the gate, you
have to ask yourself why the only major sports team in Hartford struggles to
attract even 10000 spectators these days. Sure, the team has the third-worst
record in the league so far but they've still made the playoffs five years in
a row or so. Look at the Quebec Nordiques, they're still selling out.
Is Hartford in the league because the NHL wants to promote junior hockey in New
England? If this is the case, the policy has failed miserably. Last season,
only four Connecticut natives were in the NHL (including only one star -
Craig Janney). There are more Connecticut-born players in the NBA than in the
NHL, despite the fact it is easier to make it in hockey because of the smaller
talent pool available. And the Whalers have been in Hartford since 1975!
---
The NHL shouldn't try to prevent the Whalers from moving if the current
ownership wants to do so. There is at least a dozen more interesting markets
than Harford in the US and Canada currently without a team.

MARCU$

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
. . . Fififinlandssvensk


Computer Science
Abo Akademi University
Finland

 
 
 

Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Post by James J. Muraws » Fri, 06 Mar 1992 03:01:04

On 04-Mar-92 in Do We Really *NEED* Hartfor..

Quote:

>So the Whalers are in trouble? Big deal. Any American NHL city with a
>population of less than 1 million *AND* located on the overcrowded Atlantic
>coast had better come up with a good explanation why it has a team. Love for
>the game of hockey? Although the Whalers usually have done OK at the
gate, you
>have to ask yourself why the only major sports team in Hartford struggles to
>attract even 10000 spectators these days. Sure, the team has the third-worst
>record in the league so far but they've still made the playoffs five years in
>a row or so. Look at the Quebec Nordiques, they're still selling out.
>Is Hartford in the league because the NHL wants to promote junior
hockey in New
>England? If this is the case, the policy has failed miserably. Last season,
>only four Connecticut natives were in the NHL (including only one star -
>Craig Janney). There are more Connecticut-born players in the NBA than in the
>NHL, despite the fact it is easier to make it in hockey because of the smaller
>talent pool available. And the Whalers have been in Hartford since 1975!

As someone who was born and raised 20 miles outside of Hartford (came to the
Pittsburgh area in 1980), and who generally makes 3-4 trips to Connecticut
each year to visit family, I can say that there are tons of Whaler fans in
Connecticut.  Sure, the Whalers have made the playoffs for several years,
but they don't make it past the first round, and they're pretty mediocre
during the regular season.  That may be one reason that the attendance is down
right now.  But, the primary reason that the attendance is down right now
is that the recession is killing Connecticut's economy.  The fans are just
not spending their money on game tickets - they'll just sit at home and watch
Whaler home games on SportsChannel New England.  Other factors to consider:
Until last July, Connecticut never had a state income tax.  Now, all the
workers in Connecticut have got to pay the state income tax when they were
used to having the extra money (along with the income tax initiation, the
state sales tax was lowered from 8% to, I believe, 6%).

Quote:
>The NHL shouldn't try to prevent the Whalers from moving if the current
>ownership wants to do so. There is at least a dozen more interesting markets
>than Harford in the US and Canada currently without a team.

Hartford is in the NHL (as one of the four former WHA teams currently in
the NHL) because of Howard Baldwin's efforts.  Perhaps if Hamilton had
a franchise in the WHA, it would have been easier for them to get into the
NHL.

====================================================================
    Jim Murawski
    Sr. Data Base Analyst               (412) 268-2650  [office]
    Administrative Systems              (412) 268-6868  [fax]

    4910 Forbes Avenue                  Office: UCC 155
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890

 
 
 

Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Post by Frederick A. Fur » Fri, 06 Mar 1992 14:55:35

Quote:

>So the Whalers are in trouble? Big deal. Any American NHL city with a
>population of less than 1 million *AND* located on the overcrowded Atlantic
>coast had better come up with a good explanation why it has a team. Love for
>the game of hockey? Although the Whalers usually have done OK at the gate, you

Hate to be a wise guy, but don't underestimate this town.  It boasts a metro-politan population of 1,085,837, according to the 1990 census.  That' pretty big.

Quote:
>have to ask yourself why the only major sports team in Hartford struggles to
>attract even 10000 spectators these days. Sure, the team has the third-worst

New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the union, and with NYC
just accross the river, the Devi aren't doing much better.

Quote:
>The NHL shouldn't try to prevent the Whalers from moving if the current
>ownership wants to do so. There is at least a dozen more interesting markets
>than Harford in the US and Canada currently without a team.

I certainly won't argue on this one.  There are indeed lots of other
markets out there that might be better.

Are there other cities in Canada that could handle a team?  Aren't the
Jets having attendance problems too?

Fred

 
 
 

Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Post by David A. Ondz » Fri, 06 Mar 1992 18:03:24

        Of course we need Hartford in the NHL, because this is the only
way I get tickets to a Bruins game. I just love going to Hartford
and seeing the Bruins on thier Home-away-from-home ice.

 
 
 

Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Post by Paul Andrew Platos » Sat, 07 Mar 1992 01:49:04

Quote:
>So the Whalers are in trouble? Big deal. Any American NHL city with a
>population of less than 1 million *AND* located on the overcrowded Atlantic
>coast had better come up with a good explanation why it has a team. Love for

Actually, Hatford has a population of over 1 mil.  Also, there is a core
of fans (about 10,500) that go to every game.  Obviously, our Finnish
friend has no idea of the state of the Connecticut economy.  We simply
can not afford our season tickets.  I go to as many games as I can
afford, the rest, I watch on Sports Channel.

The Whalers have lost their rapport with the community.  Hartford is a
very tight city, and the Whalers, in the days of "Capt'n Ron" Francis,
were very active with charities, and special interest groups.  The
players liked us, we liked them - even during the miserable 82-83
season.  This chemistry is gone now, probably because of all the trades,
and it will take awhile for it to build back up.

Quote:
>The NHL shouldn't try to prevent the Whalers from moving if the current
>ownership wants to do so. There is at least a dozen more interesting markets
>than Harford in the US and Canada currently without a team.

There is no intention to move the Whalers, according to owner Rich
Gordon, and John Ziegler.  Financially, the Whalers as doing fine.
Their budget and assets are ranked 12th in the league, not bad for a
small city.  The problem, is that Colonial Realty, another failed
Connecticut business, has falsified some ownership claims, and owes a
large chunk of money to the team.

Yes, Harford is the probably the smallest market in the league, but it
has had no trouble supporting the NHL.  John Ziegler has always had a
soft spot in his heart for Hartford.  Don't underestimate the devotion
or numbers of fans in Connecticut, they are there - just hibernating in
these times of troubles.

Lastly, having Hartford in the NHL has given birth to probably the
hottest rivalry in the league - Boston - Hartford.  If you've ever been
in the Civic Center during the playoffs, you know what I mean.

===Paul Platosh
GO WHALERS!!!!!!!

 
 
 

Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Post by Evan Leibovit » Sun, 08 Mar 1992 00:35:58



Quote:
>>The NHL shouldn't try to prevent the Whalers from moving if the current
>>ownership wants to do so. There is at least a dozen more interesting markets
>>than Harford in the US and Canada currently without a team.

>I certainly won't argue on this one.  There are indeed lots of other
>markets out there that might be better.

>Are there other cities in Canada that could handle a team?

It continues to amaze me that Hamilton doeesn't have a team.

The city has a beautiful stadium (Copps). The population could certainly
support it.  It will certainly suffer through a mediocre team :-).

Hell knows the Leafs could use some local competition, I don't know if
there's been a Toronto season ticket available on the open market during
my lifetime.

Why doesn't Hamilton have a team? How did Ottawa deserve one more?

The big opposition used to be Leafs owner Harold Ballard. Now that he's
gone, I imagine, the biggest problems come from the Sabres. I believe
Hamilton is close enough to Buffalo to overlap its "territory".

Are there that many people that cross the border to Buffalo to watch
hockey? Would a team in Hamilton really cause a drop in revenue for the
Sabres? Couldn't a Hamilton team compensate Buffalo the way the Devils
compensated the NY and Philly teams?

What are the other possible obstacles?

--
   Evan Leibovitch, Sound Software, located in beautiful Brampton, Ontario

              If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?

 
 
 

Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Post by mlindr.. » Tue, 10 Mar 1992 21:36:39

Quote:



>>>The NHL shouldn't try to prevent the Whalers from moving if the current
>>>ownership wants to do so. There is at least a dozen more interesting markets
>>>than Harford in the US and Canada currently without a team.

>>I certainly won't argue on this one.  There are indeed lots of other
>>markets out there that might be better.

>>Are there other cities in Canada that could handle a team?

> It continues to amaze me that Hamilton doeesn't have a team.

> The city has a beautiful stadium (Copps). The population could certainly
> support it.  It will certainly suffer through a mediocre team :-).

Sadly, Hamilton is one of only a few cities in North America that *NEVER* will
have a team, which is exactly the way it should be. The reason is of course
that the Southern Ontario market is too saturated already. Hamilton's only 100km
from Buffalo and 80km from Toronto. Having three teams in NYC/NJ is bad enough,
why do we want to create a similar overcrowded situation by adding Hamilton.
They've already got two teams within commuting distance (almost anyway).

Quote:
> Why doesn't Hamilton have a team? How did Ottawa deserve one more?

Because the Senators' ownership group is a bunch of incompetent idiots who are
in this league only because they were stupid enough to promise to come up with
the $50 million admission fee demanded by the NHL. There's no way a hockey
team is worth that much as long as the league doesn't have a NBA/NFL-size TV
contract. It is obvious that the Tampa Bay & Ottawa bids were the worst among
the applicants. Neither group has anything - no arena, no money (despite their
promises), no competent people in their respective organizations... In fact,
Phil Esposito, George Steinbrenner, Paul Anka (no wait - isn't he about to
leave the Ottawa group?) & Co. will fit right in among the other carpetbaggers
running the National Hockey League.
---
As far as expansion sites are concerned, I've always felt the NHL should add
teams in areas where they a) don't have hockey but b) either care about the
sport or *MIGHT* care if they had a team. Having a decent arena from Day One
might also help as long as almost all revenue comes from the box office (
the Senators will lose $10 million annually every year they have to play in
their current 10000-seater arena). What cities fit that description?
SEATTLE and MILWAUKEE should have been the NHL's 23rd and 24th franchises.
Milwaukee already has a an excellent building and strong hockey interest while
Seattle could play at the 20000-seater Tacoma Dome in nearby Tacoma until their
new arena is ready. Both cities have strong junior programs, a big plus because
the league can't rely on getting more players from Canada, Europe, Minnesota
and Massachusetts forever. Areas like the Pac. Northwest and Ohio/Indiana have
to produce more NHLers than they've done so far.

Other leading candidates include:
CLEVELAND (only cold-weather city w. pop. over 3 million without team. A new
           arena would help a lot. Why did the Barons fail anyway?)
INDIANAPOLIS (Full-size arena, solid fan support for other sports and WHA
              Racers)
CINCINNATI (Less crowded [=no NBA team] than Cleveland, although the building is
            on the small side (only 16000 seats))
DENVER     (A shame the Rockies had to move. This is another cold-weather city
            the NHL should put a franchise in)
---
HOUSTON   (Hockey worked well here in the 1970s. Texas and the NHL need a team
           - either here or in DALLAS)
MIAMI     (Would perhaps have been a better choice than Tampa after all,
           although the Miami Arena (15000) is too small for hockey)
ATLANTA   (The Flames were victims of poor ownership, forced to move
           although avg.attendance never dropped below 10000. Most former
           Flames (Tom Lysiak, Eric Wail, Keith McCreary, Curt Bennett) claim
           it was a mistake to abandon the South. A new arena is a must.)
---
SASKATOON  (Only even remotely serious Canadian contender left. No province,
            state or country have more many NHL players per capita than
            Saskatchewan. That, plus the fact that they are the only major
            province left without a team, is why the Whalers or the Devils
            should end up there if things don't improve. Oh, one minor problem.
            Their arena seats 5000 for hockey.)

Quote:
> --
>    Evan Leibovitch, Sound Software, located in beautiful Brampton, Ontario

>               If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?

MARCU$
 
 
 

Do We Really *NEED* Hartford in the NHL?

Post by James Johannesson,E1 Admin,x6763,00000 » Wed, 11 Mar 1992 06:43:38

Quote:
> SASKATOON  (Only even remotely serious Canadian contender left. No province,
>             state or country have more many NHL players per capita than
>             Saskatchewan. That, plus the fact that they are the only major
>             province left without a team, is why the Whalers or the Devils
>             should end up there if things don't improve. Oh, one minor problem.
>             Their arena seats 5000 for hockey.)

In case most of you have missed out on Saskatoon, we now have Saskatchewan
Place which currently holds 11,500 and expandible to 16,000. This facility
has had the Canada Cup this year, World Junior Championships last year
and a multitude of hockey through here (almost too much). Though I
would love to see a hockey team here (we almost had the Blues and god
could you imagine Brett Hull? :-) I can't see it happening for many
years.. the reasons why are:

1.) Weak Market... Saskatchewan would have to guarrentee 10,000 season tickets
to even get close to getting the money they would need. I could see that
happening, but I wouldn't count on it. I for one would get tickets though :-)

2.) Travel costs are excessive.. we have the worst connections in all of
Canada to the States.

3.) Facility is undersized - you need a 20,000 seat arena these days.

4.) Doesn't improve the US TV market. Who from the States even knows how
to say Saskatchewan (sorry -- you have to be a Saskatchewanian to appreciate
this) or even know where it is. (As an aside... I was in Texas over
Christmas and someone asked about my accent.. said I was from Saskatchewan
and they asked if that was another State. :-) :-) Anyways, and what about a
team name.. Saskatchewan ______... (personally I like Ice -- try and live up
here for a year and you will know what I mean :-)

5.) It would kill minor hockey in Saskatoon.. Say good-bye to the Saskatoon
Blades (part of the WHL). There is not enough money to pay for both. As
an aside, the Saskatchewan Roughriders would suffer too as the Saskatoon
people wouldn't be so apt to have Rider season tickets instead opting for
NHL tickets. An example of this is in Calgary where their WHL team folded
after the Flames got there.

Anyways, there is my thoughts on expansion.. if Hartford does go down..
well.. I wouldn't mind it here.. but god.. to cheer for them.. that's
the question.

Later...
James
--
James Johannesson                    |  Univeristy of Saskatchewan
Programmer (Systems)                 |  Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Registrar's Office                   |  CANADA (brrrrrrrr :-)