pfim wrote:Hartford has a metro population of a little over a million. By comparison, Pittsburgh has 2.2 million in the metro area. Springfield might add another 150k.
Hartford's metro population is 1.3 miilion as of 2004. Springfield, located just 20 miles to the north, has a metro population of 600,000.
Hartford/Springfield Metro = 1.9 million
And that 1.9 million is not even considering New Haven (35 miles south of Hartford) , with a metro population over 600,000 as well. As a matter of fact, the Hartford TV market is called "Hartford/New Haven" and is ranked the 28th largest TV market in the US. Pittsburgh, for example, isn't much higher, at #22.
Also, metro Hartford is the 6th wealthiest metro in the entire nation ($52,000 median household income), and as I'm sure many of you already know, the state of Connecticut ranks 1st by a large margin. The people are here, and they are some of the richest people in the country. For comparison, the Pittsburgh metro ranks at #153 for median household income at $37,000.
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthr ... ord+income
The problem with the Whalers was that they were in Hartford for 25 years (18 years in the NHL) and only had 3 winning seasons. As much as we loved the Whale, they were the worst team in the history of the NHL. That's what caused attendance numbers to hover around 12,000 per game.
Finally, someone talked about Hartford being a "depressed: area, much like Pittsburgh. There is some truth to that - Hartford has suffered greatly over the last 40+ years since everyone packed their bags and left for the suburbs. However, consider this, the Pittsburgh metro is actually losing population while Hartford metro is gaining. Sure, we aren't gaining nearly as many people as the Sun Belt cities, but neither is any city in the north.
However, within the last couple years a major revitalization effort has taken over downtown Hartford. We've got new, expenseive condo's poppping up all over downtown. As a matter of fact, Mr. Gottesdiener is just now putting the finishing touches on the tallest apartment tower in New England. To give you guys an idea, the only cities with a taller apartment building in the Northeast are New York and Philly. Why would their be these developments if the city was so stagnant? The answer is - it isn't anymore. People want to move back into Hartford, and the new construction is proof of that. Hartford still has along way to go, but it's nothing like it was 5 or 10 years ago. New apartments/condos/restaurants/shopping are under construction all over the city. Heck, ESPN has a plan to open up some sort of attraction in downtown Hartford over the next year or two. ESPN feels Hartford is coming back too, otherwise they wouldn't be investing their own money in the city. People are moving back to the downtown area and getting excited about the future. That is why Hartford is now trying to get an NHL or NBA team, because we are on the upswing and the sky is the limit.
As far as the person who made the comment about "uCon" football, well you obviously have issues with UConn if you are calling them "uCon". Don't let your personal issues blind you to what has become an incredibly successful stadium. You are right about one thing - 5 years ago there was some bickering and protesting from residents because they did not want to foot the bill for the stadium, but today everyone is extremely happy it was built. Uconn games are all sellouts (and UConn isn't even a good team yet!) The stadium turned out to be a great deal - the US Men's National Soccer team is coming back in a month to play their second match in as many years at the stadium. In other words, it's been a huge success. Calling the stadium a "fiasco" is completely misguided and couldn't be farther from the truth.
I have no negative feelings towards Pittsburgh, in fact, I'm feel sad if you guys lost the Pens because I would hate to "steal" a team away from a city that deserves a team. But if you guys don't get your stadium deal done, then I'd be happy to take the Pens. In all honestly, as much as I'd love to have a hockey team back in Hartford, I'd rather see the Pens stay in Pittsburgh and instead get a team from one of the southern markerts like Nashville, Atlanta, Florida, or dare I say...Carolina.