Henry Hank wrote:Not pointing any fingers specifically because I don't know where people in this thread stand, but what gets me the most is when people complain about the NHL not being in "hockey cities" but then simultaneously complain about the league not getting exposure in the US. You can't have it both ways. It's either going to be a niche sport or they're going to try to expand to unconventional locations. Phoenix, Atlanta, and Miami are huge markets. A lot of southern expansion HAS been successful. If the NHL is ever going to be big nationally in the US, it has to get rooted into the big southern markets.
This right here speaks volumes. Many people complain that hockey needs to build a fan base, gain more viewers in the US, generate more revenues, and then in the next breath, say teams in major media outlets with large population bases should be moved to cities in the middle of nowhere Canada. You can't have both.
I applaud the effort the NHL made to expand it's product. They made the league reach in to the south and west in cities like Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Phoenix, San Jose, etc.
As someone else stated, cities like Quebec City and Winnipeg don't have the corporate support established to make the franchise profitable. Sure, they'd probably sell out every game, but the big money makers, the luxury boxes, the corporate sponsorships would me minimal at best. That is what makes a franchise viable.
Also, many of the teams that are struggling with attendence are also struggling on the ice. But history has shown, outside of Nashville, when those teams are winning, the support is there, just like in Pgh. When the Pens sucked, I remember going to Mellon Arena when 10K people were there. Nashville is the only city where the franchise has been successful, but that has not translated into support.