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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 12:51 AM
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Halifax NHL Team

Quebec, Halifax and Hamilton among cities favoured for NHL team: poll


HALIFAX - There's no denying Halifax has loyal hockey fans.

After all, the city is home to one of the most famous players in the world - Sidney Crosby - and other

But, people are once again wondering if Halifax is hockey-mad enough to host an NHL team.

A recent poll by Forum Research asked which Canadian city should be the next to get a franchise: While Quebec City - formerly the home of the Nordiques - came in first, Halifax tied with Hamilton as the second pick.


Read more on Global News: http://www.globalmaritimes.com/hocke...225/story.html
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 1:05 AM
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It's just a poll. One problem with Halifax is that the Metro Centre is too small.

I do think however that Halifax is probably pretty close to a city like Winnipeg as far as the potential of the market. Halifax itself is somewhat smaller than Winnipeg but an NHL team there would appeal to hockey fans in other parts of the region.
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 1:13 AM
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Considering the cost of tickets for each game, I would be surprised if Haligonians (and a few thousand other Maritimers) could afford to go 41 games a season. A CFL team would be more financially viable in my opinion.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 1:31 AM
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I do think however that Halifax is probably pretty close to a city like Winnipeg as far as the potential of the market. Halifax itself is somewhat smaller than Winnipeg but an NHL team there would appeal to hockey fans in other parts of the region.
I agree with you there. Manitoba is 1.25 million and the Maritimes is 1.85 Million.



Take out Northern and Western New Brunswick and you still have nearly the same population.

Even just Mainland Nova Scotia, Moncton area & P.E.I. is about 1.1 million.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tabl...emo02a-eng.htm
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 2:03 AM
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You can't just add up the population of part of NB, PEI and mainland NS and declare that the population that could support a NHL or CFL team. Out-of-towners do help to boost attendance, but sports teams really live and die based on their own local population. More than an hour away is probably about the limit for the average spectator. With that in mind, it's worth noting that Winnipeg's metro area has just under 750,000 whereas we're somewhere just over 400,000. A CFL team might be able to make a go of it, but besides the outlier that is Saskatchewan, we would be the smallest market in the league. For an NHL team, there is no way that 400,000 is going to cut it. It's unfortunate, but it's the truth.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 2:10 AM
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You can't just add up the population of part of NB, PEI and mainland NS and declare that the population that could support a NHL or CFL team. Out-of-towners do help to boost attendance, but sports teams really live and die based on their own local population. More than an hour away is probably about the limit for the average spectator. With that in mind, it's worth noting that Winnipeg's metro area has just under 750,000 whereas we're somewhere just over 400,000. A CFL team might be able to make a go of it, but besides the outlier that is Saskatchewan, we would be the smallest market in the league. For an NHL team, there is no way that 400,000 is going to cut it. It's unfortunate, but it's the truth.
There is atleast 500,000 within an approximate hour or so of Halifax probably closer to 600,000. Not that far fetched. I'm pretty sure Winnipeg still would have sold all its season tickets with 600,000 people.
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 2:24 AM
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More than an hour away is probably about the limit for the average spectator.
If you go by this then actually the Winnipeg and Halifax markets are a bit closer in size than the CMA populations would suggest. I don't think there are many towns around the outskirts of Winnipeg, but I do think people living in towns like Windsor/Kentville/Wolfville, Lunenburg/Mahone Bay/Chester and Truro would make the trip down for an NHL game. I also think that you could get the rest of Atlantic Canada to identify with a team located in Halifax that focuses on the region -- you'd therefore have the regional population of around 2 million people watching TV and buying merchandise, plus the large population of expats.

The real point is that if Winnipeg has a team, Halifax is not actually that far off from being a viable city. It's easy to imagine things going the right way over the next 10-20 years. It would be a very different story if the NHL were limited to cities like Toronto or Montreal.
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 2:30 AM
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Not gonna happen anytime soon but the potential is there, once a new arena and more of a population with money is in place I could see this happening in the next 30 years or so

if it did Id gladly give Moncton the CFL team but until then that would be nice to have and something Halifax could support no problem with the right infrastructure
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 3:04 AM
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take as many teams as you like

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Originally Posted by -Harlington- View Post
Not gonna happen anytime soon but the potential is there, once a new arena and more of a population with money is in place I could see this happening in the next 30 years or so

if it did Id gladly give Moncton the CFL team but until then that would be nice to have and something Halifax could support no problem with the right infrastructure
Canadians love hockey on average a lot more than Americans. Attendance would probably be higher in Canada than a USA based team, but not sure how the tv contracts pay in Canada, since all the Canadian markets (unless the Maple Leafs allow a second GTA team) without an NHL team are much smaller than the USA city markets that they would probably have to relocate from.

Personally I think that Quebec City or a city in Ontario (Markham, Hamilton, or London, etc.) would make sense first for a NHL team.

Now you just need to find a rich owner who is willing to relocate the team for a better deal, or find an owner that is willing to sell for the a price that makes moving the team still make sense.

The relocation talk always involves the Phoenix Coyotes, but they owe so much on the sports complex debt, that I doubt they would let the team go without a big fight. So what team do you think would move to Canada, or would the league have to award a new franchise?
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 3:22 AM
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if it did Id gladly give Moncton the CFL team but until then that would be nice to have and something Halifax could support no problem with the right infrastructure
I'd take that deal!
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 5:26 PM
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Wasn't it only ten or fifteen years ago that every NHL market in Canada outside of Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal was considered iffy? Edmonton's owner is currently whining about how difficult it is to make money unless they get a new (taxpayer funded) arena. Some of it's maneuvering and selling the project for sure, but Edmonton is a lot bigger than Halifax.

What does Halifax really offer the NHL? No more eyes on TV, we're already watching HNIC. Not really a big corporate center. A modest population base, but there's bigger alternatives in Canada: Quebec, Toronto v.2, or Hamilton. Why would the NHL board of governors even consider allowing a franchise here? Yeah there's more than enough teams in trouble in the States, but there's also a number of locations that offer the league what they really want: more potential American TV viewers on national and regional broadcasts. Look at how long they are willing to hold out on troubled franchises like the Phoenix Coyotes. Teams in the states have way more growth potential than Canadian markets. Seattle, Portland, Kansas City, Las Vegas are all way more likely alternatives to Halifax. I see Winnipeg as an outlier: a very wealthy owner, a new venue, and a safe drop for a severely struggling franchise. Still, probably not the first choice of the NHL.

We can spend all day debating how many people live within an hour, or how many corporate sponsors there might be, or how big an arena we might need, or how many season tickets we could sell. In the end though, the big question is what does the NHL get? Nothing: a borderline (at best) market, and even worse the small number of fans we bring to the table are probably already watching NHL hockey. And they'll continue to watch hockey and buy merchandise without a team in Halifax. The NHL cringes every time a Canadian team goes deep into the playoffs, so why keep adding Canadian teams if you can help it. It doesn't help sell the game in the States, and passion or no passion that is where there's big money.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 6:02 PM
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I'd say you're probably right on all counts.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 6:24 PM
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Winnipeg is the smallest market in the league with the highest ticket prices and yet this still happened:

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
Season ticket sales began June 1, 2011, with Manitoba Moose season ticket holders having priority. The team sought to sell 13,000 season tickets in an effort to prove its viability. Within the first three and a half hours the new franchise sold 1,870 packages to Moose season ticket holders. The number of season tickets sold jumped to 4,170 on June 2 and 7,158 on June 3. Season tickets opened to the general public on June 4 and sold out in just 17 minutes. Once the 'Drive to 13,000' was completed, TNSE started a season ticket waiting list, which was shut down after 8,000 people had signed up in two hours.
We sold out the Metro Centre during the playoffs. 11,000 tickets in 20 mins. And yes they are cheaper than the NHL. But people are crazy for their NHL teams in Halifax.
http://metronews.ca/voices/the-q-fil...-than-an-hour/

The NHL can have a half empty arena in the States or a jam packed one in Canada. Hockey will never be any bigger than it already is in the southern states.

Just to clarify that no one is predicting Halifax is getting a team tomorrow, however in a decade or two when the Metro Centre needs replacement I guarantee Halifax will be a contender. Problem we have here is we keep putting the "NO" in Nova Scotia instead believing anything is possible. It's time stop the negativity train and get on board the Halifax BOOM train.

I always thought the next step for a city after airport bus service was an NHL team...
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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 6:29 PM
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Why hasn't Halifax been able to get the AHL back?
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  #15  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 6:33 PM
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Why hasn't Halifax been able to get the AHL back?
We don't want that garbage. CHL has elite players, AHL = leftovers. No offense to St. John's but the CHL is far more exciting than the AHL.

I've been to Halifax Citadel's and Nova Scotia Oiler's games. The Mooseheads are far more exciting.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 6:48 PM
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I think the same arguments were made against Winnipeg a couple of years ago. It was an outlier, and now maybe Quebec City will also get a team. The fact is that there is a lot of money to be made in both of those markets.

I don't know the situation with Edmonton, but pro sports teams have turned extortion into an art form -- they constantly complain and threaten to leave, and many municipalities fall over themselves to provide gold-plated venues and sweetheart deals. That's not a good thing but it's how the industry works.

There have been plans from TCL to rebuild the Metro Centre and they could very easily aim for an MTS Centre-level venue.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 7:23 PM
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Winnipeg is the smallest market in the league with the highest ticket prices and yet this still happened:
Why do you think they are selling nothing but season tickets in Winnipeg? Could it be they are worried about the walk-up market not being strong enough, especially if the team struggles? They have no choice but having high prices, they are a tiny market with a small arena and a limited corporate base. It's not just about selling tickets, it's about selling luxury boxes and sponsorship.

The NHL will go to big lengths to make things work in the States, if not in the south then elsewhere. For the first time in a while they have some momentum: Crosby and the rebirth of the Penguins. Blackhawks and Bruins are back. LA with a cup win. Games are back on national TV. The Winter Classic is a modest success. It's not the NFL, or MLB, not even as big as the NBA, but revenue is up and TV ratings are up. I agree there are big problems with four or five franchises, but why jeopardize hard won gains in the States by moving franchises to small Canadian markets? Especially when there are other potential markets in the states to land those struggling teams, or potential solutions that don't involve relocation.

The NHL is a club, the goal is to make money, lots of money. I don't even think it's about whether an individual market can generate a profit (maybe Winnipeg can) but how much revenue are they bringing into the league as a whole. Small Canadian markets don't bring many fans, and they certainly don't bring new many new fans, and they bring zero fans that watch on American networks. That all means limited new revenue for the NHL. We're only good as a dumping ground for the broken beyond repair teams the NHL can't find another home for.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 7:46 PM
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Why do you think they are selling nothing but season tickets in Winnipeg? Could it be they are worried about the walk-up market not being strong enough, especially if the team struggles?
You've been brainwashed by the PRO USA Bettman. What team doesn't want a large number of season ticket holders.

Bettman admitted he was shocked when the season tickets sold out in 17 mins to the public.

Soccer's popular in Europe, Football is big in the USA, and Hockey is Canada's game. If you want to make money go where the fans are and stop listening to Bettman. Winnipeg is a prime example of where the NHL should be.
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2012, 9:08 PM
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You've been brainwashed by the PRO USA Bettman.
I despise Bettman, but he has bosses. If the NHL Board of Governors (team owners) did not like where Bettman was taking the league he would be out of a job. The owners think they can make more money in the States, even if they are a niche product. The league is now making $200 million dollars a year from the NBC deal. Of course they're excited and greedy for more. And since hockey is very regionally driven in the States they need teams to make that work. When their team is gone most Americans (and a lot of Canadians) stop watching. No American teams on TV means no American viewers. You can complain about that but that's how it works.

And don't just blame the American owners. MLSE was none too happy about the prospect of a team in Hamilton, judging by the Balsille debacle. And they won't say it publicly but the Habs probably aren't jumping for joy about another team in Quebec, their prime market. Most of the Canadian owners are happy to continue the American experiment, even subsidizing teams like Phoenix, because that's where the money is.

It's simple math. America has a huge population relative to Canada. It doesn't matter how much we love hockey, we've got to be close to saturation: 7 NHL teams, three CHL leagues, university hockey. You put a team in Halifax, how many NEW fans do you gain. Not too many. Anyone interested in hockey in Canada is already cheering for an NHL, watching HNIC and TSN. Maybe a team eeks out a tiny profit, but what does that do for MLSE, the Molsons, or any of the owners in Chicago, NY, Detroit, Boston, Philly. Diddly squat.

Do I like this. Not really. It's sad when TV ratings, corporate logos, and big time sponsors seem to mean more than quality hockey and player safety. But that's where we are. It's a big business, and hockey mad or not Halifax is a small city.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2012, 1:21 AM
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Winnipeg's CMA has very nearly double Halifax CMA's population. You can't count on thousands of people driving from Fredericton, Sydney and Moncton for all regular season games. I don't think this is in any way viable.
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