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Scaught Posted - 05/07/2009 : 12:39:38
What areas of Ontario and other Canadian provinces would you consider "unserved" hockey markets?
31   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
JOSHUACANADA Posted - 05/27/2009 : 14:51:23
I was reading about the bankruptcy proceedings today and came across a news article which refered me to This guy has been promoting the return of the Jets to Winnipeg for 6 long years. He has lobbied the city and NHL, has been often seen on major sports TV and radio programs.

If Basillie had someone promoting Hamilton, as professionally as this guy, Basillie would already be an owner. He makes a strong case for Winnipeg as a relocation for a struggling franchise. He has stats, $$$$ and is well respected (although not always respected) for his predictions, with regards to the state of the game and the steps necessary for a team to relocate to Canada.

I read most of his posts and links dating back to 2006. Most if not all of what he has predicted relates to the current state of the NHL.
hockster Posted - 05/25/2009 : 09:19:42
I would say that there is no way they could have the fan base to go to Saskatchewan or northern BC
The only way Bettman will move the team is if it is to somewhere where it will make the NHL money. And the chances of him moving it are already slim.
The only place it will go is Ontario or possibly Winnepeg but the chances of him sending it to an already failed market is slim.

Iginla for 2010 team captain.
Flames for cup...eventually.
Guest4094 Posted - 05/24/2009 : 16:00:53
leaf Game Tickets reds middle of arena 150 ea
parking 35 to 40
beer 12
one and half hour drive(takes 3 sometimes) gas 20
ability to watch nhl calibre team (depends on who leafs are playing but at best 50 %) not good.

Unserved no well sevred well? If you considered getting mugged to watch a hockey game than yes we are well served.
And 8hr drive are you kidding so peggers could get on plane be in toronto 3 to 4hrs so they must be well served. I have close to 12 million people near me within a 2hr drive more than 1/3 of canadas population but one team. Ps when carolina played leafs in conf finals it was cheaper to fly to carolina and watch the game than to watch the leafs in toronto.(including your hotel)With decent seats just reds not gold or platinum. Availability of tickets is also a problem.

So approx $210 6hrs on the road after begging someone to sell you a ticket to watch the Nhl (and one of the teams is the leafs)priceless.
Oh yeah leafs charge to watch their practice.
Guest4948 Posted - 05/22/2009 : 22:47:04
Surrey BC should have a team, they could be called the Shooters or Gangsters or even Crackheads...
Porkchop73 Posted - 05/22/2009 : 22:34:59
I see your point Slozo and in that consideration it definetly makes the GTA a very strong market that is not very well served. I would agree to that whole heartedly considering the amount of hockey fans in the area. I was looking at the topic from a different angle of areas that really could get to only 1 NHL venue. Take Vancouver for instance, that is the only choice for some rabid sports fans for hundreds of miles. With the me having the alot more choice I felt better served for my NHL thirst. I would hate only having one choice of venue, like the people of the hockey hotbeds of Texas, or Nashville, or Pheonix. Would these areas be considered over served since the actual hockey fan base is low and they can't even fill the arenas on game nights?
Beans15 Posted - 05/22/2009 : 07:22:40
Slozo, I am begining to see your point and I do agree with the vast majority of what you say. I'll use my own backyard as an example.

The Oilers release groups of games in a lump. So, most often, tickets for 5-6 home games are released all on the same day. Within 2 hours of the release the tickets are sold out or the only tiks left are singles and standing room only. By the end of the day, those are gone as well. Often, during home stands with quality teams coming in, the Oilers will have a lottery to see who gets the chance to buy tickets. There is also a long waiting list (which requires a deposit to even put your name down) for season tickets.

My point, most hockey cities have the same issue as the GTA. You bring up New York as an exception. Also, I would say that some of the teams in the southern states have more available seating. But I would think that places like Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, etc are the same.

But, this is all irrelevant. The topic question is not what is consider 'poorly' served hockey markets. It's 'unserved' hockey markets. By that definition, I would consider any place without and NHL hockey team as unserved before anyplace with an NHL team. You are correct that the GTA is more poorly served compared to other NHL cities with fewer people. It's difficult and expensive to see your team play. However, a place like Winnipeg, there isn't a way to see your team at all. Same as Saskatchewan. I would conceed that BC and Alberta a better served than Sask and Man. Ultimately, Northern Ontario might be the worst, but I am not sure if there is a population concentration in that area that would support a team. But there are a ton of people in Northern Ontario that have it pretty bad. The GTA, I have little sympathy for because there is not only the Leafs, but also the Sabres that are reasonably close compared to other places in Canada and their proximity to an NHL team.

slozo Posted - 05/22/2009 : 06:11:26
No offense taken Porkchop, I definitely do appreciate your insight as well. Appreciate your words as well, thanks.

(teacher returns to class ) I do disagree with you, though. For the fans in the area of Toronto, I think we are actually one of the worst served, if not the worst. This point of view comes not from how many franchises are within a doable driving distance; it comes from the demand for tickets that the market is asking for.

If I am a New Yorker living in, say, Queens, and want to go see a hockey game on a Saturday night, and it's Friday, how good are my chances of seeing a game, and how much will it cost? Well, I would contend that I would actually have a CHOICE of two cheap options (Isles and Devils) where I could get half-decent seats online (unless maybe the Rangers are playing Jersey late in the season?). Maybe the Rangers tickets would be a bit more pricey, and depending on the opponent, it might be close to sold out at that point - but arguably, I'd have a good shot at getting a cheap seat.

New Yorkers are well served.

Now apply this Friday night 'wants a Saturday night game ticket' scenario to all the hockey markets that have NHL franchises close by . . . and you will start to see my point. Add in the extra travel costs (including time) associated with longer trips to see a game, and the opportunity cost associated with that.

In reality, the hockey franchise towns with the worst attendance are the best served, as they can always get a cheap ticket on short notice. The markets worst-served are the ones with a huge number of fans in that small area who are unable to get tickets except by buying from scalpers (very expensive), or they have to make longer travels to see a game that is essentially out of their area.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Porkchop73 Posted - 05/22/2009 : 03:57:44
Easy Slozo, you are respected here, I just wanted to give proof that the Southern Ontario market is probably the best served. Your opinion always has meaning and strong insight, do not take anything I said as a slant against that.
Guest4803 Posted - 05/21/2009 : 21:25:49
Send the jets home to winnipeg, that way the moose can head out to BC preferably Victoria, we only have a crappy ECHL team at the moment talk about an unserved hockey market.
slozo Posted - 05/21/2009 : 20:23:54
So . . . Northwest Territories is a market? Saskatchewan? Did you think that I meant any area, no matter how wide or large . . . really?

A market would be defined as a relatively small area with a large population . . . do I really have to define this so succinctly? Jeesh!

btw - pop of Ontario off the top of my head is around 12 million, GTA is around 7. Otario is half the size of Europe, GTA is about the size of a tiny country.

And Porkchop - you are used to that long drive because of necessity. And, I never said "you aren't served", because you forgot the one word - an important one - at the end - WELL. Are not served WELL.

Frankly, I find this really tiresome . . . this old teacher is leaving the classroom!

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Porkchop73 Posted - 05/21/2009 : 16:58:18
Wow Slozo, I consider my friends and myself a group of rabid sports fans and we have no problem driving 2.5 hrs to TO and catching a leafs game. Or the almost 3 hrs to Buffalo. We mostly drive the 45 min to Wings games but have drove to Ottawa and Montreal for games as well as Pittsburg, Columbus and Chicago. I have gotten to see almost every team in the NHL play at one time or another. Got to see Crosby and Ovechkin three times each this year alone. So to tell me I am not served for my NHL hockey is absurd. I don't think to many hockey fans get the same luxury.
Yes it costs more money the farther away but we can still do it if we want to. In fact we try to do a couple of overnighters a year. We have even done weekend trips to NYR, NYI, Boston, Philly, and NJ games. All driving to get there. They are about 10 hr drives but I would not do that every year.
But if I wanted to spend 45$ on a ticket to a game, i have 3 teams to chose from TO, BUF, and DET. That is still pretty lucky. At least I think so. When I lived in Alberta, I had only two choices. Flames and that other team out there, oh yeah the Oil. LOL.
Beans15 Posted - 05/21/2009 : 15:29:25
Maybe thousands was a bit much. But I would suggest there are more unserved hockey markets, or let's say more poorly served hockey markets than the poor GTA.

Population of Saskatchewan - 1 million
Population of Manitoba - 1.2 Million
Population of Atlantic Canada - 2.2 million
Population of BC (not counting the Lower Mainland) - 2.1 million
Population of Alberta (not counting Edmonton and Calgary) 1.5 million
Population of Ontaro (not including the GTA) 5-6 million (somewhat of an estimate as I do not know all the cities in the GTA area. Total pop. of Ontario is listed as 12.9 million. The TO cencus area is 5.5 million and that does not include the likes of Hamilton, London, Kitchener, St. Cathrines-Niagara)

Which one am I missing, the "Large Group" or "Rabid Sports Fans?"

And if I am cherry picking, perhaps you could be more clear. Your post does not say "cheapest" or "largest section" ticket. And if you took a second and read the print on the bottom, you would see that the values for the tickets was based on a weighted average of season tickets prices for general seating categories, determined by factoring the tickets in each price range as a percentage of the total number of seats in each stadium. I know that does not give you a specific price for the cheapest seat in the house or the price of the largest section, but it does give a good comparison across the league and a pretty good picture of what a ticket does cost.

My sage and wily adversary, I would expect a person with such strong opinions and deep knowledge to do their own homework before accusing others of cherry picking and producing poor information. I've come to expect so much more from you. I'm disappointed.
Guest0494 Posted - 05/21/2009 : 15:15:19
Wow Slozo you're an [ moderator edit ]haha.
slozo Posted - 05/21/2009 : 09:25:46
Incorrect Beans.
There are not thousands of unserved hockey markets using that logic, as my logic also included the words "large group of rabid sports fans".

Please stop cherry-picking your points of argumentation.

Also, to further cherry pick, you gave a link to a chart that only shows the AVERAGE ticket price - not the lowest one, or the ticket price for the largest section (usually the same).

Please try again, if you like.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Beans15 Posted - 05/21/2009 : 08:35:01
Hey Slozo, using that logic, there are thousands of unserved hockey markets in Canada. I wonder if those people living in places like Winnipeg, who have the luxury of 0 NHL teams in an 8 hour drive have any sympathy for those in the GTA with 8 teams in an 8 hour drive?? Or those in Halifax?? What about the people in Northern BC?? Saskatchewan?? If the criteria for an unserved hockey market is having to drive more than 2 hours to see an NHL game, then there are far more unserved hockey markets than those which are 'served.'

And $100 for a pair of tickets?? Wow, maybe in 10 or 15 years ago. Here is a link that shows the average ticket price by team as well as the average total game cost (tickets, couple of beers, a few soda's for the kids, a couple of programs, couple of hats, parking, etc). There are very few teams in the league that are $50 or less for a ticket (remember, these prices are in US). Unless......Hey, those folks in Glendale drive less than 2 hours and pay less than $50 a ticket.

slozo Posted - 05/21/2009 : 07:41:28
Porkchop - personally, I don't think any large group of rabid sportsfans should have to drive more than 2 hours to see NHL hockey. I also don't think that it fair that sports fans have to spend more than $100 total for a pair of tickets to see an NHL game. So, by these standards, no, southern Ontario is not well served at all . . . we are served a long drive across the border and back (if they don't detain you for wearing a maple leaf shirt that may look like a hemp leaf to overzealous border guards), or we are served with an exorbitant cost to see a game live. If you can even get a ticket, that is.

So - we are served, just very poorly.

Think about this: how is it that the biggest money for hockey is in Toronto (GTA), the largest concentration of fans by far, and yet the city of New York has three?!? Because I can guarantee right now, that if Toronto proper got another hockey team, their revenues (and the Leafs) would BOTH be in the top 5 in the league . . .

I'll tell you why: GREED. Plain and simple Toronto greed. Nobody likes to share money!

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Porkchop73 Posted - 05/20/2009 : 16:20:50
I have to say that the southern ontario market is very well served for NHL hockey. Where I live, there are three NHL teams within a 3hr drive, 5 teams in a 6hr drive, and 8 teams in a 8hr drive. I will name them for you. Detroit, Toronto, Buffalo, Columbus, Chicago, Ottawa, Montreal, Pittsburg. On any given night I could easily go to a Wings, Leafs, or Sabres game. An overnight trip to the others if I wanted. I would still like another team because I love watching hockey but I think hockey anywhere in Southern Ontario is served quite well.
Unserved markets? Well, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canadas East Coast. How about Seattle? I just do not think there are many more markets in the US that would support NHL hockey. They just do not care about it.
slozo Posted - 05/20/2009 : 14:51:13
Agreed - would love to see the Winnipeg Jets.

And maybe . . . the Halifax Fisher B'aihs?

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Gusteroni Posted - 05/20/2009 : 12:28:31
I'd like to see a team in Manitoba or Saskatchewan. Either way the team name Coyotes would have to change cause it just doesn't work for Winnepeg or Regina. How about the Winnepeg Jets or the Regina Roughriders?

"There are only two seasons. Hockey season and not hockey season."
slozo Posted - 05/08/2009 : 11:34:16
Wow, excellent comments and insight, Radoria.

I didn't know any of that about the corporate boxes or corporate support in Winnipeg . . . amazing how the NHL puts out press releases that seem to directly contradict this. Trust me, I'd believe an anonymous poster over Bettman anyday If what you say is all true, I think that Winnipeg would be most deserving of an NHL franchise once again.

To Scaught - sort of, I live in Newmarket, just north of Toronto and south of Barrie. So, from where you live (Oshawa/Kingston) you have two NHL teams within a somewhat reasonable driving distance - Toronto and Ottawa. I probably have two as well, Toronto and Buffalo. Just because the tickets are incredibly expensive in Toronto doesn't mean I am not served, just - not well served.

Hamiltonians are not well served, but they do have the option of going to Toronto or Buffalo, and they aren't that far away. If you mention a place like Halifax or Winnipeg - then yeah, definitely not served at all, as they would need a plane ticket to see a game.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Radoria Posted - 05/08/2009 : 08:05:56
One more point: I hope that Jim Balsillie is successful in his attempts to move the team to Hamilton, because it sets the precedent for other teams that are hemorrhaging financially to relocate, even though it looks like it's going to be quite the legal battle!
Radoria Posted - 05/08/2009 : 07:56:46
While I'm here I might as well add to the comment about the MTS Centre being too small. The arena seats over 15,000, and with some modifications could seat a bit more (for all you who have visited it I'm thinking the John Labatt Lounge could be converted to regular seating). Some American teams give away between 1,000 and 2,000 free tickets per game, with actual paid attendance being less than 10,000, but these markets are still considered viable. Winnipeg's average attendance between 1979 and 1996 was over 13,000, which is PAID attendance (remember the old arena didn't always support 15,000+; it was modified). Also good to note that the MTS Centre is the busiest arenas in North America on a yearly basis (9th I think), so the ownership group that owns the Moose and the arena do quite well. The costs of owning an NHL franchise are obviously higher, but the ownership would be in a better position than former Jets ownership to absorb losses incurred since they have other business units that are VERY profitable. Let's also remember though that an NHL franchise would also generate much more revenue than the current AHL franchise!
Radoria Posted - 05/08/2009 : 07:38:22
I would like to respond to the "not enough corporate support" comment. The MTS Centre holds 50 corporate boxes, with a waiting list of over 50 businesses. The ownership of the MTS Centre and the Manitoba Moose have gone on record as saying even though box prices would likely increase by 30 to 50%, they feel the appropriate corporate support would be there. It should also be noted that the Manitoba Moose have over 90 corporate sponsors; I believe with an NHL franchise those numbers would increase, not decrease.
Rambo2305 Posted - 05/08/2009 : 06:09:20
"All of the above" should have been an option

"Everytime you step out onto the ice, it's a clean slate, anyone can win"
Scaught Posted - 05/08/2009 : 05:57:59

No disrespect, but where do you live...the GTA? I live between Kingston and Oshawa areas. For an affordable game we end up driving to see the Leafs in Kanata.

The term 'unserved' is relative. Proof of that is when Balsillie puts future tickets up for sale in the Hamilton area and gets over 10,000 people to commit to purchase. I would bet they consider themselves 'unserved'.

There is one good restaurant in my town, does that make it a satisfactorily 'served' market?
slozo Posted - 05/07/2009 : 17:01:21
Well first off - I don't think Toronto area and southern Ontario are "unserved" hockey markets - they have the Leafs primarily, but also Detroit, Buffalo and Ottawa. Just because another team might go there doesn't mean they are unserved . .. but it does mean we may be better served in the future!

I really, really think it would be awesome to have a hockey team on the east coast, and it'd have to be Halifax. Is it viable? Probably not . . . but they are rabid about hockey in general there, and looking at the attendance for the other premier hockey events that have taken place there, it's not out of the question.

The only other unserved hockey market would be northern Ontario - think North Bay or Sudbury perhaps? Far north (NWT or Yukon) is definitely unserved, but they can always make the 2000km trek to Edmonton. I kid, I kid.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Beans15 Posted - 05/07/2009 : 16:48:32
I think that Southern Ontario is going to be next, but that will just give me another team to dislike and we will have to watch TO against TO every Saturday night rather than TO vs Montreal.

I'd love to see a team in Winnipeg again or Quebec City, but the smart money is on the GTA.
Guest0428 Posted - 05/07/2009 : 16:11:28
Winnipeg or Nova Scotia
freddyboy Posted - 05/07/2009 : 14:21:21
quebec, for the nordiques version two with an other great Montreal-Quebec rivalry :)

joe is a god, if u dont agree....i dont care
Matt_Roberts85 Posted - 05/07/2009 : 13:52:30
There is not enough corporate support in Winnipeg. The arena they have doesn't seat quite enough people either. Its a shame, Winnipeg would be the perfect place for an NHL team. Somewhere between the alberta teams and the crazys here in toronto and ottawa.

There is no "I" in team, but there is an "M" and an "E".
hockster Posted - 05/07/2009 : 13:44:23
i think that you have to look to winnepeg. they kind of blew it origannally but they have a big enough fan base to suppport a team no doubt and they want one back. obviouslly the yotes wont be going back tehre but if the economy gets better you might look there. It is the only legitamite pull there unless you ratehr second class baseball and a poorf cfl team. Atlanta and minnesota both got second chances why not winnepeg?
as for other markets houston possibly??

Iginla for 2010 team captain.
Flames for cup...eventually.

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