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Give Balsillie his team already!


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I hope he gets the Coyotes and puts them in Hamilton. Screw that shit-hole "The City" of Vaughan. I'm not overly enthusiastic about putting a team in a brownfield near the Kitchener/Waterloo area, but if the arena is located near or in a downtown - and not fucking Hespler Road in Cambridge - then that would be cool.

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Someone from another site said:

People are thinking in terms of everything BUT business models.

NHL teams depend on the following for income:

Gate ticket sales + Box sales + TV revenue + merchandise

It doesn't make sense to swap one of these for another. Say you're a fan in southern Ontario. You probably watch the Maple Leafs on a regular basis.

If a team moved closer to your home, you would switch the channel to the Hamilton Whatevers game instead. Net gain for the NHL = 0%

Instead of buying a Leafs jersey, you'd buy a Whatevers jersey. Net gain = 0%

The only significant gain would be whatever tickets you decided to buy, which would be partially offset by the tickets no longer sold in Phoenix.

Even if the Coyotes stayed in Phoenix and continued to lose money, think in terms of the business model. They are generating revenues that would otherwise not exist.

Fans stop buying Coyotes jerseys. Net loss = 100%

Games no longer broadcast in Phoenix area. Net loss = 100%

Relocating the Coyotes to a new market might make sense, but Balsillie is simply cannibalizing the resources that already exist in the NHL. Bettman is actually in the right for once -- it makes no sense for the league to get poorer in order for a single franchise to get wealthier.

This whole bit of hysteria is nothing but poison to the league. Right in the middle of a GREAT playoff season, too.

Not that I agree with everything this guy said, but he kind of has a point. What extra TV revenue can you bring in by adding a team to SoOn? Also, a team from the East would have to join the West, and what owner would want that?

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They can't afford them in Winnipeg, not enough corporate bucks to buy the Boxes, or so I hear.

I thought the problem was that the arean wouldn't be able to accomodate corporate boxes. So build a new arena.

I don't think any Canadian city should get a new team until Winnipeg and Quebec City take their rightful seats back at the table.

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Guest Low Roller

The Nevada Coyotes has a nice ring to it, dontcha think? Better get used to it because Las Vegas is much more likely to get a team than Kitchener.

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Someone from another site said:
People are thinking in terms of everything BUT business models.

NHL teams depend on the following for income:

Gate ticket sales + Box sales + TV revenue + merchandise

It doesn't make sense to swap one of these for another. Say you're a fan in southern Ontario. You probably watch the Maple Leafs on a regular basis.

If a team moved closer to your home, you would switch the channel to the Hamilton Whatevers game instead. Net gain for the NHL = 0%

Instead of buying a Leafs jersey, you'd buy a Whatevers jersey. Net gain = 0%

The only significant gain would be whatever tickets you decided to buy, which would be partially offset by the tickets no longer sold in Phoenix.

Even if the Coyotes stayed in Phoenix and continued to lose money, think in terms of the business model. They are generating revenues that would otherwise not exist.

Fans stop buying Coyotes jerseys. Net loss = 100%

Games no longer broadcast in Phoenix area. Net loss = 100%

Relocating the Coyotes to a new market might make sense, but Balsillie is simply cannibalizing the resources that already exist in the NHL. Bettman is actually in the right for once -- it makes no sense for the league to get poorer in order for a single franchise to get wealthier.

This whole bit of hysteria is nothing but poison to the league. Right in the middle of a GREAT playoff season, too.

Not that I agree with everything this guy said, but he kind of has a point. What extra TV revenue can you bring in by adding a team to SoOn? Also, a team from the East would have to join the West, and what owner would want that?

I think that guy is right. The argument against the above is that the Coyotes are actual a revenue losing team whereas southern Ontario would be a revenue positive team. From there you start talking about the fact that in reality none of these teams lose money, they are just shown to lose money through all the various holding companies etc. etc. so that the ones that aren't big money makers can make their's via tax breaks and B.S.

Also, with TV revenue - it would be interesting to see how the revenue changed in Quebec when Quebec left and in both Quebec and Ontario when Ottawa came. The same arguments were likely made then - although it is much further... (but how far from Montreal?)

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Here's a really important view you guys should strongly consider. And also think about this. How can the NHL get the all-important tv contract in the US by moving another team to the Toronto area?

This league needs the US to survive, whether you want to believe it or not.

No matter how tempting it might be to blame NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for the mess that is currently the Phoenix Coyotes, it wouldn't be right to do so. There are two primary villains in this saga and neither one is named Bettman.

The first is Jerry Moyes, the former owner of the Coyotes who decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection even though reliable sources say that there were two offers on the table to buy the team.

A new deal was so close that Bettman and his sidekick, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, were in Phoenix earlier this week working on the details.

By filing for bankruptcy, Moyes opened a legal can of worms (isn't it always a can of worms when lawyers get involved?) that threatens to destroy the stability of the National Hockey League.

The second villain is Jim Balsillie, the billionaire who lives in southern Ontario, just outside Toronto to be precise, who has made an offer of $212.5 million for the Coyotes, contingent upon being allowed to move the team to the Toronto area.

In Toronto, the world's largest hockey-mad city, the news hit like a hurricane. All four newspapers had it on the front page. "Team Gretzky in Ontario?" asked the Toronto Star. "Billionaire offers US $212M Ontario home for Coyotes," said the National Post. "Balsillie's power play puts NHL on edge," was The Globe and Mail's view, and the Toronto Sun chimed in with, "The T.O. Coyotes?"

Meanwhile, on the ice, the NHL was in the midst of the head-to-head playoff battle between its two biggest stars, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. But Balsillie's move quickly diverted that spotlight, not the move of someone who is committed to the well being of the league he hopes to join.

Now, the court battle is under way, and in almost every medium, it is being billed as a battle between Bettman and Balsillie. It is no such thing.

Whether you like or dislike Bettman, you have to concede that he's no fool. He works for the NHL owners and there is no way in the world that he would be taking this stance if he thought it would cost him his job. He is the point man for the governors. This is not Bettman against Balsillie. It is the NHL against Balsillie.

To fans in southern Ontario, this is incomprehensible. They point out that the Toronto area deserves and would support a second NHL team. They say that the Coyotes are a money-losing team and that a Toronto team would make money. All of those statements are true.

But what they don't consider is the fact that the NHL owners want their sport to grow. They want to create a larger fan base. The questions that the fans don't ask is this: How many new fans will be created by a second team in Toronto?

The answer is zero. The fans of the new team would merely be fans of other teams, mostly the Maple Leafs, who decide to change their allegiance.

Meanwhile, the fan base that the Coyotes have built in the southwestern United States would disappear. Granted, this is not a huge number, but nevertheless, the NHL does not want go backward. It does not want to leave a hockey-less black hole on the map of North America.

The fact that the new Toronto team would be profitable is not going to pay many dividends to the existing owners. The NHL has limited revenue sharing and there would certainly be a shift in that regard. Instead of taking money out of the fund, the Toronto Coyotes would be putting money in. But even so, it works out to a shift of less that $1 million annually per team on the average, hardly worth the blows to the league's stability and reputation that are the automatic byproducts when a team is forced to relocate.

You could even make the case that the Leafs and Buffalo Sabres would do well because they would have the right to claim territorial indemnity. That's true as well. But again, how does that help the other 27 owners? It doesn't.

And it must be remembered that the company that owns the Leafs also owns the Raptors of the NBA. That team is believed to be a money-losing operation, and matters would certainly not get any better if a new Toronto hockey team were to come to the area and be on TV on nights when the Leafs are off but the Raptors are playing.

Bettman defended his league's actions by saying, "We generally try to avoid relocating franchises unless you absolutely have to." That's true. It was true in Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Buffalo when bankruptcies were filed.

"This is not about whether or not we want a franchise in southern Ontario," said Bettman, "this is about the league's rules and the enforceability of our rules."

The league has a constitution that allows it to dictate the location of franchises. There are those who point to what Raiders managing partner Al Davis did to the NFL, but the NHL has no shortage of lawyers, and it is their belief that they have plugged all the loopholes that allowed Davis to win his cases.

Legal precedents being what they are, the NHL does not want to lose that right of determining locations. Sure, the Leafs would probably continue to do well with another team sharing their market. But what if somebody else decided to relocate to Minneapolis or Montreal or Vancouver? How would the existing teams in those markets fare?

The fans of southern Ontario can take some solace in the fact that they are applying considerable pressure on the NHL to put a team in their region. But at the same time, they have to realize that Bettman will fight tooth and nail against the relocation of an existing team.

The fans should push for an expansion franchise. Deep down, the league wants to go to 32 teams for the sake of balance, and that way, the NHL governors could share Balsillie's expansion fee.

That's what they really want.

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