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My personal opinion

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You can't judge a hockey market by a minor league team being in the city. I think the only way to judge a team is the actual product of a NHL game like a preseason game. Let me give an example the New York Islanders played a preseason game in Kansas City and it was a failure so the city isn't getting much thought. Also the AHL is not the same as the NHL. Yah it is hockey but those two leagues are different. Put a NHL preseason game here then talk and see if Hartford is a good hockey market or not.

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Then, from you're example, Bridgeport deserves a team. They had a preseason game with the Islanders and the Bruins. It was almost sold out, just missed it by 12 people.

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The Minnesota Moose couldn't draw flies to horse crap, but did get an NHL expansion team shortly there after.

 

Just food for thought.

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i agree you can't judge a hockey market by a minor league team, but i don't think you can judge a hockey market by a nhl preseason game either. imo there are many different factors that determine if a market is good or not and one is tv ratings. as someone posted on here during the summer ct ranked really high in the ratings during the stanley cup finals. if a team is to be relocated i would think that is more important to bettman then the attendance of a minor league team

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I honestly think there is much more going on in Hartford behind closed doors. What would Howard get out of coming back here and blowing all of his money on an ahl hockey team?

 

Last night I noticed for the new parking deal that they are using the real Hartford whalers whale tail as the logo as opposed to that weird rendition they were using last year. I don't know what that means, if anything at all.

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Whalerguy wrote :

> I honestly think there is much more going on in Hartford behind closed

> doors. What would Howard get out of coming back here and blowing all of

> his money on an ahl hockey team?

>

> Last night I noticed for the new parking deal that they are using the real

> Hartford whalers whale tail as the logo as opposed to that weird rendition

> they were using last year. I don't know what that means, if anything at

> all.

 

I agree with you, Baldwin wouldn't come and waste hundreds of thousands of dollars on an AHL team with just a hope of the NHL coming back. There had to of been some conversations between the NHL and Baldwin when he got here.

 

As for how the NHL judges a market; Neither AHL team attendance or NHL pre-season games are really deal-makers/breakers. As with any other pro league tv-market size and ratings probably come first, followed by average household income and available market size. It has been my understanding that Hartford is sitting pretty among those ratings (30th largest tv market, high ratings for Stanley Cups, high average income, available market of 2million +). The problems keeping the NHL away seem to be the Arena, lack of ownership, and IMO that pesky team on Long Island. Fortunately 2 of those problems could be gone err rennovated and relocated in a few years .

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you cant judge a hockey market by a preseason game because its a well....pre season game. It's 1 or 2 games not a 41 game season. The market of Hartford is great at attending 1 time events. 1 time concerts every year in almost every genre sell out once a week in the summer at the meadows. We made it out to a 1 time whale fest and a 1 time whale bowl. But all 1 pre season game would just mean we could sell out an arena once a year.

 

But in high tax high cost to operate a team Connecticut how could you garuntee fan viewership on TV and fan attendance being consistent after the honeymoon of having a new team was over? The point is we really cant so until there is a new arena or possibly a rennovated one and there is a comissioner who is interested in hartford (which betman doesnt seem to) then no **ll time pro hockey for CT.

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"But in high tax high cost to operate a team Connecticut how could you garuntee fan viewership on TV and fan attendance being consistent after the honeymoon of having a new team was over? The point is we really cant so until there is a new arena or possibly a rennovated one and there is a comissioner who is interested in hartford (which betman doesnt seem to) then no **ll time pro hockey for CT."

 

All of that may be true...but the one thing that this market never had with the NHL...a consistent winner. There is nothing...absolutely nothing, that puts people in the seats at the major league level...more than winning. Connecticut has always been a state **ll of frontrunners, a consistent winner at the NHL level would guarantee both fan attendance and TV viewership.

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MarkH2919 wrote :

 

> All of that may be true...but the one thing that this market never had with

> the NHL...a consistent winner. There is nothing...absolutely nothing, that

> puts people in the seats at the major league level...more than winning.

> Connecticut has always been a state **ll of frontrunners, a consistent

> winner at the NHL level would guarantee both fan attendance and TV

> viewership.

 

agreed fans are front runners in this state and that is something that will need to change in order to get a pro team. Most likely the team that comes here will not be a winning team and with the salary cap will have both ups and downs. And in a state of front runners a team like boston who could have a sustained sucess**l **ture does good or a team like the rangers built on what they have then you have lost your band wagoners to the rangers or bruins. I could be wrong but i don't see tv viewership being that big as far as watching the wahler's. You will get numbers from fans but other people aren't going to turn to the whalers like they do uconn, the nfl or the bruins/rangers.

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Oh, I think it would be big in the beginning, and if the team won...maybe not right away, but definitely before the honeymoon period wore off, then I think the ratings would be just fine.

 

By the way Monizzle...I don't think there are nearly as many people in this area that like the Bruins and Rangers as you think. ****, in most of the state, you can't even see the Rangers, unless you have the Center Ice package.

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But, most the people that go to Whale games are Bruins and Rangers fans. Also, MSG has been added to a lot of satelite and cable systems recently. Most recently in Enfield, my hometown, right on the M***** Line.

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Why is that, Biggie? Because most of the Whalers fans stay home. If the Whalers come back...the Bruins/Rangers fans would only come when the Bruins or Rangers came to town.

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That is the problem. If Rangers, Bruins, Sabres, Sharks, Avalanche, Devils, Penguins, and Flyers fans can be fans if the Whale, then why can't the Whalers fans show up? Baldwin has brought the colors, BB, the "name" is back and they a lot og them still won't go to games. Baldwin has done a lot of stuff to get them to come to games, and nothing. Most Whalers fans just sit at home and complain, but don't do anything to show support of the Whalers and the NHL return.

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Biggie1083 wrote :

> That is the problem. If Rangers, Bruins, Sabres, Sharks, Avalanche, Devils,

> Penguins, and Flyers fans can be fans if the Whale, then why can't the

> Whalers fans show up? Baldwin has brought the colors, BB, the

> "name" is back and they a lot og them still won't go to games.

> Baldwin has done a lot of stuff to get them to come to games, and nothing.

> Most Whalers fans just sit at home and complain, but don't do anything to

> show support of the Whalers and the NHL return.

 

The most important thing hasn't been done however; & it's the one thing that should have been done years ago-a switch in affiliations. What's been done is they sent a rat in for a makeover. It now looks nicer; but it still is what it is.

 

You might also consider that the people from Connecticut who are Rangers, Bruins, Sabres, Sharks, Avalanche, Devils, Penguins & Flyers fans, became fans of those teams when their team-the Whalers-left Hartford.

 

So Biggie if, as you say, "most Whalers fans just sit at home and complain, but don't do anything to show support of the Whalers and the NHL return," then we can **lly expect you & your Wolf * Pack fan brethren to **lly support either an NHL team in Hartford, or an AHL team under a different affiliation. If you don't, then that would make you no better than the Whaler fans you chastise &, in fact, a hypocrite.

 

You're simply a nicer, more civilized version of Bring Back the Pack & WP98.

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"The most important thing hasn't been done however; & it's the one thing that should have been done years ago-a switch in affiliations. What's been done is they sent a rat in for a makeover. It now looks nicer; but it still is what it is."

 

Why should we get rid of an affiliation that has provided us with a winning franchise? A team that has won the league championship, the Calder Cup, made the playoffs 12 years in a row, and 13 of the past 14 years.

 

"You might also consider that the people from Connecticut who are Rangers, Bruins, Sabres, Sharks, Avalanche, Devils, Penguins & Flyers fans, became fans of those teams when their team-the Whalers-left Hartford."

 

That maybe true, but they go to games. I'm just sick and tired of the Whalers fans that just complain it's not they way they want it. It's not all of them but it feel like the majority of them.

 

"So Biggie if, as you say, "most Whalers fans just sit at home and complain, but don't do anything to show support of the Whalers and the NHL return," then we can **lly expect you & your Wolf * Pack fan brethren to **lly support either an NHL team in Hartford, or an AHL team under a different affiliation. If you don't, then that would make you no better than the Whaler fans you chastise &, in fact, a hypocrite."

 

I wouldn't be a hypocrite, because I'm a Rangers fan and nothing is going to change that.

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Biggie1083 wrote:

"The most important thing hasn't been done however;&it's the one

thing that should have been done years ago-a switch in affiliations."

 

"Why should we get rid of an affiliation that has provided us with a winning

franchise?A team that has won the league championship,the Calder Cup,

made the playoffs 12 years in a row,and 13 of the past 14 years."

 

We don't care&'d rather they miss the playoffs&leave.

 

"You might also consider that the people from Connecticut who're

Rangers,Bruins,Sabres,Sharks,Avalanche,Devils,Penguins&Flyers

fans,became fans of those teams when their team-the Whalers-left

Hartford."

 

"That maybe true,but they go to games.I'm just sick and tired of the Whalers fans that just complain it's not they way they want it.It's not

all of them but it feel like the majority of them."

 

Whaler fans don't care what you're sick & tired of.This is Hartford,not NYC.We don't exist so u&3others can treat it as your personal place to see NYR prospects.Hartford's entitled to a team Hartford wants.As a Ranger fan,you're entitled to nothing.If u want to watch the NYR's,turn on MSG.

 

"So Biggie if,as you say,"most Whalers fans just sit at home&complain,but don't do anything to show support of the Whalers&the

NHL return,"then we can **lly expect you&your Wolf*Pack fan

brethren to **lly support either an NHL team in Hartford,or an AHL team

under a different affiliation.If you don't,then that would make u no better than the Whaler fans you chastise&,in fact,a hypocrite."

 

"I wouldn't be a hypocrite,because I'm a Rangers fan and nothing is going to change that."

 

You sure would be.&if u think you aren't,u have no cause to say that about Whaler fans.Those who can't stand the Rangers are Whalers fan who can't stand the Rangers,&nothing is going to change that.The difference is this is Hartford.We're not here to serve u or other Rangers fans.

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WOW :o ; and I'M considered the hater.

 

I'm not sure why you've got to throw me "under the bus", as I've NEVER badmouthed the Whalers. On the other hand, I HAVE questioned why Baldwin HAD to rebrand/renamed the team. MarkH said on either this thread or another thread, that keeping the Wolf Pack name and doing a Whale Bowl would've been stupid. So perhaps changing the name from WP to Whale was the right thing to do. I don't happen to agree, but I'm not the one running the team. So huzzah!

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"MarkH said on either this thread or another thread, that keeping the Wolf Pack name and doing a Whale Bowl would've been stupid. So perhaps changing the name from WP to Whale was the right thing to do. I don't happen to agree, but I'm not the one running the team. So huzzah!"

 

I have said that on several threads, to be fair. And I will say what I have said all along, 9 straight years of declining attendance proves that a rebrand was necessary. WolfPack fans were perfectly happy with what they had, they never looked at the big picture. They never cared that their attendance shrunk year after year, they never cared that the media coverage had just about vanished.

 

Howard and his staff are trying like **** to get people into the building. Last year, they went the free tickets route. This year, they are doing whatever they can to get people into the building, without giving the house away. That's the way it should be...

 

It's still way too early to call the rebrand a failure. Simple as that.

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Mark is beyond right. The Pack were doomed anyway. The writing was on the wall. In fact, I remember telling my girlfriend just before it was announced that Howard had moved back and was in talks about taking the team over, that I thought the Pack was doomed and that last year or this would be their last. Attendance was really getting pretty bad and the mood in the building had stagnated so badly that both my nephew and I actually fell asleep during a Pack vs. Sharks game on a Wednesday night because I swear there were about 300 in the place. The re-branding was perfectly timed and hope**lly, at minimum, keeps our team here for years to come. Of course after watching two old Whalers games on nhl.com/vault, I miss them more than ever...

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"It's still way too early to call the rebrand a failure. Simple as that."

 

Everything will be on the line in 2013 when the building comes up to bid. The reason attendance is lower than hoped is marketing. There are very few minor league sports fans who live and die with the team and have the scheduled memorized, ala Biggie. Minor League games are a night out and to get big crowds, you need to be on the people. That isn't the case right now with WSE.

 

On a personal level, I have attended more games since the rebrand (around 20) than I did in the past 5 years in support of Howard and because of the fact the arena has a better vibe. Jimmy is right. Two years ago, I went to a Wolf Pack-Pirates game on a Sa****ay and it was the dullest sporting event I attended in 20 years. Terrible atmosphere in the building and the 3,000 or so there just didn't seem to care.

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"Everything will be on the line in 2013 when the building comes up to bid"

 

And this is also true. There was a blurb on Paul Doyle's blog about an issue with the ceiling tiles in the Whale locker room, right when Howard Jr. was walking through (I think this was after Friday's game against Hershey). Anyway, he made a comment about "For $21,000 a game, we should have a better building" or something along those lines.

 

So...WSE is s****ing out $800,000/year (or so) for rent in the building. If WSE gets control of the building, then that's $800,000 that can then go to other things, like marketing, advertising, promotion, etc. But, that's in 2013...a long time from now. ****, even if AEG were to win the bidding...they would give Baldwin a break on the rent too. Either way, it's a very safe bet that they won't be paying 800K/year to rent the arena.

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MarkH2919 wrote : All of that may be true...but the one thing that this market never had with the NHL...a consistent winner. There is nothing...absolutely nothing, that puts people in the seats at the major league level...more than winning. Connecticut has always been a state **ll of frontrunners, a consistent winner at the NHL level would guarantee both fan attendance and TV viewership.

 

How do you "guarantee" that whatever NHL franchise set-up shop in Hartford would be a "consistent winner at the NHL level"? You can't.

 

**rther, many Hartford hockey fans are all-too-willing to look down their noses at certain so-called undeserving NHL markets and claim that poor attendance for franchises in said cities is proof that such teams should be relocated to a deserving hockey market like Hartford. However, if a "consistent winner at the NHL level" is going to be what it takes to "guarantee both fan attendance and TV viewership" in the Hartford market, what makes Hartford any more deserving of an NHL franchise than the likes of Columbus, Atlanta, Florida, etc.? You don't think that the presence of a "consistent winner" in Columbus might have helped the Blue Jackets' attendance, financial bottom-line, and franchise viability? You don't think that the presence of a "consistent winner" in Atlanta and Sunrise might have helped the Thrashers and Panthers similarly?

 

Any market can claim that it will be able to put fannies in the seats and glue eyeballs to the television screens for a "guarantee(d)... consistent winner". Where a pro sports market proves its worth is in how much interest there is amongst fans when said market's teams aren't playing well. Some slippage in attendance/viewership is to be expected during competitive downturns, but truly success**l major-pro sports markets limit said slippage. Is Hartford - and Connecticut as a whole - such a market, or a market "**ll of frontrunners"?

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"How do you "guarantee" that whatever NHL franchise set-up shop in Hartford would be a "consistent winner at the NHL level"? You can't."

 

I didn't guarantee that. What I said was that a consistent winner would guarantee both fan attendance and TV viewership.

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MarkH2919 wrote : I didn't guarantee that. What I said was that a consistent winner would guarantee both fan attendance and TV viewership.

 

I understand. That said, given that a "consistent winner" can't be "guarantee(d)", there's no "guarantee" that the Hartford market is any more capable of generating satisfactory "attendance and TV viewership" than any other major-pro sports market saddled with a miserable-to-mediocre product.

 

**rther, those who repeatedly deride markets like Atlanta, Columbus, etc. as being undeserving of an NHL franchise, while simultaneously talking-up Hartford's potential, ignore the fact that such "undeserving" markets haven't enjoyed a consistently winning product any more than Hartford did with the Whalers. (Incidentally, I'm not saying that you have made such claims; rather, your statement about how Hartford would support a "consistent winner" inspired me to point-out that several NHL franchises currently in trouble business-wise are victims of a piss-poor on-ice product.)

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"That said, given that a "consistent winner" can't be "guarantee(d)", there's no "guarantee" that the Hartford market is any more capable of generating satisfactory "attendance and TV viewership" than any other major-pro sports market saddled with a miserable-to-mediocre product."

 

BJ, you've lived here long enough...you honestly don't think that if Hartford had a consistent winner...a team that consistently made the playoffs, then made some noise once they got there...that the attendance wouldn't be solid and the people wouldn't watch on TV? We already know what Hartford draws for the NHL when the product stinks...but if they were good....and remained good for a long period of time...I absolutely think the ratings and attendance would be just fine. The problem was...the first go around...that consistent winner wasn't here.

 

All I am saying is...if Hartford had a good team year in and year out...not necessarily great, and not like the old Whalers (3 winning seasons in 18 years), the people would go to games and watch on TV. I think that's definitely a safe bet, and one that I can guarantee would happen. IF the team was good.

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