Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

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    davetherave
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by davetherave on Thu May 28, 2009 8:44 pm

    If Balsillie fails in his attempt to bring the Coyotes to Hamilton, does he do a sideways deke and try his hand at backing a return of the Jets to Winnipeg?

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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by Acrobat on Thu May 28, 2009 11:41 pm

    I suspect that if he fails, it isn't in getting the team into Hamilton, it's a failure to get it out of Phoenix. He's got to have the rest of the process mapped out - he's too calculated to be doing this by the seat of his pants.

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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by davetherave on Fri May 29, 2009 7:13 am

    Acro> I spoke with some people with a closer view of Balsillie...as business associates who've dealt with JB.

    Number one, Hamilton's Copps Coliseum is apparently nowhere near being ready and would basically have to be torn down to become an NHL facility.

    Number two, Balsillie's ego is apparently such that his people can't say 'no' to him.

    RimJim may be not as 'calculating' as you think.

    Taking the Coyotes back to Winnipeg would be an 'out' that would save face for Balsillie and the NHL.
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by davetherave on Fri May 29, 2009 9:49 pm

    The view from Winnipeg, from the website of the fan movement to bring back the Jets, http://www.jetsowner.com/:

    Tides Have Turned As We Go On Six!

    Darren Ford/JetsOwner.com, May 24, 2009

    Ah, the local media are finally getting on board. Yesterday marked the first time that the Winnipeg Free Press, via Randy Turner, took a look on the bright side, if not both sides, of the issue of the NHL returning to Winnipeg. It was a fairly comprehensive piece and it looked at the things that have occurred to set the landscape for a re-birth of the Jets.

    As for the long time supporters of this campaign, which turns an astounding six years old next week, it is nothing you haven't all been hearing JetsOwner.com lay out since the beginning. You've been on the right path all along. Sometimes others' quotes are so similar to what is on JetsOwner.com is makes me wonder.

    But still, it is good to have mainstream media "getting" the picture. I seem to recall the terms "pipedream" uttered quite a bit over the past six years and as for the names I've been called personally? Well, lets just leave that alone. Thankfully, 95% of them are supportive and humbling. To be honest I never understood why people didn't see how this could all happen. People smirked in an uber condescending manner as if to say, "aww, what you're doing is so cute little fella".

    Or "what, are you after 15 minutes of fame"?

    Fame? Hardly.

    Time and passion? Definitely.

    But here we are in 2009 and so much of what I was pipe dreaming has come to see the light of day.

    Yesterday's Free Press special feature contains statements that are found all through JetsOwner.com's initial content and blog entries from 2003 to 2009. The similarities are staggering. From words to number crunching (and no Randy, not on a napkin, but rather in the office of high places).

    In another Free Press article the same day, an economics professor in Alberta raises my same analogy of large population markets like Atlanta and a hockey hot beds like Edmonton (or Winnipeg) almost word for word. How Atlanta may be a significantly larger city but there are more people in Winnipeg that will buy hockey tickets and therefore it is actually the better HOCKEY market. Even pointing out that there are so many more sports in these US cities to compete for people's disposable income. Now, I know I'm no economics professor, but really, do I need to be? Two years ago and certainly five years ago this same guy would have almost certainly been found quoting that Winnipeg simply couldn't afford the NHL and that we're just too small.

    But you see, what did I tell you? Once the pendulum swings to our side by at least 51% we then become the majority thought pattern and then it's all uphill from there. Well, the pendulum has swung and we're in full gear now. Mainstream thought is now that this can realistically happen. Took long enough eh? All I ever wanted form our local media was a balanced look at the issue but too often got the negative, stuck-in-1995 song and dance.

    Welcome to 2009. It's brighter here.

    Now it can be expected that a handful of others will come out of the woodwork and start a movement of their own. After all, it's easy now. Nobody thinks they are nuts. Nothing needs to be envisioned any longer. It's all set up, ready to roll.

    Turn-key.

    It is an exciting time for all of us believers. We have been proven correct in all areas of this dream. Pat yourselves on the back for sticking this out. And to those that are just starting to believe (and your emails have been overwhelming), welcome aboard. You were skeptical, but now you are hopeful. Hope isn't scary or dangerous like some would have you believe. Hope is what keeps us going. We are tough, us Winnipeggers.

    So start saving your money, if you haven't already. There is one major step to go. Finding and landing our team.

    The following has been accomplished or checked off the list since 2003:
    1) A new arena for Winnipeg
    2) A new league economic structure for the NHL
    3) A complete failure of at least "4 or 5 American teams"
    4) A Canadian team led NHL gate revenue
    5) A steady Canadian dollar
    6) A proven MTS Centre revenue model for NHL sustainability
    7) A ROTJ campaign appearance on HNIC and hundreds of television, radio, newspaper and magazine coverage from all over North America.
    8) A ROTJ t-shirt e-store, website, forum, booster events and PR stunts.
    9) An estimated over 2 million hits to the website.
    10) A successful six year old campaign that is closer to the issues than any other source of information.
    11) A turning of attitude in Winnipeg about the possibility of the NHL returning.
    12) A "so far, so good" set of predictions from JetsOwner.com.

    Thanks for being with me for six years. Happy Birthday JetsOwner.com! I can't believe this all started with an email to about 20 people after one late night game of Risk with some friends.

    But seriously, I don't want to do this much longer! Wink.

    Cheers everyone! Here's to attaining the final, and largest, step of our goal.

    Here are a few articles from the past few weeks. CBC Sports, Winnipeg Sun, and The Hockey News among others. Thakns to CBC Radio for having me on and taking calls from listeners, to CBC National for their piece last Sunday night and to CBC Newsworld for repeatedly trying to schedule me for a live spot. We'll get it done one of these days!

    And of course be sure to check out my blog at The Hockey Writers.

    ---

    The complete blog, with Darren Ford's supporting facts and figures, can be found here for anyone who cares to read them:
    http://www.jetsowner.com/

    His articles on the feasability of a return to Winnipeg for the Jets and Winnipeg as a hockey market can be found here:
    http://thehockeywriters.com/winnipeg-ahl-nhl/


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    davetherave
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by davetherave on Sun May 31, 2009 6:19 am

    One has to wonder with all the publicity surrounding the fate of the Coyotes, if the NHL will throw its support behind a return--sooner rather than later--of that team to its original home...
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by Acrobat on Sun May 31, 2009 10:41 pm

    davetherave wrote:Acro> I spoke with some people with a closer view of Balsillie...as business associates who've dealt with JB.

    Number one, Hamilton's Copps Coliseum is apparently nowhere near being ready and would basically have to be torn down to become an NHL facility.

    Number two, Balsillie's ego is apparently such that his people can't say 'no' to him.

    RimJim may be not as 'calculating' as you think.

    Taking the Coyotes back to Winnipeg would be an 'out' that would save face for Balsillie and the NHL.

    What you say certainly makes sense, but but the counter argument is that he has to have been able to create and execute some semblance of a plan in order to make RIM this successful. Having spoken to other successful (and some recently newly unsuccessful) tech businessmen, I have a hard time believing that he got there by blind luck. [Although after reading Outliers, I began to have doubts about a lot of these things].

    I have no doubt that (notwithstanding his recent plan), Copps is not the long-term structure that would house the team. His ego would demand a facility that is bleeding edge, and showed his and his company's name prominently.

    Somewhere in there, I guess I always figured that the drive to win would be what supported the ego; in that position, I wouldn't want "yes men" around me, I'd want the best, brightest, and most honest, so that I be in a position to have won each battle before they are fought.

    If his advisors are simply kow-towing to his ego, and not necessarily doing the smartest thing from a tactical standpoint, then it's not surprising that his efforts have been rebuffed repeatedly, and with such venom.
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by davetherave on Sun May 31, 2009 11:39 pm

    Acro, a more detailed exploration of Mr Balsillie, for those bother to look past the reporting of the media who have declared their pro-JB advocacy, reveals he may not be as rich as some claim.

    I posted an article from Globe Investor on the adjacent thread:
    http://www.gmhockey.com/phoenix-meercats-f33/how-much-longer-for-the-coyotes-in-phoenix-t2202-150.htm#65439

    This article, as well as one from the same March dateline, in the Financial Post, puts JB's net worth at $1.7B and not the $3B plus that has been touted.

    Forbes Magazine took a close look at how billionaires have lost substantial sums in the recent global meltdown. The Financial Post picked up on this theme, pointing out that these losses amounted to $2 TRILLION. See this link:

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpposted/archive/2009/03/12/richest-canadians-on-forbes.aspx

    Mr Balsillie now ranks behind Guy Laliberte of Cirque Du Soleil, who you may remember as one member of the several potential groups bidding for Le Canadien.

    So in fact, Jim may NOT have the money to buy a team outright.

    As regards your suggestion that he would surround himself with 'the best and the brightest' to 'challenge' him? Well, there are more than a few rich and powerful people who are surrounded by 'yes men'.

    If Balsillie were to assemble, or join, a group of investors with the authentic objective of bringing an NHL team back to Canada--like the group in Winnipeg--he might have more success.

    But it may well be that it's all about Jim.

    We shall see...
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by wprager on Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:26 am

    RIM was recently upgraded by UBS with a price target of $90, up from $65. It is currently trading at around $79 (USD) with recent lows below $50 (in January and March). Balsillie holds nearly 35 million shares of RIMM. At the current price, that puts the value of his holdings at over $2.7B. $212.5M represents les than 10% of his current holdings. If it goes to $90, that drops to under 7%. The financials of the company look very strong. Once the recession is over the stock can get back to the $150 range. At that price the $212.5M purchase price drops to about 4% of his holdings.
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by shabbs on Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:30 am

    davetherave wrote:Acro, a more detailed exploration of Mr Balsillie, for those bother to look past the reporting of the media who have declared their pro-JB advocacy, reveals he may not be as rich as some claim.
    Last time I checked... an NHL team didn't cost billions...

    Wink

    Besides, rich people don't get rich using their OWN money... they use other people's money.

    Silly DTR.
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by davetherave on Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:45 am

    shabbs wrote:
    davetherave wrote:Acro, a more detailed exploration of Mr Balsillie, for those bother to look past the reporting of the media who have declared their pro-JB advocacy, reveals he may not be as rich as some claim.
    Last time I checked... an NHL team didn't cost billions...

    Wink

    Besides, rich people don't get rich using their OWN money... they use other people's money.


    There's nothing silly about looking beyond the headlines to examine the facts.

    And Shabbs, you don't have all the facts.

    How much will it actually cost to acquire and move the Coyotes, including legal fees and upgrades to the facility in Hamilton?

    Do you know how much it actually costs to run an NHL team?

    You don't know.

    But if you and others choose to believe in The Gospel According to The Balsillie, that's your right.

    When you choose to attack those, who disagree with you or dare to question your opinions, that's wrong.

    As for me...I choose to defer my judgement until I've seen the facts. And I will continue to share the facts that I find, with the members of our GM Hockey Forum, so they can make up their own minds as well.
    Smile

    And regarding the viability of an NHL franchise in Winnipeg, to get back on topic, the information posted above on the www.jetsowner.com is well worth reading.

    Have you bothered to look at it before making your judgements?
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by shabbs on Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:49 am

    davetherave wrote:As for me...I choose to defer my judgement until I've seen the facts. And I will continue to share the facts that I find, with the members of our GM Hockey Forum, so they can make up their own minds as well.
    So what are the facts? How much does it cost to move and run a team? Please enlighten me. I await the avalanche of facts...
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by davetherave on Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:55 am

    From CTV News last week:

    Fans long for return of Winnipeg Jets to hometown

    May 23 2009/CTV.ca News Staff

    Hope is alive among Winnipeg hockey fans that the city's namesake NHL team could potentially rise from its grave in the near future.

    With the Phoenix Coyotes in the midst of bankruptcy court proceedings, some fans believe there is a chance the NHL franchise could one day return home to its roots.

    It was in December 1995 that the Winnipeg Jets learned the team would be moving to Arizona. And by the start of the next season, the Winnipeg team that had made its way from the WHA to the NHL, was gone from Manitoba.

    "It's been a hot button topic ever since they left in '96," said Lauren Robb, an ardent fan and the curator of Winnipeg Jets Online.

    Of course, the fans who wish to see the resurrection of the Jets know that Blackberry billionaire Jim Balsillie -- if successful in his bid to gain control of the franchise -- wants to bring the team to Southern Ontario, a many-hours drive from the Manitoba capital.

    But these fans also know that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has not been prone to seeing eye-to-eye with Balsillie's efforts, past and present, to own his own NHL team.

    And perhaps most importantly, they know Bettman has allegedly been quoted in court documents saying he prefers a relocation destination for the Phoenix Coyotes that is a little further west.

    "Winnipeg is one of the top locations in Canada where he'd like to see a franchise come to," said Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz. "I like to hear that as mayor of the city."

    The true believers say there are many things that have changed in Winnipeg that make having a team in the city more likely -- such as a newer stadium and the fact that fans are interested in filling its seats.

    But there are other issues, like a lack of investors, that may well make the return of the Winnipeg Jets an impossible dream. In addition, Winnipeg's MTS Centre only sits 15,000 hockey fans, which would be by far the smallest NHL arena.

    "They'd have to find some way of raising money for a franchise and that's a problem," said Phillipe Cyrenne, an economics professor at the University of Winnipeg.

    It is possible that several investors could put together a single bid, but it's not a favourable arrangement in the minds of NHL officials.

    But for the fans like Robb, who refuse to believe the dream is dead, they know the anticipated relocation of the Phoenix Coyotes may be the closest they have ever been to seeing the Winnipeg Jets return to home ice.

    "This has been the strongest case yet," Robb said.
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by shabbs on Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:41 pm

    davetherave wrote:When you choose to attack those, who disagree with you or dare to question your opinions, that's wrong.
    DTR, that wasn't attacking... trust me, you'll know when I do. You'll know.
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by SeawaySensFan on Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:52 pm

    shabbs wrote:
    davetherave wrote:When you choose to attack those, who disagree with you or dare to question your opinions, that's wrong.
    DTR, that wasn't attacking... trust me, you'll know when I do. You'll know.

    I remember that National Geographic special "When Shabbsesses Attacks". It wasn't pretty.
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    Re: Can Winnipeg Support an NHL Franchise?

    Post by shabbs on Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:03 pm

    SeawaySensFan wrote:
    shabbs wrote:
    davetherave wrote:When you choose to attack those, who disagree with you or dare to question your opinions, that's wrong.
    DTR, that wasn't attacking... trust me, you'll know when I do. You'll know.

    I remember that National Geographic special "When Shabbsesses Attacks". It wasn't pretty.
    :^^^^:

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