An NHL Team in Halifax?

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    Should Halifax Get An NHL Franchise?

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    Total Votes: 6
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    davetherave
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    An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by davetherave on Mon May 25, 2009 9:25 pm

    For all the talk about Canada's 'unserved hockey markets', the question of why the Maritimes continues to be without an NHL franchise is rarely discussed. This Canwest News article from January 2008 looks at the issue:

    ----

    Dream of NHL franchise lives on in Halifax

    Canwest News Service, January 23, 2008/Noah Love

    Halifax may have been dreaming of an NHL team for years but comments from the head of the NHL Players’ Association are stirring hopes it could become a reality.

    The city has been a host to NHL exhibition games before but the NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly says it should have a team of it’s own.

    “If there was an interest there — and there was a commitment on the part of the people of Nova Scotia to support a team — and build a facility, I would obviously be an ally,” he said Tuesday.

    There would be lots of challenges. Halifax has about half the population of the smallest NHL market and the capacity of its largest arena is just 10,000 people, while the smallest NHL arena, in Edmonton, seats 17,000.

    But some say the league’s new structure makes a local team possible.

    “Keeping that salary cap in place, keeping a financial management vehicle in place, (allows) Canadian franchises to expand, and they’ll support the game of hockey,” said Fred MacGillivray, CEO of Trade Centre Limited, a local event organizing firm.

    Still but not everyone thinks it’s a great idea.

    Bruce Devenne (
    a Sackville, NB-based self-styled 'citizen activist'--Ed.) lobbied hard against Halifax’s failed Commonwealth Games bid and doubts an NHL team would survive. He says taxpayers shouldn’t spend a dime on a team.

    ---


    When Halifax is brought up, nay-sayers point out that the population base isn't large enough to support a team.

    But when has a comprehensive study been done to validate or contradict those claims?

    Historically, Halifax and Nova Scotia has a distinguished list of hockey teams, many of whom have been champions.

    They include the Halifax Voyageurs, AHL and three-time Calder Cup Champions; and teams that have won the Allan Cup, the Memorial Cup and the QMJHL President's Cup.

    So is the media pulling the wool over the eyes of hockey fans in Canada when they give Maritimers short shrift?

    Should hockey fans in Canada lend their support to their fellow fans in Nova Scotia?

    And--more pertinent to current events--should flag-waving Billionaire Jim Balsillie be focusing on this truly under-served market rather than trying to grab a chunk of the gold mine in his backyard?

    You, esteemed members of the GM Hockey Forum, be the judges!

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    dennycrane
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by dennycrane on Mon May 25, 2009 9:37 pm

    An east coast team will never work. Other teams will complain about the travel costs and time. The Leafs pulled their minor league franchise from the Rock because of this.

    To compensate for the huge costs, a 20,000 seat arena would need to be filled every night, with tickets up to $200. This is roughly what they have in Ottawa, yet Eugene Melnyk lost money last season.

    I agree that Eastern Canada has a rich history of hockey, but frankly, none of it is at the professional level.

    And, they do not have the population or economic stability to support any big professional sports. Even the CFL has summarily dismissed the east coast.

    In the 2006 Census, Halifax had the 13th highest population. Furthermore, only 2 other eastern cities ranked in the top 30. As a comparision, Quebec City, Winnipeg, and Hamilton were 7,8,9.
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by dennycrane on Mon May 25, 2009 9:42 pm

    Jim Balsille made his money because he didn't throw good money after bad, a la Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, etc.
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    davetherave
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by davetherave on Mon May 25, 2009 9:45 pm

    dennycrane wrote:I agree that Eastern Canada has a rich history of hockey, but frankly, none of it is at the professional level.

    The American Hockey League is not 'professional level'?

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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by Guest on Mon May 25, 2009 10:04 pm

    dennycrane wrote:An east coast team will never work. Other teams will complain about the travel costs and time. The Leafs pulled their minor league franchise from the Rock because of this.

    To compensate for the huge costs, a 20,000 seat arena would need to be filled every night, with tickets up to $200. This is roughly what they have in Ottawa, yet Eugene Melnyk lost money last season.

    I agree that Eastern Canada has a rich history of hockey, but frankly, none of it is at the professional level.

    And, they do not have the population or economic stability to support any big professional sports. Even the CFL has summarily dismissed the east coast.

    In the 2006 Census, Halifax had the 13th highest population. Furthermore, only 2 other eastern cities ranked in the top 30. As a comparision, Quebec City, Winnipeg, and Hamilton were 7,8,9.
    Are you sure about that? Don't ever believe an accountant who isn't yours.

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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by Guest on Mon May 25, 2009 10:51 pm

    I do not believe Melnyk really lost a cent last year. Perhaps his finance staff could have made it a loss on paper (perhaps) but while owning the stadium, parking and getting a cut of concessions... I believe he is breaking even at worst...
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    Mojo
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by Mojo on Tue May 26, 2009 7:38 am

    Is this really an issue? Halifax does not have the population or the corporate support to have an NHL team.
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Tue May 26, 2009 7:39 am

    With the way the CBA is setup I'm sure the "team" could be shown to have lost money based on the criteria they agreed for accounting for "team" revenue.


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    shabbs
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by shabbs on Tue May 26, 2009 8:36 am

    As much as I'd love to see a team on the East Coast, I have doubts it would be sustainable.

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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by SensFan71 on Tue May 26, 2009 8:41 am

    Mojo wrote:Is this really an issue? Halifax does not have the population or the corporate support to have an NHL team.

    I have little doubt that corporate support could be found out here for the team, the Irvings would probably hitch their wagon to the possiblity, and they make the Atlantic provinces go round with their money alone, a few more minor sponsors like the breweries around here and this thing is taking off right before our eyes.
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    davetherave
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by davetherave on Tue May 26, 2009 8:44 am

    Mojo wrote:Is this really an issue? Halifax does not have the population or the corporate support to have an NHL team.

    But some say the league’s new structure makes a local team possible.

    “Keeping that salary cap in place, keeping a financial management vehicle in place, (allows) Canadian franchises to expand, and they’ll support the game of hockey,” said Fred MacGillivray, CEO of Trade Centre Limited, a local event organizing firm.


    As the above demonstrates, there are those in Halifax who disagree with Mojo.

    Has anyone presented a substantial case for, or against?

    Or is it just opinion vs. opinion?

    And should there be a team in Halifax so that Canada is represented coast to coast?

    Can Halifax be a worse place for a team than Fort Lauderdale, Florida, or Phoenix, Arizona?

    These are among the questions surrounding the issue.
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    wprager
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by wprager on Tue May 26, 2009 8:50 am

    dennycrane wrote:Jim Balsille made his money because he didn't throw good money after bad, a la Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, etc.

    I'm sure that nice, new sports car Jim-bo must be driving wasn't purchased with sound financial reasons in mind. Granted, a $212M is probably a bit more dough, but it's not like he's planning on losing that money. At worst, he'd be able to recoup most of the initial investment when/if he sells the franchise, and the operating losses (assuming he would lose money, at least initially) could be offset at least partially by RIM. I can see it n ow -- the Hamilton Pearls -- they could get RIM to pay them $100M per year for advertising.
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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Tue May 26, 2009 8:56 am

    This is all just oppinion but I think these are some of the key components to a successful Canadian NHL Franchise.

    1 - An ownership with deep pockets and a willingness and ability to ride out lean years in situations like a sagging Canadian Dollar

    2 - Corporate support to keep the suites filled regularly

    3 - A large group of diehard fans along with a fairly large fan base

    4 - A solid marketing campaign and an ability and willingness to invest in growing the game at all levels to build support for Hockey in general in that market.


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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by Cap'n Clutch on Tue May 26, 2009 8:58 am

    wprager wrote:
    dennycrane wrote:Jim Balsille made his money because he didn't throw good money after bad, a la Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida, Nashville, etc.

    I'm sure that nice, new sports car Jim-bo must be driving wasn't purchased with sound financial reasons in mind. Granted, a $212M is probably a bit more dough, but it's not like he's planning on losing that money. At worst, he'd be able to recoup most of the initial investment when/if he sells the franchise, and the operating losses (assuming he would lose money, at least initially) could be offset at least partially by RIM. I can see it n ow -- the Hamilton Pearls -- they could get RIM to pay them $100M per year for advertising.

    The Hamilton Pearls playing tonight in their home rink BlackBerry Centre. cool)


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    Re: An NHL Team in Halifax?

    Post by shabbs on Tue May 26, 2009 9:15 am

    Cap'n Clutch wrote:The Hamilton Pearls playing tonight in their home rink BlackBerry Centre. cool)
    That has an awkward sound to it...

    The Hamilton BlackBerry's playing at the RIM Center.

    Hmmm... equally awkward...

    The Hamilton QWERTY's playing at the BlackBerry Storm Center.

    Hmmm... this is not easy...

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