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puckhead63

Troubles in Nashville

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It's all about marketing - that's the bottom line. You can sell a piece of toast on eBay if you put a good marketing spin on it and we know that to be a fact. IMO, the ultimate factor in a franchise's success is in its ability to market their product to their target demographics. It doesn't happen overnight though.

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The Lightening?

As in, the Tampa Bay Gradually-Growing-Less-Dark?

Yet more hockey-won't-succeed-in-the-South tripe. The only reason they focus on the potential attendance issues for a new Southern team, as opposed to the definite attendance issues for established Northern teams, is because we keep winning Cups. And this year there's an excellent chance for Atlanta, Carolina, or Nashville to do it again. That must really burn.

what? i asked you to show me why people up north think that we hate the teams down south because you win cups. thats probaly the most farfetched theory ive ever heard of. it's certainly not that. lets count montreal has 23 cups. the entire southeast division 2. i dont know where the imaginery dislike came from. it's not that i dislike them (southern teams) it's just that I would rather see them in canada than nashville pretty much dust off their team every nite like they do.

I believe all we heard from most of the people from the other teams last year (not all) was that we didn't deserve the cup because of our fans, now what are we suppose to think of that? Jealousy IMO.

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The discussion here isn't about jealous fans, it's about media outlets.

I was thinking they were talking about people in general since he said

"i asked you to show me why people up north think that we hate the teams down south"

But I see what you are talking about. I think you do see it with the more hockey traditionalist, how everyone was rooting against us in the last SCF... TSN for example.

Anyways, I think that if Nashville does well in the playoffs, that will draw more then any marketing campaign. It is what they do after that as well, that will be important. I don't think you can look at just attendance as the judge of how the team is doing over all, they did say that they were on average for what their goal was for this year... just the box seats... Maybe it won't work... It wouldn't be the first time a professional team has had to leave. But I think its not right to blame the people for it either, the owners are in charge and responsible for the teams development and progress.

I am not really sure what the end of this topic is at, because this will just continually go on back and forth about whos right, whats right, attendance this, its a dead horse as far as I am concerned, and I thought we were done and over with the whole attendance arguements anyways...

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But I see what you are talking about. I think you do see it with the more hockey traditionalist, how everyone was rooting against us in the last SCF... TSN for example.

That anti-Hurricane rally is more of a matter of circumstance.

Trust me if it was a Hurricane/Montreal Stanley Cup finals.....I would bet you my life savings that the entire Leaf population would have been cheering for the Canes to win. Most Canadians root for Canadian teams regardless if it is their number one team out of principle, not out of hatred for the south.

Try to look at it this way.....Lets take the MLB as an example. Imagine the Montreal Expos VS Boston Red Sox World Series. Being a fan of neither team, which team would you root for?

A) a city that has been holding on for a championship victory since the beginning of the Bambino curse....

B) or a team that had to play half their season in Puerto Rico just to get a crowd?

Most Canadians seen non-traditional markets like Nashville as the Montreal Expos of the NHL.

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Most Canadians seen non-traditional markets like Nashville as the Montreal Expos of the NHL.

I appreciate the honest assessment. My opinion on that analogy would be that MLB never intended a strong expansion effort in Canada.. Montreal and Toronto were going to be the only baseball teams in Canada, regardless of how strongly attended the games were. The fact that one franchise failed didn't impact the long-term goals of baseball at all.

The same is not true of hockey. The constant population shift in the United States from Northeast to South and West means that any professional sport wishing to compete at a national level must have representation in those areas. It is expected that the next census will see 5-8 Congressional seats transferred from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt. As one Boston economist said, 'Until they ban air conditioning, the South and West will continue to grow <..>'

Hockey faces a simple choice: either it will be a small, regional sport played in Canada and the North U.S., or maintain a solid and expanding Southern and Western U.S. presence in order to compete against the other national sports.

I am acutely aware that there are many Canadians and northern-state Americans that would be ecstatic if the NHL returned to the days of yore. Winning Cups in a 12-team league.. sending all those Euros back across the pond.. but in doing so the NHL would be permanently relegated to that fate, and would never return even to its current reduced level of prominence. If the NHL wants to play in the big leagues, there won't be fewer Southern/Western teams.. there will be more.

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The attendance issues in these newer Southern markets like Nashville, typically stem from several factors and they aren't going to be solved solely by a franchise putting a winning team on the ice for 1 1/2 years as the Preds have done.

You have to build a base of fans, in a non-traditional market, that will have sustainability, i.e., a large core group who will follow the team regardless of their play. That takes time and winning helps accelerate the process but doesn't guarantee it.

It starts with marketing and most teams are horrible at it. Most investors won't fund a new company without a complete business plan, which includes marketing, but the NHL looks past this key component especially since they collected big expansion fees. Short term vision usually equals longer term problems.

The Canes experience is a perfect example. Ten years in and the marketing is just terrible. They need to draw from the entire state much more effectively. If you go to the Triad or Charlotte areas there is very little awareness and even less coverage. The Canes need to play exhibition games there and put the AHL farm team somewhere in the state among other things. Maybe Nashville is suffering the same fate. Both Raleigh and Nashville have to get regular support far beyond their local regions because they are smaller markets.

Another issue is that there is a lot of naysayers, often elitist fans and media outlets, who want the newer markets to fail because they think they are unworthy or undeserving. It's an odd attitude because the pre-expansion NHL wasn't exactly booming with several teams on financial life support and a couple of the smaller Canadian markets being subsidized by the league. Yes, we'll take your fees but we hope you fail. Rather than celebrate the growth of the sport they bristle at where it has expanded to.

As for the argument that the bigger markets pay the freight if teams like Nashville struggle because of revenue-sharing, that is just not so. The top 10 revenue producers are required to share revenue with the bottom 15 so that will be there regardless of which teams are lagging behind.

The NHL philosophy seems to be "build it and they will come" but it takes more than that. There is no reason why a market like Nashville can't work but it does take time and a plan.

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The two of you wrote way too much or me to reply to everything...

The revenue sharing is exactly the way I said it was stormrider. Yes the Top 15 share with the bottom 15, but the smaller the revenue gap is, the smaller the revenue shared becomes. When a team can't put fans in the seats with a successful team....it tells the top 15 franchises, that Nashville will never be able to close that gap. The "It takes time" argument doesn't solve the issue either. It's an open ended argument with no clear cut time-line or financial strategy. How much time are we talking about? 3 years? 5 years? 10 years? Keep one thing in mind here....the longer it takes these financially struggling markets to stabilize itself, the longer revenue sharing remains large.

Revenue sharing has been both a blessing and a curse to the NHL. It's great because it helps compensate for smaller markets that are geographically located on less wealthy or less populated demographics. This has helped teams like Edmonton and Nashville alike. The problem with revenue sharing is it has made it possible for incompetent owners to run a hockey team. Most owners use their franchises as novelty items and not a place to build their personal income. If revenue sharing guarantees an owner a balanced book, there is very little incentive for him to improve his marketing campaign or attendance figures. I'm aware that the Hurricanes are making more money this season then in the last and I'm glad this is true, but before winning the cup Karmanos was quoted having little incentive to improve either.

stormrider.....I also don't quite follow you on the expansion fees argument. If there is anything the NHL has made clear in the past 10 years, it is that they want hockey to work in the south. The New CBA specifically looks at the concerns of southern markets. And if you look up expansion history....many of the expansion cities were awarded teams before they even had the money to pay for their expansion fees.

Another issue is that there is a lot of naysayers, often elitist fans and media outlets, who want the newer markets to fail because they think they are unworthy or undeserving. It's an odd attitude because the pre-expansion NHL wasn't exactly booming with several teams on financial life support and a couple of the smaller Canadian markets being subsidized by the league. Yes, we'll take your fees but we hope you fail. Rather than celebrate the growth of the sport they bristle at where it has expanded to.

This is just the conspiracy theory talk again. The bottom line is this, until the south starts producing NHL players, it's going to be hard to get large communal interest.

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This is just the conspiracy theory talk again. The bottom line is this, until the south starts producing NHL players, it's going to be hard to get large communal interest.

Whether or not they produce NHL caliber players is yet to be seen but Local Ice rinks here are packed during open skate sessions - House Leagues are Full to capacity , and according to the Coaches of my son and daughter the level of play in Youth leagues in the area have dramatically increased in the last 5 years.

I dont know about Nashville but here in Raleigh there is a new generation of kids growing up skating , playing hockey and going to games and this is the foundation for success in the future.

I actually had my doubts when they built an Ice Rink here in Wake Forest and on Monday (MLK Holiday) you wouldnt believe the crowd.

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well, after reading almost everything here. My take is this. With Nashvilles record there should be no excuse for having bad attendance ( 13,000 or below). That is why this team , along with Florida may be in serious trouble in the next 5 years. It is not a south vs north thing. It is a traditional hockey fan vs Bettman thing. Everyone mentions St.Louis,Chicago, Boston etc. Those teams will bounce back , they always do. They have had bad management and either made bad trades or none at all and their teams records are showing it. Some fans will stay away when the team consistently plays bad ( trust me, I know).

Some people have brought up the canes and their attendance. Like I have said before, you guys are great fans. BUT let's face it, if the team continued on the whalers track record, your attendance would be terrinble. Moving to Raleigh did not improve this teams attendance, the winning record did and that is not meant as an insult , it's just the truth. If the team had this record in Hartford, the attendance would be awesome also.

As far as me posting this stuff with the outside chance of one of these teams going to Hartford. Well, first I didn't post this thread with that in mind but some brought it up like it would be the number one hockey sin if that happened. That I don't understand, if any fans in this league would be understanding to the hartford fans, it would be the canes fans but I don't see that. YES, ofcourse I would take any team I could but without a new arena yet, It won't happen soon. So, some of you can stop worrying about it.

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Nashville isn't going to Hartford, sorry.

Did I post anywhere that the pred's were going to Hartford or even seeing them moveat all . Just thought it was interesting, a team with a great record is doing so poorly with attendance. Maybe you can pick an arguement another time though....thanks, anyway

I didn't mean to put words in your mouth, but its not really surprising that Nashville is having some problems with attendance. They have poor marketing, and don't know how to market to the local people. They decided do their cooperate marketing by mail, instead of talking to people individually.

The fact that cooperate sales are low in both regions isn't bad to me, besides this isn't Toronto, so why do they expect sales to be so high in that demograph, because other 'hockey markets' do? They have to win the fans first then worry about the big cheeses. If the regular guys are in, then word spreads imo.

FW, we all know you want a team there, and I understand, so heres to the Hartford Predators! :lol:

thanks.....It will be a long time if ever.

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The revenue sharing is exactly the way I said it was stormrider. Yes the Top 15 share with the bottom 15, but the smaller the revenue gap is, the smaller the revenue shared becomes. When a team can't put fans in the seats with a successful team....it tells the top 15 franchises, that Nashville will never be able to close that gap. The "It takes time" argument doesn't solve the issue either. It's an open ended argument with no clear cut time-line or financial strategy. How much time are we talking about? 3 years? 5 years? 10 years? Keep one thing in mind here....the longer it takes these financially struggling markets to stabilize itself, the longer revenue sharing remains large.

It's actually the top 10 teams and the bottom 15 got subsidized without regard to the gap because it is based on the actual revenues being generated by the top 10. In future years if the gap widens then adjustments will be made and their are also restrictions tied to attendance levels of the bottom 15.

stormrider.....I also don't quite follow you on the expansion fees argument. If there is anything the NHL has made clear in the past 10 years, it is that they want hockey to work in the south. The New CBA specifically looks at the concerns of southern markets. And if you look up expansion history....many of the expansion cities were awarded teams before they even had the money to pay for their expansion fees.
Another issue is that there is a lot of naysayers, often elitist fans and media outlets, who want the newer markets to fail because they think they are unworthy or undeserving. It's an odd attitude because the pre-expansion NHL wasn't exactly booming with several teams on financial life support and a couple of the smaller Canadian markets being subsidized by the league. Yes, we'll take your fees but we hope you fail. Rather than celebrate the growth of the sport they bristle at where it has expanded to.

This is just the conspiracy theory talk again. The bottom line is this, until the south starts producing NHL players, it's going to be hard to get large communal interest.

As per my quote above that you included, I was referring to "often elitist fans and media outlets" not the NHL. You have Leaf fans and writers for example whose teams benefited from expansion by the fees that were split but at the same time look down upon Southern expansion and hope the teams fail.

I agree that the NHL wants it to work in the South but they have to put a better plan in place. They should have required full business plans to be approved with budget and milestones to grow the market. Here for example Karmanos talked about the demographics of a vibrant, growing economy. Ok, good start but there hasn't been a very good commitment to market the game and the team to the entire area which would include all of the state, SC and So. VA. It's very tough to expect a non-traditional market, which is true of Nashville too, to disproportionately draw fans from a small base.

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Moving to Raleigh did not improve this teams attendance, the winning record did and that is not meant as an insult , it's just the truth.

In 2002/03, the Canes finished dead last in the league. The following season, while again finishing out of the playoffs, they averaged 12171. That mark is the lowest attendance figure for the Canes in Raleigh, and is still better than 11 of the 18 seasons in Hartford.

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As per my quote above that you included, I was referring to "often elitist fans and media outlets" not the NHL. You have Leaf fans and writers for example whose teams benefited from expansion by the fees that were split but at the same time look down upon Southern expansion and hope the teams fail.

These fans and media outlets don't determine the direction of the NHL. I have a hard time believing that a bunch of nay sayers in the North determine ticket sales in non-traditional markets. It just appears that you're upset that these nay sayers haven't been proven wrong yet.

I agree that the NHL wants it to work in the South but they have to put a better plan in place. They should have required full business plans to be approved with budget and milestones to grow the market. Here for example Karmanos talked about the demographics of a vibrant, growing economy. Ok, good start but there hasn't been a very good commitment to market the game and the team to the entire area which would include all of the state, SC and So. VA. It's very tough to expect a non-traditional market, which is true of Nashville too, to disproportionately draw fans from a small base.

1. It's not the NHL that must come up with the better plan, it's the owners who control these teams. Bettman is not a babysitter and after the recent changes in the new CBA it seems that that is exactly what some of these owners want him to be.

2. The truth is Bettman wanted a national tv contract, because the league revenue from that would lead to financial prosperity across the league. Problem is the NHL didn't recieve the attention it was expecting from non-traditional markets. Which leaves us at the current predicament we are in. Watered down talent across the league, lock outs, and crappy attendance in both southern markets and some traditional markets.

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These fans and media outlets don't determine the direction of the NHL. I have a hard time believing that a bunch of nay sayers in the North determine ticket sales in non-traditional markets. It just appears that you're upset that these nay sayers haven't been proven wrong yet.

No, I was just following up on the direction of this thread about media outlets and I was expressing my opinion. I didn't state or imply it determined ticket sales but rather just made the observation that the naysayers will bash those markets regardless. Besides you yourself stated "The discussion here isn't about jealous fans, it's about media outlets" which is what I addressed so I don't follow where you are trying to take this.

1. It's not the NHL that must come up with the better plan, it's the owners who control these teams. Bettman is not a babysitter and after the recent changes in the new CBA it seems that that is exactly what some of these owners want him to be.

2. The truth is Bettman wanted a national tv contract, because the league revenue from that would lead to financial prosperity across the league. Problem is the NHL didn't recieve the attention it was expecting from non-traditional markets. Which leaves us at the current predicament we are in. Watered down talent across the league, lock outs, and crappy attendance in both southern markets and some traditional markets.

The fact that some owners couldn't police themselves when it came to spending shows the NHL does and did have to step in. The NHL does indeed need to come up with a better plan to ensure the new markets succeed and recent history shows the owners aren't doing all they can or should.

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stormrider.....

what I'm getting at is this.....do you not think the people living in these non-traditional markets have to take some responsibility over the faulty attendance of their hockey organizations? Or do you honestly believe it is ok to just sit there and point blame on everyone else?

"It's not our fault we don't like hockey as much as we should, it's your fault for not convincing us that we should"

That is sort of what you sound like and I can't seem to follow that logic.

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what I'm getting at is this.....do you not think the people living in these non-traditional markets have to take some responsibility over the faulty attendance of their hockey organizations? Or do you honestly believe it is ok to just sit there and point blame on everyone else?

I think more fans here should go to the games reguarly, and after the Stanley Cup season there is no reason why there shouldn't be sellouts almost every night like in Tampa Bay.

However, in a non-traditional market with fewer long-time fans with smaller populations to draw from there have to be strong grass roots efforts by the franchise to drum up more interest across a wider region. That takes time and in the case of the Hurricanes still hasn't happened.

Canes management thinks "we went to 2 Cup finals in 4 season where are the fans and corporate commitments?" It's a fair question but they also need to do their part in extending the fan base. They didn't understand, and neither did the NHL, this market demographic before they came here and they still haven't figured it out.

With respect to Nashville I think the naysayers are too quick to jump on them because I suspect they have the same issues but without the benefit of winning anything. It is like launching a business in a new market, it takes time, planning, effort and cooperation. Too many elitists already decided it will never work and look for any opportunity to support their stances.

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Ok....how much time are we talking about here? Anaheim has been in the league longer then almost any of the struggling expansion teams and they still can't put people in the seats.

How much "time" are we talking about here? You're using an open ended term.

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Ok....how much time are we talking about here? Anaheim has been in the league longer then almost any of the struggling expansion teams and they still can't put people in the seats.

How much "time" are we talking about here? You're using an open ended term.

i agree, at some point the NHL has to say "ok, this didn't work" and move on. GSBG has written countless post on the topic of the ducks and their lack of drawing consistent crowds so i won't beat that horse.

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Ok....how much time are we talking about here? Anaheim has been in the league longer then almost any of the struggling expansion teams and they still can't put people in the seats.

How much "time" are we talking about here? You're using an open ended term.

i agree, at some point the NHL has to say "ok, this didn't work" and move on. GSBG has written countless post on the topic of the ducks and their lack of drawing consistent crowds so i won't beat that horse.

Yes but at the same time, I'm not asking for the NHL to throw in the towel. Tampa Bay is a Southern Market team that more then likely pays into revenue sharing just as much as most traditional markets in the top 10. But if we continue to put the blame of non-traditional markets on the nay sayers it's not going to resolve anything either.

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Ok....how much time are we talking about here? Anaheim has been in the league longer then almost any of the struggling expansion teams and they still can't put people in the seats.

How much "time" are we talking about here? You're using an open ended term.

Reality says since it's the investors/owners money you can't put too many hard-line provisions into ownership which is why the prospective Pens owner bailed. Karmanos was prepared to lose a lot of money and he did but some owners may not be as patient, but much depends on the price tag and their ROI timeframes.

The new CBA decreases revenue distribution shares to teams who have relative underperformance in areas of attendance and revenue growth. That way teams can't exist in a pure welfare state which I sense is where you concern lies. Anaheim, for example, is not even eligible for revenue sharing so that one purely is up to their ownership group as far as "how long."

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Ok....how much time are we talking about here? Anaheim has been in the league longer then almost any of the struggling expansion teams and they still can't put people in the seats.

How much "time" are we talking about here? You're using an open ended term.

Bad Example - LA/Anaheim couldnt even support and sellout NFL football , which is basically a Gold Mine in any US City. I lived out there for 3 years and the Rams/Raiders were blacked out almost every home game from TV because they couldnt sell out.

Certain markets just stink , Atlanta doesnt even sell out Braves playoff games

While Tampa is a great Entertainment market for Concerts , Theatre , Football and now Hockey.

I dont think that Raleigh will ever get to a sellout every game but they can still be successful here drawing 16,000+ if managed correctly.

Aside from not being a Traditional Hockey Market - Nashville has enough going for it (entertainment $$ wise) that it should be able to support and keep the Preds--- time will tell

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I don't think there is a clear cut answer to all of this. How much time? who knows but I just think there is going to be news coming from these teams in the next 5 years or so ( atlanta,florida,nashville,washington). I don't see Nashville or Florida making much past that IMO but we will see. You already see articles in Nashville papers discussing the possible sale or move, that is not good news

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