Depends on the management. Take Phoenix as an example. The killer in Phoenix isn't so much that it's a bad location, it's the fact that the team isn't in Phoenix! It's in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, it's like locating the Vancouver Canucks in Surrey, in a market where the fans are lukewarm to begin with, to make them drive out to the suburbs on a weekday evening to watch a hockey game was assinine. On top of that, the arena lease deal itself was terrible, with no parking ticket revenue sharing and little in the way of subsidies needed for a team like Phoenix.trouble wrote:I look at those places you talk about and go wow besides Winterpeg and Quebec which neither really have a big enough place to play the rest look like more problems for the NHLI'm 100% with you on this, but they are enough homes for these teams that it'll be a while before Vancouver gets a look at for a second team in this market. Bummer that Hamilton lies within the 50 miles of Toronto, but that's still way more plausible than Vancouver, and there's still Winnipeg, Quebec, Kansas, Las Vegas, Oklahoma, Houston, Seattle, Portland and Hartford that'll likely get a look before Surrey.
Nashville, on the other hand, shows how it can be done. While I at first thought JB was screwed, I'll grudgingly admit that Bettman had a case to keep the team there, they do crack the 14,000 fans consistently without huge concessions to the fans, they have a good degree of corporate support, they're the 27th largest cable TV market in the US, headquarters of major US industries (not only music, but healthcare) and the team is investing heavily in minor hockey programs for kids, hoping to grow a generation of fans. Despite the fraud of Boots and the tax problems of Freeman (related to him covering Boots), Nashville's got a solid ownership team with an Alberta billionaire waiting to join them. I think in a few years time they'll be a strong franchise, on and off the ice.
People laughed at the idea of hockey in California or Dallas, and though they've had ups and downs, they've established hockey as a respected presence there, so let's not just look at the dot on the city and assume we can judge their viability for a hockey franchise. It's in the details of how they plan on running the franchise and building the fan base that counts.