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Thread: The NHL Off-Season Thread Starts With a Bang

  1. #61
    notyoueither
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    Spoiled would be one word for the complete ****-up you've made of the Saddledome.

    Developmentally challenged would be a better phrase.
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  2. #62
    notyoueither
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    BTW, the campaign to replace the Sore is underway, and retarded design which I've previously mentioned is the major reasons why.

    http://www.canada.com/cityguides/cal...8-1f9cd0eadf3c
    'Dome saddles up big acts

    'Dome Turns 25 -- - - -

    By The Calgary HeraldOctober 13, 2008

    'Dome Turns 25

    ...

    This week, as the 'Dome turns 25, Calgary is a cosmopolitan centre of one million, and it's often been suggested both the city and entertainers have outgrown the 'Dome.

    Calgary in recent years has been passed over by major touring acts, largely because of the building's limitations. Last year, a Tim McGraw/Faith Hill double bill and a Justin Timberlake concert went to Edmonton instead of Calgary. The problem was both acts perform in the centre of the arenas they play in, which required the hanging of tons of lights, speakers and special equipment from the roof. The saddle-shaped 'Dome roof, which dips in the middle, was unable to sustain such massive rigs.

    "We increasingly miss world-class concerts because the ('Dome's) structure is not strong enough to support some of the touring shows," says King. "That in itself is not a reason to build a new building, but it's among a group of things that this aging structure causes us problems with."

    Washroom capacity, pedestrian mobility and amenities are other areas that King would like to see updated. As concerts go, the building's acoustics could be improved upon as well, he says. "Acoustically, this building is . . . adequate. It's not great," he says.

    For the past couple years, plans have been underway to replace the Saddledome with a new venue in 2014, when the 'Dome's lease is up. But King stresses that, at this point, nothing is concrete.

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  3. #63
    Asher
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    World-class concerts need not have massive displays in the centre. Tim McGraw/Faith Hill and Justin Timberlake? Sounds like this Saddledome feature is ****ing useful.

    And I'm sure I don't need to explain this to you. It takes a LONG time for arenas to get built (look at Nassau). The Saddledome has a good decade or more of life left in it, they're just starting the lobbying now because that is how the game works. They're also putting in their "ME TOO" card because Edmonton is going to need a new arena very soon, and they're going to need government help. Calgary's just making sure everybody gets money out of it.

    We all know this...the Saddledome is fine. Rexall genuinely needs a new arena ASAP.
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  4. #64
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    http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1018900&p=1
    Major concerts bypass Calgary
    Heath McCoy Calgary Herald, Calgary Herald
    Published: Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    Madonna, Spears latest to skip 'Dome

    class artists who have opted to pass on Calgary concerts due at least in part to structural inadequacies at Pengrowth Saddledome.

    The Herald has learned that Madonna's management was looking at booking the Material Girl for dates in both Calgary and Edmonton early next year but they ultimately backed out of Alberta altogether.

    It was also announced Monday that Britney Spears will be performing in the round at Edmonton's Rexall Place (on April 6), while Calgary will go Britney-less.

    Spears' management was looking at booking a Calgary date within days of the Edmonton gig, but ultimately her stage show was just too massive for the 'Dome.

    "It barely fit into our (arena)," said a source from Rexall Place who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Rexall is built like an egg and you could hang your house from our roof."

    An ongoing concern regarding the 'Dome's saddle-shaped roof, which dips in the middle, was said to be a factor in both decisions.

    Due to the 'Dome's dip, the building has been unable to host a number of major artists in recent years who perform in the centre of the arenas they play in.

    Performing "in the round," as this setup is called, requires that the acts hang tons of lights, speakers and special equipment from the middle of the ceiling.

    Because of its unique architectural structure, the Saddledome's roof has increasingly been unable to sustain some of the more massive rigs found in modern concert tours.

    While the 'Dome has attracted some of the biggest acts in the world over the years - including the Rolling Stones, U2 and Bruce Springsteen - Calgary has recently missed out on a number of top shows. Among them are Justin Timberlake, Beyonce and a double bill featuring Tim McGraw and Faith Hill - all of whom performed in Edmonton, instead. But even though Rexall Place will occasionally get shows that bypass the 'Dome, the Rexall insider stresses that often major touring acts are more attracted to Alberta when they can play both Calgary and Edmonton.

    "If there's a guy in New York or L.A. trying to route a show and he's looking at a map, it doesn't take a Grade 10 geography student to figure out that's it's two days worth of travel to get to Edmonton and then there's at least a day off between Edmonton and Vancouver," says the Rexall source. "If (the artist) can do back to back shows with Calgary, that makes things a lot more lucrative for the performer."

    For Madonna, when plans for Calgary fell through, she backed out of Alberta altogether rather than opting to play in Edmonton alone.

    Ken King, president of the Calgary Flames (the organization that manages the 'Dome), said Monday that the arena's roof and its weight restrictions was indeed a "prohibitive" factor when negotiations were on the table for bringing both Madonna and Spears to town.

    This hits home with King, as he's spearheaded tentative plans to replace the 'Dome with a new venue in 2014 when the building's lease is up.

    Still, King stresses that the roof wasn't the only factor when it comes to Madonna and Britney passing on Calgary. "In Britney's case . . . we had date challenges as well," King says. "It would be incorrect to say it was only cancelled due to weight (restrictions). There's always been a number of factors which determine tours. But, in the case of these two, if they had overcome all the other factors, weight would have been an issue .

    "I don't want someone to think . . . ‘You mean we can get Britney Spears and Madonna if we have a new building?' That (by itself is) not a good enough reason to get a new building . . . . But it's increasingly apparent that with all the major tours (the 'Dome is) going to have challenges in (attracting) them unless we make major adjustments."

    Calgary might also have lost two Metallica shows hitting the 'Dome this week on Thursday and Friday nights. In the heavy metal band's other shows across North America they are playing in the round. To accommodate Calgary, Metallica pared down some of its stage show and playing at one end of the arena, rather than in the centre.

    "Ultimately (when the 'Dome was built), people were making hockey decisions and decisions based on cosmetics as opposed to practicality," says the Rexall insider.

    Now, 25 years after the arena was built, those decisions are effecting Calgary's concert scene.

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  5. #65
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    Madonna, Spears latest to skip 'Dome




    Again, where is the problem? It's becoming increasingly apparent that the only people this deters are no-talent lipsyncing types who rely on monstrously overcomplex sets to put on their show. Good riddance.
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  6. #66
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    Let's play Devil's Advocate, and say Balsillie manages to turn the Phoenix Coyotes into the Hamilton-Kitchener-Waterloo-London Blackberries.

    What would the divisional realignment look like? It would have to be pretty radical. The simplest move would be Vancouver to the Pacific, St. Louis to the Northwest, and the new Ontario team to the Central. On the other hand, they could do something much more radical and create a Greater Ontario division, with all three Ontario teams plus Buffalo and Detroit, plus a total reshuffling of all the other divisions.
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  7. #67
    Wezil
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    Bankruptcy court ruling today.
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    While it will be interesting to see how this fiasco plays out, there's no chance in hell Balsilie gets this team in Canada. I just don't get the guy. Full marks for wanting another team up here, and I think it would work from an economic perspective, but he seems hell-bent on getting not only the league but all the other owners to hate him.
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    I'm not sure the other owners would hate getting an extra $80M.

    He has had support of the owners in the past.
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  10. #70
    Asher
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    Except for two particular owners.
    "The issue is there are still many people out there that use religion as a crutch for bigotry and hate. Like Ben."
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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asher View Post
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    Except for two particular owners.
    Yes, two in particular would not be pleased.

    The Leafs would love to be able to continue providing a crap product with no local competition and Buffalo is just....Buffalo.
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  12. #72
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    I don't personally care what happens (I switched my allegiance to junior hockey years ago) but I would like to see Bettman out of a job by the time this is over.
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  13. #73
    Asher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wezil View Post
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    I don't personally care what happens (I switched my allegiance to junior hockey years ago) but I would like to see Bettman out of a job by the time this is over.
    I wouldn't blame you, given the choices between the London Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Buffalo Sabres...
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  14. #74
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    I actually grew up in Peterborough watching the Petes. Junior franchises don't come much better than that. The London Knights have been very entertaining the last few years now that the Hunter brothers are in charge.
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    Something tells me whatever support he had among owners might be wearing thin. I don't doubt that there are many owners who think that a relocation is a good idea, but Balsilie's tactics aren't winning him many friends.
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  16. #76
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    When you are dealing with a commissioner that is hell bent on preserving teams in deserts come hell or high water while stubbornly ignoring viable hockey markets I don't see what other tactics can be employed. Bettman has made it clear a team will come to Hamilton over his dead body. I'm glad someone seems prepared to use a knife.
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  17. #77
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    Round 1 goes to Balsillie.

    PHOENIX — Jim Balsillie's all-or-nothing proposition to move the Phoenix Coyotes got a boost yesterday when a straight-talking bankruptcy judge ordered the issue of who controls the team to mediation and then said he will decide next month if the team can be moved to Hamilton.

    Judge Redfield T. Baum's decision sets the stage for a hearing on June 22 to decide whether Mr. Balsillie — or any other potential buyer — can move the franchise as part of an agreement to purchase the team.

    Mr. Balsillie has made a $212.5-million (U.S.) bid to purchase the team from Jerry Moyes, with the condition that he be allowed to move it to Southern Ontario. Both the Balsillie camp and the NHL expressed confidence the judge will rule in their favour on the issue of who is in charge of the team. They also had a rare moment of agreement — each side saying the relocation issue is the key matter in the bankruptcy case of the Coyotes.

    "Better," replied Mr. Balsillie's Toronto lawyer, Richard Rodier, when asked how he felt about the chances of the Coyotes coming to Hamilton in the wake of the judge's ruling.

    Mr. Balsillie, the co-CEO of Research In Motion, has been pursuing a NHL franchise for years. He was previously rebuffed by the league in attempts to buy and move the Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators to Southern Ontario.

    Bill Daly, the deputy commissioner of the NHL, said he was confident "decades of court rulings" will mean Judge Baum — who started yesterday's hearing saying he did not want to rule on the relocation issue — will uphold the NHL's contention that only it can decide where teams are located and that all Mr. Moyes has the right to sell is a team that plays hockey in Arizona.

    "The biggest issue is, is this a mobile asset and we have to decide that before we have an auction," Mr. Daly said. "I'm confident in the court's ability to decide the issue. Many courts have decided the issue over many years and sports leagues have always maintained the ability to control the locations of their franchises. I don't expect anything different here."

    The NHL also got some legal backing yesterday from the National Football League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. The leagues filed a joint motion backing the NHL on the issues it has raised about club relocation and asking for permission to participate in the hearings on the issue.

    The hearing was originally called to decide who had control of the Coyotes. The NHL argued Mr. Moyes has no right to put the team into bankruptcy and sell it to Mr. Balsillie because he signed over control last Nov. 14 in exchange for financial help from the NHL.

    Mr. Moyes countered that all he signed over to the league in the two proxy agreements were voting rights, not ownership and management rights.

    It appears Judge Baum will make his decision quickly. He set a date of June 12 for written briefs to be filed with the court, giving himself 10 days to read them, before a hearing on the relocation issue set for June 22.

    He spent much time admonishing the NHL and its lawyers for the length of their legal filings and the turgid language in their proxy agreements.

    "I'm an old guy who has vague memories of someone with a yardstick talking about run-on sentences," he said. The court session took a dramatic turn late in the day when the NHL asked the judge to decide the relocation issue immediately. By the end of the day, lawyers for Mr. Moyes and Mr. Balsillie agreed, although they asked for more time to prepare written arguments, which was granted.

    "We need to know what is for sale and that means the relocation issue," NHL lawyer Tony Clark told the judge. "We want you to decide that issue and, with respect, handle it now."

    Earlier, the judge said he thought it "would chill" any potential bidders if it was not decided by the court if the new owner could move the team. But he chided the Phoenix lawyer who represented Mr. Balsillie in court, Susan Freeman, for not making a formal application to the NHL to move the team.

    The judge argued it was hard for Mr. Balsillie and Mr. Moyes to make the case that the NHL was unreasonably blocking their attempts to take over the team and move it if there had been no application to the league to do so.

    When Ms. Freeman suggested NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was steadfastly opposed to approving a Balsillie bid, Judge Baum reminded her that decision is made by the board of governors.

    Last night Mr. Balsillie issued a statement saying he respected the judge's decisions.

    "But let's be clear, I am moving forward," he said. "I have tabled a comprehensive and attractive offer. I will also be filing formal applications to the NHL both for transfer of ownership and for relocation to Southern Ontario to my chosen Hamilton Copps Coliseum venue. I am being open and transparent about this as I've been from the beginning. My Hamilton proposal, drawing on the world's best hockey fans located in the fourth largest urban region in North America, meets all the conditions for a successful NHL franchise."

    The two sides spent the first half of the proceeding yesterday arguing over whether Mr. Moyes had the right to put the team into bankruptcy court and sell it to Mr. Balsillie.

    The NHL argued that Mr. Moyes was no longer in control of the team by virtue of signing away proxy voting rights when the NHL agreed to fund the team starting in mid-November.

    But the judge pointed out several instances where the NHL seemed to be acknowledging Mr. Moyes was in control of the team, such as asking his permission to review the team's books and records.

    "If you were in complete control would you need consent of the Moyes group to review the books and records?" asked the judge. "That doesn't sound like someone who is in complete control."

    Judge Baum grew frustrated by a debate he suggested repeatedly was using up too much time and energy of the participants to no interest of the team's creditors.

    "I can see everyone has put a lot of time and resources over deciding who had their hand on the steering wheel of a car that will be sold in the next 60 days."

    In the end, Judge Baum ordered the two sides to seek mediation on the issue and report back on May 27th. If the two sides are not making progress on a resolution at that time, an outcome that seems very likely, the judge will have to make a ruling on the issue.

    The Coyotes seem to have the upper hand there," said University of Illinois bankruptcy scholar Charles Tabb. "It seems that if the judge agreed with the league's control question, as a matter of law, then he should have just ruled for the league on that point, because that ends the case from Moyes's side. The bankruptcy filing would then be defective and the league could decide to carry on the bankruptcy or not. So it would seem that by sending the parties off to mediate, the judge must be inclined in favour of Mr. Moyes on the control question. Surely the league is smart enough to figure that out as well."

    One question left unanswered is what will become of the Coyotes if Mr. Balsillie's bid fails in late June and the team needs an owner to take it over in Glendale for the 2009-10 season.

    A representative of the City of Glendale claimed there were several bidders willing to take over the Coyotes with the belief they can be profitable. But Mr. Daly expressed concern that the team's position in the Phoenix market had deteriorated since the Coyotes entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 5th.

    It was recited in court that since that time, the team had sold only $20,000 in tickets for next season compared to $1.5-million leading up to that time.

    "You heard our lawyers state statistics in respect to what the business has been since the bankruptcy filing," Mr. Daly said." It's not a pretty thing."


    http://sports.theglobeandmail.com/se...rtsHockey/home
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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wezil View Post
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    When you are dealing with a commissioner that is hell bent on preserving teams in deserts come hell or high water while stubbornly ignoring viable hockey markets I don't see what other tactics can be employed. Bettman has made it clear a team will come to Hamilton over his dead body. I'm glad someone seems prepared to use a knife.

    You mean the sort of hockey markets that had a couple of teams in bankruptcy within the last ten years?
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  19. #79
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    http://www.mc79hockey.com/?p=3145#more-3145

    In January of 2009, the Coyotes and the NHL came to an agreement whereby the NHL would provide further financing to Phoenix. As part of this agreement, the Coyotes filed a bunch of information with the NHL, including a document entitled “2008-09 Budget #2 (Solomon)”, which included budgets for Coyotes Hockey, LLC and Arena Management Group, LLC.

    Coyotes Hockey, LLC had the following budget:

    Revenues
    Ticket Revenue - $17,782,893
    Concessions & Merchandise - $2,078,497
    Box Office Revenues (service charge on tickets) - $417,792
    Suite and Premium Seating - $9,863,588
    Corporate Revenues (sponsorship and advertising) - $13,000,016
    Broadcast Revenues - $4,473,003 (This is apparently just local money, which is amazing to me, as they apparently draw about 7K viewers per game)
    NHL Revenues, Broadcast and Enterprises - $9,257,699
    NHL Revenue Sharing - $14,000,000
    Fan Development/Other - $147,199
    Hockey Operation Revenues (?) - $1,652,000
    Ticket taxes - ($2,163,479)
    Total Revenues - $70,479,188

    Expenses
    Hockey Development
    Player Salaries and Performance Bonuses - $43,911,000
    Player Benefits - $2,776,860
    Coaches, Equipment, Admin. etc. - $9,624,040
    Scouting Department - $1,900,000
    Farm System - $3,649,742
    Total Hockey Expenses - $61,861,642

    Business
    Finance & Administration - $2,999,418
    Ticket Sales Dept - $2,715,054
    Box Office - $750,591
    Fan Development - $323,433
    Advertising & Promotion - $2,328,181
    Game Operations - $625,727
    Sales Service Dept - $2,125,378
    Media Relations - $635,585
    Premium Sales - $993.910
    Corporate Sales Dept. - $1,633,985
    Community Relations Department - $281.160
    Broadcast Department - $2,166,101
    Business Operations - $629,797
    Total Business - $18,209,321

    Other
    Ownership - $514,410
    League Expenses - $3,811,389
    Other Management Expenses - $5,783,988
    Glendale Arena Other Expenses - $2,315,380
    Total Other - $12,425,167

    Total Expenses - $92,496,130

    EBITDA - (22,016,942)

    Interest Expense - $13,523,969
    Depreciation & Amortization (I assume that this is largely player contracts) $18,235,665

    Net Operating Loss - $53,776,576
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  20. #80
    notyoueither
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    The accounting of the Coyotes is a topic of some amusement.

    AKA how to turn an operational profit into a massive loss.
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  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by notyoueither View Post
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    You mean the sort of hockey markets that had a couple of teams in bankruptcy within the last ten years?

    Hamilton has never had a team to the best of my knowledge.

    Why do you love Bettman so much? Do you think he has been good for the game? I'm truly confused why a Canadian would be a supporter of his. An American I can understand...
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  22. #82
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    Speaking as an American, Bettman was been a nearly-unmitigated disaster, and ought to have his ass tied to a rail and shipped to Outer Nunavut.
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  23. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wezil View Post
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    Hamilton has never had a team to the best of my knowledge.

    Why do you love Bettman so much? Do you think he has been good for the game? I'm truly confused why a Canadian would be a supporter of his. An American I can understand...

    It's not Bettman. That's the first thing. Bettman works for 30 owners. He was hired to follow directions they set (Southern expansion among them). I'm a supporter of the sport and the league. Bettman happens to be the public face of it ATM.

    Personally, I have little problem with the guy who did a lot of work and helped with the league to make it possible for the Oilers to stay in Edmonton. He did similar work for the Flames.

    Secondly, the NHL failed in Winnipeg and Quebec City within the last 15 years and came close in Edmonton and Calgary. There were bankruptcies in Ottawa and Buffalo within the last ten. Those are 'us' markets. Nashville is a 'them' and was a supposed black hole akin to Phoenix. The Preds now have local owners and good management and wait, they've turned a profit. I'm not sure which part of being a Canadian should lead me to ignore these inconvenient points.

    Hamilton getting a team would be great. It's the process of the getting that might be questioned.
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  24. #84
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    nye echos my sentiments. I don't like Bettman, but people need to remember that he serves at the the behest of the owners. If his decisions were that unpopular with them, they'd get rid of him. That's why I don't get Balsillie now. Regardless of whether moving a team to Hamilton is a good idea or not, his latest approach is a giant FU to the existing owners by attempting to take away their ability to decide on relocations. I think he'd be far better off just trying to make convincing arguments that a team would prosper in southern Ontario than trying to circumvent everyone in the league and use clearly questionable tactics.
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  25. #85
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    Somebody needs to deliver the giant FU to the current owners if they oppose servicing markets in great demand so they can milk their own profits with a monopoly.
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  26. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by notyoueither View Post
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    Personally, I have little problem with the guy who did a lot of work and helped with the league to make it possible for the Oilers to stay in Edmonton. He did similar work for the Flames.
    I think I have my answer.
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  27. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kontiki View Post
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    I think he'd be far better off just trying to make convincing arguments that a team would prosper in southern Ontario than trying to circumvent everyone in the league and use clearly questionable tactics.
    Doesn't work. It has been tried for decades now. It will take legal action and court rulings to break this absurd monopoly.
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  28. #88
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    Flames fire Keenan. I'm indifferent. I don't think he was bad, but he wasn't good either.
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  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wezil View Post
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    Doesn't work. It has been tried for decades now. It will take legal action and court rulings to break this absurd monopoly.

    Maybe the people wanting to bring an expansion team to town will pony up the expansion fee next time. That wouldn't take a truck full of lawyers.
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  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wezil View Post
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    I think I have my answer.

    Whatever floats your boat. You wondered how a Canadian could support Bettman.

    It's quite easy if you acknowledge that he went to bat for Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa, and you are aware that he is not the Pol Pot of hockey as he is made out to be in some quarters of the Canadian media.
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