Sometimes it comes down to timing. PHX is a bigger USA media market than Seattle. I agree that Seattle makes more sense but that doesn't mean that at the time they put a team in PHX that there was a potential ownership group interested in Seattle. Now there is and I would be estatic if they moved PHX there.
The NHL committment to major USA media markets has been long term. Their business model is predicated on eventual success. The NBC contract was a break through but not anywhere near the size of what the big three get (MLB, NFL, NBA). Hockey fans in Canada are to a degree hung up on the 'gate' driven revenue model. It works in Canada because the fans are prepared to fork out big bucks to go. PHX is a long way from $250 tickets.
The glimmer of hope that PHX can take away from last year was that in playoffs their attendance was pretty decent. A talented team might actually build on that. However, to a certain extent, as long as the PHX's in the NHL are not losing big time money it makes no difference. American viewers do not know Canadian cities other than TO and maybe Van from the Olympics. Potential American fans of the NHL might be attracted by transferring allegiances from other sports like baseball, basketball or football. ie PHX Cardinals vs the CHI Bears.
Reverting the NHL business plan to a 'gate' driven revenue model will not create the dollars needed to support the cost structure they are experienceing. Media revenue expands beyond the arena limits of 20,000 fans to millions of fans.
Well they have lost big money, to the point now where there is no owner, and the NHL just keep pouring money into every year that they will never make back in that market.
The timing is critical like you said, but I think the timing is now and has been since they lost there owner.
If the Jameison thing can come through and he can own the team then great, they can stay in PHX (even though personally I think they should have been moved already)
But if it doesn't, then they should move. PHX only got 4 games on NBC, nowhere near what other major market NHL teams got that actually have good fan bases.
And for Seattle the timing seems right too, they have people interested in owning a team, the Arena is built I think (or almost done, im not sure I haven't really been following it closely) so things are ready from there side.
As for the playoff thing, I mean c'mon, its the playoffs, anybody will go in the playoffs. An I'm an example of that with the Lions, I will rarley go to a regular season Lions game (I have only been to 1 in my life) but I am probably going to go to the Western Final tommorow because I really want to see a big playoff game, and because it's just the hot thing right now sportswise. And that's the exact same thing that happened with PHX in the playoffs last season.
They have had good playoff teams, they won the division, and went to the 3rd Round and if they stay in Phoenix they won't sell out a game next year I guarantee it.
And personally I think it would be better for NBC in Seattle aswell, and surely the team would be much more profitable and successful witha good fan base behind them.
Once this CBA is settled that is something the NHL has to make a big priority, I'm not sure how it makes sense bussiness wise to be continuously losing money like that for no good reason.
Edited by Smashian Kassian, 17 November 2012 - 05:56 PM.