Originally Posted by mvp828
All very good points... Part of me would like to see the realignment happen that was talked about. Unfortunately I am not a fan of the divisions that were proposed. I don't think you can split up Detroit from Chicago or Nashville (or both like was talked about early on but not in the final scenario). I think realigning might help attendance in itself since I believe it was said that each team would play every team twice a year (a home and away). That might be enough to throw a few extra bodies in seats when fans who may live in the west will be guarenteed to be able to see teams like Pittsburgh, Washington, Phily, Boston, etc.
^Wings are a perfect example of that. Right now when they travel to Phoenix the attendance is usually a lot better. Much of this has to do with the fact that there are a lot of Michiganders who have relocated to Arizona after retiring. A lot of us up here always laughed in '10 and '11 when we played the Coyotes in the first round and they attempted to have a white out. It was a absolute fail when more than 50% of the crowd is wearing red Wings' jerseys.
The only thing I hate about using attendance numbers is that so often they are skewed and don't take into account comp tickets. I'm okay with saying a building not being all the way full, if those tickets were actually sold. Wings are somewhat notorious for doing this. They comp a lot of tickets, but in the long run it ends up balancing out regardless. It will be interesting to see what capacity is once the build the new arena that is in the works.
I personally feel like there are a few other cities even here in the US that could get a team and do fairly well if they had the correct ownership. Two cities that come to mind are Seattle and Milwaukee or another city in Wisconsin). Another thing that I wish would happen is that the AHL affiliates were closer to their home teams. Here in Grand Rapids we have the Griffins who are of course the Wings affiliate. It is a huge boost to attendance since a lot of people will go to the games to see the guys that are up and coming. But then you look at the rest of the AHL and unless it is an Eastern Conference team or a select few Western teams than they are across the country. I'd like to think that it isn't a coincidence that the teams with affiliates nearby have higher attendance in both the NHL and AHL clubs than the ones that do.
Man, the Phantoms used to play across the street (literally, easy easy walking distance, all major Philly sports teams are in the same stadium complex) from the Flyers. Now they are in Glens Falls NY which is a 4.5 - 5 hour drive from Philly, still closer than others but not enough to get me to go unless I plan a whole weekend up there.
The good thing is They're moving to Allentown Pa which is about an hour drive away starting in the 2014 season.