Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stay In Nashville; Avoid Hamilton

The City of Hamilton does not deserve an NHL team.

I have nothing against the city. It's a nice place with a rich history and some of the most passionate football fans in this country. However, it would be wrong for the Nashville Predators to move to a city that does not even support their current professional hockey team.

This year, the American Hockey League's Hamilton Bulldogs averaged only 4900 fans at each home game. The arena, Copps Coliseum, can hold up to 19,000 fans. 4900 out of 19,000? That is horrendous.

The Bulldogs aren't even a bad hockey team. They won the league championship last week. To make matters worse, the final game of the AHL's Calder Cup, which was played in Hamilton, had a paid attendance of 14,205. The local team wins the league title and their are about 5000 empty seats? That is embarrassing.

How can a city that barley supports their minor league team, be worthy of a major league team?

If the citizens of Hamilton were true hockey fans, they would support their local team regardless of the league the team is affiliated with. The city of Hamilton has not earned the right to have an NHL team. The only way they could earn such a right is by supporting the Bulldogs and showing the NHL that they are loyal hockey fans. The citizens of Hamilton have not done this.

Sure, a number of people may have put down deposits today for "Hamilton Predators" tickets. But how many of those deposits are actually from Hamiltonians? I have a good feeling that the majority of deposits given today were from fans outside the Hamilton area; namely fans from Toronto and Buffalo.

If I'm running the NHL, I would seriously consider blocking the sale of the Nashville Predators to Jim Balsille and any subsequent move to Hamilton. If Hamiltonians refuse to support the Bulldogs, they don't deserve the Predators. Privileges are not given, they're earned.

Unfortunately, in reality, money has more value then public support. If the NHL believes that moving the Predators to Hamilton will lead to a large profit, then they will ignore the city's abusive relationship with the Bulldogs.

The Hek

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