Thursday, February 7, 2013

Is It Time for Contraction, Relocation in Professional Sports?

Article written by Dave Thomas - Guest poster.
Whether you are a fan of the NHL, NBA, MLB or NFL, do you ever stop and wonder if there are too many teams to watch?

For some fans, they would be happy if there were even more teams playing in the respective leagues, while others believe the time has come to contract each of the four professional sports.

In looking at a range of factors, be they performance, attendance, support from the ownership etc. , it should not come as a surprise that one can make an argument for cutting the number of participants in all four of the major professional sports.

While many cities adore their teams, packing arenas and stadiums on a regular basis to cheer them on, others show up here and there, leaving many to wonder why the team continues there in the first place.
So, in the event I could have commissioner power for just one day in all four leagues, here would be my moves:

NFL - In all honesty, I think the majority of teams are supported by their fans. Yes, talk continues of the Chargers possibly going from San Diego to Los Angeles, but that is the extent of it at this time, just talk. If Jacksonville fails to put a winning product on the field in next year or two, could see more talk of wanting to move that franchise. While teams such as Buffalo, Kansas City, Cleveland and Detroit have struggled for the better part of the last decade, fan support continues to be strong in those cities.

NHL - Where to begin? I was never a proponent of putting pro hockey in locations such as Columbus, Florida, Tampa Bay, Phoenix and Nashville. The latter city has done well to support its Predators, while Tampa Bay and Phoenix have at least been more or less regular playoff participants.

Would I love to see hockey return to places like Quebec City and Hartford? Yes, new arenas are always the calling card for the league in order to consider a move, but the two above-mentioned cities have shown in the past to sport die-hard fan bases. Unless a miracle happens in Phoenix, it’s hard to see pro hockey remaining in the Grand Canyon State for too much longer. As for Columbus, I never understood that move.

NBA - Talks continue on returning pro basketball to Seattle, with the Sacramento Kings the likely target for relocation. Always thought Seattle was one of the great NBA cities, almost sporting a college-like atmosphere at games for the Sonics. Haven’t been a proponent of the NBA in Charlotte or Toronto, yet I understand the latter one, being the league has had a desire for a while now to move the game beyond the U.S.  Early indicators are the moving of the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn was a smart move.

MLB - Lastly, professional baseball has not done much with moving franchises around in recent decades, giving hope to those of us who like stability. Two franchise moves I would say were mistakes would be when the Angels changed from California to Anaheim/Los Angeles, followed by the more recent move of the Marlins branding from Florida to Miami. Having the state in your name would seem to allow you to market your franchise through the state, yes? Being more regionalized now hampers that effort, especially in Florida where the only in-state competition for the Marlins is Tampa Bay.

In the interest of fair play, which moves or non-moves have caught your interest in recent decades?

About the Author: With 23 years’ writing experience, Dave Thomas covers a variety of small business and consumer topics, including how to shop for various gutter styles.

1 comment:

  1. Dave, excellent article. As far as the Coyotes are concerned I feel that they should have been relocated years ago. Hockey has been a failure in the desert. I would love to see the Coyotes relocated to Quebec where the city could renew its rivalry with Les Habitants du Montreal.

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