They call it MUSIC city... not sports city

So maybe Nashville just isn't a good place for a sports franchise.

Between this, and Atlanta's reigning title as worst sports city in America (seriously I understand not going to Falcons Hawks and Thrasher's games, but the Braves? they have been one of baseballs best franchises and they can't sell out playoff games. absurd) I'm starting to think that moving sports teams, regardless of sport, to some of those southern states just isn't a good idea.

10 comments:

  1. In my city, the only sure-fire success story has been the major University. The basketball and football teams are wildly popular, and by 2009, both teams will have brand new or relatively brand new stadiums to play in.

    The minor league baseball team still sells out games---and in one of the biggest stadiums in the International League---but other than that we have little by way of pro sports.

    Like most Southern cities, the NCAA rules the roost, and pro sports just don't come close. I suppose it's part of the tribalism that is still so prevalent in this part of the country---universities seem to be more closely tied to the cities and states in which they play (no overpaid free agents or selfish millionaire owners) and fans feed off of that.

    That and there's less money to spend in the South, which definitely means fewer over-priced pro sports tickets are purchased.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Of course the NCAA is probably more corrupt, mismanaged, and hypocritical than all pro-sports franchises combined so that kind of makes up for free agents and selfish millionaires

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh definitely.

    But at least with the NCAA there aren't any spoiled, high-paid athletes. Other than a scholarship (and really, what's a degree worth anymore?) and some small kickbacks here and there, the college sports money machine is powered by slave labor.

    Now, THAT'S something the South can get behind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can I stand up for Nashville...people say that this is not a Sports city...but really their fans are intense...the fans they do have love their team. And, their arena is really nice. I hope they stay right where they are...

    ReplyDelete
  5. See that's the thing Bethany, is I don't think it's the fans at all. I think it's local businesses in Nashville that keep the sports scene down. I think too often there people are so attached to the universities that they give all their money to building their university sports teams, rather than sponsoring pro teams.

    All reports I have seen are that local business owners shun pro sports there, but the fans don't. Its just that a team needs local business support to thrive in this day and age.

    And I don't want the Preds to move either, I actually think that hockey can work in the south because the game is so great. It's just the execution of moving teams there has been atrocious

    ReplyDelete
  6. How has moving teams to the south been atrocious? The only two teams that have relocated to southern venues from 'traditional' northern markets were the stars and the Canes, both of which have won Cups since they moved. Both are strong reps of hockey in the local community, and that was after the Hurricanes bounced around for a couple of years.

    If you want to throw Phoenix in the mix, you can, but that team hasn't suffered from lack of fan support, it's suffered from a lack of anything resembling a hockey team. Similiar for the Panthers. The Lightning had decent crowds before the cup and continue to do well at the gate. Atlanta is still young as a franchise and may get a boost for next season after making the playoffs for the first time. I hardly think southern hockey is atrocious. It has struggled, sure, but so has Edmonton, Buffalo, Chicago, and Ottawa in the same span of time. Why doesn't anybody boo-hoo those cities (with the exception of Chicago maybe)?

    And Jibbles, you're right, the NCAA gets the lion's share of the business money in Nashville. THe vast majority of what's left over is heading to the Titans. It's football country, so that's no surprise. The Preds fans are great, but the city government and the local millionares leave much to be desired when it comes to supporting thier franchises.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I didn't mean that moving them down there has been atrocious, it's just the way the league did it that was atrocious.

    I don't think any of the franchises themselves are bad, but the way in which the league moved them gave people an easy way to criticize, and created financial problems for the league.

    they dropped a lot of franchises in the south very quickly. Any new franchise, regardless of location, is going to take some time to build a fan base. Well all those southern markets at once were all building fan bases for a long time.

    Attendance dragged and the league started having financial problems. It was easy to point at the Southern franchises who weren't pulling in massive local business support as the reason (and thereby not criticizing mainstays like the Wirtz who are just killing the sport.) If the league had been a little more gradual in its southern expansion it may have seen some better results, or at least a different perception.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Another thing too is that even though expansion owners pay a nice little fee to get into the league, they are going to need financial support from the rest of the league while they build up local support. By expanding so quickly the Owners and Bettman were short-sided in looking for the quick $, but forgot that they were going to have to help support those clubs.

    teams like Minnesota were easy to support because Minnesota is hockey-mad, but a Southern market is going to take a lot more time to cultivate. Not that it can't be done, but it will take more time as we are seeing.

    This isn't the southern markets fault mind you, but the NHL should have known that moving there as going to take quite the financial investment from everyone, and they didn't see it that way.

    That's what I mean by atrocious.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Even the music scene in Nashville sucks, with the exception of a really good couple of bar bands I've attended. About thirty years ago, and due to a huge population growth in Nashville, many of the major record companies decided to move to Nashville and open their country-music divisions. This has proven to be disastrous to those record companies. Nashville was advertised as Music City by Big Brother for years...we believe, it just isn't so.

    Perhaps the same with professional sports. As a hockey team owner, 1/3 full houses during the season -- especially if they're not cut into the hot dog and parking profits -- have to rely on ticket revenue, corporate boxes (in a depressed city like Nashville).

    I say 'move 'em' out of Nashville and stop losing money.

    tdr

    ReplyDelete