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Charlotte, NC loses the Hornets to New Orleans. (1 Viewer)

KeithH

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I just read the sad news that Charlotte, NC will be losing the Hornets to New Orleans. Basketball is incredibly popular in North Carolina, but more so on the college level, obviously. This reminds me of when Minnesota lost the hockey North Stars to Dallas. I think of Minnesota as a place where anyone and everyone plays hockey, and hockey at the college level is very popular. However, some years back, there wasn't enough fan support for the NHL team to keep the North Stars there.
Here is a link to news of the Hornets' impending move to New Orleans:
http://www.msnbc.com/news/746720.asp
 

StephenA

Screenwriter
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Nov 30, 2001
Messages
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The Hornets used to be my favorite team when Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, and Alonzo Mourning all played together on the team. Even with this move, I'll still think of them as the Charlotte Hornets. I just can't help it.
 

Evan S

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Nov 21, 2001
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However, some years back, there wasn't enough fan support for the NHL team to keep the North Stars there.
I need everyone out there to realize that 99% of the time, this is not the case as to the reason why teams leave. I'm speaking from memory here, so I need a little leeway. If I'm not mistaken the old North Stars played in the Met...in Minneapolis. The current Timberwolves play in the Target Center...a completely different building also in Minneapolis and the current Minnesota Wild play in the Xcel Energy Center in nearby St. Paul.
The reason I mention this is that the North Stars were not moved for lack of fan support. Norm Green, the owner of the Stars, uprooted the team simply because of finances. Most NHL teams have to live by gate receipts and luxury box revenue as they do not have a great TV contract nor do they have revenue sharing. The North Stars did a good job of obtaining fan support. However, the Met did not have Luxury boxes, so Norm Green could not make as much money as he would have liked. The Target Center and Xcel Energy Center were not around at this time as they were build solely to house the two new franchises. Minnesota was left holding the bag and it's the same story with the Twins. They may be moved not because of fan support (or lack thereof) but because their building is terrible for baseball and revenue.
Take it from someone who had their home team move. The Whalers had plenty of fan support. Only one winning season in 17 years, yet the season ticket base was 12,000 in a 16,500 seat building during their final year. Peter Karmanos uprooted the team because the building (the Hartford Civic Center) did not have luxury boxes in the right place. It was equipped with skyboxes, but because they were so far from the action, they didn't pull in great revenue like the new ones do that are located at the top of the lower bowls.
The State of Connecticut offered Karmanos a new 250 Million dollar building and offered him a lot of the revenue streams even though he didn't have to put out a penny of his own money. However, the deal he got in Raleigh was simply better...more money...bigger building, and the fans of Hartford are left to pay the price for eternity.
Can you tell I'm still bitter 5 years later. I agree that most outsiders think it's because of the lack of fan support, and I cannot speak for the fans in Charlotte, but I bet you this is another situation where the pot at the end of the rainbow in New Orleans is simply much bigger than that in Charlotte. I know the present owners were trying to get a new building built there before going through with the petition to move.:thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:
Basically owners of major sports franchises for the most part truly suck.:angry: :angry: :angry:
 

Michael Silla

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 27, 2001
Messages
313
Evan,
Wow, I feel you man. The Winnipeg Jets underwent nearly the same situation when I lived there. I swear, if you replaced every mention of "Whalers" with "Jets" you wouldn't be far off in describing Winnipeg's heartbreaking battle to "Save our Jets."
I too am still bitter at the whole mess. I haven't been able enjoy the game in the same manner as I used to although it warms my heart to see the Habs do well.
I hate Gary Bettman ;)
Michael.
 

Evan S

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
2,210
I haven't been able enjoy the game in the same manner as I used to
Michael, you hit the nail on the head with that comment. Outside of the Stanley Cup finals, I haven't watched an NHL game from start to finish since the Whalers moved. And, this is what I consider the finest sporting event to watch live on the face of the planet. It's a game I love to play and a game I used to love to watch and I feel my interest in the sport (at least the professional version) was torn away from me unwillingly.
 

JasonK

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 10, 2000
Messages
676
From reading different stories over the course of the year, Charlotte will be getting another NBA team at some point in the near future. I'd take that with a grain of salt, simply because what is Daniel Stern going to say?

But, fans in Charlotte didn't turn on the team as much as they did on the ownership. They traded away LJ and 'Zo, and Muggsy!

Plus, Shinn was involved in a messy affair trial that further alienated fans.

Charlotte wanted the owner's (Shinn and Woolridge) to sell the team to new ownership that was dedicated to keeping the team in Charlotte. Alas, it never happened.

I wonder if the Hornets (provided they keep the name) will be in the East or West conference next year. It would make logistical sense to put them out west, in the Midwest Division, and take Memphis out of the West and put them in the East.

We shall see.
 

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