That was the February 2004 post by ESPN. Well wait a second. Everyone knows the Chicago Blackhawks are very popular and have the top attendance numbers for four, count ‘em 4 years in a row. FOUR straight. Ok so now you know what would of happened if the city of Chicago just gave up and shipped the team to Mexico or some obscure location like Canada. But could Canada keep a hockey team? Not in Quebec where they lost the Nordiques. Not in Winnepeg where they lost the Jets who became the Coyotes and now awarded the Thrashers who are now…..Jets. AGAIN!
Ok enough of crazy talk. We all know Canada loves hockey. Besides curling there is nothing else really available for hungry sports fans. So to hear Canada supports hockey is like saying Hawaii supports volcanoes.
The point here is you should never lose hope when you have a huge market. Phoenix also has a new owner Greg Jamison who is wrapping up a deal to purchase the team and keep them in Glendale for at least 25 more years. While it probably won’t result in the best attendance numbers; If the Coyotes continue to make the playoffs and compete, why can’t they sustain a top 10 mark. The Coyotes have never had their ducks completely in a row. In the beginning they played in an arena not built for hockey. With 3500 plus limited view seats in Phoenix, then with ownership and location issues in Glendale, you even had the foreclosure bubble burst hitting Glendale hardest of nearly all of the nation. Now when it appears ownership is solved, team just missed a chance to go to the Cup finals, and an arena built to accommodate a full house with economic recovery; The NHL locks out it’s players.
Oh well. All we can do is wait and hope. But who’s to say the Coyotes can’t realize the same turn around that the Blackhawks achieved in less than a decade. It shows with proper ownership and success. You can go from the worst franchise in all of sports to one of the best.