Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bring the NHL (or NBA, or . . . ) to SEATTLE

With the official end to the possible return of the franchise formerly knows as the Sonics back to Seattle and Key Arena a vacuum is created.

Seattle is the 14th largest broadcast media market as measured by Markets are Designated Market Areas, as defined by Nielsen Media Research, and are sorted by their rank in the 2008-09 television season..

As we look down the list we see the largest media market without an NBA team is Seattle at #14, followed by St. Louis at #21.

The advantage the NBA has in the Seattle market is political leanings (you have to hammer the nail a few times to get it to lean that way) and the public desire of a billionaire owner, Steve Ballmer. If there are other billionaires that want the NHL here, it has not become a very public discussion.
For the rough cost of remodeling the Seattle Center's Key Arena the city of Pittsburgh (at #23) through its Sports & Exhibition Authority. Seattle's Key Arena rebuild would have cost about 300 million had it broke ground this year. Pittsburgh's new arena will cost about 290 million as it actually does break ground this year.

Will the NHL fans in Seattle get together with the NBA fans, or not? Will the NHL beat the NBA to the Seattle market?

Below are the top 75 television markets.
Rank Designated Market Area (DMA) TV Homes % of US
1 New York 7,433,820 6.495
2 Los Angeles 5,654,260 4.940
3 Chicago 3,492,850 3.052
4 Philadelphia 2,950,220 2.578
5 Dallas-Ft. Worth 2,489,970 2.175
6 San Francisco-Oak-San Jose 2,476,450 2.164
7 Boston (Manchester) 2,409,080 2.105
8 Atlanta 2,369,780 2.070
9 Washington, DC (Hagrstwn) 2,321,610 2.028
10 Houston 2,106,210 1.840
11 Detroit 1,926,970 1.684
12 Phoenix (Prescott) 1,855,930 1.622
13 Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) 1,822,160 1.592
14 Seattle-Tacoma 1,819,970 1.590
15 Minneapolis-St. Paul 1,730,530 1.512
16 Miami-Ft. Lauderdale 1,546,920 1.352
17 Cleveland-Akron (Canton) 1,524,930 1.332
18 Denver 1,524,210 1.332
19 Orlando-Daytona Bch-Melbrn 1,466,420 1.281
20 Sacramnto-Stkton-Modesto 1,399,520 1.223
21 St. Louis 1,249,820 1.092
22 Portland, OR 1,175,100 1.027
23 Pittsburgh 1,156,460 1.010
24 Charlotte 1,122,860 0.981
25 Indianapolis 1,114,970 0.974
26 Baltimore 1,102,080 0.963
27 Raleigh-Durham (Fayetvlle) 1,080,680 0.944
28 San Diego 1,066,680 0.932
29 Nashville 1,016,290 0.888
30 Hartford & New Haven 1,014,990 0.887
31 Kansas City 937,970 0.819
32 Columbus, OH 925,840 0.809
33 Salt Lake City 919,390 0.803
34 Cincinnati 915,570 0.800
35 Milwaukee 905,350 0.791
36 Greenvll-Spart-Ashevll-And 858,050 0.750
37 San Antonio 818,560 0.715
38 West Palm Beach-Ft. Pierce 779,430 0.681
39 Grand Rapids-Kalmzoo-B.Crk 741,420 0.648
40 Birmingham (Ann and Tusc) 739,750 0.646
41 Harrisburg-Lncstr-Leb-York 738,880 0.646
42 Las Vegas 728,410 0.636
43 Norfolk-Portsmth-Newpt Nws 718,020 0.627
44 Albuquerque-Santa Fe 689,120 0.602
45 Oklahoma City 687,300 0.600
46 Greensboro-H.Point-W.Salem 685,110 0.599
47 Jacksonville 674,860 0.590
48 Memphis 673,770 0.589
49 Austin 667,670 0.583
50 Louisville 667,230 0.583
51 Buffalo 631,120 0.551
52 Providence-New Bedford 622,580 0.544
53 New Orleans 602,740 0.527
54 Wilkes Barre-Scranton 594,570 0.519
55 Fresno-Visalia 574,900 0.502
56 Little Rock-Pine Bluff 567,060 0.495
57 Albany-Schenectady-Troy 556,750 0.486
58 Richmond-Petersburg 550,240 0.481
59 Knoxville 547,930 0.479
60 Mobile-Pensacola (Ft Walt) 537,810 0.470
61 Tulsa 529,540 0.463
62 Ft. Myers-Naples 509,530 0.445
63 Lexington 503,260 0.440
64 Dayton 483,790 0.423
65 Charleston-Huntington 479,750 0.419
66 Flint-Saginaw-Bay City 465,790 0.407
67 Roanoke-Lynchburg 461,420 0.403
68 Tucson (Sierra Vista) 456,030 0.398
69 Wichita-Hutchinson Plus 450,930 0.394
70 Green Bay-Appleton 444,210 0.388
71 Des Moines-Ames 432,410 0.378
72 Honolulu 429,940 0.376
73 Toledo 425,890 0.372
74 Springfield, MO 421,960 0.369
75 Spokane 416,630 0.364

6 comments:

Mavs Fan in Seattle said...

Hmmm, Tampa is a bigger market than Seattle? No NBA team there either.

Unless there is already a deal between the NBA and Ballmer (or whoever else can afford a team), Seattle would be stupid to build (or rebuild) an arena that could not also accommodate NHL games. The NBA hasn't exactly given Seattle fans reason to trust that Seattle would get a team after the arena is done. If the arena is built to serve either major sport, there would seemingly be a better chance of getting another pro team in Seattle.

Mr Baker said...

Point taken, it is bigger than Seattle, it is also 85 miles from Orlando.
It likely could support a team of its own, FL already has 2 teams, but that didn't stop the NBA from packing TX and CA.
OKC claimed Tulsa in its media market numbers, that is a little further than 85, closer to 115 (I think).
Sonics claimed pretty much the entire state, or tried.
Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties population is more likely the local NBA market, as described in the sale of the Sonics to Bennett.
Orlando is likely claiming marketing rights to Tampa, but you are correct, and maybe they should have a team before a place like OKC.
I really see OKC as the NBA hitting rock bottom, slightly larger markets are failing, with new arenas. Stern is repeating a mistake.

Mavs Fan in Seattle said...

Orlando and Miami probably both get some jersey sales out of Tampa, and I would guess both get some TV revenue from games televised there as well. Both teams would probably lose a little in revenue if the NBA put a team in Tampa.

I don't know which NBA markets above OKC are doing poorly, but obviously Memphis and NO, both smaller than OKC, are frequently noted as struggling. Memphis is similar in size, so I wouldn't expect OKC to do much better than them.

Charlotte supported a team just fine the first time around, so if they are doing bad, it isn't due to market size. Charlotte is >60% bigger than OKC though.

OKC may or may not support a team, but it is clearly inferior to the Seattle market. We'll see after a few more 20 win seasons how the OKC fans really feel about basketball.

Anonymous said...

Great post Mr. B. Thanks for posting the link---JP1979.

Mr Baker said...

There is a requirement to get state funding in place before 12/31/2009.
Inserting the NHL into this would require, by the way that the settlement was written, for the state to provide a funding source 1/4 of the cost, or the city is out 30 million dollars.
Somebody that wants the NHL is going to have to provide big money to push the remodel all the way to a major rebuild to fit the NHL. The time is short to fit this in, or the 30 million will have to be identified in revenue from NHL activity to the city.
I think the transfer of colors and logos of the Sonics stays in tact in that situation.
Call them the Totems, and I think you have a better chance.

Anonymous said...

Well it'd be great if David Sabey, John McGaw (former Canucks owner), Jeff Bezos or even Paul Allen (as a minority owner for said hockey team) to partner up with the Ballmer group. That's a alot of "ifs". And as I've said before it aint my money.