Good point, but you're comparing apples to oranges.
Hartford's population in 2000 was 121,578. The Whalers left in 1997.
Atlanta had a population of 420,003 in 2010, which doesn't include the over 5,000,000 in the greater metro area.
Just based on numbers, there's really no comparison as to why the Whalers left Hartford in relation to the Thrashers.
I'm just glad we didn't give up on the Falcons so quickly. It took them 13 seasons before they made it to the playoffs and it wasn't until recently that they posted consecutive winning seasons.
I also don't recall anyone nominating Rankin Smith for any "Owner of the Year" awards. Not to mention the fact that he tried to move the team to Jacksonville in 1988. Thankfully, the city came to the rescue and approved the building of the Georgia Dome, which convinced Smith to stay in Atlanta.
Of course, the modern-day NFL is a revenue monster, but it was much less so back in the late 1960s/early 70s. Who knows what would've happened if we had this same sense of disinterest back then.
I guess I was wrong guys.
The fact that Atlanta has lost two NHL franchises isn't an indictment on the fan base...we just got really unlucky (twice) with bad ownership. Let's just pass the buck until we lose all of our professional sports franchises.
I will say that the adamant denial that this is somehow the fans' fault does provide a glimmer of hope that Atlanta sports fans are passionate...about justifying their sports apathy.
Bravo, guys, bravo.
I knew you couldn't resist...
Blaming ASG is simply a cop out in my opinion. They're the obvious scapegoat in all of this, but we as fans shouldn't hold grudges that ultimately cost us franchises.
The Hawks are just as poorly run from a front office/ownership perspective. The only difference is that basketball is more popular (accepted) than hockey here in Atlanta.
There is a strong faction of hockey fans here, but with the preexisting stigma surrounding the lack of fan support for all other sports in Atlanta, we were fighting an uphill battle and we failed miserably.
There isn't one singular thing to blame for the move to Winnipeg, but I don't want those people who go to one Thrashers game a year blaming ASG and the NHL for the loss of the franchise.
You're right. ASG is to blame as well, but don't you think that they might've had an easier time selling the team to someone who wanted to keep the Thrashers in Atlanta if there was some sign of local fan support?
Thanks for reading.
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