Recently you could say there is a trend of teams moving or staying in smaller markets. It has even happened when a team has had an option to move to a bigger market.
Two seasons ago the NHL allowed one of their franchises to move. The Atlanta Thrashers moved to become the Winnipeg Jets. What is amazing is that the team moved from a city in the United States of just over five million to a Canadian city of just under seven hundred thousand.
Just this past month the NBA voted to stay in Sacramento over making a move to Seattle. Seattle has about a million more people in its metro population and also has a few hundred thousand more in the city alone.
Hartford is a small market. It always will be, especially when sandwiched between New York and Boston. Regardless, Hartford is still the largest market without a major league team. One of the reasons Hartford lost its only major league tenant is because it was considered too small.
The population of the state is a little over 3 million just about anyone can reach the capital within an hour and a half. Hartford has a higher metro population then Winnipeg, and not just a little there is over half a million more people here than in Winnipeg. Hartford’s population is 124,000 and that’s just within the first 17 square miles. Most cities have their city population spread out over hundreds of miles.
Is there a trend towards smaller markets with major league sports?
There are financial reasons this could be happening. Jeremy Jacobs who owns the Boston Bruins has said he wouldn’t be opposed to a team in Hartford. He said it would help cut down on travel costs as well as other expenses. The Rangers have also said they would not stand in the way of the NHL if they decided to move a team here.
One thing is for sure these are all nice points but worthless if our city and state don’t start a serious conversation about major league sports returning to the downtown again.
If there is no new arena there will be no interest in the NHL or investors in taking a chance on Hartford.
It appears that MSG is soon to announce the return of the Wolf Pack but what about Pucky will he have a future in Hartford. It’s hard to say at this point but he was spotted helping the Hartford police department direct traffic for the Elephant show at State House Square. Pucky was at the intersection of Pearl and Trumbull streets and he was wearing his original Whale(ers) jersey. Since he shed the Connecticut Whale jersey you wonder if it is just another sign that MSG wants to separate itself from the Whale or maybe he just needed dry cleaning.