The day the Grizzlies left Vancouver, they took a little piece of me with them. Abdur-Rahim!Big Country!
It's a shame how much they screwed up in Vancouver, it seems like a city that should be perfect for basketball.
Yeah, the team wasn't selling well enough 'cause it's not a natural basketball market like it is for hockey, so when the team stinks they only do OKish at the gate. The thing is they were owned by Canucks Sports & Entertainment which also owns the Canucks and the arena (owning the building is so key) so they had a lot of other revenue streams coming in. Had they been willing to take a loss on the Grizzlies for a few years longer, CS&E could have eventually cultivated a market here and the team would ultimately have been a money maker. Also they should have more aggressively pursued the corporate sponsors that already had connections to the Canucks, which I'm sure they tried but they are often criticized (fairly or unfairly) for not making that happen.
Of course at the time the Canadian dollar was really low so when your players want to be paid in American money, it's hard to see how you can turn it around and my understanding is that was a big part of their hemorrhaging. If only they had known the Canadian dollar would be around par just a few years later.
I also wonder about the Steve Nash factor. He didn't become an All-star until the year after the team left Vancouver, and his rise to stardom has really increased youth basketball participation in BC, and that surely would have encouraged interest in the Grizzlies.
Our region has lost two of its three teams through no fault of the fans.
In Seattle it was an issue of financing a new building, right? It sucks to lose your team but I'm at the point where serious public money for sports facilities just doesn't make any sense to me. Without really knowing the details, my first impression is that Seattle made the right choice. Of course it's a slap in the face to Sonics fans that new football and baseball facilities were just built.
I'm pretty sure all sports teams should be community owned. Like the Packers.
Yeah, it's an interesting model. I don't know much about it other than it seems to work in Green Bay and with a number of CFL franchises.