Friday, October 26, 2007


Wayne's World: Thrashin'

Our Southern correspondant, Wayne, chips in with his thoughts on the Atlanta coaching situation.

Somehow, I get the feeling the Atlanta Spirit (sounds like a cheerleading squad, no?) will force Don Waddell to stick it out behind the Thrasher bench for the entire season or go with the minor-league coach in Chicago. That way, ownership can make a clean sweep after the season and bring in a new G.M./coach combo. On the other hand, the Thrashers have not been building up too much goodwill in the community, and may tell the fans, "We're writing this season off" may kill both advance and walk-up ticket sales...Just after the Birds finally got themselves on the radar last year. (But then again, maybe not so if you remember Tim Tucker's column about the abysmal TV ratings for the playoffs.)

Frankly, with so many players not knowing what the hell they're doing, they look more and more like a first or second-year expansion team...

Well, the Thrashers have rarely NOT looked like an expansion team through much of their inception. Waddell has not been able to get over the hump and turn his squad into a competitive squad on a nightly basis. Despite having loads of offensive talent, defensive and goaltending issues have always plagued the team.

Meanwhile, over in New Jersey, the new arena opening is supposed to bring scads of Devils fans to the games and prosperity to the neighbourhood.

Throughout the ceremony, he heard speaker after speaker refer to the “renaissance” and “rebirth” of Newark, words he had repeatedly used in recent years to extol the virtues of building the 17,000-seat arena.

Jeff Vanderbeek, the chairman of Devils Arena Entertainment, was the first person connected with the project to speak. Mr. Vanderbeek, the arena’s main developer, said that Mr. Booker, Mr. James’s successor, was “the reason this city will prosper.”

Hands up if you know of any areas that have suddenly turned from crap to gold with the building of a new arena?

*crickets chirping*

What happens when there isn't a game in an arena? It's a big, vast, empty space is what it is.

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Hands up if you know of any areas that have suddenly turned from crap to gold with the building of a new arena?

Well, this isn't hockey, but the Toronto Blue Jays took off once they built the Skydome (oops I mean the now corporate named "Rogers Centre"). Of course, after the strike they turned right back to crap.

- desdemona
I think the question was what happens to the area after an arena gets plunked down in the middle of it.
Edmonton: Arena plopped down where working-class neighbourhoods met railroad/industrial/hog plants. Hundreds of houses expropriated to build freeway up to arena door. Results 35 years later: Still comfortable arena set amidst unmitigated sh!thole of a street and neighbourhood.
Calgary: Hundreds of homes expropriated to build world's largest piece of feminine protection. Millions earmarked for sewers and road upgrades instead diverted to Saddlesore upgrade. Results 25 years later: Comfortable arena set amidst unmitigated sh!thole of a neighbourhood.
Vancouver: Owner/megalomanic midget over-reaches on new home for hockey and basketball teams. Loses them all. Results 10 years later: Comfortable arena with at least one side bordering on unmitigated sh!thole street.
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