Thursday, June 11, 2009

Buffalo wants Southern Ontario to "Buy American"

While Jimmy B is locked in a legal battle in the Arizona desert for the rights to relocate the Coyotes, we were “privileged” to hear the ominous warnings of a soothsayer in Buffalo predicting the demise of the franchise if Jimmy gets his team in Hamilton. The Sabres estimate that anywhere from 15% - 30% of their revenue stream comes from Southern Ontario and that they would be unable to survive with only their Buffalo-centric customers. What I trust is not lost in translation is that the people of Southern Ontario are being forced to export their consumer dollars to the United States in order to consume a product that they can’t otherwise access. Hamiltonians can either spend 80 years on a waiting list for overpriced Leaf tickets, or they can “Buy American”! The justification for forcing these hard earned Canadian dollars south of the border? Upstate New York does not have enough hockey fans to sustain a franchise.

The gluttony of irony does not end there. The people of Buffalo elected Democrats to both houses of Congress. What did house Democrats do immediately upon being elected? They included a “Buy American” clause in their stimulus legislation which stipulates that only American made products (such as steel) be purchased in government infrastructure projects. Which city happens to be one of the top steel producers in Canada? Hamilton! With declining demand for steel (compounded by buy American) Hamilton has lost thousands of high paying jobs which has rippled across the local economy. I seriously doubt that any Hamilton made steel will be purchased for use in the Buffalonian infrastructure projects.

It doesn’t take a Rosetta Stone to read between the lines on this one. Buffalo wants to have its hypocrisy and eat it too. They are telling us that we should deprive the already suffering people of Hamilton from acquiring something that they want and from which they would derive great pleasure, because Buffalo needs them to continue shipping their precious Canadian dollars south because there is insufficient demand in Buffalo to sustain a franchise! We must buy American, but they won’t buy Canadian? Buffalo elected Democrats, Democrats advocate protectionism, and now a Buffalo city counselor is releasing press clippings pleading with us to allow them to continue leeching off the strong Canadian demand for viewing NHL hockey? This is fucking crazy.

Even if it is true that a Hamilton franchise would devastate the Sabres, (I contend that there is adequate demand to support multiple teams) the NHL cannot cite the inability of Buffalo to compete as grounds for cock-blocking Jimmy. As soon as they do, Jimmy has a slam dunk anti-trust case. The fact that third party interests are ringing Hell’s Bells is a public relations exercise. Does this sway public opinion? Not in my world, as this is one case where I feel no empathy whatsoever. Or perhaps they are hoping that this Arizona judge will read the press clipping and rule in their favour? This judge is about to set a legal precedence, because we are really in unchartered waters. Will a court say that you must keep a franchise where it is not sustainable because the league Commissioner is an egomaniac who is unwilling to admit that it was a really bad idea to rip the Jets from the city of Winnipeg? We will find out soon enough…

“Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.”

-Albert Einstein


  1. Right now, I don't have a passport to see a Buffalo hockey game.

  2. Interesting how 50% of the players (many very good)are Canadians and we have 20% of the teams. Go Hamilton!