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Thread: Raptors future in Toronto

  1. #1
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    Default Raptors future in Toronto

    As we know, Grizzlies lasted only 6 seasons in Vancouver before they moved to the States. Based on good draft selections during first 4 seasons (Stoudamire, Camby, McGrady and Carter) we became hot ticket in Toronto. Along with the fact that we play in 4th biggest market in North America, that made our future in Toronto secure. But with the Raptors:
    1. Not being an exciting product for 11 seasons,
    2. Not being able to sign quality free agents (Hedo was the best we ever signed)
    3. Not being able to keep ANY of our best players at the club,
    Are we as safe in Toronto as we like to think?

    We all know that NBA is busyness and as long as our fans fill the arena, Raptors future in Toronto is safe regardless of results. But with product on the floor being less then impressive, for how long can we expect fans to fill Air Canada Center? During first 9 seasons in the NBA, our attendance was outside top 10 in the league only once. During the last 9 seasons, our attendance was within top 10 only twice. It is obvious that fans are turning their backs on the team, disappointed in lack of vision or direction.

    Best example of where this trend can lead is what happened to Charlotte Hornets. During their first decade in the NBA they have had best attendance in the NBA, finishing first 8 times. But during the next 4 seasons, their attendance has gone to 6th, 11th, 21st and finally 29th, after which they moved to New Orleans. And during those last 4 seasons, they have made it twice to the second round of the playoffs, so they were no pushovers.

    5 seasons since we last made the playoffs, we are unsure if we are rebuilding or trying to make the playoffs. We are projected to finish 10th next season and than likely to hit the rebuild button. The question is, will fans follow the team through another rebuilding process?

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    The Seattle SuperRaptors has a nice ring to it, but in all seriousness Raptors have great attendance for such a shitty team, Toronto is a big market, they aint going nowhere

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    Raptors Republic Veteran rocwell's Avatar
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    Will fans follow the team through another rebuilding process.. ?

    Well, I'm not sure about others, but for me, Raptors basketball is like addiction. It's tough to watch when we are loosing ( bad things happen.. ALL THE TIME! ) but I still buy jerseys and watch their games. Last season Raps gave me at least 5 pre heart attacks and I'm still going to watch how they ball.

    Rebuilding or not, I'm Raps fan until they leave Canada.

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    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    With such a solid ownership group in place, such a loyal and passionate fan base (without worrying about fair-weather fans who are more than offset by corporate box ownership at ACC) and a great stadium, in a sports crazy city, the Raptors will always thrive in Toronto.

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    Stern's biggest mistake was letting the Grizzlies bale on Vancouver, yet he denied the Kings exodus from Sacramento. The Grizzlies, competitive as they are now, would be thriving in the much bigger market of Vancouver/Seattle.

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    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Quote CalgaryRapsFan wrote: View Post
    With such a solid ownership group in place, such a loyal and passionate fan base (without worrying about fair-weather fans who are more than offset by corporate box ownership at ACC) and a great stadium, in a sports crazy city, the Raptors will always thrive in Toronto.
    The Raptors have great ownership.. if they didn't then fans should be worried, but that's not the case right now.

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    Very few teams were as secure as Hornets were in Charlotte and they still left. So if we go into another rebuilding process, I can only imagine the fans reaction. We are tied with Washington for longest playoff drought in the East. Wizards are projected to make the playoffs next season, we are not projected to be close.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Dino4life's Avatar
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    Another rebuilding process ? we've had 1 season over 500 over the LAST 10 years. When were we not rebuilding, and if we weren't, shame on us for calling an under .500 team a finished or nearly finished product.

    So i fail to see how shitty basketball is better than another rebuild done properly, same result except 1 gives you hope for next season, the other makes you want to cheer for another team, guess which is which.

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    Raptors Republic Hall of Famer mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Karl Marx. wrote: View Post
    Very few teams were as secure as Hornets were in Charlotte and they still left. So if we go into another rebuilding process, I can only imagine the fans reaction. We are tied with Washington for longest playoff drought in the East. Wizards are projected to make the playoffs next season, we are not projected to be close.
    The Charlotte relocation to New Orleans had a lot of moving parts that likely would never occur in Toronto.

    The team is owned by two large multi-billion dollar corporations versus an individual (George Shinn) who was worth a 'mere' $100M or so.

    The Raptors have a great facility versus an obsolete arena in Charlotte.

    The drop off in attendance in Charlotte had a large part to do with Shinn's rape case that turned the public against him. Toronto has always been in the upper half to third or higher in attendance despite despite just narrowly missing by 8 wins being the worst team of the last 11 years (3rd worst for all the nitpickers).

    If Toronto fans has not given up by now, I can't see them ever giving up.
    "Championships are what we live for, now lets go win them."
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    except at the draft, which is all homework, politics and chance.

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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    ...If Toronto fans has not given up by now, I can't see them ever giving up.
    What Matt said.

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    they averaged 18,000+ fans last season at home. which is 2,000+ more than the memphis grizzlies and houston rockets who were playoff teams.

    we`re fine.
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    Despite having a losing history Raps continually make a lot of money.Not sure where the source was but arent they top 10 in revenue??

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    Quote Karl Marx. wrote: View Post
    Very few teams were as secure as Hornets were in Charlotte and they still left. So if we go into another rebuilding process, I can only imagine the fans reaction. We are tied with Washington for longest playoff drought in the East. Wizards are projected to make the playoffs next season, we are not projected to be close.
    Charlotte : 770,000 people
    Toronto : 2.8M people

    There ends the comparison.

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    Raptors Republic Starter Quirk's Avatar
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    Quote Fanchie wrote: View Post
    Charlotte : 770,000 people
    Toronto : 2.8M people

    There ends the comparison.
    Seriously.

    Not to mention that is just the city population, which just an artefact of municipal jurisdictions, if you look at the metro population, which is what matters in terms of market, it's even more dramatic, Charlotte's is less than 2 million, while Toronto is pushing 7 (source Wolframalpha).

    Not to mention that the equivalent of Charlotte's city population move to Toronto Metropolitan area every 7 years. So, during the time Bryan Collangelo GMed and Andrea Bargnani played for Toronto, the metro area added as many new people as Charlotte has in total in it's city core.

  19. #15
    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Sorry, excessive laughing at the ludicrousness of this thread has cut off too much oxygen for me to write a real response.

    Seriously though, the Raptors are profitable, have great attendance, are owned by gigantic corporations, and are in one of the top markets in North America...shit, even the whole world. A lot would have to start going wrong, beyond a rebuilding process, in order for the team to move.

  20. #16
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    And Charlotte is a really bad comparison. Why? Because the best college basketball teams are all in the area and those are where most people's attention and allegiance is devoted to. Ignoring issues of population, market size, and ownership, Charlotte was always going to have a hard time. It was easier for them in the early years. They were a new product and then experienced some decent success. Then inconsistencies started, and fans all flocked back to college ball instead, where globally popular strong teams like Duke and NC (and Wake Forest and NC state to a lesser extent) are consistently playing for higher stakes.

    This is also tied to economy. Charlotte ain't exactly wealthy, so why would fans spend twice the money to watch both NCAA and NBA? THey won't. THey'll cut off the worse product, which in their area is NBA ball, and stick to the powerhouse NCAA teams in their area. Pretty basic substitution effect really.

    This is pretty damn unlikely to occur in Toronto. So again, a lot of shit would have to go wrong to destroy the Raptors viability in Toronto.

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    Besides MSLE has that mind control machine sitting a top the CN Tower. I realize most of that bandwidth is used for the Leafs, but if things go sour I'm sure they can make room for the Raps.

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  23. #18
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    I would not so much be asking the question of whether Toronto will continue to exist, but what are the chances of Vancouver once again receiving a franchise. I think to grow th e brand to the levels that the NBA would want, they almost have to expand further...or am I crazy?!

  24. #19
    Raptors Republic All-Star JimiCliff's Avatar
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    You can also flip it and look at it from the perspective of the league. They're all about strengthening their global brand.

    Stern's admitted that Vancouver leaving was the event he regretted most during his stay as commish.

    There've already been rumblings about a possible European expansion.

    The Raps moving to a US city would be a step backwards in the NBA's end-game of world domination.

  25. #20
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    Just for scale, there are only three markets in Canada/USA that are significantly bigger than Toronto, these are NYC, LA and Chicago. Toronto about the same size as Dallas, Houston and Miami and bigger than Boston, Washington, San Francisco/Oakland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit.

    And if "Canada" can be the raptors market, as Tim Leiweke dreams, that would be the single biggest market by a long shot.

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