Same city hosts both major- and minor-league teams in same sport. What's the point?

Bit of a hijack, since I’m a little fuzzy on how European teams get relegated: if a team is bumped down from the top league to the next league down, do they charge less for tickets and does it affect attendance very much?

I just said every city has a minor league team, not that they had a minor league team that was an immediate affiliate of the home NHL team.

Actually, Toronto’s the only Canadian NHL franchise with its AHL affiliate in the same city.

Yeah, I realised that upon further reflection. I know that you knew this - it was more that I felt that the OP wasn’t clear, and thought a distinction might be made between farm teams and unrelated local teams. Given the role of hockey in Canada, it’s hard to imagine a city without a minor/junior team… it’s he NHL teams we are lacking!

Make it seven (Winnipeg)…hell, make it eight (Quebec!!!)

Here’s the link for the English Premier League (EPL) All the information you need will be in there somewhere. Specifically the “competition” section will give the details on how it works. You will notice that it is very simple actually and most, if not all major european leagues follow this model.

In a nutshell. If you find yourself in the bottom three teams of the league you will be relegated to the one below. No ifs, no buts. Down you go. Your position will be filled by one of the three teams coming up from the league below.
And yes this does have an effect on ticket prices and attendances (Seeing as you will not be playing the highest level opposition every week)
It also may trigger “relegation clauses” in some players contracts, meaning they are free to leave the clubs.
You then have to fight your way to the top of your new league in order to gain promotion back up again. But…it is equally possible to be relegated even further.

It is brutal and it is quite possible for one, previously successful team to freefall through the leagues and it can take many seasons to get back up again (see my team,Leeds United:()

This creates a very interesting dynamic within the leagues. You always have teams at the top fighting for glory. With our system you also have an unofficial competition involving the bottom half of the league as well. They are all desperately fighting for survival and it helps to keep the season interesting for longer for a higher percentage of teams.

We like it, but it is a heck of concept to grasp for those not used to it.

How I would love for American baseball to have a similar model.

How that would work in American sports with their ‘socialist’ drafts would be interesting.

It makes for ease of calling up players, if nothing else.

Many teams whose minor league affiliate is miles away may have some logistical difficulty in calling someone up, particularly in an emergency situation.

The worst case, and exact opposite of this situation, that I know of is the San Jose Sharks, who play (obviously) in San Jose, California, but whose AHL team, the Worcester Sharks, plays in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Yes, that is equally fascinating to me.

Given that the USA is very big on the free market, to the layman the draft seems to be in direct conflict with that concept.

Could a very good college player simply refuse to take part in that and approach their favoured team and negotiate their own contract?

I imagine that would open up all manner of possibilities for tampering and give large market teams a huge advantage in recruiting… ultimately to the detriment of the sport.

I like Winnipeg and Quebec but they aren’t the first place I’d put new NHL teams. Teams in the Toronto area should be the first priority. There’s a reason Winnipeg and Quebec lost their teams; they don’t have enough fans. Winnipeg was drawing 11000 a night or so in the last few years, not nearly enough to support a team, despite putting good players on the ice. The Nordiques were doing better than that but not sensationally.

The evidence would suggest that you need about a million Canadians to support an NHL team. Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary are just big enough, with about a million people each. Greater Toronto, with 5 million, could comfortably support 3 teams.

My first choice would be Hamilton, but anywhere in the greater Toronto area on the west end would be fine.

I would hate it. I don’t want my team demoted to some shit league just because it had a bad season.

Aye, and there’s the rub. Of course you don’t “want” that.
But I’d say that if your team is doing so badly that it is bottom of the league then they deserve to drop and let an up-and-coming team have a go at glory.

It would give your season run-in a certain “spice” wouldn’t it?

Well, in theory, Toronto could support 3 teams, but given the historic attachment fans have to the Maple Leafs and considering their glorious recent history…

Yeah, you’re right, Toronto could support 3 teams, plus the Maple Leafs. :smiley:

Sorry for posting 3 in a row…

… No. The leagues have had the teams agree with each other not to interfere with their drafted players. A player can certainly refuse to sign with the team that drafted him; that happens all the time, in fact. But they remain outside the league for a year, and can then be drafted again. If you’re drafted by the Cubs, the Cubs own the right to sign you for a year. You can refuse to sign for the Cubs and perhaps be drafted by another team next year, but in the meantime you cannot be signed by anyone else.

This sort of thing is commonplace. Eric Lindros famously refused to sign with Quebec; they ended up trading his rights to Philadelphia. Baseball players regularly refuse to sign with the drafting team, especiallyu if they’re drafted low; it’s often more economically sensible for them to refuse to sign, player more years of college, and see if they can’t get drafted higher. Barry Bonds, for instance, was drafted by the San Francisco Giants when he finished high school in 1982; he refused the Giants’ offer and went to college. He was later drafted by Pittsburgh in 1985.

If a player could sign with any team, there’d be no point to the draft.

I think some of the most dramatic moments in football centre around promotion and relegation. For example in 1999 with only 10 seconds in the last game of the season remaining Jimmy Glass, the goalkeeper for Carisle Utd scored a goal which won them the game and kept them in the English professional leagues.

Jimmy Glass was a journeyman lower division soccer player who’s career would’ve been completely undistinguished otherwise and Carisle Utd have perenially been in the bottom divison of English football (I say bottom division, I actually mean 4th tier, there’s actually 23 tiers in the English football pyramid, compromnsiing of over 7,000 clubs). But that moment still ranks as one of the most dramatic moments in the English soccer leagues 120 year+ history.

In practice though some teams are rarely demoted from the top division: Arsenal have been in the top English division continiously since 1919 (every year after the 1st World War, except for when the league was suspended during the 2nd World War). Everton, a founder member of the football league have only spent one season (except for when the league was suspended for WWI and WWII) outside of the top division since the league was founded in 1888.

It probably wouldn’t work in the U.S., with the way the current “minor leagues” are set up, because many of the minor leagues (particularly the highest-level ones) are specifically developmental leagues for the major leagues.

In baseball, most (if not all) of the teams at the AAA (the highest minor league) and AA (the next level down) are “farm teams” for MLB teams. Many of the players on those teams actually have contracts with the major-league team with which they’re affiliated. I think that you have to get down to single-A ball before you find “independent” teams (i.e., not farm operations for MLB teams), though even some single-A teams / leagues are farm teams.

In basketball, the only minor league of note, now that the CBA is defunct, is the NBA Development League, which seems to be largely run by the NBA itself. NBADL players have contracts with the league itself, not the individual teams.

In hockey, the highest-level minor league is the AHL. All AHL teams are affiliated with NHL teams.

There really isn’t a noteworthy minor league in American football (and certainly nothing in which the top team in such a league could even hope to compete with the weakest NFL teams). About the closest thing right now is the Arena Football League, but that’s a very different game.

Sure there is. It is called the NCAA. It has franchises in Columbus OH, Ann Arbor MI, Tuscaloosa AL, South Bend IN, etc. :wink:

I think you are right. The game is set up totally differently over there and you would not, now get the major teams voting to put a similar system to ours in place.

Incidentally, to give you a feel for the degree of connection between all tiers of football over here. Just this afternoon there was an FA cup match, (5th round, so only 16 teams left in it) between Manchester United. one of the top two or three clubs in the world, and Crawley Town. A team that plays its matches four levels below.

The FA cup throws up these games every year as it is, in effect, an “open” competition. Any FA affiliated club can enter and win.
And the result? A narrow 1-0 to united, and no, such narrow squeaks are not uncommon. The cup, being a straight, unseeded, knock-out competition can throw up some remarkable giant-killing stories.

Romance indeed.

You know, as I wrote the paragraph on football in my earlier post, I actually had originally included a sentence: “There are some who would note that the NFL does have a farm league, called the NCAA”. :wink: