Guess the OHL's decision to approve the sale of the Belleville Bulls wasn't such a good decision.
It's only been 4 home games for the Belleville Senators, formerly known as the Binghamton Senators, but it's clear that Belleville, and the surrounding area, still loves and supports hockey. Their average attendance is close to 3900 out of a 4400 seat capacity in the recently renovated Yardmen Arena. If Belleville's old hockey team, the Bulls, still existed, the team would be about 8th overall out of twenty teams in average attendance.
Now, some might be asking why the Bulls left such a rich hockey market. After all, Belleville had played host to a hockey team for more than 50 years, dating back to the World Championship winning Belleville McFarlands in the fifties. Plus, the average attendance was about 3,000 for the Bulls in the old capacity of 3,500.(which is the number the Bulls owner, Gord Simmonds, stated they needed to have in order for the franchise to be viable). It's quite simple why they were sold. Greed overtook Simmonds, commissioner David Branch and the rest of the OHL, and as a result, the Bulls were sold for a generous sum of cash,left a 34 year history behind them and moved to Hamilton.
How's the team in Hamilton doing right now? Not too good. Attendance is barely reaching 2800 in the 8,000 seat FirstOntario Centre, and considering Hamilton is extremely bigger in terms of population compared to Belleville, that number is pathetic. Maybe it's time for new leadership in the OHl, as this decision has obviously not worked at all. Or, maybe the OHL needs to change it's focus with respect to teams. Money isn't everything, and if you get too greedy, decisions like this will hurt you in the long run, like the abomination that is in Hamilton right now.