The Vince/Toronto thread, go me thinking: attendance was respectable during the Grizzlies entire tenure in Vancouver. What happened is the franchise was sold to an owner (heisley) who had no intentions of keeping the franchise in canada. no different than when the dodgers were sold to the O'Malley family and moved to LA. Does that mean they were a failure in Brooklyn?
Vancouver WAS able to support an NBA team. When you get a new owner who is going to move the franchise to the states no matter what, there is not much you can do about it.
I always get sh*t from Canadians for this but here we go:
-Players viewed it as damaging to their profitability. Recent trends like Oden and Durant going NW might have boded well for the Grizz, but the Steve Francis bit tore a big hole in the franchise.
-Hate him or love him, Stu Jackson is Stern's boy and considered a 'genius'. This is true, his preseason picks are the stuff of legends in the NBA office. If he couldn't make it work it shows poorly for the locale. That is what people in the NBA office believe.
-Vancouver is not that big a city, and bball has to be the number one game in town to survive in smaller locales. Playing second fiddle to the Canucks never sat well with the NBA.
-Poor on court perfomances made it easier to leave, and tired, unispired American views of Canada allowed for spats of misinformation to be freely accepted as fact.
-Those involved didn't have the balls to see it through.
-In the mid to late nineties the corpoarte money wasn't there, as many of the big spenders dropped coin on the Canucks, and the city wasn't big enough to corporately fund (sky boxes, season tickets, sponsorships etc...) to major league teams. Canada's hot economy may make this a moot point today, but it wasn't then.
The climate is good in Vancouver now for a team, it wasn't then.