Lil Jon happy to spread word, but not investing in Thrashers

The AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri spoke to Lil Jon for another story this weekend. While she was at it, Melissa asked about Lil Jon’s rumored interest in buying the Thrashers.

Here is what he had to say:

“I love the Thrashers, but I’m not investing in them. The one good thing about that rumor is that it’s stirring up a lot of people talking and saying we gotta keep them here, it brings awareness to it. But I’m not investing. That’s a lot of money to buy a professional hockey team! I’ll help then out with some awareness, though.”

87 comments Add your comment

Deport C-Viv

May 18th, 2011
6:55 pm

instead of YEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH..he said NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Runner-

May 18th, 2011
6:58 pm

Damn it, almost all hope is lost now. The Spirit are pretty much considering any offer now, and regardless of True North’s money problems, if they are the only offer, they will most likely take it. If by some miracle they don’t, the NHL may take over the Thrashers for next season while Spirit will likely file for bankruptcy, leaving us looking at the last season in Atlanta for the Thrashers. The only part that really makes me sad now is that the Thrashers FINALLY have some young talent and look good for the future. Sadly, Winnipeg will make a great run but not us.

glovesave29

May 18th, 2011
7:14 pm

You are half right Todd – on the poorly run team. We will never know if it is a good market because we are being abandoned

todd- wpg

May 18th, 2011
7:14 pm

David Thompson is a billionaire, there are no money issues, Atlanta is leaving cause its a poorly run team in a non hockey market.

thrasherdawg

May 18th, 2011
7:16 pm

Ok…tell Lil John to call Donald Trump and make him aware.

Keep Hockey in Atlanta

May 18th, 2011
7:18 pm

Sorry Todd but the “non hockey market” doesn’t fly when hockey has thrived here before in the form of the Flames and Knights.

Deport C-Viv

May 18th, 2011
7:23 pm

billionaire in manitoba? what his straw hut is bigger than everyone else’s? the ASG were pretty close to billionaire’s also..and anyone who deals with them ends up getting sued. the common non billionare in manitoba will struggle to pay NHL ticket prices just like before. if you successfully poach the Thrashers, they’ll be leaving Winnipeg also in a few years, maybe even sooner, billionare owner or not, the government won’t help because the city can’t spport NHL hockey, again or ever. Doh. You can have C-Viv though.

PoweRForgeD

May 18th, 2011
7:50 pm

The government isn’t being stupid and throwing money at an NHL club (which is a lot more then you can say for glendale, an american city lol) But they will be here to support them. No money from the tax payers is going into this project.

And to the whole we don’t know what kind of market it is because you are being abandoned?? Seriously? The new team has been there for nearly 12 years, the flames for like 8. That’s a total of 20ish years to prove that ATL could be a very good hockey market. Don’t try playing the “we didn’t have enough time” card.

I feel for the people of ATL, but, you had your second chance, you blew it. Can’t place all the blame on ownership no matter how terrible it was.

But know this, all of us in the peg are completely jealous of ATL, you have a great NFL team (and basketball but i’m Canadian, don’t care much for b-ball) I would love to live in a city with a winning NFL team. Maybe one day I will move out of my straw hut and move to a NFL city.

Go catch that wounded goose....

May 18th, 2011
8:01 pm

The notion that Winnipeg is somehow a better place for the NHL to be that Atlanta is absurd. The ENTIRE Province of Manitoba only has 1.2 million people in it. There are five times that many people in metro Atlanta alone. Heck, Fulton County alone is two thirds the size of the the entire province Winnipeg is in. Since a huge percentage of metro Atlanta is recent migrants from other parts of the country, there are plenty of people here who come from “hockey markets,” assuming there really is such a thing. Even if no Atlanta native (like me) liked hockey, and only half of the three million people who’ve moved to metro Atlanta in the last twenty years like hockey, that’s still 1.5 million people to make up an Atlanta hockey “submarket.” That’s more than the total population of Manitoba.

Folks from Winnipeg have been trolling around blogs on this topic, thinking that somehow they’ll convince us Atlanta Thrashers fans that they deserve the team more than we do. If the Thrashers go there and stink it up for another decade like they have here, they’ll be gone just like the Jets. NHL ticket prices are steep due to their much lower TV revenue, and if they can’t find a subset of 15,000 or so to go to every game in a population of more than five million in a metro area, they won’t find it among the 1.2 million in Manitoba, no matter how much of a “hockey market” Winnipeg supposedly is. People don’t burn significant sums consuming an inferior product.

As for all the bitterness about Gary Bettman moving teams to places that aren’t “hockey markets,” he’s just trying to have the league survive as the best hockey league in the world. The NHL as a whole is not a sustainable business model unless their TV revenues significantly improve. The way to do that certainly doesn’t include moving teams from big TV markets like Atlanta (or Phoenix) to the empty plains of Western Canada.

Go catch that wounded goose....

May 18th, 2011
8:03 pm

Meant to add at the end – do something more productive than trolling around blogs about the Thrashers, like catching that wounded goose so he can get that arrow taken out of him.

Top story on the Winnipeg Free Press webpage: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Wounded-Winnipeg-goose-still-eluding-capture-122177569.html

the third

May 18th, 2011
8:16 pm

Enter your comments here

David F

May 18th, 2011
8:16 pm

Hey, Go Cathc that wounded Goose (2 posts up), you are missing the point. The city of Winnipeg has a metro pop of 750.000 and yes that is a lot smaller than Atlanta, but we are rabid fans here and i will guarantee you that we will sell out every game in our 15,000 seat plus arena at probably an avg price of $75 a ticket. You could not do this in Atlanta at likely far less priced tickets. so, if you do the math, we have a winning ticket here

MrBill

May 18th, 2011
8:17 pm

Please go to the winnipeg free press at vote no for the gov’t helping True North with funding.Right now its 46% yes and 40% no, 13% undecided.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/polls/Should-the-province-help-True-North-with-their-debt-load-to-aid-in-the-NHLs-return-to-Winnipeg-122067739.html?c=y&pollSubmitted=y&viewResults=y&mr=1&oid=2&pid=122067739&cid=8500584

Poll Results
ErrorThe following error(s) occurred:
You have already voted today. Each individual is only allowed one vote per day. Don’t forget to come back and vote in tomorrow’s poll!View today’s poll results

Should the province help True North with its debt load to aid in the NHL’s return to Winnipeg?
Yes 46%
No 40%
Need to know more 13%
Total Votes: 8167

The Water Girl wants to Know

May 18th, 2011
8:33 pm

Who the heck is Lil John? Robin Hood’s right hand man was the last Lil John I ever heard of.

Wounded Goose

May 18th, 2011
8:34 pm

Well, it seems some of the hockey fans in Atlanta have had their say. Nice to see ignorance is alive and well in peach county.

Straw huts? They would not survive the blistering cold… Wounded goose? All news in Atlanta is serious… No billionaires? Do some research. Hockey is a Canadian sport as well as a world sport… basically it comes down to economics… no need to turn this into a battle among cities. If a business is viable or marketable in a specific area, it will stay. If not, and there is a buyer elsewhere it will go.

Go catch that wounded goose....

May 18th, 2011
8:42 pm

David – you’re missing my point. While I don’t concede that a metro area of 750,000 will consistently sell out for a lousy team with expensive tickets, even if it does, that can’t fund the team or the NHL over the long term. The reason the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball are all in much better shape (even though the NBA has issues) is because they have big TV contracts that push big pots of revenue to every team. You can’t fund the salaries needed to keep the best hockey players in North America with ticket sales. The eastern Europeans will end up in the KHL, and other players will go to European leagues.

Bettman wants teams in places like Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas and Miami because many, many more people live there than in Winnipeg or similar places. Note that despite the assertion some make that Bettman “hates Canada,” he’s not pushing teams out of places like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Those are places that a major TV network will pay to reach because their advertisers (who ultimately pay the bills) want to reach them.

If the NHL is going to survive in anything close to its current form, it needs a much better TV contract. That isn’t going to come from offering up match ups like Winnipeg vs. Calgary (or Hartford for that matter). It comes from having teams in big markets.

IlliniDawg

May 18th, 2011
8:47 pm

Who the hell is Lil John? and is his Johnson that little? Oh, and how are the Thrashers?

IlliniDawg

May 18th, 2011
8:49 pm

Meant to say “who” are the Thrashers? As an American of Canadian descent, the sport just isn’t that popular here and no one really knows about the team or cares. That’s reality. At least up in Winnipeg they will have a fan base that is really really passionate.

PoweRForgeD

May 18th, 2011
8:56 pm

Don’t worry people, 2 more weeks and we will be over this. One city will have a team, One will not. Regardless of the outcome we will all be going back to our normal lives the next day.

PoweRForgeD

May 18th, 2011
8:59 pm

Oh @gocatch, I assume that if the thrashers were to be moved to another american city I doubt there would be any resistance from the so called thrasher fans.

Toni

May 18th, 2011
9:08 pm

No offense or anything, but can you start telling us about that group that sent in a sheet of some sort to the ASG instead of reporting on things anyone with a brain figured out already?

Go catch that wounded goose....

May 18th, 2011
9:21 pm

PoweRForgeD – not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but if not, I don’t think it matters to the fans where the team is proposed to be moved. If it was possibly heading to, say, Houston, people would still be upset.

The Thrashers have a good following here, and even if every game was sold out, the clowns who own the team would still be dumping them. They started trying to dump them the minute they bought them, not because they decided after some evaluation period that they couldn’t make money owning them. That attitude by the owners led to the downward spiral – they obviously were doing nothing more than treading water and spending as little as possible. People – whether they are in Atlanta, Winnipeg or wherever – aren’t going to spend money year after year buying tickets to see that.

Stu

May 18th, 2011
9:44 pm

I’m not doubting that the team ownership has been pretty useless for the Thrashers, but the team is actually in a really good position right now to be really competitive over the next few seasons. Starting with dropping Kovalchuk and beginning to actually rebuild, then some great pickups from Chicago and Pavelec stepping up his game they are a really exciting team to watch. The on-ice product is actually very good these days.

David F

May 18th, 2011
9:48 pm

To “Go Catch that Wounded Goose”, while you make a valid point on on potential tv revenue in much bigger cities (Atlanta for example), my counter to that would be what does it really matter if only 10,000 people in Georgia are watching a Thrashers game, where here many more would likely to be wathcing as hockey is a religion here, much like football is in Georgia. Its like the Neilson ratings, based on who is actaully watching as opposed to the potential of what they could reach.

Kanata Senators

May 18th, 2011
9:51 pm

Wounded Goose:
Atlanta is supposedly a huge tv market in the US, but those people are not watching hockey! I think it would make more sense for hockey to be in a market where 1 million of 1.2 million Manitobans will watch a game, rather than 6000 out of 9+ million Georgians.

I feel bad for Georgian hockey fans, but it just seem to be a hockey market.

I do, however, think the wrong team is potentially being moved. IT would have made way more sense to move the Coyotes than the Thrashers. Maybe they’ll wind up in Quebec City some day though.

Thank you,
James

Kanata Senators

May 18th, 2011
9:52 pm

David beat me to the point I was making! :(

Kanata Senators

May 18th, 2011
9:55 pm

My comment above should have said Georgia does NOT seem to be a hockey market.

Atlanta Flames Fan

May 18th, 2011
10:09 pm

2nd period intermission describing how the Canucks got both of the Sedin twins. Wheeling and dealing, including with the Thrashers. So our first player ever is Patrick Stefan, and the next 2 picks are the twins. The beginning of the end. Good job Don.

D. Scott

May 18th, 2011
10:20 pm

It comes down to simple economics, it doesn’t appear anybody feels they can own and run an NHL Hockey team in Atlanta and make it profitable. Despite the large population, despite the fact that; Coca-Cola, UPS, Delta Airlines and Home Depot are all headquartered in Atlanta, no one is willing to take the risk. For many northern Americans and Canadians we find this hard to believe but the facts are there to be seen. Unless someone with deep pockets steps forward and at this point it seems very unlikely I can’t see the team staying in Atlanta. Winnipeg on the other hand has a willing owner, doesn’t have territorial issues with existing teams like Hamilton and appears to be the ONLY viable option. I personally don’t think the NHL is all that crazy about going to Winnipeg, let’s face it if you aren’t Canadian you likely couldn’t find the place without Google maps, but where else could the team be moved and be ready to play next year?

OHL

May 18th, 2011
10:23 pm

USA vs. Canada in the Olympic Gold Medal match. US has 28 million viewers. Canada only has 17 million viewers. But the US has a population of 313 million. Canada only has a population of 34 million. Do the math. Now figure in the weighted balance of the US viewers. Top cities are Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minneapolis and Milwaukee. Atlanta is not adding to the already lower US %. So based on those facts, I would say that Winnipeg’s 700 thousand will do far better than Atlanta’s 5 million and their .23 Nielsen rating. That’s what the numbers say. 50% of Canadians watch a major hockey game. Less than 10% of Americans will watch that same game. The 50% of Canadians is evenly distributed throughout the country. American support is heavily weighted towards northern cities (i.e. not Atlanta). That’s what we know as a fact. Argue all you want about the NHL needing to be in Atlanta for a large TV contract, but you people need to realize that the NHL just signed a $2 billion deal with NBC and Versus, so the NHL doesn’t need Atlanta from that argument.

Shutterpups

May 18th, 2011
10:26 pm

Population of Metro Atlanta: 5 300 000. Average attendance at Thrashers’ games: 13000

Average percentage of population attending Thrashers’ games: 0.25%.

Population of Winnipeg: 750 000. Average attendance at Jets’ games when we had them: 12 800.

Average percentage of population attending Jets’ games in much harder economic times for WPG: 1.71%.

More people in Winnipeg now, more jobs in Winnipeg now, more business in Winnipeg now, more $$$ in Winnipeg now and there’s a building in Winnipeg now that doesn’t have a good 1000-1500 seats without a view of the ice.

Please understand that I’m not posting these facts to engage in a pissing match about who has better fans. I sincerely wish that Winnipeg could score an NHL team without taking one from the dedicated fans of another city.

Regardless of population, our attendance stats are startling similar. I simply want to set the record straight regarding the population of Winnipeg and our ability to put butts in the seats of MTS Centre.

I’ve stated this before in comments on other stories, but I want to say this again: Canada as a whole only has a population of 35 million people. In terms of population, the Winnipeg GMA is the Canadian equivalent of Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.

Stu

May 18th, 2011
10:29 pm

I have to agree with D. Scott on this one. Basically if the only problem is that the team has been run poorly, but it’s really a good market, why does no one want to buy the team? Unless their intention was to buy the team and run it equally as poorly, shouldn’t it just seem like an amazing investment opportunity with the extremely low purchase price? If it was viewed as a good untapped market.

OHL

May 18th, 2011
10:30 pm

Atlanta Flames Fan, I’m curious. You were an expansion team with no players. What were you possibly going to offer to the other teams picking at the top to get BOTH picks since the Sedins would only play together. Vancouver had players and assets to trade. The more I read these boards the more it makes me think you fans don’t really know much about hockey. I’m sorry but it’s true. You are calling for a bigger tv contract when you just signed a $2 billion deal with NBC and Versus. You are calling for the Sedins to have been drafted when there was 0% chance of that happening since you only had 1 pick and they wanted to play together and you had nothing to trade to get a 2nd pick. You constantly say that more people in a southern city will do better than a fewer people in a Canadian city, but numbers have proven that Canadians and Northern Americans watch hockey at a much higher rate.

D. Scott

May 18th, 2011
10:39 pm

Canucks up 3 to 2

BomberRiderFan

May 18th, 2011
10:39 pm

When the Flames moved to Calgary in 1980, everyone said it would be a failure because Calgary was such a small market (at the time Calgary’s population was 550 000). Now look how well the Flames are doing… 100% sellouts this year with a team that didn’t make the playoffs. The same arguments are being raised again, and time will prove them wrong again.

IceMan

May 18th, 2011
10:43 pm

Jeez, Atlanta! Nobody gave up on the Braves in the years they sucked, no one gave up on the Hawks when they sucked, or because the Falcons haven’t won the Super Bowl yet. Hockey is an awesome sport and Atlanta is a better city for having an NHL team. SAVE OUR THRASHERS AND KEEP THEM HERE!

BomberRiderFan

May 18th, 2011
10:44 pm

If the Jets 2.0 average 14000 fans per game they will be making more money than the Thrashers did in the last two seasons. 14000 is nothing. Winnipeg gets 8000 for the AHL Moose.

Hockey is for EVERYONE

May 18th, 2011
10:47 pm

With the million$ he has made from producing lame comedy for the amusement of people too unintelligent to even get AffirmativeAction jobs, Tyler Perry owes it to this city to give something back and buy the Thrashers.

Atlanta Flames Fan

May 18th, 2011
10:51 pm

Uh, but I think either of the Sedins would have been better than Stefan. What do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1Z9UspUHqg

Kanata Senators

May 18th, 2011
11:04 pm

Sometimes you don’t get what you expect from the Draft.

The sens drafted Alexandre Daigle first in 1993. Second that year was Chris Pronger. So I don’t feel bad that you drafted Stefan. Sorry.

OHL

May 18th, 2011
11:21 pm

Atlanta Flames Fan, EITHER of the Sedins? That would never have happened. They made it clear they would only play together. Why do you think Vancouver got BOTH of them? You had no shot at getting either of the Sedins. The only choices were both or nothing. Since you had no players to trade to the other teams in the draft your only choice was nothing and thus Stefan.

67’s, nice line there about Daigle.

Dave in Winnipeg

May 19th, 2011
12:00 am

Winnipeg has a proud hockey history and very dedicated fans. The comparison of the hockey situation in 1995 to 2011 is like black and white. We have a state of the art arena, solid club ownership, and Canadian $ worth more than the American peso. Winnipeg’s economy is solid with housing prices rising 10% annualy and unemployment of 5%. The community can and will support and NHL team.

East Point Bob

May 19th, 2011
12:17 am

little john must bang trashcan lids togather and thinks that is “music”. He, just like this thing
doing this blog is worthless, who cares about some black punk called little john, or is that going to be Waddell’s new boss in Toledo selling port-o-potties ? Bet vivlimore could now sell a porta potty !

Deport the AJC

May 19th, 2011
6:33 am

I’m a native Georgian, I live on Lake Lanier. If it weren’t for the internet, you would not know we have an NHL team here. Look at the media..the AJC is all over this..NOW. It has never been like this, the Thrashers are never on local news until now, it’s UGA, Braves, Hawks and highschool footbal. Stop blaming the fans and the market. Yes, many years later people still miss the Flames and Knights, people still wear the jersey’s..many, many years after the fact, tell me that isn’t a hockey market?

Is it the states fault..or ownership who has chosen to NEVER market the Thrash past the intital expansion years in order to gian new fans. This team did a sorry job of attracting new fans, they alienated the ones they had left, embittered us and we still get dragged through the mud. Georgia could thrive just like Nashville if it had a fair chance. If only we had one owner who was a hockey fan, we’ve never had that. We had Ted Turner’s life support system of Time Warner and then the brokeback ASG. How does translate the market in Atlanta and Georgia is bad? You could have that situation in Montreal and it would have failed quicker. If anything southern hockey fans are cognizant when they are looking at a polished turd, we’ve been given a lump of coal and people chose to not continue to support something our owners neglected. Give us a real owner, re-brand this darn franchise and the people will come, the team is finally heading in the right direction to boot. We’ve had a real GM for one season folks, last season. See what I mean..it took that long to get rid of DW, blame DW, not Georgia’s market or the fans here, excuse us for not being stupid and spending money on a novelty.

kreedham

May 19th, 2011
7:17 am

Don’t know how much $$$ Lil John has and I’m sure he’s done well in music but I can’t imagine he has enough $$$ to invest in more than a very small %.

Deport Lil John

May 19th, 2011
7:38 am

sadly more people in Atlanta would relate to lil john than any respectable owner. I could see him at games smoking weed and blinding people with his rap star teeth..or crunk star or whatever that garbage is called.

Glavine was more of a hope than he was. What’s next, Usher? Might as well ask Kovalchuk, does he still have a castle in Georgia? After seeing Ted Turner on the news, I would dare to hope no one ever asks him anything again related to the Thrashers because he had completely no idea who or what they were, considering he once owned them.

Deport Canada

May 19th, 2011
7:46 am

From the Troll himself:

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he is “not aware” of any looming deal that would see the Atlanta Thrashers move to Winnipeg.

“There has been so much speculation,” Bettman said during the first intermission of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on TEAM 1040-AM on Wednesday night. “How many people in your line of work were reporting the Coyotes were going to Winnipeg? Where is that coming from? It’s made up. It didn’t happen. The minute the Coyotes made it clear it clear they’re staying, we’re on to Atlanta.”

There reports out of Atlanta aren’t figments of our imagination. The Thrashers’ ownership group, Atlanta Spirit, has suffered tumult for several months the parties appear very motivated to sell both the Thrashers and possibly the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. True North, an ownership group based in Winnipeg, has worked with the league for a couple years in attempt to get a team back to that market and reportedly is in talks with Atlanta Spirit of acquiring the Thrashers.

“True North is going about their business and they’re taking a businesslike approach,” Bettman said. “We are pleased with that, but there’s nothing to report. . . . I never say never about anything. There is no deal right now.”

Hockeyfan

May 19th, 2011
8:01 am

As a hockey fan and a sports fan in general how in the world can ASG claim they are losing $20,000,000 a year when they own the operating rights to Phillips Arena. If ASG would put some effort into marketing the team you would not be on the brink of losing your team. It will be a very sad day if the Thrashers are gone.

MrReality

May 19th, 2011
8:14 am

The unfortunate reality is that this bird has flown but people do not want to see the empty nest. Yet. From “film producers” to ex-baseball players to [fill in the blank] : the options of local or non-local soon-to-be-interested owners is but mere hype and no basis in reality. Spread you wings, folks.

Seattle Jets

May 19th, 2011
8:43 am

LOL@”Great Atlanta “fans”" crying about “bad ownership” and “its not the “fans” fault”…Isn’t this the same weak “sportstown” that can’t sell out NLCS games? Yeah..Move em to Winnipeg! Time for all hillbilly teams to move north…