Why Hartford Lost Its NHL Team: A Look Back at the Hartford Whalers

From 1979 to 1997, the Hartford Whalers were an NHL team based in Hartford, Connecticut. The team relocated due to a number of factors, including financial difficulties, low attendance, and an inability to find a new arena.

The team’s inability to generate significant revenue from ticket sales was one of the main reasons for their financial difficulties. Even with their NHL status, the Hartford Whalers were never able to attract large crowds to their games. This was due in part to the limited capacity of their arena, the Hartford Civic Center.

The state of Connecticut’s lack of support for the Hartford Whalers was another factor that contributed to the team’s demise. Despite the Whalers being one of the state’s only professional sports teams, the state government refused to invest in the team by building a new arena.

In 1997, the team’s owner, Peter Karmanos, announced that if a new arena was not built in Hartford, he would relocate the team to North Carolina. Karmanos kept his promise and relocated the team to Raleigh, North Carolina, where it became the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hartford Whalers folded due to a combination of financial difficulties, low attendance, and the inability to secure a new arena. Despite being a member of the NHL, the team was unable to generate enough revenue to stay in Hartford and was eventually forced to relocate.

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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