If you lived in Connecticut in the 1980s or early 1990s, you remember a Whaler home game as an EVENT. Streets were alive with people selling tickets, displaying shirts, logos, caps, and pucks. Restaurants were filled. Pubs were raucous. Schoolchildren stayed up late to listen to broadcasts. All for a usually sub-.500 team.
Since the Whalers left in early 1997 Hartford has never been as vibrant.
Connecticut will get an NHL team back.
Though some state revenue is worthy for seeding a sports investment, the only way I will ask the legislature for money is if Connecticut is initially the majority owner. With the state owning a team, we have control. We will never again lose a team to a private owner's greed or whim.
Now...the really good part. The 21st century Whalers can be primarily owned by FANS.
Every Connecticut resident could buy into the state's portion of the team. Our goal would be to sell 100% of the state's portion to Connecticut fans. They become shareholders and then control the major team decisions. They select the General Manager; they select the coach. They give input on trades and on player salaries. They set season ticket prices and they propel intermission and off-ice entertainment.