There are probably a ton of different things that could keep the average die-hard sports fan up at night when it comes to their favorite team.
They might be worrying that their team is struggling and could fall out of a tight playoff race if they don't pick it up. They could be fretting over the loss of a star player, waiting breathlessly for the diagnosis that will reveal how long the player will be out for, a time period that could make or break a team's season. They might be up thinking about a heartbreaking loss, the end of a season, or any number of different things that the average person might think are reasons that are crazy to lose sleep over, but to the die-hard sports fan it's simply part of the "job."
The one thing that no sports fan wants to have to worry about, though, is the possibility of completely losing their team. For a die-hard sports fan, losing their franchise to relocation could be the equivalent of losing a pet, a close friend, even a loved one. The relationship between fan and team often runs deeper that what we see on the surface; wearing a jersey, cheering for a goal, screaming at officials over a bad call. It's a passion that runs through the veins, an unbreakable bond that lasts through even the worst of franchise droughts (looking at you, Cubs fans). Just the mention of relocation can ruin a fan's entire day, so the realistic possibility would do to someone can ruin an entire year.
Having lived through the loss of the Montreal Expos, myself and other Montrealers can relate to the fans on this top-10 list who might be feeling the stress born from rumors of their team packing up and moving on to another city.
10 Sacramento Kings
9 Arizona Coyotes
8 Cleveland Indians
7 Jacksonville Jaguars
6 Nashville Predators
5 Oakland A's
4 Oakland Raiders
3 Buffalo Bills
2 Tampa Bay Rays
1 Florida Panthers
If the empty seats or horrible management wasn't enough to convince you as to why the Florida Panthers fully deserve the top spot on this list, this might do the trick:
“The arena and the team have lost a significant amount of money year over year for the last 10-plus years and the current business model is not sustainable." - Panthers owner Doug Cifu.
When the guy who owns the team is coming out and saying that it's flat out not working, you know that the possibility of relocation is very real and probably looming. The sooner Gary Bettman let's go of his "SunBelt" pipe-dream (although it's been over 20 years now, and there's nothing to suggest his mindset has changed), the better off the NHL will be.
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