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1973-74 WHA New Jersey Knights Game Program - 11/25/73 vs. Quebec
Lot #612

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1973-74 WHA New Jersey Knights Game Program - 11/25/73 vs. Quebec
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1973-74 WHA New Jersey Knights Game Program - 11/25/73 vs. Quebec
Lot #612
The New York Raiders were given WHA franchise life on November 1st, 1971. Hopes to play at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island were dashed when the NHL decided to immediately expand, cutting off the Raiders threat and thus the New York Islanders were born. The Raiders had nowhere else to look other than the mecca, Madison Square Garden. A deal was reached with the Garden and the Raiders began play in the WHA’s inaugural season of 1972-73. The Islanders outsold the Raiders in season ticket sales by better than a 4 to 1 margin, and thus the Raiders would play to sparse crowds at MSG. This put immediate strain on ownership as the Garden charged the Raiders enormous fees to use their arena. Original owner Neil Shayne sold the team to Dick Wood and Sy Seigel. The two new owners were without a plan and before long, with mounting financial losses, they gave the team back to the league. The league ran the team over the last half of the inaugural season. The Raiders finished last in the East behind a hideous defense.

In May of 1973 two New Yorkers purchased the team from the league and changed the team nickname to the Golden Blades. After less than 2 months, and only 20 games of play in 1973-74, the two new owners met the same fate as the prior owners. Once again the league stepped in and assumed ownership. It was now obvious that playing at MSG, in the high rent district, was not going to work. The league immediately moved the franchise out of New York and into New Jersey. They were renamed the New Jersey Knights and played at the tiny Cherry Hill Arena. A new owner by the name of Joe Schwartz was found in January. Attendance remained low, as neither the New York or Philadelphia markets would warm up to the WHA squad. As had the Raiders the season prior, the Golden Blades/Knights finished in last place in the East. Schwartz made a bold move and took the team west, relocating them to San Diego and renamed them the Mariners.

The fact that the New Jersey Knights played only 1/2 season in the WHA makes finding items extremely difficult. This beautiful program is from a Knights game vs the Quebec Nordiques on November 25, 1973. An incredible item from a team that played only 58 total games. There is some writing on the back.