NHL  > General NHL  > NHL Expansion (Kansas City & Seattle)
January 2, 2009, 09:44 PM
There are two American cities with nice arenas and sports starved fans that could really use a boost. I really think Kansas City and Seattle would be excellent sites for expansion teams. What do you guys think? The league is beginning to gain its popularity back. Is it time for expansion? Are these the best cities for expansion? Should the NHL try to expand in America or focus on Canada only? Let's hear from you.
July 18, 2010  07:24 PM ET
QUOTE:

You obviously have no clue what your talking about.

The key arena is not a NHL calibre arena It apparently wasn't NBA calibre or you would still have a team

July 19, 2010  03:00 PM ET
QUOTE:

My list of places for a team to relocate:1) Milwaukee2) Winnipeg3) Seattle4) HalifaxAll four of these cities could support and love an NHL team. And they should get them through relocation, not expansion.

I totally agree with you. Expansion is a silly idea for the foreseeable future. I don't know much about the Canadian markets (other than the fact all of them love hockey) but I agree that Milwaukee and Seattle look like good prospects. Florida, Phoenix and a few others need to relocate. Milwaukee would be a natural rival to play against Detroit, Chicago, Mpls. and Seattle makes for a stronger Western Conference.

August 24, 2010  12:23 PM ET

There are some things that should never have been: The Colts should never have left Baltimore; the Rams should never have left Los Angeles (I hope there's a special 'hair salon' in Hades that was reserved just for YOU, Georgia Frontiere); Giants (baseball) should never have left New York; the Expos should never have been allowed by Bud "The Slug" Selig to leave Montreal ...

... and the Jets and Nordiques both should never have left Canada. Barry Shenkarow and Marcel Aubut should both be imprisoned for the shameful way Winnipeg and Quebec were ushered out of the NHL.

Hey Barry and Marcel, I hear there's a barbershop opening soon, directly "south" ... Say "hello" to your fellow scumbag, Georgia, when you both eventually get there ... How Aubut in particular became the President of the Canadian Olympic Committee is BEYOND WORDS ... Maybe he's planning on selling and relocating the Canadian Olympic Hockey Teams ... to France ... for a tidy profit based on using "Other People's Money"?

It wouldn't be the first time ... right, Quebec?

August 24, 2010  10:13 PM ET

I agree with ya there. And I can't stress how much Seattle needs a team....

August 30, 2010  12:55 PM ET
QUOTE:

Carolina may have won the cup a couple of years ago, but they are playing in front of 9,000 fans??? The Ottawa 67's of the OHL routinely play in front of 10,000 fans here at the Civic Centre. The lowly Ottawa Senators routinely play infront of 19,000 + at Scotiabank plank, and they suck this year! Ottawa hasn't even won a cup, and Carolina has always been at the worst, decent. If you win a cup, and can't fill your stands, you have a problem. It's called NO SUPPORT.

I just love it when Canidians compare Junior hockey support to NHL. There is a huge difference in ticket prices , besides after Donald Fuhr and NHLPA gets through with the NHL ownership and Gary Bettman, it will be a much different leaque then we know of it today. The NHL and Betteman have visions of grander, and Euro Dollar signs playing teams in the NHL in Sweden, Finland, the former Eastern bloc and Russia. So its stupid for us in America to confuse what cites are deserving of NHL teams, the leaque won`t exist as we know after the 2010- 11 season.

August 30, 2010  01:04 PM ET

I just love when people compare Junior Hockey to the NHL, there a huge difference in ticket prices!! It won`t matter any way when Donald Fuhr and the NHLPA get done with the NHL owners the NHL will be a very diiferent leaque, as Gary Bettmann and CO. smell Euro dollars. You will in fact see, the NHL teams in Sweden, Russia, Check republic, etc. So I would worry about the Carolinas, Thrashers, and Coyotes. They will have a major TV contract in Europe, too!

September 6, 2010  02:46 AM ET

As for Milwaukee getting a team they only draw around 5,00 to 6,000 for an AHL game. Besides do you think the Blackhawks would let a team in their "backyard". Milwaukee is a baseball town and thats it

September 6, 2010  02:48 AM ET

Milwaukee can only draw 5,00 to 6,000 a game for an AHL game. Hamilton or Quebec City or even KC would be a better match for an NHL team.

September 23, 2010  05:05 AM ET

(This will take place over two posts due to character limits)


The top cities currently for relocation (and I say relocation because expansion or contraction are both clearly unacceptable to the NHL right now) are:

Hamilton, because of the population, its estimated that there are 10 million people within 150 km. It has an arena that could be renovated without extravagant cost. And is close enough to Toronto to feed of its corporate support. The NHL has even admitted that a franchise in Hamilton would be in the top 5 for profitability were it to exist.

Milwaukee. I like Milwaukee for a few reasons. The most prominent being that it had the second highest rating of US cities for the 2010 Olympic Hockey Final between the US and Canada. So its clear there are hockey fans in that city, and more importantly, they will watch it on TV. Which means broadcast deals, which in turn means money, which in turn means survivability. A lot of US NHLers also come from Wisconsin and there is a loyal college following in the state. It would take a new Arena though. Good news is the Bucks are looking into it.

Seattle is next, again because of the population. Its 3 million citizens are more than either Winnipeg or Quebec City combined. Not to mention Portland to the south and the inevitable Canadians that will travel the short distance to catch the Canucks, Flames, or Oilers when in town. If you ever watch the Blue Jays play the Mariners in Seattle, and I do, you will see many Canadian fans at the ballpark. I would expect even more for hockey. Seattle has a strong and stable economy with potential for good corporate support as well. The arena is up in the air, I guess it could work at KeyArena, but relocation would be far more likely with a new facility.

September 23, 2010  05:08 AM ET

(This will take place over two posts due to character limits)


The top cities currently for relocation (and I say relocation because expansion or contraction are both clearly unacceptable to the NHL right now) are:

Hamilton, because of the population, its estimated that there are 10 million people within 150 km. It has an arena that could be renovated without extravagant cost. And is close enough to Toronto to feed of its corporate support. The NHL has even admitted that a franchise in Hamilton would be in the top 5 for profitability were it to exist.

Milwaukee. I like Milwaukee for a few reasons. The most prominent being that it had the second highest rating of US cities for the 2010 Olympic Hockey Final between the US and Canada. So its clear there are hockey fans in that city, and more importantly, they will watch it on TV. Which means broadcast deals, which in turn means money, which in turn means survivability. A lot of US NHLers also come from Wisconsin and there is a loyal college following in the state. It would take a new Arena though. Good news is the Bucks are looking into it.

Seattle is next, again because of the population. Its 3 million citizens are more than either Winnipeg or Quebec City combined. Not to mention Portland to the south and the inevitable Canadians that will travel the short distance to catch the Canucks, Flames, or Oilers when in town. If you ever watch the Blue Jays play the Mariners in Seattle, and I do, you will see many Canadian fans at the ballpark. I would expect even more for hockey. Seattle has a strong and stable economy with potential for good corporate support as well. The arena is up in the air, I guess it could work at KeyArena, but relocation would be far more likely with a new facility.

September 23, 2010  05:11 AM ET

(Continued from above)


Now come the black sheep: Winnipeg, Quebec City, and Kansas City. Winnipeg has a few limitations in population and financial support. There are around 1 million people in Manitoba, most of them are in and around Winnipeg. That's basically it. They could draw from places like Regina and Saskatoon going west, but it's a long, cold, and snowy drive in the winter months. In the east there's Thunder Bay and Sudbury. Both are small and far away as well. This may not be the largest obstacle to overcome though, of the 1 million in Manitoba, I guess about 999, 999 love hockey.

Winnipeg has limited corporate support with only one large corporation: Manitoba Hydro. As far as TV goes I don't see a large revenue stream there too.

Everything I just said about Winnipeg can be applied to Quebec City, with a few variances. 1 million from the surrounding area including Saguenay, and I only see the most hardened Maritimer's making the trek west. That doesn't leave a lot of fans to draw from, but again they are ALL fans up there. Quebec is a government town, so I don't know who would pay for advertisement and sponsorship. The most the government will do is fund an arena, but they wont be putting their logos on the boards. Somehow I like Quebec's chances more than Winnipeg's. Its just a gut feeling.

I know the least of Kansas City. Hockey has failed there before, which is never a good sign, especially in American cities. Fan support is never an issue in Canada, only economics. Any smart owner would take fan support over economics. Fan support is more stable. They have an arena which is always a good sign. The population numbers look promising. But Atlanta and Phoenix had the same things, and look where they are now. The question of Kansas City is are there enough fans. Is Kansas City a Colorado Avalanche or an Nashville Predators. I don't really know.

Ok. So those are the best bets for relocation. I would like to see a team in all those cities, taking away teams from these cities: Phoenix, because how long is that really going to last. Atlanta, when they get the ownership thing figured out they should go straight to the auction block. Florida, because they're foundering in the swamp and are two teams in a state that doesn't care too much for hockey sustainable for much longer. The state economy isn't something to be desired as well. Nashville too. And maybe, but not hopefully, the Islanders. It would be a sad day when a once storied dynasty bites the dust. Here's hoping for a new arena. Maybe in Brooklyn if the NJ Nets ever actually move. There are enough hockey fans in New York and Long Island to keep the Islanders afloat.

I'm done. Thanks to anyone who actually read all that. I needed to get it out; it's been lingering in my mind for too long.

September 24, 2010  01:26 AM ET

I'm a hockey fan here in KC and I figured it's time for me to finally throw in my two cents.

I grew up watching the Blades play in Kemper Arena. Unfortunately they left after the league folded in 2001 (after playing in KC for 11 years). Kansas City is by no means known as a hockey town but last year the CHL took a chance and put a team in my hometown of Independence, a suburb of KC, and I was initially worried about fan support.
However, at the end of last season we were ranked 3rd in the league in attendance and 2nd in the league in sold out games (IEC is 5,800 capacity for Hockey).
I'll be the first one to say that KC should get an NHL team. I'll also be the first to say we're not ready (fan-wise) to support one just yet. Hockey can work here, it is working here.I've run into more hockey fans here in the last 6 months than I have the last few years. With a team taking active steps to make Hockey more popular in the area and the success they've had so far it won't take long to build a good fan base.

September 24, 2010  07:29 PM ET

I think the Coyotes should move to Winnipeg- the team is in utter financial disrepair merely being held up by Betteman visa-vi the 30 team owners. Why not move them? Arizona is not an NHL hotbed just as Vancouver wasn't an NBA hotbed- sure they like the game but they don't appear set to pay for it, 41 home game tickets to sell in a gate driven league.

Florida is the other team I would move right now- to Quebec City if they ever get Private (with a capital P) funding for a new rink... the fanbase is already there & their population is well over what it was when the Nordiques left for Denver.

To add a radical idea- I wouldn't discount/mind a contraction of 4-6 teams... to make the NHL a better product overall by having fewer roster spots for marginal players who right now are playing because of the cap vs. high profile stars (Chicago has strong core of 7-8 guys right now & who else?)

September 28, 2010  11:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#169):

I just love it when Canidians compare Junior hockey support to NHL. There is a huge difference in ticket prices , besides after Donald Fuhr and NHLPA gets through with the NHL ownership and Gary Bettman, it will be a much different leaque then we know of it today. The NHL and Betteman have visions of grander, and Euro Dollar signs playing teams in the NHL in Sweden, Finland, the former Eastern bloc and Russia. So its stupid for us in America to confuse what cites are deserving of NHL teams, the leaque won`t exist as we know after the 2010- 11 season.

the real funny thing is tickets for the Manitoba Moose (AHL) are more than tickets for the Coyotes, so yes it is comparable. Europe? Yeah, because people have so much money in Sweden, Finland and Russia... they don't have any arenas even close to NHL standards in Europe.

October 3, 2010  05:08 PM ET

Bring teams back to Hartford and Quebec City-two of the real hockey towns in the NHL

October 11, 2010  03:42 PM ET

Key Arena would be fine for hockey, but I don't see Seattle getting a team. Or rather, Vancouver allowing Seattle to have a team. The two cities are two hours apart by car and a significant number of Vancouver fans live in Washington. Portland, OR, on the other hand, would be just about perfect. The Rose Garden is a great facility, the city is starved for a larger sports presence, and it's far enough away from Vancouver for them not to care. And at 2.5 hours by car from Seattle they'd attract fans from Washington too. If I were the NHL and looking to locate a team in the northwest US I'd opt for Portland.

October 13, 2010  11:59 PM ET

Key arena wouldn't work to well. As pissed as we are with the NBA saying it's not up to snuff for them the NHL has a point, in Hockey configuration, Keyarena only hold like 15,000 fans and the scoreboard isn't even above center ice. There's a good reason that the T-Birds left the larger key for the smaller ShoWare center. If Seattle were to get a team there would need to be major renovation to KeyArena or a new Arena built that could handle both NBA and NHL standards. Believe me, I'm from Seattle and would love to get a NHL team here (and the Supersonics back as well...) but it ain't gonna happen till there's a better venue then the Key available.

October 24, 2010  01:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#181):

Key Arena would be fine for hockey, but I don't see Seattle getting a team. Or rather, Vancouver allowing Seattle to have a team. The two cities are two hours apart by car and a significant number of Vancouver fans live in Washington. Portland, OR, on the other hand, would be just about perfect. The Rose Garden is a great facility, the city is starved for a larger sports presence, and it's far enough away from Vancouver for them not to care. And at 2.5 hours by car from Seattle they'd attract fans from Washington too. If I were the NHL and looking to locate a team in the northwest US I'd opt for Portland.

The Canucks are dying to have a team in the Northwest with them Seattle Portland makes no difference

October 24, 2010  01:28 PM ET

 
October 24, 2010  01:34 PM ET

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