Census data and relocation/expansion
posted at 7/12/2011 8:57 PM EDT
So for my job I spent much of my day today pouring over the metropolitan area census data for the US (don't ask).
As I was looking through all the regions and population numbers I noticed something interesting about the largest markets not currently served by the NHL. So I thought I'd throw up those in the top 40 that are not currently served (taking into consideration that some of the metropolitan areas without a team that I cut out have easy access to a team in an adjacent area - the two NYC and LA met areas for example) and maybe get input into the pros and/or cons of expanding or relocating to any of these markets. I put the number beside them of where they are in the overall popualtion list.
6. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX (If it can make a go in Dallas, MAYBE Houston has a shot)
9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA (Never again.)
15. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (If Levin gets his rink, this may be the best American option)
17. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA (with three teams, the California market is likely at its saturation point.)
23. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA (Maybe?)
24. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA (See San Diego)
25. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX (If there’s Texas expansion, it will be to Houston. Also, hockey in the desert has not worked that well.)
27. Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN (Hockey in Ohio for the NHL has had some real struggles. Columbus can barely survive and Cleveland didn’t. A second team won’t make matters better.)
28. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH (See Cincy.)
29. Kansas City, MO-KS (Has the rink, but no owner.)
30. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV (Again, hockey in the desert. Plus there’s simply too much else to do in Vegas.)
33. Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC (Can’t see the Carolinas supporting two teams.)
34. Indianapolis-Carmel, IN (Maybe?)
35. Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX (Eclipsed by Houston.)
37. Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA (Can’t see the Bruins going for it.)
39. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI (Maybe, but could they support both the Bucks and the NHL?)
Six of these areas are currently able to support the AHL - Houston, San Antonio, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Charlotte and Providence.