Re: NHL Expansion
posted at 12/19/2013 5:37 PM EST
Since I was asked, here are some Eastern possibilities
They have the fan base and an intense understanding of the sport. The demographics and population could work as well, if using a similar small market structure that has worked so far in the Peg. The marks against it are the lack of building and a potential owner. The insurance industry has taken a massive hit over the last five years and has not yet recovered fully depressing Hartford’s economy slightly, meaning the corporate support may not be as strong as it needs.
Building? Check. Deep pocketed owner? Check. Crazy and knowledgeable fan-base? Check. A growing economy with increased corporate support? Check. The only problem I see for QC is the same one that faces all of the Eastern cities – the unbalanced conferences and the realignment issues that will cause for a new Eastern team.
Not quite as much of an idiotic option as one might think on first blush. Hampton Roads is the second largest metro area after Vegas without a pro sports team, and its larger than other options like Milwaukee, and larger than a number of existing NHL cities (at least Raleigh, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa, but there may be others – I haven’t done all the research) There’s significant economic growth in the area and the population if one of the fastest growing in the US. They also have a city government that’s fiercely pursuing a sports team and are committed to building a facility should they land a team. The problems? There is no apparent owner, virtually no existing hockey culture (And what there is likely supports the Capitals or Canes) and no viable short-term facility to play in while a new rink is built. Those last three points likely kill any chance of a team.
Haligonians would go nuts, but I think shupe would agree with me that they couldn’t support it, at least not yet – too low a population base, not enough corporate support and no suitable facility.
Other possibilities? Memphis is doubtful due to territorial issues with Nashville. Cleveland and Cincinnati are unlikely given the struggles of Columbus. Indianapolis likely can’t support three major league teams and Bankers Life Fieldhouse cannot accommodate hockey. I already made my arguments against Hamilton. Charlotte won’t even get a look due to Raleigh’s struggles.