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August 31, 2014

Sunday: Expansion Explanation

The winner of the COTW vote for August 18-24 was TG with his Halifax Mooseheads concept!

Full Results
TG (HLF) - 3
Matt M. (WSH) - 2
David K. - 1
Matt M. (DYN) - 1
TG (ANA) - 1

The new Concept of the Week nominees (August 25-31) have been listed on the side of the page in the black banner. Click that banner to see the concepts or go to the CONCEPT OF THE WEEK tab. Get your votes in before Friday.

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The Grand Rapids Griffins Competition wraps up today and that frees up HJC to do one of our traditional ReDesign competitions. We're going to ease back into this by having a simple DEL ReDesign. You can redesign any team in the league! Click the banner at the top of the page or go to the DEL COMP tab to read the rules. They're really simple, so try to have a lot of fun with some teams you may never have heard of before. Entries are due at the end of Friday.

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Seven people wrote up a mock post this past week in an attempt to become the next HJC Writer. I have looked at all of them and will review them again this week. Expect an announcement to be made before the end of the week.

I think I know who I want to pick, but choosing a new writer is always a gamble. There's a certain level of writing and professionalism that I want to have here on HJC. Trusting people with my vision is a big deal for me, so I want to make sure that I absolutely choose the right person.

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The St. Louis Blues revealed new sweaters this week. Perhaps you have been wondering why HJC hasn't done an extensive article on the reveal? I have! There is an off-shoot HJC blog called the HJC Design Blog. There's a link for it on the side of the page or you can go to hjcdesignblog.blogspot.com to see it. That blog isn't updated nearly as often as HJC, but it's where you'll find writings on new sweaters and other opinions I may have. Be sure to place it in your favourites or bookmarks or whatever you kids are doing these days.

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Expansion has been the hot topic this past week. Where will the NHL go? Will it go anywhere? What's a good fit? I'm here to provide my perspective on the whole deal.

Why I believe these reports are true
Part of the newest CBA was a joint pledge by both the NHL and NHLPA to increase league revenues from $3 billion to $5 or $6 billion. Four teams paying just over a billion dollars in expansion fees should help that

Las Vegas
The NHL seems convinced this will work. The testing of the waters came when they permanently moved the NHL Awards to Vegas. It was a test to see if people would travel to see the NHL. I guess they have? There's a 20,000 seat arena being built right now (MGM-AEG Arena). That's a BIG check in the pros column for Vegas. The league also thinks that a NHL team can be an attraction in the city. The belief is attendance will be built with a solid group of local season ticket holders and tourists travelling The Strip who stop in to see an NHL game as if it were Cirque du Soleil. The NHL believes that those tourists would then go home and tell their friends how awesome hockey is. Thus leading to a higher level of interest in the NHL, both across the continent and globally.

Quebec City
The city and province of Quebec are in full gear building an arena (Quebecor Arena) in hopes of attracting a NHL team. They also have an ownership group too! Just like Las Vegas, the arena is a big plus for them. The ownership group is another. A second team in the province of Quebec would do quite well, I believe. The only question mark is the idea that Gary Bettman does not feel that expanding further into Canada can generate more revenue than another American team would.

Seattle
If Quebec and Vegas have a good thing going for them by already building arenas, Seattle has a big negative going by not having any concrete plans in place to get going on construction. And the guy leading the charge for a new arena is interested in the NBA, not necessarily the NHL. I personally also worry about an NHL team being looked at as second rate. It seems the city really wants a NBA team and a hockey team just would be a nice throw in to help fill dates at the new arena. I believe there is a good fan base in the city, but I wonder if ownership would be committed enough to help the Seattle team bring in more revenue than any other city I have mentioned in this piece.

Toronto
Toronto is two steps behind Vegas and Quebec, as far as building a team goes. They are at least one step ahead of Seattle though. They have an ownership group in place, with deep pockets, licking their chops at the idea of a NHL team. At this point finances for a new arena can't be figured out though (tax money vs private invetsments). There is the theory that a 2nd Toronto team could share the ACC for a season or two. Of course their rent would be through the roof because the Leafs own the building and aren't very happy about the idea of a 2nd team.

And I'm wondering why most people outside of Toronto, it seems, are not convinced that another Toronto team is a good idea. The Leafs have a season ticket waiting list that is at least 15 years long (last I heard). The Leafs also get ratings for their regional broadcasts that rival (if not beat) some NBC national broadcasts. Are people really convinced that these people who can't even get a sniff of the ACC because of price wouldn't drop their allegiance to the Leafs and give it to this bright, new, cheaper option? I bleed Maple Leafs blue, but even I would attempt to get season tickets for a second Toronto team! I have room for a #1 and a #2 team. I don't understand why people can accept the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils all being in the NHL, but not a second Toronto team.

Kansas City, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Canadian Maritimes
To NHL fans looking for teams in these cities, it's not going to happen. Kansas City failed once and current fans don't want to prove their interest by going to NHL preseason games there. Hamilton did what Quebec and Las Vegas are currently doing, which is build a stadium to attract a team. Unfortunately for Hamilton they built a stadium that quickly became out of date. Expansion fees plus building renovation fees would put any prospective owner well behind the 8-ball to begin with. Saskatchewan and the Maritimes would just require too many people to travel too far, too many times a season to gamble on placing a NHL team there.

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What says you to my thoughts on NHL expansion? Also take some time to send in your COTW vote. It takes 20-60 seconds, depending on how well you work your internet machine.

COTW Aug 25-31 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
DEL ReDesign entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

3 comments:

Phil B. said...

I tend to disagree about Saskatchewan. Look at the attendance figures for the CFL's Roughriders. They are the BEST in the CFL. They are more likely to fill a smaller capacity than Mosaic Stadium, but the key is that they need an arena and ownership group. But definitely a good idea.

SportsUniformConcepts said...

i want to see teams in more traditional hockey markets. Las Vegas would just end up like the Coyotes.

Caz said...

Excellent thoughts on expansion. You made some points I hadn't considered in regards to Las Vegas and Seattle.