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02-03-2013, 02:11 AM
  #39
OKCDevil
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Location: PHX North Valley
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Originally Posted by XX View Post
Within a span of 10 years, the Phoenix area got an NFL, MLB (plus ballpark) and NHL team. Is there really another city that went through such a change? A lot was in flux, and hockey wasn't the focus.

A Los Arcos arena would have been perfect. So missing out on that (along with the housing bubble burst) really screwed the Coyotes.
Unless someone is from the southwest, I'm not so sure they would understand the metamorphosis Phoenix has experienced since about 1970 or so. The city's first pro team, the NBA's Suns, go back to 1967-68. In 1970, Phoenix had a population around 500,000. Now? The city of Phoenix on its own is 1.45 million or so. Between 1970-2010, Phoenix experienced a growth rate, on average by decade, of 27.3 percent. And that isn't including the 300 PERCENT growth rate it saw between 1960-70. In the span of 50 years, Phoenix has gained ONE MILLION people. And again, that's just Phoenix. That's an insane growth rate over a pretty short amount of time.

And, like was said above, the late 1980s and 1990s saw a sudden change in the sports landscape in the Valley. Phoenix went from just having the Suns in the mid-80s to having, within 15 years, the Cardinals, Coyotes and Diamondbacks. The entire city literally changed in under two decades. And when AWA was being built, the NHL just wasn't on the radar because, in 1990, the NFL had just arrived and was playing in a college stadium and there was no sign MLB was coming either. The Suns were still the big dog by default and I can honestly see why the arena was built in the format it was when it was because hockey just wasn't a thought. Think back to when AWA broke ground in 1990: The Kings were all alone on the US west coast/southwest. Was St. Louis the closest American team to LA then? I think so - no Avs or Ducks yet and the Stars were still in Minnesota, while the Sharks were still a year away. Why on earth would Phoenix think it'd have a shot at an NHL team when there was really no precedent of a southern/western migration before then or that one was coming? After all, the expansion/relocations of the 90s came fast, furious and almost by surprise.

The city of Phoenix isn't going anywhere and the NHL needs teams in the US West/southwest. I think that's why the NHL has held on for nearly four years there. They realize the future of the US population is in the south (from west to east) and rust belt cities will continue to lose people in the coming decades. I'm just a biased western American, but that's my take.

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