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06-21-2013, 02:19 PM
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whl in winnipeg

After living in Vancouver for awhile and attending numerous Giants and Canucks games, I can honestly say two distinct fan bases attend these games.

Canucks fans attract single guys, or guys with their girlfriends or a buddy or two. Corporate clients are big in the lower bowls. Family participation is pretty limited due to the crazy high cost. At most you get a Dad and a son but those pairs usually go once a year or every other year. It's just way too much money.

Giants fans have families, entire amateur hockey teams and seniors attend their games, its a much more diverse crowd because a ticket is 20 bucks. Throw in the fact you don't have to fight traffic or pay for exorbitant parking prices and generally its probably a better experience.

Another thing I learned is that alot of people, probably at least half of each fan base or more, either attend Giants games or Canucks games but not both. The NHL fans, especially season ticket holders, often have a high and mighty attitude toward the junior team and how its 'inferior'. It also does not help because the Canucks have a reputation of snobbing the WHL in favor of more Swedes.

As for the WHL itself, if I had magical hockey powers for a day I would split the league in two, make a prairie league and a BC/Washington/Oregon league and reduce the horrific travel challenges the WHL faces. Each league could have 12 teams and we could lose this 'Host team' in the Memorial Cup format that I have always found fairly lame. Some interleague play once or twice a year would be good too. If the kids can sit on buses for hours and hours, what is a two hour flight to Toronto or Montreal?

Believe it or not, There are Giants fans and Royals fans who think seeing the teams from Prince Albert and Moose Jaw are 'exotic' and interesting hockey locales. It would be pretty wild to see the London Knights or Halifax Mooseheads cruise into town once in awhile.

It would be easier on WHL families whose young sons drafted from Manitoba could stay a alot closer to home. One more thing, season tickets in Victoria are 425 dollars.

In regards to the MTS center, I would build a new 17, 000 seat arena for the jets and cut the top off the MTS center, make it a 9000 seat place for junior hockey. Maybe steal the hockey canada headquarters from Calgary and house them there too. Again, if I had magical hockey God like powers.

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