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Would the ECHL ever work in Montana or Washington?

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09-24-2011, 07:56 AM
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Cornwall OHL
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Would the ECHL ever work in Montana or Washington?

With the addition of San Francisco to the ECHL next season, I was wondering where else out west the ECHL may work. I was reading an article that stated people in Montana love hockey. Could Montana support a AA league hockey team? If a team were to be placed in Montana they would be relatively close to Colorado, Idaho, and Utah. You could then have a two divisions out west.

West
Montana (possible location?)
Colorado
Idaho
Utah
Las Vegas or Alaska


Pacific

Bakersfield
Stockton
San Francisco
Ontario
Las Vegas or Alaska

Also, with all of the talk about the Tacoma Dome being renovated, and looking for new sites to put an arena in Seattle for a possible NHL franchise, would somewhere in Washington State support an ECHL team?


West
Alaska
Colorado
Idaho
Utah
Las Vegas


Pacific

Bakersfield
Stockton
San Francisco
Ontario
Washington (possible location?)

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09-24-2011, 08:50 AM
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I keep hearing this pipe dream of the NHL and Seattle but I don't find it realistic. I think AA could work somewhere in that state. Don't know anything at all about the state of Montana.

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09-24-2011, 10:40 AM
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I think they both could possibly work. I know South Dakota has a team in the CHL which I thought would never happen. Billings had a WHL team in the late 70's early 80's.

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09-24-2011, 11:11 AM
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Not so sure about Washington state, as they've already got established junior teams in the major populated areas, but maybe for Montana. Billings is a decently sized town and, looking at the Wiki page, they have a facility large enough to support an ECHL team that is undergoing repairs. When finished, who knows? If done right, they'd be the only game in town for the most part throughout a big chunk of the year, so it could potentially work.

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09-24-2011, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
I keep hearing this pipe dream of the NHL and Seattle but I don't find it realistic. I think AA could work somewhere in that state. Don't know anything at all about the state of Montana.
Not until Washington State changes its stance on business, will you not see a proposal of hockey, not even the Cougars (Washington St) OR Huskies (Washington ARE more basketball oriented than hockey....

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09-24-2011, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny8242 View Post
I think they both could possibly work. I know South Dakota has a team in the CHL which I thought would never happen. Billings had a WHL team in the late 70's early 80's.
I think that Montana could succeed with an ECHL franchise because there is potential to fill the void with professional sports. I like the idea of South Dakota as well, and possibly North Dakota.

I know that Sioux Falls has a 4,800 seat arena that could support ECHL, Rapid City 5,100 with an already successful CHL team that maybe can go the same route as the Colorado Eagles.

In North Dakota, Fargo has a good size population with a 5,000 seat arena. If they also planned on teams in Minnesota and possibly Thunder Bay, the ECHL could be even more successful in the west.

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Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Not so sure about Washington state, as they've already got established junior teams in the major populated areas, but maybe for Montana. Billings is a decently sized town and, looking at the Wiki page, they have a facility large enough to support an ECHL team that is undergoing repairs. When finished, who knows? If done right, they'd be the only game in town for the most part throughout a big chunk of the year, so it could potentially work.

Billings use to have a WHL team that didn't fair to well, but that was in the 1980s. I think that hockey has grown enough in the US where the ECHL could be successful. The fact that there are other franchise close by in Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and the potential for more close by rivals could make Montana a successful spot for the ECHL.

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09-24-2011, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornwall OHL View Post
I think that Montana could succeed with an ECHL franchise because there is potential to fill the void with professional sports. I like the idea of South Dakota as well, and possibly North Dakota.

I know that Sioux Falls has a 4,800 seat arena that could support ECHL, Rapid City 5,100 with an already successful CHL team that maybe can go the same route as the Colorado Eagles.

In North Dakota, Fargo has a good size population with a 5,000 seat arena. If they also planned on teams in Minnesota and possibly Thunder Bay, the ECHL could be even more successful in the west.




Billings use to have a WHL team that didn't fair to well, but that was in the 1980s. I think that hockey has grown enough in the US where the ECHL could be successful. The fact that there are other franchise close by in Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and the potential for more close by rivals could make Montana a successful spot for the ECHL.
the problem you run into though, is a) is there enough of a fanbase to survive through establishing a franchise, especially an expansion one to be long-term and successful, but the other issue you run into in other markets is simply competition for the same product or service..... North Dakota has its widely successful collegiate team, as does Minnesota, and its related University system, not to mention the Wild and then in Canada, don't you run into competition w/ the Canadian junior tier system and its pro league counterpart, such as the Q, O, or WHL marketsalready either are established, Cornwall....

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09-25-2011, 04:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornwall OHL View Post
I think that Montana could succeed with an ECHL franchise because there is potential to fill the void with professional sports. I like the idea of South Dakota as well, and possibly North Dakota.

I know that Sioux Falls has a 4,800 seat arena that could support ECHL, Rapid City 5,100 with an already successful CHL team that maybe can go the same route as the Colorado Eagles.

In North Dakota, Fargo has a good size population with a 5,000 seat arena. If they also planned on teams in Minnesota and possibly Thunder Bay, the ECHL could be even more successful in the west.




Billings use to have a WHL team that didn't fair to well, but that was in the 1980s. I think that hockey has grown enough in the US where the ECHL could be successful. The fact that there are other franchise close by in Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and the potential for more close by rivals could make Montana a successful spot for the ECHL.
Some of the places you are talking about i've heard through banter could be ECHL opportunities. Rapid City and Thunder Bay specifically. However i've also heard about Thinder Bay and the AHL so i'm not sure. Thunder Bay was in the old UHL for awhile

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09-25-2011, 09:58 PM
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The largest market in Washington without a current hockey team is the Olympia area with roughly 250,000 people, but they don't have an arena and would be a better fit for the WHL.

Montana lacks population. Its largest market, Billings, has roughly 150,000 people and also would be a better fit for the WHL .

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09-29-2011, 05:02 PM
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Just put more teams in the South. More and more transplants are coming into the area, and they would enjoy hockey and make it easier for the Southern Division and the rest of the league. Birmingham, Huntsville, Louisville, and it would work.

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09-29-2011, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sctvman View Post
Just put more teams in the South. More and more transplants are coming into the area, and they would enjoy hockey and make it easier for the Southern Division and the rest of the league. Birmingham, Huntsville, Louisville, and it would work.
LOL, this league has tried every Southern Market known to man and the majority of them have failed....

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09-29-2011, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
LOL, this league has tried every Southern Market known to man and the majority of them have failed....
I don't know why Birmingham left, but they were there a decade. Maybe Orlando?

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09-30-2011, 02:36 AM
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I don't know why Birmingham left, but they were there a decade. Maybe Orlando?
Heard that rumor that the 2 sides were in talks(league and Orlando)this was months ago tho.

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09-30-2011, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
I keep hearing this pipe dream of the NHL and Seattle but I don't find it realistic.
As soon as Seattle (or Bellevue, or Renton) get an arena, it will be a reality. The only thing keeping the NHL out of Seattle all of these years was the arena situation.

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09-30-2011, 03:30 PM
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As soon as Seattle (or Bellevue, or Renton) get an arena, it will be a reality. The only thing keeping the NHL out of Seattle all of these years was the arena situation.
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=986173

Tacoma arena apparently being renovated. (Close enough to Seattle for you? )

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09-30-2011, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LadyStanley View Post
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=986173

Tacoma arena apparently being renovated. (Close enough to Seattle for you? )
They are just studying a remodel for now. Tacoma is way closer to me, but if a team comes to the area, it won't be to Tacoma. The corporate base is further north. My money is on Bellevue, which is across Lake Washington from Seattle. Bellevue is the state's 2nd largest retail and commercial center and the epicenter of the area's tech industry. Plus a prime piece of land rumored to be a potential arena location was bought by a major local developer who is involved in major sports venue projects.

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09-30-2011, 07:23 PM
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As soon as Seattle (or Bellevue, or Renton) get an arena, it will be a reality. The only thing keeping the NHL out of Seattle all of these years was the arena situation.
I think there is a better chance of the SuperSonics returning before a hockey team comes around. I couldn't say that Seattle is the top of the list to put an NHL team, I think I would go with Houston(i'm not for Quebec but if they've gone back to Winnipeg recently I can see a return to Quebec)

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10-02-2011, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny8242 View Post
I think they both could possibly work. I know South Dakota has a team in the CHL which I thought would never happen. Billings had a WHL team in the late 70's early 80's.
Where is the CHL team at? Aberdeen now has a NAHL team.

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10-02-2011, 07:06 PM
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10-03-2011, 12:17 PM
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I don't see Montana working for the pro game - they've had a rocky enough relationship with US junior hockey that I just don't see the pros coming in and making it work long-term... not in the current landscape. I say this as someone who lived in North Dakota for some time, and has a little more "boots on the ground" observational experience.

Washington state has the challenges people have listed above - facilities and competition with other levels of hockey (Canadian junior, US junior, etc). Tacoma was a successful entry in the WCHL for a few years, but couldn't sustain themselves in amidst the TWO WHL franchises in the area (Everett and Seattle/Kent) - I can't see a remodel being anything more than a stopgap home for an NHL team while a Seattle-based arena was built, were that to happen.

And almost completely off-topic, but I was at an NHL game at the new Amway Center in Orlando a couple of weeks ago (Tampa Bay's pre-season game against St. Louis). It's a nice enough arena, and the sightlines would definitely support an ECHL/AHL team without really much to complain about. However, the key is, would there be the right partnership between any prospective team and the NBA team that controls the arena? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there are currently ZERO ECHL teams that play out of NBA arenas, now that Charlotte moved up to the AHL. San Antonio, Cleveland, and Charlotte are the ones I can think of that are playing in NBA arenas, but they're all AHL and above (and in many cases are either owned by the NBA team or have significant ownership overlap).

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10-03-2011, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by HansH View Post
I don't see Montana working for the pro game - they've had a rocky enough relationship with US junior hockey that I just don't see the pros coming in and making it work long-term... not in the current landscape. I say this as someone who lived in North Dakota for some time, and has a little more "boots on the ground" observational experience.

Washington state has the challenges people have listed above - facilities and competition with other levels of hockey (Canadian junior, US junior, etc). Tacoma was a successful entry in the WCHL for a few years, but couldn't sustain themselves in amidst the TWO WHL franchises in the area (Everett and Seattle/Kent) - I can't see a remodel being anything more than a stopgap home for an NHL team while a Seattle-based arena was built, were that to happen.

And almost completely off-topic, but I was at an NHL game at the new Amway Center in Orlando a couple of weeks ago (Tampa Bay's pre-season game against St. Louis). It's a nice enough arena, and the sightlines would definitely support an ECHL/AHL team without really much to complain about. However, the key is, would there be the right partnership between any prospective team and the NBA team that controls the arena? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think there are currently ZERO ECHL teams that play out of NBA arenas, now that Charlotte moved up to the AHL. San Antonio, Cleveland, and Charlotte are the ones I can think of that are playing in NBA arenas, but they're all AHL and above (and in many cases are either owned by the NBA team or have significant ownership overlap).
I'm not familiar with WCHL history, but didn't Tacoma fold before Everett started?

As far as NBA arenas, you are correct that no ECHL teams currently play in an NBA venue. In the AHL, in addition to those three you also have Houston and Milwaukee.

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10-03-2011, 02:23 PM
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As far as NBA arenas, you are correct that no ECHL teams currently play in an NBA venue. In the AHL, in addition to those three you also have Houston and Milwaukee.
San Antonio? Oklahoma City?

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10-03-2011, 02:56 PM
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San Antonio? Oklahoma City?
Hans mentioned San Antonio in his post. The Barons play at the Cox Coliseum, not the Ford Center where the NBA Thunder play.

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10-03-2011, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabberoski View Post
Hans mentioned San Antonio in his post. The Barons play at the Cox Coliseum, not the Ford Center where the NBA Thunder play.
Ford Center is now Chesapeake Energy Arena

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07-02-2012, 08:34 AM
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I don't believe the ECHL will add EXPANSION teams in the west. When they do add teams in the west it will be rapid city for the mountain division to get 5 teams and Missouri Allen Tulsa and Wichita to form a central division in the western conference.theres no need to risk it on unproven markets when you can just take STABLE ones away from the sinking CHL such as Colorado fort Wayne and evansville. All of those teams average over 4500 i believe and already have pro hockey.

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