There are three problems with putting a USHL team in New England:
1. Ice: The only rinks that fit Tier I criteria are the Hockey East rinks, TD Garden, AHL rinks, and Lewiston. If you don't want to share a rink with a college or pro team, you have to build one, and acquiring the land will be more expensive than in the Midwest.
2. Fans: Good luck getting enough ticket and merchandise revenue to stay afloat. A USHL team would have to compete with the Bruins, AHL teams, NCAA teams, and the other entertainment options, especially around Boston.
3. Travel: The closest team in the USHL to New England is Youngstown, OH. The team's travel budget would be through the roof.
Yes, there are enough talented players to field more than one good USHL team in New England, but the team would lose money and probably fold after three seasons. The NAHL couldn't make a team stick in Rochester, NY. I don't see a USHL team being able to survive very long either.
Shifting focus back to the rumor out of Marion, Indiana. Here's an update on their progress in building an arena. The article has some quotes from Skip Prince as well. Nothing firm, but still there's been talk about this as a possible location for almost a year now. Too bad it sounds like the timing might not work out, but maybe this could have been a new home for the Indianapolis Ice as their arena will be undergoing renovations for TWO years.
“We’re working with them in a complicated process even if they had a standing building,” he said. “The structural piece is only one piece.”
Prince said the earliest a hockey team could be playing in Marion would be September 2013.
Prince said the USHL was keeping track of all these “moving pieces” and was waiting for things to finalize. He said it was “very satisfied” with the work being done so far, but needed “assurance” that the business would be operating at least a year prior to the start of the season.