There was the suggestion this morning -- not a great one in my opinion -- that the Canucks could put their AHL affiliate in Rogers Arena. Canucks have been long after a second tenant, and I recall a few years ago word that they were meeting with NBA officials.
I don't see it. I think Seattle area is much more likely, simply because Canucks fans could make the trip and help attendance.
Rogers Arena has additional dressing rooms that could easily be converted to AHL standards and the infrastructure for hockey operations, ticketing and marketing are already in place with the parent Canucks.
There are cost and logistical challenges, including territorial rights that the Fraser Valley Sports and Entertainment Group has to operate an AHL team in the region — a 50-mile radius that would impact a Vancouver franchise located 43 miles away. The Canucks would have to get AHL and FVSEG approval to operate in the area.
Gillis did admit that a second tenant would be attractive on several levels and ticket prices would be a fraction of the $65-$300 range for Canuck seats.
The Heat had a price range of $17-$42 this season.
“It would be a very different fan base and ticket prices are significantly different and it would create a different in-game experience,” said Gillis. “But again, it’s premature.”
An AHL team in Vancouver would affect the WHL Giants and BCHL teams in the Lower Mainland — Surrey Eagles, Coquitlam Express and Langley Rivermen. The Giants have a ticket price range of $19-$23.
If this were December while this was happening, I'd bet Portland got mentioned next. Right in the middle of the sanctions...
...and I've repeated ad nauseum that Bill Gallacher has actually talked (prior to sanctions) about bringing AHL here to supplement the Winterhawks, and maybe even another league. I have a feeling the people (plural, indeed) who told me this may have mistaken "or" with "and" at times, and the proposal is still a head-scratcher in my book.
However, if Gallacher is looking at some sort of marketing push by which he'd justify a full slate of games in the Rose Garden (including less weekend dates, not so much because of the Blazers but because Paul Allen's charges are also trying to dominate the local concert business), I'm not sure it wouldn't be easier by having a few Wednesdays playing Texas and Milwaukee in the big building rather than Moose Jaw and Tri-City. If there's not going to be a renovation of Memorial Coliseum, that becomes a consideration. The best consideration? Eh...
So I wouldn't be surprised if Key is unavailable and points further south get discussed. I also wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't.
You both seem to be forgetting the fact the reason the WHL went to back to Victoria in the first place was to prevent the AHL from going there. Besides that, the area isn't big enough for both a WHL and AHL team.
That is pretty much what I thought.
I notice in the NHL and NBA, when you get outside 75 miles into other markets the fanbase does not carry that far.
Exactly. Peoria is pretty split between the Cardinals and Cubs and is heavy Bears with Rams sprinkled in since they're newer to the area, but those who are Hawks or Blues fans are more than likely newer ones.
Living in Peoria and sitting in my office looking at the river that the Rivermen were named for I can tell you that there definitely is a hockey background here. Hard to say there isn't when we have supported it for 30+ years. I think lately more "bandwagon" Hawks fans have jumped back on. Hockey around here is growing with the younger crowd and most are Hawks fans. Cubs/Cards is pretty 50/50. Hawks/Blues is more 65/35 I'd say. We are almost perfectly placed between STL and CHI.
With Minnesota already moving their AHL from Houston to Iowa, strange that we do not hear any noise out of Utica, NY which is what got this whole AHL thread started.
I for one never thought that Calgary was going to move their farm team to Utica, old building and not a good fan base to start with.
I really don't understand why they do not come to an agreement with Vancouver and allow the Canucks to move to Abbotsford and they place their team in another city in the West.
As another poster mentioned Salt Lake City, which currently has an ECHL team this could be the start of the AHL forming the long awaited West Coast Division.
Still think there will be another 3-4 AHL teams moving by the end of next season. The team I am really surprised with is Oklahoma City - had a great CHL team and was top in attendance, but now last in the AHL. Hard to believe that the NBA Thunder took away all those fans.
What is Peoria in terms of fanbase?
It is just as close to either market, so being in state I can see the Hawks leading, or I can see "dis enchantment" with Chicago and rebels going with the Blues.
Common sense says that Peoria's fanbase is and was a "Peoria" market, and has been for the 31 uninterrupted years that the city has had pro hockey with the Prancers/Rivermen (started in the IHL in 1982, shifted to the ECHL in 1996, then to the AHL in 2005) and the 10 years of semi-pro hockey they had immediately before in the ContinentalHL.
(It irritates me when NHL people come in and think that NHL team rooting interests are the only thing that matters in a minor-league hockey town's fan base).
Peoria wasn't one of the top draws, but they were at least in the upper middle of the pack in the AHL. Good enough that I'll honestly be surprised if they don't have a team by the start of the 2014-15 season.
Now, whether that's AHL, ECHL, CHL, or USHL is anybody's guess...