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Fredericton - It's Time for Someone to Step Up

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Old
02-05-2017, 11:58 AM
  #1
cishockeyfan
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Fredericton - It's Time for Someone to Step Up

Fredericton is long overdue for a QMJHL Franchise, however its unfortunately not going to happen in the near future unless a private company steps up to the plate.
Contrary to what the local media in Fredericton has said in past years, Im fully confident the market in Fredericton could not only fully support a QMJHL Franchise but succeed and be one of the more successful franchises. The stumbling block and a big one at that is a privately or city owned Hockey Arena. While compared to a lot of the current qmjhl rinks, the University of New Brunswick Aitken Centre would be sufficient enough for a team (It's nicer today, than it was when Fredericton had an AHL Franchise in the 80/90's) it will in this day never work between the Q and University, mostly due to the success of its primary tenant the UNB Varsity Reds. The media here may think Fredericton cannot support a team, but here are my facts that show otherwise.

AHL Fredericton Express & Canadians era

The media would point out that Fredericton lost an AHL franchise twice. What they dont look at is every city in the Maritimes lost their AHL franchise as well as most old school small town citys back in the 90's and before. The AHL has become for the most part a big city league. The Fredericton Canadiens home attendance remained higher in their last trio of seasons, than that of the former Moncton Hawks and Halifax Citadels. 2 cities with much larger rinks and population than Fredericton. You also have to consider it was the habs farm team the Fredericton Canadiens, I myself as a non montreal hockey fan was able to look past that, but how many hardcore leafs and bruins fans for say didnt support the team simply because of who they were. Im willing to bet a lot of them.

CIS Hockey Success
UNB currently with one of their lower average attendances of the past few years is still averaging over 2400 per game. This is in a league where (while I love it) a lot of hockey fans simply won't give the university game a try and have never gone. This attendance is also in a city where a number of St Thomas University Hockey fans would never consider going and cheering for the team they used to hate. In STU's later years in the league while they may have only averaged say 500 fans a game much due to the fact of a terrible team for 8+ seasons, STU used to average a very respectful 1000 fans or so a game. I have alot of friends and family that live in Fredericton, but have attended many more Moncton Wilcats or Saint John Seadogs games than they ever have UNB hockey games.

VS Current QMJHL Franchises
Looking at the current Average Attendance Numbers of the QMJHL it shows the 2400 fans per game UNB averages are more than 11 of the 18 teams averages in the Q right now. 4 of those teams are not even averaging 2000 per game. 14 of 18 teams in the League are averaging less fans per game the the Capacity of the UNB Aitken Center. Out of the 4 teams above that Moncton and Saint John only average 3800 fans in a 6,000 & 7000+ seat Rink with Moncton also opening a even bigger Arena Soon. Only the top 2 Dogs are way ahead with Quebec City 9100/game and Halifax 6476/game. of Note both Moncton and Halifax at #2 and #3 in the attendance figures both were averaging AHL attendance of 1500/game in their dying years. You may also remember the near disaster that was Moncton's first QMJHL season when named the Moncton Alpines averaging 1314/game and now look at them, this proves team branding and marketing is important.

Arena Situation
Its no secret it wont happen for Fredericton unless they build a city or privately owned Arena, it doesnt have to be a 10,000 seat rink, or 7,000. a rink that holds 4,000 to 5,500 would be sufficient size. Compared to other cities in Atlantic Canada, cant really compare to Halifax cause of the city size different. But as I said Moncton is about to get their second 7,000 + Seat Arena. Saint John with a barely larger population than Freddy and arguably less money to be spent has the beautiful Harbour Station. Bathurst and Campbellton NB while slightly smaller Arenas than the Aitken Centre, they are much more modern and in much smaller communities. Charlottetown way smaller than Fredericton has a Q team in the pretty basic civic center, which used to have a smaller capacity than the Aitken Center although recent private box additions to the AUC has changed that. You even have Summerside PEI with a new 4200 Seat Rink what is the population of Summerside 15,000??

Ultimately Fredericton I feel would be a Q success that will never happen. A reincarnation of the Express or an original name, unique team merchandise to your team, the excitement of possibly seeing the next one it would work but ..... So if you have an extra few million and want to invest in something.....

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Old
02-07-2017, 08:52 AM
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jason2020
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Gatineau is getting a new rink it will hold 4000 the reason so small is you have the Canadian Tire Centre 18,000 Td Arena 10,000 K Rock 8000 Place Bell 10,000 and Bell Centre 18,000 all with in a 2 hour drive my point is Fredericton really has no major city close there is no reason why they should not get a big arena 8000-10,000.

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03-12-2017, 12:26 AM
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McNurse
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I was literally just going to make a thread to point this out.. I would love to have a Q team in Freddy in makes way to much sense considering the two other major cities have a team and there is a pretty hefty amount of people who go to see Sea dogs and Wildcats games from Fredericton. I really do think it would be a wise investment to have a franchise here

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Old
03-13-2017, 02:42 PM
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Fixed to Ruin
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Fredericton is to the QMJHL as Quebec City or Seattle is to the NHL.

A no brainer market without a team.

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