Could the Tri-Cities (Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge) support an NHL team?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by mymerlincat, Sep 27, 2018.

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  1. mymerlincat

    mymerlincat Moderator

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    I don't know anything about them, but I drove through them with my girlfriend when I was in Ontario last month and they seem like a pretty big metro to me. Could an NHL franchise succeed there?
     
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  2. dechire

    dechire Janmark Enthusiast

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    Definitely not

    EDIT: Wait which Tri-Cities are you referring to? There are several
     
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  3. mymerlincat

    mymerlincat Moderator

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    Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge
     
  4. Fenway

    Fenway RIP Fugu Sponsor

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    The area 'could' but it was also hit hard by the collapse of Blackberry.
     
  5. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Seattle Sin Bin

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    You scared me for a moment, I was about to say the Tri-Cities is barely supporting a Major Junior Hockey team!
     
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  6. snovalleyhockeyfan

    snovalleyhockeyfan I'm just the messenger.....

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    :laugh:

    But as to this "Tri-Cities", no. Our Tri-Cities over in eastern Washington, hell no. I have, however, been inside their building and one time was near their locker rooms and saw all the retired numbers, championship recognitions, etc., and I was like a little kid in a candy store when I saw all that on the wall.......
     
  7. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    Maybe, but that's not the question to be asked. The question is if the NHL would even remotely consider adding a team there, and the answer to that is almost assuredly not. I mean, maybe if Johnny Big Bucks comes in, writes the NHL a check for three quarters of a billion dollars and starts building a 15,000 seat arena in there, it's possible, but those are a line of contingencies about akin to me winning the power ball and deciding to buy a minor league team or two in various sports.
     
  8. Brodie

    Brodie Marxist-Harbaughist

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    I think K-W-C is as good a choice for a second southern Ontario team as Hamilton, tbh
     
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  9. jumptheshark

    jumptheshark Rebooting myself Sponsor

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    For 99% of this board when you post Tri-cities---we will think you are talking about Washington state--which is getting a team at some point in time

    so which Tri-cities are you talking about

    if you google tri-cities---washington state comes up
     
  10. mymerlincat

    mymerlincat Moderator

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    Sorry, I didn't realize that was a thing.
     
  11. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    The cities have been tossed out before as possible NHL teams. Never say never but I don't know if it would get a NHL team ahead of Hamilton, Saskatoon or Quebec City.
     
  12. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    Actually this is not true. Most of the non-manufacturing people who lost their jobs were quickly absorbed into rest of the local tech community. The current high tech industry is stronger than it was at the height of RIM's success. The commercial real estate was also mostly purchased by the University of Waterloo.

    The area itself is not large enough to support an NHL team at just over 500K but an arena on the 401 linked into a transportation network would draw from several million. With the right owner I have no doubt that the region could support a team. But I also have no doubt that an NHL team is not going to happen any time in the foreseeable future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  13. HisIceness

    HisIceness Optimistic Canes fan

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    I'm 99% confident the NHL has zero interest in placing a team in that area.
     
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  14. Ernie

    Ernie Registered User

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    You could easily have 2 more teams in Southern Ontario.
     
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  15. DudeWhereIsMakar

    DudeWhereIsMakar Originator of the username

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    Probably, anywhere in Canada could support an NHL team (as long as their economy is stable enough).
     
  16. LeafsNation75

    LeafsNation75 Registered User

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    Since the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL have been around since 1963 how much would they be impacted if an NHL team was ever given to the city of Kitchener?
     
  17. DowntownBooster

    DowntownBooster Registered User

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    I think the reason most people are under the impression that the area was hard hit by what happened to RIM is because the name of Jim Balsillie has mostly disappeared from the lexicon of the tech industry. It was his name that was synonymous with attempts to bring the NHL to the region. With him out of the picture, most people do not consider the area to be a serious contender for a team.

    :jets
     
  18. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    They are not a contender for a team. Frankly they never were since the NHL clearly had no interest in Balsillie's plan. But that has nothing to do with the economics of the area. It does have an impact on potential ownership of course which is why I said that with the right owner this region could support a team even though I have no illusions that it could happen.
     
  19. DowntownBooster

    DowntownBooster Registered User

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    I'm not disputing what you said about them not being a contender for a team. I was simply stating an opinion regarding your reply to Fenway. You were focused on his belief the area could support a team and I was pointing out why some people were under the impression the area was hard hit because of what happened to RIM.

    :jets
     
  20. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    That's fine. I actually agree that many see Balsillie as the only viable owner and that the downfall of RIM (now Blackberry) was the end of the story as far as the NHL is concerned. So if my post came across as confrontational it was not intended that way.
     
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  21. Nullus Reverentia

    Nullus Reverentia Hic Sunt Dracones

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    Yes, I would argue that the downsizing of Blackberry was actually a boon for the local economy. Almost all the talent was either absorbed by the existing tech or insurance/banking companies, or created their own start-ups somewhere in the region. Blackberry's manufacturing base was also fairly small in the region and didn't impact the economy significantly.

    I don't see a Waterloo-region team happening anytime soon (<10 years) but I'm not sure the area is too small. Waterloo Region itself is 535k (probably closer to 550-560k now honestly), and neighbouring Guelph (15 minute drive) has a metro of 150k. Combine those two and you're almost at Winnipeg's metro. If you comb everywhere in a 30-40 minute drive from the region (places like Listowel, Stratford, Woodstock, Brantford, Milton) you're probably closer to 800k. Combine that with an arena near the HWY-8/401 junction, and the immense wealth in KW, you've probably got a better situation than Winnipeg or Ottawa. You also probably luck out and are outside of both Toronto and Buffalo's 50 mile radius, although KW would overlap with Toronto's radius for sure.

    The issue is funding and an arena. I've heard rumblings the city/region wants to replace the AUD with a downtown stadium but it wouldn't even be in the planning stages yet. There isn't also anyone locally who would have the money, but the corporate support is definitely. I could see it happening sometime in the 2030s.
     
  22. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    Balsillie was lying and breaking rules from the beginning. He was the issue not the area!
     
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  23. 93LEAFS

    93LEAFS Registered User

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    It might, it would heavily depend on the western Toronto suburbs, to the extent, it would make more sense just to do Toronto 2. The issue is, it would be a team people would have to drive to, there is no relatively easy or cheap way to draw in people from Sauga, and Halton by public transport. That may make it tough to sell significant season ticket packages which tends to be the lifeblood of teams along with TV money as they get most of it in advance. For example, living in central Toronto, I can't see any way I would try to go on the 401 to catch a game on a weekday with any frequency no matter the price of tickets. Traffic in this city is a nightmare, you also write off the entire Northeastern and Eastern suburbs.
     
  24. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    Again, since we are talking purely hypotheticals, you don't really need the Toronto suburbs. The region alone has 540k people. Add in Guelph and its surrounding areas and you are already close to the size of Winnipeg with as substantially higher household income level at about $90K on average. Then add in Hamilton and you are at 1.5M which would put you over the size of Edmonton's and Calgary's metro populations.

    The transit issue is real but by the time any hypothetical arena was built it may be far less of a concern as there are plans to substantially increase transit between Toronto and the region. Still a 30-40 minute commute likely gets you well over 2M. I would venture that most of the Leaf's crowd has a commute that is in this range. Of course they don't all drive. But there are certainly lots of potential options for Park and Ride in the area as well.
     
  25. Whalers Fan

    Whalers Fan Go Habs!

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    Based on Toronto's struggles to support an OHL franchise over the years, I would expect a hypothetical NHL franchise in Kitchener would severely impact the Rangers. I doubt we'll see an NHL team there, though, for all the reasons already stated in the thread. The team would get very little support from Toronto proper -- the Leafs are too ingrained, and as @93LEAFS said, the traffic from Toronto to that area is horrendous.
     

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