Is Expansion something the WHL would consider at this time?

Discussion in 'WHL' started by paul-laus, May 7, 2014.

  1. Hordichuk_24

    Hordichuk_24 Registered User

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    Newer arenas (even smaller venues) feel too corporate for my liking. They lack personality and history. I would miss the coliseum if/when they end up moving.
     
  2. Fonzerelli

    Fonzerelli Registered User

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    How does the current Junior A team draw in Fort McMurray? Lots of fans?
     
  3. VictoriaJetsFan

    VictoriaJetsFan Registered User

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    That arena in everett is spectacular...seen three games there..tons of fun.
     
  4. benwood79

    benwood79 Registered User

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    They had ~1200 at each of the two games I went to a couple of games back. Don't think the WHL is on Fort Mac's radar now. Judging from the news I hear on the radio, the 6200 seat arena project is dead for the time being, and the Casman Centre is WAY too small for the W, especially a geographic outpost.
     
  5. paul-laus

    paul-laus Registered User

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    Is Abbotsford completely out of the running for a WHL team at this point? It seemed at one point that this was a realistic option as a relocation or expansion target...
     
  6. phillipsj89

    phillipsj89 Registered User

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    Giants see it as their territory, so they would want some money from what3ever team goes there. (not unlike Chilliwack)

    I think it is still on the radar, if the WHL had the right owner, wanting to go to Abbotsford, i'm sure they would okay it.
     
  7. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    The time to strike in Fort MacMurray was $2/gallon ago. Or something like that. Booms go bust pretty fast, too.

    Kootenay does not sound like they've got it going on. But the Boise deal seems lost on the radar. What happens next? Are the Ice ownership selling? Is Nanaimo far enough down the planning process? Is Abbotsford locked out? Any good empty soulless corporate rinks with luxury suites available?
     
  8. jason2020

    jason2020 Registered User

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    For Mac this time last year was one of the hottest markets in the country now its one of the coldest its so bad housing prices have dropped so much so many real estate agents have left.
     
  9. Hordichuk_24

    Hordichuk_24 Registered User

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    Fort MacMurray was never a realistic option (regardless of the economy) for the WHL. There wasn't any desire on their behalf.
     
  10. phillipsj89

    phillipsj89 Registered User

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    Only reason would have been the rumoured massive expansion fee the potential ownership was gonna pay.
     
  11. Hordichuk_24

    Hordichuk_24 Registered User

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    Still wouldn't be worth it given travel costs for other teams. There would need to be two teams in the area for that to work and obviously that would be another problem in itself. I don't think there will be expansion in the league anytime in the distant future. Relocation is almost guaranteed (and probably sooner rather than later) but not expansion.
     
  12. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    I've gone back over the developments from last summer. I've gone back over a couple blogs that revealed some other tidbits of information. Naturally, I do my usual bang-up job of reading between the lines (which is, of course, prone to the occasional mistake), so here we go.

    http://jeffbromley.blogspot.com/

    Jeff Bromley posts a blog entry bemoaning blaming the fans for Kootenay's attendance problems. Remember, there are no such things as attendance problems, but there are revenue problems (hence why, say, D-League basketball can have awful attendance in most markets and still thrive). The indication of Ron Robison throwing blame around is generally a precursor to the franchise moving. Generally.

    What HAS happened?

    Nanaimo arena proposal, privately funded.

    Surrey ACCEPTING BIDS for an arena proposal.

    Not much word on the supposed Boise interest in the Ice.

    Abbotsford sits with an empty arena.

    Now I don't know if there are market territory issues with this league, pointing to Everett moving in while the Thunderbirds still played at Key Arena. That is why I tend to think that the Canucks, not the Giants, have more to do with what happens next in Abbotsford. If there were a race, I think Abbotsford COULD have already won it.

    I'm going to go one further now. Plan A for the Ice appears to be Nanaimo. However, I'm not finding any further information about that arena proposal after last June (and I was in the area at the time). I'm thinking that, IF Nanaimo has an acceptable arena plan (with solid financing and acceptable terms to ownership) that is close to breaking ground, the WHL will be happy to play in Frank Crane for a couple years.

    That means Plan B is Surrey. If the WHL can handle Frank Crane for two years, they can also handle Queens Park for two years. Perhaps there's even a franchise switch involving the Giants...

    ...who obviously wouldn't like what they see as the Ice honing in on their territory, but if Surrey is the answer to the Ice, the league can probably convince the Giants that Seattle/Everett works and you can, too. OR, the Giants are available for Nanaimo (which is why I throw in the franchise switch wrinkle).

    Or the Canucks want Surrey instead of Abbotsford? Just a thought.

    Boise would be Plan C, break glass only in case of emergency. However, the WHL can also wait another year if Nanaimo or Surrey are "getting there, but not there yet." That's why this all stays close to the vest until the last possible minute. No league wants to be baited and switched, they want to do the baiting and switching.

    * * * *

    In the midst of reading back, I came across Emerald City Bruin's post...

    I remember when the WHL was fielding offers from Sacramento... and Anchorage. Obviously, they sought to protect the small markets and not make the WHL an airline league.

    However, I can show you a laborious 3-step process for getting into Sacramento.

    (1) Eugene. Of note, just 1 or 2 buildings away from Lane County Ice errrrrrrrr "The Rink Exchange" is the main building of the Lane County Expo Center, on the county fairgrounds. There have been previous proposals to convert that into an arena. Moreover, the fairgrounds board has been talking about moving the grounds out of town. So there are possibilities here. However, there's also other development possibilities, so don't hold your breath yet. One of those... the rumors of U of O following Arizona State into NCAA hockey.

    (2) Medford. It's population is very comparable to Yakima, and its income level surpasses that of Yakima. They sell a lot of tickets (1,000-capacity Rrrink) for pay-to-play junior. So, yeah, they'd need an arena. County fairgrounds has a pavilion that has hosted indoor football, supposed capacity 3,500, not enough. 2.5 hours south of Eugene. It IS its own TV market.

    (3) Redding. Larger population than Medford, overall metropolitan population plus Chico (with which a TV market is shared) probably puts it between Spokane and Tri-City size-wise. Needs an arena.

    Obviously, you'd want to make a Southwest Division of the league in order to go this direction. I don't think it's going to happen. But I'd rather own a team in Eugene or Medford than Cranbrook... and I'm very skeptical about operating in Eugene in the shadow of UO.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  13. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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  14. n00bxQb

    n00bxQb Registered User

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  15. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    There you have it... opaque enough not to be able to directly Google status of the project, but explains why there's no further word out of Nanaimo after the originally announced plan.

    So no Nanaimo and no Surrey (unless attendance falls to the point that Frank Crane Arena starts looking good to owners). Plus the Kootenay trail is cold, and that's probably because the Chynoweth family and the WHL are practically synonymous. But the Vancouver Giants are now an issue.
     
  16. Rocko604

    Rocko604 Sports will break your heart.

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    Would be a death knell for the team unless a temporary stop while they build the new Surrey arena. I'd love to see them in Langley, I live 10 minutes away, bridge toll be damned, but if they think attendance is bad now, it would get worse in Langley.

    The NLL Stealth currently average 3500. That's about 8000 LESS than when the exact same sport was being played at Rogers Arena from 2002-04.
     
  17. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    Technically, no, the Ravens averaged around 8,000, not over 11,000. I have the data for 2003 and 2004, anyway.

    There's a couple sections of $20 seats for the Stealth, and the rest are $60, $38, and $30. You really want to compare that to what the WHL would cost there? Once you understand that they'd be the Langley Giants and not the Vancouver Giants, maybe, MAYBE things turn out better for the WHL there than currently for NLL.

    Surrey would be better. Maybe even Rogers would be better for the Giants, but apparently that's not happening. So...
     
  18. go_leafs_go02

    go_leafs_go02 Registered User

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    LEC will be great for the Giants. I bet they'd do very well. I live 5 minutes away, and would definitely aim to get a significant flex pack if the Giants moved there.
     
  19. Hordichuk_24

    Hordichuk_24 Registered User

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    The Giants aren't being pushed out. It's their own doing. They don't really want to be at the Coliseum but were stuck in a lease. Now that there is an opportunity to look elsewhere they are exploring that. I'm sure they hope that will get them a better deal on a potential lease at the Coliseum but ultimately they are going to be on the move regardless at some point whether that be next season or in the near future. Surrey is obviously on the top of the list (if an arena is built) but Langley is certainly a option as well. Toigo has been losing a ton of money over the years due to the high cost of the Coliseum and dwindling crowds.
     
  20. Rocko604

    Rocko604 Sports will break your heart.

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    Yeah you're right. May have just been a handful of games I was thinking of. It might have been the fact they sold upper bowl tickets their first year which is why i thought the average was higher than it was.

    Anyway, I've thought about it more, and changed my tune, I do think it would be a good move, at least for the short term. If they stay their long term I'll be curious to see how they market themselves (and currently they're completely lost in the shuffle of sporting options in the city).

    If they can average at least 4500-4800, it would make a great atmosphere in that arena. When they were there during the Olympics it was awesome.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  21. Round John

    Round John Registered User

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    sounds like the giants are weighing both langley and abbotsford. will have to decide by june if they are to move to either of those, or just stay put.
     
  22. Rocko604

    Rocko604 Sports will break your heart.

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    Everything I read has come across as if Abbotsford made a pitch to Vancouver, but the Giants not being too interested, as they don't want to leave the Ladner area for practicing and billeting.
     
  23. Hordichuk_24

    Hordichuk_24 Registered User

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    Giants will not be going to Abbotsford. Zero chance. It's Langley or the Coliseum. Unless they can negotiate a lower lease with the Coliseum (unlikely) it'll be Langley. I still wouldn't be surprised if Langley is short term though until a new rink is built in Surrey.
     
  24. superdeluxe

    superdeluxe Seattle Sin Bin

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    Why wouldn't Abbotsford try and get the Ice?
     
  25. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    Who in Abbotsford wants to buy the Ice?

    I'm guessing that Abbotsford, fresh off the mess with the Heat, probably expects the next team to help "pay back" what the city feels they should have received in benefits from subsidizing the Heat. It's a natural political reaction to the last problem. This virtually guarantees the rent will be too high for the next team. If this is the case, what owner would want to go there?
     

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