Discussion in 'WHL' started by paul-laus, May 7, 2014.
I would love to see them in Surrey by the skytrain within the next 10 years.
A lot of those feelings run deeper than the surface. It's more about how the organization kept most of this under wraps for such a long time and help many fans in limbo. I would argue this was the worst kept secret on the planet as a move to another venue has been discussed for years now. If fans feel blindsided by the move I would argue they haven't been living in reality. Once the lease with the Coliseum was up it was pretty obvious a move was almost guaranteed. But they are allowed to be unhappy. I stopped going to games years ago. Gave up my season tickets. Mainly because I thought the product was sub par (still feel that way). In fact year after year those feelings become even more strong. Makes me feel very comfortable with that decision. I still watch all the games online at a fraction of the price.
That is what the Giants want too. Definitely in less than 10 years. Ideally 3 or 4 (less would be better). Surrey is their #1 target. It just wasn't going to happen now as talks for a new facility hit an impasse.
Could happen, but the city and the team hasn't found a workable arena plan. Right now, the largest arena in the city of Surrey - a city of ~600,000 people - is the crumbling South Surrey Arena, which has a capacity of 1,200. A new arena needed to be built 10 years ago. The city needs a new facility and hopefully it happens.
Would the Giants move to Langely going to affect the BCHL Rivermen?
Rivermen are moving to the George Preston Arena, about 15 minutes down the road.
IMO, if the number of comments opposed to this move were a true reflection of the team's fanbase, they wouldn't be moving and the team would still be getting 9000 per game. The ones complaining about the drive don't want to cross the Port Mann, and think Langley is the same distance as Chilliwack.
I too don't go to nearly the amount of games as I used to either. Working shift work has a lot to do with that, but my friends, wife and I have become bigger football fans over the past 5 years, combined with the on-ice product. I've been to a few junior A games and felt the product was almost on par.
I agree it seems hypocritical to complain about the distance when many long term Giants fans have been making the long traffic jammed drive into Vancouver for many years. I know a few fans in the greater Vancouver area that are mostly mad about that. But I would say a majority of them are more angry at the product (and no, I'm not just talking wins/losses) and this type of change makes it much easier to give up their season tickets. If it was hard enough wanting to go to games when the team was close by why drive even further to feel the same exact way?
I can relate to most of that (including the shift work aspect). Ultimately my reasoning for giving up my season tickets weren't due to distance (although now if I still had tickets and they moved to Langley I would give them up). It had to do with entertainment, plain and simple. I don't find hockey nearly as entertaining as it once was at all levels. I know a few people that feel that way with Junior A. Personally, I definitely see a drop off in talent and pace between the two but you certainly aren't the first person I've heard say that.
On another note I heard a friend of mine *****ing about ticket prices. I haven't caught up on the days news yet but it sounds like Toigo has raised season ticket prices. Makes sense as Langley seats much less than the Coliseum and given he's lost a ton of money over the past four or five years. But man that is quite a ballsy (stupid, IMO) move. Uproot your teams' home, consistently a bottom dweller in the league over the past few years and have the audacity to raise prices?
The old red section are the same price in Langley. The gold section has been replaced by four different levels Centre Ice Front, Centre Ice Back, Club and Platinum. Club and Platinum seating includes in-seat food and beverage with platinum including VIP parking. The platinum package is $1132 per seat, taxes/fees included, which averages out to $32 per game.
I just realized the lease at the Langley Events Centre is for 10 years. That caught me off guard. I don't believe the Giants really want to be there that long (and if/when a venue opens in Surrey, I'm assuming that will happen in less than that time period) so that is a bit of a head scratcher. I'm guessing the lease can be bought out if need be but Langley probably wanted a little insurance rather than a short term year to year type of deal.
IIRC the article in The Province mentioned there were numerous out-clauses. I would imagine building an arena in Surrey would be one of them. Toigo did say though that with the 10 year agreement, building the Surrey arena is now on the back burner (ie. he has 10 years to convince Surrey to pay for it all).
Makes sense. The second he can opt out and a venue is available in Surrey he will bolt there. Of course that is far from a given (a venue will be built) but I think eventually it'll happen.
Chilliwack already has a team, the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL. Same with Nanaimo and other small British Columbia markets.
Not sure how much fan support Abby would get considering the disgusting numbers during the AHL times with the Heat
Those teams would be pushed out and forced to move elsewhere. Langley had a BCHL team until the Giants moved in. The same would likely happen in these cases. That wouldn't be an issue as far as whether a WHL team moves to either location. The bigger fish will ultimately push out the smaller one (regardless of whether that is right or wrong).
That had everything to do with being the Flames farm team (even though that is ridiculously stupid, IMO). If it were say the Canucks farm team instead they would still be there today.
How do cities like Swift Current and Cranbrook support teams? The population is so small that literall over 10% of the region has to turn out for it to break even. I've heard Kootenay Ice may relocate, but what about the smaller city of Swift Current?
if the Vancouver Giants are in Langley for 10 years might as well rename them the Fraser Valley Giants.
Kootenay will move eventually. To be honest I'm surprised it hasn't already happened. Swift Current is doing better financially after a few years of instability. But yeah, it isn't easy. The league does their best to try and keep small market teams where they are. Especially the teams with history. But it's very hard to compete with the bigger markets.
I don't think they'll be there 10 years but even if they are Toigo has already stated he won't be changing their name. He thinks Langley is close enough to Vancouver. I would beg to differ but my opinion doesn't matter.
Strange how Surrey, with 500,000 people has not built at least a 10,000 seat hockey arena. Just seems odd the Giants are relocating to Langley, and not one of the larger centres in the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, etc.)
Abbotsford is too far away. They need to stay as close to Ladner as possible. Not to mention they probably wouldn't even be able to fill Abbotsford. They were barely getting 4k at the Coliseum (actual attendance, not paid). So I don't believe for a minute they would be able to consistently get more than that in Abbotsford. An arena around 5k (that being Langley) really seems like a more realistic number.
So the question, given the Niedermayers sold out (and they were the ones keeping the team in Cranbrook): now or later?
Waiting a few years means maybe someone else taking a crack at an arena in Nanaimo. Or there's trying to fix the somewhat dubious move out of Chilliwack, which I'm not sure is this year's thing to do.
Or does it have to happen soon? That means Boise or maybe Wenatchee. I believe Boise is already scheduled in for another ECHL season, but schedules have been changed before.
Are there any realistic other options. It seems the Langley move takes Abbotsford out of the equation. Winnipeg is tied up at least until Thunder Bay supposedly acts towards an arena for the Moose (but where has that gone?). Doesn't seem like there's many options.
There really aren't many (realistic) options right now. I do think Kootenay moves within the next few years. Few being 2-3. I don't think any teams will be added to the Eastern Conference (to balance out the conferences). That leaves the west. I also don't believe the league has any real intention of adding another team to the US division. I do know they want to add a team to the BC division. They have for years ever since Kootenay moved to the East. And even more so now with a team on the island. But as mentioned numerous times already that isn't viable without a rink. So there really isn't an obvious solution. Another team in the states would be more practical as arenas are available and there are a few viable markets. But I think at the end of the day the league just hopes something will change and Nanaimo will build a rink even if that is a few years down the road.
The most viable market in the US now in my mind would be Wenatchee.
I honestly think the WHL should be shrinking rather than expanding at this point. 2 to 4 less teams would benefit the league and players as a whole IMO.
I agree Wenatchee would likely work.
Also, with the AHL's move to the West, The ECHL seems to be shifting east into the old AHL markets in New England. That could leave teams like Idaho (Boise) and Utah (Salt Lake City), if they don't become Vegas' AHL affiliate, out in the cold. Both would be nice additions to the WHL in the US.
Boise "maybe" would work but is 4 hours from the closest team in Tri-Cities which goes over a pass that is frequently closed in the winter. Spokane & Portland are both about 6 hour drive away. This would be similar to Prince George's outlier location in the BC division.
Salt Lake is almost certainly never in the WHL plans as it's 5 hours farther away from Boise. SLC is more than likely to fit in as a AHL location if the ECHL moves completely east.
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