Is Expansion something the WHL would consider at this time?

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

  1. OSA

    OSA Registered User

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    Jr. B in Ontario is basically Jr. A, the difference is really just based on geography. A lot of OHL prospects play Jr B before they join the big team.

    Windsor (LaSalle), London, Sarnia, Kitchener, Guelph and St. Catharines all have Jr. B teams.
     
  2. takehisheadoff

    takehisheadoff Registered User

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    A question how does Medicine Hat Tigers and Victoriaville Tigres work then? Spelling?
     
  3. DudeWhereIsMakar

    DudeWhereIsMakar Originator of the username

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    If Whistler had a rink would they be a good place for an expansion team?
     
  4. tank44

    tank44 Registered User

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    Whistler has a rink. Canucks & Team Canada have used it as a training camp location. Whistler just doesn't have much population, ~10K and many 'locals' are transplants from Australia
     
  5. DudeWhereIsMakar

    DudeWhereIsMakar Originator of the username

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    I mean it's a tourist town and it brings another reason to go there that isn't skiing or snowboarding in the winter. Also, I know they have a rink, just not one suited for the WHL, maybe BCHL though.
     
  6. ADKthunderFan34

    ADKthunderFan34 Registered User

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    Would Tacoma Washington be a possibility at WHL expansion? It would also be nice to see expansion into Montana cities as well.
     
  7. tv14

    tv14 Cam Dadbot

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    I highly doubt Montana would be plausible. Combination of lack of population and hockey not being popular in the state.

    Biggest cities of Billings and Missoula are far from the closest team in the WHL (Lethbridge or Spokane?). Kalispell/Whitefish might be the best bet with how many Canadians live/vacation there, but I feel like that is a huge, huge stretch.
     
  8. dmortens

    dmortens Registered User

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    According to Google maps, Missoula is 3h 15 mins from Spokane. Next closest (not including Cranbrook) are Lethbridge, Kennewick (Tri-City), and Medicine Hat around 4-6 hours. Billings is a bit more out there at about 6-7 hours away from the closest WHL cities (Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Swift Current).

    Missoula's distance isn't too different from what Prince George and Brandon have, but its not ideal. Billings would probably be too far, IMO.
     
  9. MeHateHe

    MeHateHe Registered User

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    Tacoma had the Rockets and they wound up moving to Kelowna. Seems to me the support wasn't strong. I'm not sure there's enough support for hockey on the I5 corridor in Washington for three teams that close together. As it is, if the NHL ever shows up in Seattle, the Thunderbirds are going to have a tough go.
     
  10. snovalleyhockeyfan

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

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    No. As another poster noted, Tacoma was the original home of the Rockets, but struggled for attendance at the Tacoma Dome. Dome has since removed its ice plant so it's not going to happen. Besides, Thunderbirds are in Kent, and that's about a 15-20 minute trip up from Tacoma.

    As for Montana, I'm not sure they have arenas that meet WHL specs. But I ask, what about Wenatchee, WA?
     
  11. snovalleyhockeyfan

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

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    Doubt it. I look at the T-birds situation as the one that exists in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton - the NHL and WHL teams charge different price points for tickets, with the WHL team being always the more affordable option. I could see the same tact taken here in Seattle - market in a way to say that you provide hockey at a more affordable price for families.
     
  12. tank44

    tank44 Registered User

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    Exactly. Can't forget about Everett Silvertips either. They're technically closer to downtown Seattle than the Thunderbirds are in Kent. Both teams are establishing themselves nicely in the North & South ends of the metro area which will only help feed the NHL team when it comes. As noted as well, they will have a much lower price point ($15 to get in vs $30-40).
     
  13. dmortens

    dmortens Registered User

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    The Wenatchee Wild in the BCHL draw about 2500 people a game (estimated average) and thats with one of the best Jr A teams. Their rink has a capacity of 4300 which isn't great and would only put them in the middle of the pack in terms of attendance with a sellout each game. Another issue is Wenatchee only has a population of ~33,000 and is pretty isolated from other population centres so it's tough to tell if they could consistently draw at least a near-sellout crowd.
     
  14. PCSPounder

    PCSPounder Stadium Groupie

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    Portland. So there.
    Wenatchee "metropolitan area" is 116,000 FWIW.

    Billings has Rimrock Auto Arena (formerly the Metra) that hosted WHL previously, hosted an old AWHL team... seats 8,700 for hockey. Might be too big for that market. Consider that Kelowna has a capacity 6,000 arena in a slightly larger market than Billings.

    With Alaska's ECHL team folding, I wonder if Boise would consider WHL again? That was the original plan for the arena built in the 1990's, there were rumors of a group going after the Kootenay Ice, so it's possible Boise would be a fallback if the Nanaimo referendum fails. OTOH, Boise considers Reno a rival and Reno's all-but-announced ECHL entry may well keep the Steelheads in the E (of course, Boise also considers Spokane a rival).

    I don't count on anyone stateside within WHL range (a four-hour drive from the nearest team, supposedly) to actually build an arena at this point. I could tout Salem or Eugene otherwise, though Bend might be the best market to bring on (Bend is actually the same size market as Billings). They've even had an election about building an arena (failed). Winter sports-oriented area.
     
  15. ADKthunderFan34

    ADKthunderFan34 Registered User

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    What about Penticton? They are probably the most successful BCHL team. Would the WHL want to put a team there??
     
  16. phillipsj89

    phillipsj89 Registered User

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    Kelowna would certainly have something to say about that.
     
  17. MeHateHe

    MeHateHe Registered User

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    This is a popular sentiment, but is there a lot of traffic from Penticton to Kelowna on game nights? Does Kelowna, with a population of well north of 100,000, need to draw from Penticton to fill its building? Can regular Kelowna fans (STHs) fill us in on this? Or are they getting a lot of advertising from either Penticton or pan-Okanagan entities that might eat into the financial picture for the Rockets?

    There is the too-much-hockey question and it's a fair one. If you look at the Okanagan as a whole, you have Jr. B in Armstrong, Junior A in Vernon and West Kelowna (that franchise is struggling and is likely to move), Junior B in Summerland, Junior A in Penticton, and then Junior B in Osoyoos.

    Adding a Penticton WHL team probably doesn't impact the Kelowna WHL franchise much, and certainly sets up a great three-way rivalry with Kamloops in the mix. But it probably means the demise the BCHL team in Penticton and could have some impact on the KIJHL team in Summerland.
     
  18. takehisheadoff

    takehisheadoff Registered User

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    When I played in the KIJHL there was 10 teams now there is almost a million:shakehead
     
  19. MeHateHe

    MeHateHe Registered User

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    Man, you must be old. I can't remember the last time there were that few teams. :naughty:
     
  20. takehisheadoff

    takehisheadoff Registered User

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    Yeah it is sad to admit I make dirt jealous. I think I went to high school with Jesus also.:yo:
     
  21. DudeWhereIsMakar

    DudeWhereIsMakar Originator of the username

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    Not at all a bad idea, would bring a good rivalry for Kelowna, also it's a 50 minute drive from Kelowna to Penticton which can be a ways away for a hockey game.
     
  22. ADKthunderFan34

    ADKthunderFan34 Registered User

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    Would the WHL consider going to Alaska after the failure of the Aces? Or is Anchorage just a fail and too poor to support a pro sports team.
     
  23. ADKthunderFan34

    ADKthunderFan34 Registered User

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    Dont the Penticton Vees have the biggest arena in the BCHL seating capacity wise?
     
  24. tank44

    tank44 Registered User

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    Anchorage's failures are A> recession in Alaska right now due to low price of oil and B> location. In any league you'd have to fly-in/fly-out which is a no go for a bus league. It would be a 30! hour drive from Price George and that city isn't close to anyone else. You could get from Portland to Brandon in less time.
     
  25. takehisheadoff

    takehisheadoff Registered User

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    Fairbanks and Soldotna do it in the NAHL so it isn't too far fetched. Yet I would assume every WHL team would be against it.
     

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