Lets Talk NHL Expansion.

NHL To Houston

***This is the offseason. There is little to no Bruins news to post about. Because of this, I dabble in new and interesting topics. The Bruins season overview will be posted this week, I am just working on gathering some more info!***

Every couple years, a certain rumor sparks things, and those things can become reality.

The Las Vegas and Quebec City NHL expansion rumor was just that.

For those who don’t know, there was rumors spreading around for the past few years of a team (Arizona, Carolina, etc) relocating to Vegas, and moving to a more feasible market. Apparently a more “feasible” market for Arizona is one state north?

uh, no.

Then Quebec came into the mix.

nordiques

(photo credit)

Basically, they want their team back. They were so confident in their bid, that they already had an arena built. Due to the declining Canadian dollar, it is no longer considered a smart bid from an economic standpoint.

So, where do I stand on expansion?

The NHL needs to move south.

And by south, I mean Texas.

Texas is home to the NHL’s Dallas Stars, the Stanley Cup winner in 1999 and home to Art Ross winner Jamie Benn and former Bruin Tyler Seguin. The Dallas Stars are becoming more and more popular in the state the more it grows. The more it grows, the more transplants we have in our state. I’m talking people from Minnesota, Massachusetts, Canada, everywhere. The market for hockey down in Texas is growing more and more, which could make room for a possible NHL team.

If Florida can have two teams, why can’t Texas? Texas is bigger than Florida…

With this post, I want to propose the idea of bringing hockey back to Houston.

I live in Austin, but we aren’t a perfect market. So, I picked Houston.

The biggest cities in Texas (Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio) all have sports teams (Austin doesn’t have major leagues.), but Houston is the only one of that list of four that doesn’t have ANY type of hockey team.

Here are the teams in Texas:

Dallas: Dallas Stars (NHL), Allen Americans (ECHL)

Austin: Texas Stars (AHL)

San Antonio: San Antonio Rampage (AHL)

Houston: NONE

First things first, Houston is the largest city IN BOTH THE US AND CANADA without an NHL franchise. Houston is bigger than Vegas and Quebec City. (TAKE THAT!)

Hockey is not a new thing to Houston. Houston was home to the Houston Aeros, of both the WHA and AHL. Gordie Howe is one of the familiar names with this WHA franchise, and played with his sons during his tenure in Houston. The team was very successful, winning the AVCO Trophy twice (1974, 1975), but the team was forced to fold in 1978, when the NHL-WHA merger came to be. The AHL franchise came to be in 1994, but was forced to leave after not agreeing on a lease for the Toyota Center, which is where the Houston Rockets of the NBA currently play.

The biggest arena fit to play hockey, the Toyota Center, is the one thing preventing an expansion team from coming to Houston.

021_toyota_center

(photo credit)

The Toyota Center is owned by Harris County, the county in which Houston resides. The county has no interest in having an NHL team in the area. Because of this, there has been no formal submissions to consider Houston.

I want to point out, Dallas is a smaller city than Houston, but Dallas has a bigger metropolitan area. The Houston metro area is home to Houston, The Woodlands, and Sugarland, and have a combined population of 6,490,180, and the Dallas metro area is home to Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington with a combined population of 6,954,330. Dallas is home to a team from each major professional sports league (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, and MLS). Adding a NHL team to Houston will allow Houston to gain popularity in a growing sport, and also create more jobs in the area.

As for Vegas, there is multiple problems with bringing an NHL franchise to that area.

First, it is not a family friendly area. Vegas is a city full of casinos, gambling, and lots more. This can move families away from wanting to attend games at T-Mobile arena. This can cause a decrease in sales. The arena is on the strip, which doesn’t help.

Gambling is a problem in sports everyday. With Draft Kings lawsuits, there is a reason why there is no sports in that area. Adding a team there would add to the problem. Vegas is a city famous for its gambling and betting, and adding a sport team would just make the situation worse.

Houston is home to two international airports, many hotels, and is equipped to handle a huge influx of tourists in that area. Yes, Vegas has these things too, but Houston is better equipped to handle an addition of a NHL team, because they already have sports in that area. Houston being a family friendly area alone should attract a team better than Las Vegas. I have family in Houston, they have twin boys, and they love the city for their kids.

The United States Dollar is in a better situation than the Canadian Dollar. This would cause problems for the Quebec bid, and is already causing problems for the current Canadian NHL teams.

Like I said earlier,

If Florida can have 2 teams,

If California can have 3,

and Arizona can have 1,

WHY CAN’T TEXAS HAVE TWO

see you in october

^AHC

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Lets Talk NHL Expansion.

    1. That was 1998. Houston has more potential now than it did back then. They had the AHL Houston Aeros still there in 1998. Now, they have nothing for hockey.

      Alexander doesn’t have to own the team either. It’ll be interesting to see what Houston does in the future.

      Like

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