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Old 08-29-2017, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Alaska
2,089 posts, read 1,915,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKStafford View Post
The metro- Las Vegas area has almost 2 million residents. Anchorage has less than 400,000. 500,000 if you include the Valley. Plus Las Vegas has millions of visitors each year looking for entertainment. We get our fair share of visitors, but they are here looking for an outdoor adventure.

There are no direct Vancouver to Anchorage flights. Or very few. You'd most likely be connecting through Seattle, which is a 3 hour flight.

There are no direct Vancouver to Anchorage flights yet.

The presence of an NHL team in Anchorage and NHL-related travel between the two cities could change that in a short amount of time.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Alaska
2,089 posts, read 1,915,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackLonsdale View Post
1. That's not how the NHL works. Teams primarily play in their own conference - so Anchorage would probably play, Edmonton, for example, four times a year. The Anchorage team could easily knock off visits to Edmonton-Calgary and Vancouver-Seattle. Furthermore, the long trips to Toronto, New York, etc. could be managed in two or three longer road trips.

2. Many free agents already covet the opportunity to play in traditional hockey markets such as Vancouver and Toronto. Anchorage's northerly culture and climate would appeal to players (and families) from Scandinavia in particular - look at how a number of high-profile Swedes have gravitated toward Vancouver. Anchorage could become a destination for Finnish or Russian players, not to mention homegrown Alaskans. Also, besides golf, what is a favorite hobby for most NHLers? Fishing. Enough said there.

3. A fair comparison, though, is the population of a city when it comes into the league. Winnipeg had a metropolitan population of 550k when it came into the league in the 1970s. Anchorage isn't there yet, but it will be within a decade or two - no question about it.

4. True. But the oil slump won't last forever, as we know. The one way to absolutely get a proper renovation for Sullivan Arena is a successful Winter Olympics bid (see Calgary). Again, give this time - a decade or two as noted. Seattle, Quebec City, and possibly Portland are still waiting for their turns.

5. I agree that in the meantime, an NHL tournament or pre-season event, probably in early September, would be fun. I don't think players would be complaining about visiting Alaska in late summer. Of course, any and all of this takes commitment and involvement from people who care about the sport and the city and the fans. Otherwise, the naysayers will easily win out.
I think that a good way to start is to court the NHL into holding the NHL All-Star game here one year.

If we can put together a successful enough event, then we may be able to make a case that could sway the league into seriously considering Alaska for future expansion, or at the very least, maybe the NHL may decide to hold the NHL All-Star game here on a semi/permanent basis, like the NFL did for decades in Hawaii or how the annual Army-Navy game was held in Philly exclusively for many decades.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:37 PM
 
1,034 posts, read 403,143 times
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I'm from St. Louis which the Blues are doing well and people go to the games.

When the team is terrible like the couple years after the 2005 lockout, the attendance was a joke! Nobody goes to the games when they're not playoff contenders.

St. Louis loves the Blues when they do well.

St. Louis is also considered a fairly small market too. How would Alaska support a team? Only way I can see that is because there is hardly anything else for the locals to do. However, I can't see them filling an arena up. It simply would not work.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:03 PM
 
Location: The North
4,705 posts, read 7,980,382 times
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This all is pretty hilarious. If the NHL had a list of best expansion candidates Anchorage would be about number 50 on it. The NHL doesn't really want to expand to places where there is hockey interest or NHL interest, they mostly go where they can add to their fan base. That means larger cities with good TV markets that has upside from creating tens of thousands of potential viewers and thousands of live attendees who would otherwise never watch hockey. Absolutely none of this meshes with Anchorage. They'd rather go to Mexico, China, the UK and many other US and Canadian cities before going to Alaska.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
768 posts, read 951,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackLonsdale View Post
1. That's not how the NHL works. Teams primarily play in their own conference - so Anchorage would probably play, Edmonton, for example, four times a year. The Anchorage team could easily knock off visits to Edmonton-Calgary and Vancouver-Seattle. Furthermore, the long trips to Toronto, New York, etc. could be managed in two or three longer road trips.

The current NHL schedule has every team playing in every arena at least once during the season. Good luck bunching that together in two or three road trips.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:35 PM
 
259 posts, read 58,633 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackLonsdale View Post
Yes, but Anchorage *per capita* has I'm guesstimating twice as many hockey fans as Las Vegas. I'm just basing that off of ice rinks per capita. Plus, you're getting a following from the entire state.
Per capita is irrelevant. The total number of fans are what matter. Undoubtedly, Duluth has far more hockey fans per capita than greater Los Angeles, yet Duluth couldn't even begin to support an NHL team, while greater Los Angeles supports two of them. Why? Because even though the percentage of NHL fans in Los Angeles is a fraction of the percentage of NHL fans in Duluth, even a much smaller percentage of the nearly 13 million people who live in greater Los Angeles still results in far more people than even live in the Duluth area (and many of them obviously don't care one iota about hockey).

Also, precious few people from southeast Alaska are going to be season-ticket holders and fly to every home game. Do you think Houston or El Paso really adds much to the attendance of following of the Dallas Stars, just because they're in the same state? Do you really think more than a handful of people are going to make the round-trip from Fairbanks, or the bush, in the dead of winter to 42 home games in Anchorage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackLonsdale View Post
For comparison's sake, Edmonton's population was in the 400-500k range when the Edmonton Oilers joined the NHL in the 1970s.
First, it's the area's population, not the city's population. It's not like people from the suburbs and surrounding areas don't contribute too and the Edmonton area was much larger than half a million in 1979, when the Oilers became an NHL team. Second, this is 2017, not 1979.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackLonsdale View Post
It's still a long shot, I know, but it's not impossible. A three hour flight to Anchorage from Vancouver or Seattle is still closer than flying to other teams in the Western Conference such as Chicago and Columbus.
I agree that the distance isn't as big an issue as some make it out to be. In the early 1980s, the Los Angeles Kings were in a division in which all their rivals were in Canada. The nearest American team was in St. Louis. And they made a go of it.

Travel isn't the issue. A fanbase that is far, far too small is the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackLonsdale View Post
Sustained population growth and a recovering oil/resources economy means that one day, Alaska will get a professional sports team. Hockey is by far the most likely Big 4 sport to arrive. It may take a couple of decades, but it will happen when it makes sense for the league and a prospective owner.
The rest of the country is growing as well. As it does, the population threshold for a major league franchise increases. In fact, this decade Alaska has a growth rate that is just below the national average, with 21 states growing faster.

What matters is fans. The NHL would put a second team in Toronto - where the rabid fanbase pays an average of $225 per ticket to see a team that hasn't even been to the Stanley Cup Finals in half a century - long before putting one in Alaska. Quebec has over a million people, and far more hockey fans than Alaska. Seattle? Atlanta? Hartford? Houston? Just by sheer population numbers, they all assuredly have more hockey fans than Alaska. And even with the difficulties of getting free agents to places like Quebec, Alaska would be even more difficult. I'm not saying those would be good places for an NHL teams, just that they'd be less bad places than Anchorage.

A franchise in Alaska would be cool as hell. But that doesn't really count for anything.

But there is one glimmer of hope - the NHL leadership is idiotic, so they just might place a franchise in a supremely idiotic location (as they routinely do). So you can hold onto that.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:33 PM
 
66 posts, read 60,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy702 View Post
This all is pretty hilarious. If the NHL had a list of best expansion candidates Anchorage would be about number 50 on it. The NHL doesn't really want to expand to places where there is hockey interest or NHL interest, they mostly go where they can add to their fan base. That means larger cities with good TV markets that has upside from creating tens of thousands of potential viewers and thousands of live attendees who would otherwise never watch hockey. Absolutely none of this meshes with Anchorage. They'd rather go to Mexico, China, the UK and many other US and Canadian cities before going to Alaska.
That's actually an outdated view. The NHL tried this strategy in the 1990s with expansion to Phoenix, Atlanta, Florida, Dallas, etc. The strategy was a bust. Atlanta folded and moved to Quebec. Phoenix or Florida could be coming north - perhaps to Quebec City or Seattle - in the future. And the league brought hockey back to Minnesota, where the franchise is thriving. The only non-hockey markets where the NHL thrives is California and Nashville. Dallas, Columbus, Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Phoenix are all iffy. In retrospect, some of these teams would have better served in Hartford.

Hockey is a niche sport - it doesn't have the mass appeal of NBA or NFL. Its fans are very serious and committed. Not surprisingly, the NHL thrives where hockey fans are - Toronto, Detroit, Philly, Montreal, Vancouver, Boston, Buffalo, etc.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:39 PM
 
66 posts, read 60,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hulsker 1856 View Post
Also, precious few people from southeast Alaska are going to be season-ticket holders and fly to every home game. Do you think Houston or El Paso really adds much to the attendance of following of the Dallas Stars, just because they're in the same state? Do you really think more than a handful of people are going to make the round-trip from Fairbanks, or the bush, in the dead of winter to 42 home games in Anchorage?
No, they don't make a difference for attendance. But fans in Houston, or Fairbanks, make a difference in TV viewership, which any sports economist will be happy to explain to you drives the growth of most professional and big-time college sports programs today.
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
3,439 posts, read 1,830,015 times
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I admit I have not read the entire thread, but my first question would be: where would they play? Is there an NHL approved capacity arena in place?

Secondly, Seattle would be way ahead of Anchorage for the NHL, but like Anchorage, currently has no suitable arena, but more likely to be in the future.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:23 AM
 
4,093 posts, read 1,545,805 times
Reputation: 2565
Quote:
Originally Posted by B-ham 34 View Post
Well they fly from LA to boston what's the difference? And the metro Anchorage are is 295,000 strong, plus when you include juneau commuters!!
We will see, I was just reading an article that at one point there were 80 uhauls leaving for every 30 coming in (I was actually surprised there were any coming in, must have been military), this cant go on forever as uhaul runs out of trucks but it was eye opening. Alaskas population and disposable income is going to be getting skinny soon so long as our legislature lets the oil companies get away with murder.
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