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Old 12-30-2011, 01:56 PM
 
127 posts, read 166,754 times
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Greetings,

This is probably more of a hypothetical than anything else, but could an NHL team work in Grand Rapids?

This question is inspired somewhat by the Winnipeg Jets situation. Quebec City looks primed for the return of the NHL, but there really aren't any other Canadian locations that wouldn't meet strong opposition. There's also a very short list of American markets in traditional hockey areas, with the required population base, and considerable distance from existing teams.

Assuming that there was ownership, was Van Andel designed for future expansion? It looks like there's some potential on one end of the arena, but I'm not an architectural engineer. I'm not sure that 15k - 17k with the necessary amenities is plausible(?)

Much like Winnipeg, I think a rabid hockey base in a one-team town would definitely need to be the main selling point. Would Grand Rapids embrace an upstart team of their own. Or would it be way too difficult to make headway in Red Wings country?
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
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I think it would be difficult... this is Red Wings country on nearly every level. The Red Wings are really the state of Michigan's team if you think about it. They do training camp to sell-out crowds in Traverse City, an exhibition game in GR (again to a sellout crowd) and our minor league team is enjoyed in no small part because the players in GR will someday don the winged wheel.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Cumming, Georgia
808 posts, read 2,971,128 times
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No way Chicago Blackhawks or Detroit Red Wings will allow an NHL team in West Michigan. Besides, the NHL has 30 teams, they do not need to expand anymore.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:27 PM
 
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Maybe a Soccer team?
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
Maybe a Soccer team?
rofl
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,409 posts, read 27,051,542 times
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As a life long wings fan, I don't know if I'd want a team in GR. What happens when they play eachother? Would I then have to stop being a fan of the Red Wings? It might be cool, but I am happy with the wings, but feel free to move them here
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
8,234 posts, read 16,831,262 times
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Originally Posted by mich2fla View Post
No way Chicago Blackhawks or Detroit Red Wings will allow an NHL team in West Michigan. Besides, the NHL has 30 teams, they do not need to expand anymore.
Territory rights in the NHL are about 60 miles/100 KM from the home arena. Depending on where you put the barn, even Milwaukee could fall outside of Chicago's rights zone. The Wings could effectively block the relocation of the Lightning to the Palace of Auburn Hills by demanding too high of a franchise fee (and did back when the 'Ning were struggling with attendance and threatening to move) but their official turf ends even before you get to Lansing.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, Isanti County, MN
3,194 posts, read 4,805,535 times
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Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
As a life long wings fan, I don't know if I'd want a team in GR. What happens when they play eachother? Would I then have to stop being a fan of the Red Wings? It might be cool, but I am happy with the wings, but feel free to move them here
What would happen is 15,000 Wings fans invading Grand Rapids arena every time they played there. See the game in Dallas lastnight? Half the arena dressed in red, and that was 1,000 miles south of MI. No one wants to see that in GR. GR is on its way up, but it is not a big 4 city, nor will it be anytime in the near future.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,409 posts, read 27,051,542 times
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Originally Posted by Northman View Post
What would happen is 15,000 Wings fans invading Grand Rapids arena every time they played there. See the game in Dallas lastnight? Half the arena dressed in red, and that was 1,000 miles south of MI. No one wants to see that in GR. GR is on its way up, but it is not a big 4 city, nor will it be anytime in the near future.

Agreed, plus there's no way in heck the Van Andel could hold a pro sports team.

I don't think any team is safe when you play against the Wings though. I lived down in Florida for a while, and when the Panthers played the wings, the people in Panthers jerseys were outnumbered by the Wings fans
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, Isanti County, MN
3,194 posts, read 4,805,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgler09 View Post
Agreed, plus there's no way in heck the Van Andel could hold a pro sports team.

I don't think any team is safe when you play against the Wings though. I lived down in Florida for a while, and when the Panthers played the wings, the people in Panthers jerseys were outnumbered by the Wings fans
.....and that's obviously because of the mass exodus from Michigan the past 20 to 30 years. Personally, I support the home team in any place I live in, Michigan or not, and I see that as supporting said community as well, but apparently I'm in a great minority with this approach. I can't stand it when I go to an arena and see the visiting team with just as many or more fans there. These are the same people who move to, say, Texas, and expect everything there to be like it was back home, and so there they are in their Wings jerseys instead of embracing their new community and supporting its teams. Then they wonder why none of the natives there can stand them.
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