Tag Archives: merchandise

Build an Arena for the King (County)

Greetings readers,

Looks like Seattle might soon have a new arena, just what the Seattle Supersonics wanted all those moons ago around 2008. With the possibilities of the new arena, Seattle could land another NBA franchise and possibly a NHL team as well. If the city/county approves with aiding some $200 Million to the pot, the rest would be covered by private investors. Also, the arena won’t be built until one of the leagues guarantee a team would move to Seattle or a new franchise would be granted.

In total, the arena would cost around the ballpark of $450-$500 Million. The new building will be placed in Seattle’s SoDo district, which is just south of Safeco Field (where the Mariners play.)

Seattle is one of the few markets that do not have three or more professional sports franchises in the “Big Four”.

While this announcement certainly puts pressure on the court for the New Orleans Hornets and Sacramento Kings and on the ice for the Phoenix Coyotes, it also dampers on the process going on in Quebec City, trying to lure a NHL team back.

It will be interesting to see the Arena Wars between Quebec City and Seattle. While Seattle still has to get approval for public funds, the group “J’ai Ma Place” has revealed that all seventy-four corporate suites have been filled. The group is also responsible for selling 8,000 seats in the new, proposed Quebec City arena.

As of right now, the Sacramento Kings are trying to get a new arena and have set a deadline sometime in March. It’s not clear what the effect will be to Seattle if the Kings stay put.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It’d be great to see the Green and Gold back in Seattle, but things have to fall in place, first.

Sources of information from ESPN and lfpress.com.

Until next time,

-Lee

A City Without a Jacket

Greetings readers,

If you’ve been following the Columbus Blue Jackets this year, you would know that this year is one to forget. Yes, the Jackets did record some solid wins over the Detroit Red Wings (for the first win of the season, after starting 0-7-1) and the Winnipeg Jets, but the rest of the year has been a bummer.

As of January 22nd, the Blue Jackets are last in the National Hockey League with 13 wins and 32 points, six points behind the Edmonton Oilers who have 38 points. Columbus is coming off a 3-2 shootout loss at Detroit, who leads the NHL with 65 points and a 32-15-1 record.

The next home game for Columbus is February 7th against the Minnesota Wild. The game I’m going to next is two days after, when the Dallas Stars come to town (There’s a Career Fair that day, too.)

So you might wonder why this post exists. Is it to bash on the Blue Jackets? No. Is it to hammer in the fact that the Jackets are not doing well this year when expectations were high? No. The point is, we Ohioans are lucky to have the Blue Jackets.

What if we lose them, though?

If you look at comments from other users, say ESPN, on the article about Scott Arniel’s firing, you’ll see some comments saying “Move them to Quebec City or Hamilton (Canada, not Ohio)!!” That could happen, you know.

These rumors have been swirling around the Phoenix Coyotes for the longest time, and could very well happen soon if a buyer decides to fork the cash over. Same thing can happen to the Jackets.

You could argue with anyone saying that Columbus could be a better hockey market than Phoenix, that the Coyotes have had longer time to become successful (1996 compared to 2000, or 1997 if you want to include the year the NHL gave Columbus the team), and every positive point for the Jackets. However, the buyer won’t care about those if there’s an opportunity to purchase, relocate, and profit.

What would the loss of the hockey team do to Columbus? Well, you have loss of jobs for one. People who work in the arena would see hours slashed, jobs cut, and what would be the point of the FSN Ohio Blue Line stores in the arena and Tuttle Crossing Mall when there’s no hockey team? Second, the Arena District would take a hit. Less people buying means less profits.

I know what you’re thinking: “There’s Ohio State!” Okay, but that’s a bit north of Nationwide. Sure, the Buckeyes could play a lot more in Nationwide Arena, but where does that leave The Schott? More importantly, what if someone doesn’t like Ohio State or college sports in general? How do you attract the fan then?

There’s also the Columbus Crew, but that’s also far north from the Arena District and during the months where the Blue Jackets don’t play.

While you could try bringing professional basketball back to Columbus, there’s no guarantees that will plug the loss of the Blue Jackets to the city. Would it be a repeat of the Columbus Horizon? Also, would Nationwide be too big for a new basketball team?

Argue all you want, but losing the Blue Jackets would hurt Columbus. So, embrace that you still have a hockey team, even though it’s been a tough ride for the Jackets.

Stats from ESPN, recorded on January 22nd, 2012.

Until next time,

-Lee

Fish Migrate South

Greetings readers,

It soon will be an end of an era, as the Florida Marlins will be no more. Taking their place in the World of MLB, are the Miami Marlins. When the Fish move into the new ballpark created just for baseball on the old site of the Orange Bowl, the Florida part of the name will be shed.

While the logos and jerseys will be officially revealed Friday the 11th, leaks have shown us that the possibility is real that the new South Beach Fish will dispose of the teal and go with a more orange appeal. Granted, the Miami Dolphins and the University of Miami have orange in their color scheme. Also according to the leaks, it looks like the Marlins will have an away jersey with their city name, which they had until about 2009 (they didn’t wear the Florida jerseys at all in 2011.) Keep in mind, they are leaks and could be totally different from what we see now.

Things have been busy in this 2011-2012 off-season, such as naming the bordering streets around the new field. Let’s not forget, there’s a new manager at the helm in former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Also an important change, this Marlins group is looking to spend some serious cash. Usually this is a team that would rather save the money rather than spend it. Also, the Marlins have created an unique display whenever a Marlin hits a home run. You can see it here, also I have no comment. I do like the fish tanks near the good seats, though.

In my honest opinion, I’m a bigger fan of teams that use a city name rather than a state. There’s some teams that make the state-name work, like the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Indiana Pacers, and others. I do like that Miami’s name will be along with the team, as well as the new stadium on the old grounds of some great Miami sports history. It will be an interesting season.

I know basing an opinion on a leaked, unofficial picture is quite absurd, but I’m not completely on board with the neon-inspired colors. Orange, I do get is a Miami sport color. Such past teams like the Miami Hooters had orange. I would like to see the teal stay along with the orange, because that would symbolize when the franchise first began in 1993 and the new move in 2011.

Come Friday, November 11th, 2011: the Florida Marlins will be no more. The Miami Marlins will begin their life and prepare for the 2012 season.

Sources of information from the Miami Herald, sportslogo.net, and SB Nation.

Until next time,

-Lee

The Rebuilding Years

Greetings readers,

As you might know, I was the play-by-play voice for the Dayton Air Strikers that played in the International Basketball League. What some people might not know is that I was an intern for the Air Striker team that was in the Premier Basketball League.

Dayton has joined the PBL again for the 2012 season, joining the Rochester RazorSharks. But what’s happening with the other teams that played against Dayton and Rochester? Remember the Quebec Kebs? How about the Saint John Mill Rats? Don’t forget the Halifax Rainmen, the Vermont Frost Heaves (who folded mid-season), the Lawton-Fort Sill Calvary, and the Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions. Well, there was a big fallout where the owners basically called the league and refs a joke. Quebec, Halifax, and Saint John left to help form the National Basketball League of Canada. Lawton-Fort Sill ceased operations entirely, and the Kentucky Bluegrass Stallions decided not to be in the PBL (but still no decision about this upcoming season has been made.) Dayton also left too, but they returned after the IBL summer season ended.

On the boards, it seemed like everyone saw the demise of the PBL. However, that has not happened. The PBL has added nine new teams and plans on more. Now in the mix with Rochester and Dayton are the Lake Michigan Admirals, the Indiana Diesels, the Northwest Indiana Stars, the Sauk Valley Predators, the Central Illinois Drive, the Charleston Gunners, the Chicago Muscle, and the Scranton-Wilkes Barre franchise. Yes, the SWB team is still looking for a name and logo. The newest franchise is the Saint Louis Phoenix, hot off the presses.

So that’s eleven teams so far. The mix is a good Midwestern trip, ranging from New York to the Arch. If you remember last year, there were three stops in Northeast Canada, all the way to Oklahoma. This cuts down on a lot of the travel. There’s a lot of opportunity for the PBL to succeed in 2012, with a big basketball league stuck in a lockout (and one player from Twitter saying it might last two years.)

One area the PBL could consider expanding in is Wisconsin or Minnesota. There’s some good basketball talent up North, but it still maintains the current Midwestern feel the league has going.

We still have lots of time before the 2012 season, so we might see more teams in the mix. One thing I know though, Dayton is ready to play again.

Sources of information from thepbl.com, metronews.ca, Our Sports Central, and the picture is from flickr user chuckthewriter.

Until next time,

-Lee

Arena of Dreams

Greetings readers,

As you know, we’re about ready for this upcoming hockey season. Preseason games have already started, and the NHL has filled a 15-year void in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As luck would have it, there’s some shuffling going on in Quebec (who are 16-years and counting without a hockey team.) Yes, I know I already wrote an article about the Quebec Nordiques, but I figured this would help me get out of my writing slump.

Recently, a bill was passed dealing with a new arena in Quebec City. With this new arena, perhaps we can see the northern-most NHL skate again? As of right now, there’s no promise of the NHL returning to Quebec City. There’s no promises of expansion, relocation, or anything else. While building an arena that is regulated for a NHL team is a positive step, there’s no guarantees.

What exactly does this bill do? Is it just for the arena to be built? Not exactly. Bill 204 is to protect the company from lawsuits.

According to the article from CBC, the bill is designed to protect Montreal-based Quebecor from any lawsuit dealing with the arena. It also gives Quebecor control of the estimated $400 Million arena.

In exchange, Quebecor would shell out $33 million, about 15 per cent of the profits, and would agree to use the arena for community events. Out of the 125 seats available in the legislature, 98 agreed to pass Bill 204.

While the article makes it seem that it’s imminent that we’d see the return of Quebec in the NHL (and so does this one, interviewing the owner who moved the original franchise to Colorado), it seems like the comments are going the other away.

If you check out the comments of the CBC article, there’s some actually hoping the Nordiques never return. There’s one that says that the Nordiques 2.0 won’t be the same in terms of the rivalry with the Montreal Canadians, the team itself, and everything else. There’s one comment also quoting how this is a lot of money to possibly get the team back.

I’ll be honest when I say I have no knowledge on the government processes of Quebec City, the province of Quebec, and Canada, but why would there be a need to pass a bill just to protect an arena building? It does seem crooked to me. Apparently, the commentators agree too. Just look at most of those comments.

While I would love to see the Quebec Nordiques return, I don’t want to see the government tax innocent citizens that might have troubles staying alive. If it’s based on someone’s ego or someone’s health, I don’t want to see it happen.

So…the Quebec Nordiques. Will we see them again? Possibly. Will we see a new arena being built for no reason as the NHL says no to a relocation or expansion? Maybe.

Only time will tell.

Sources of information from the Canadian Broadcasting Centre and NBC Sports. Picture from bestsportsphotos.com.

Until next time,

-Lee