Tag Archives: NHL

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

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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

Command and Conference

Greetings readers,

The NHL recently configured a four conference alignment, to go into place next season.

Hockey fans should be asking “Where will my team play and who against?” Let’s break down the conferences, which are still unnamed.

Conference A is all of the Western teams of the Anaheim Ducks, the Calgary Flames, the Colorado Avalanche, the Edmonton Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings, the Phoenix Coyotes, the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks.

Conference B deals with the Midwestern teams, such as the Chicago Blackhawks, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Dallas Stars, the Detroit Red Wings, the Minnesota Wild, the Nashville Predators, the Saint Louis Blues, and the Winnipeg Jets.

Conferences C and D are dealt with the Eastern teams, but are split differently. The C Conference has Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, and Toronto. Conference D deals with Carolina, New Jersey, both New York teams, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington.

One nice thing about the alignment is how the rivalries are still in tact. Columbus gets to play Detroit, the Pennsylvania teams are together, the two Florida teams are together, etc…

Another nice detail is the “home-and-home” deal, where all teams play at least twice.

One question I have is how will this grid be realigned if a team does relocate? We have all heard by now that Quebec City passed a bill to protect a big corporation from any lawsuits dealing with building an arena fit for today’s NHL standards. We’ve also heard quite frequently that Phoenix is going to fly out of the desert.

If the new Nordiques were to form soon, how many ripples will that create? If the Islanders are the team to pack up and leave, that makes it easier for travel reasons, but not for rivalry reasons unless you swap out a team from Conference C. If Phoenix leaves and does land in Quebec City, then what? You can’t make them play where all the West Coast teams play (well you could, but for the sake of argument…) You could possibly flop teams around, like Dallas now plays in A and you have the new team playing in either C or D.

I do like the new setup. As a Blue Jackets fan, we get to see the Jets more, as well as continue to play the Blackhawks, Predators, Blues, and Red Wings.

Something else I forgot to mention are the games outside the Eastern timezone. The Blue Jackets will only have eight games to play out of the Eastern timezone.

We’ll see how it pans out for next year.

Sources of information from ESPN, the website of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the CBC.

Until next time,

-Lee

Sports+ – An App Review

Greetings readers,

There’s a new app on the market for people who love sports who want to write their own story. It’s called Sports+, created by Hitpost. It’s available at the App Store, the Android Market, and online as well.

As of 10/7/11, Sports+ has an average rating of 4.0 out of 5 at the Android Market. In the App Store, it has a 4.5 out of 5 rating with about 12 ratings and one review. There has also been a few interviews done, with one coming from the Huntington Post.

I looked up sports apps for this purpose, and found this to be one of the Android Market’s featured apps. Wondering if it was anything similar to Google+, I decided to download it and give it a try. I have yet to do so, but it could always be something I do down the road if I go to a Wright State game.

While there is an option for scores, what makes Sports+ different is the option to write stories on photos and sporting events. When you boot the app up, it asks you to create an account (which involves linking up to either your Facebook or Google+ account.) Then you can pick the teams you’d like to follow, and it will trim down the stories.

With my two-hour test drive, the app ran fairly smooth but did crash three times. Your results may vary. Some reviewers did complain about the constant crashing, which crashes are minor annoyances.

I will say, I was really impressed with the lists of teams. In the NCAA section, they have teams that are not Division I, like the Urbana Blue Knights, the Wilberforce Bulldogs, and the Anderson (Indiana) Ravens. There are other smaller schools not listed, such as the Wilmington (Ohio) Quakers and the Wittenberg Tigers, but the list is still massive. To me, having the Wright State Raiders as an option is the most important thing. Most apps don’t have that as an option.

There are a few sports that aren’t available yet, like MLS. However, nobody has ever said enough to updates, so don’t be shocked to see it included in an update one day.

I did a little experiment with the sharing/story feature, and it works quite well. Granted, it was one of the last things I done, but it does work well. You might have seen a story where I shared something from Sports+, as well.

Overall, I recommend Sports+ if you love sharing sports with your friends.

Sources of information from Hitpost, the Huntington Post, the Android Market, and the Apple App Store. I am not affiliated with Hitpost.

Until next time,

-Lee

ScoreMobile vs. ESPN ScoreCenter – An App Comparison

Greetings readers,

Today I have another app review for you. Actually, two. Today, I’m comparing the ESPN ScoreCenter application with the ScoreMobile app.

If you have a smart phone, you might not want to have two applications that are designed to do the same thing. Both are designed to give you scores around the nation. Both give you options to pick your favorite teams so you can see those scores first.

Before we begin, let’s get to the basics. ScoreCenter is created by ESPN, and you can find their webpage here. ScoreMobile is created by Score Media, and you can find their website here.

On the Android Market, the ESPN ScoreCenter has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 (as of 10-6-11.) Recent comments talk about how slow the app runs and how unstable it has become. Recently, users have been complaining about having “No Internet Connection” when in a Wi-Fi or a 3G zone. At Apple’s App Store, ScoreCenter has a 3.5 stars, where the main complaint is the ads.

ScoreMobile ranks in the Android Market with a 4.4 out of 5. The recent comments describe how they like it, but one does say it’s slowed down as of late because of the Gingerbread upgrade. In the App Store, it has three stars and two user comments liking it better than ScoreCenter because of the vast selection of options.

From personal experience, I have used ScoreMobile on my phone and ScoreCenter twice; on my iPod and my phone. I loved using ScoreCenter on my iPod, since it was smooth to use and the sliding from league to league was well designed.

When I got my phone, I downloaded it first and was disappointed with the lack of sliding to get to the next league, as well as the slow loading times (it took about a minute to load the NFL scores.) It  ran a lot slower than the iPod counterpart. It took me awhile to decide to download ScoreMobile, but I was glad I did. It runs so much smoother on Android than the ScoreCenter app. This one has options for standings, stats for games, and more leagues available.

I also emailed the makers of ScoreMobile to suggest adding a sport, and I got an email the next day. They were quick about replying, and very kind as well. (By the way, I requested College Baseball scores, which neither app has.)

As of recently, you can slide on ScoreCenter. It takes a few seconds to load, but the sliding animation is a bit jerky. With ScoreMobile, you have to pick the league from a button. Both have options to pick your favorite teams, both show scores, both have previews. Both have tons of sports to follow.

With ScoreCenter, you have the ESPN signature scrolling news bar below, as well as news in the league, and full standings. There’s also a page just dedicated for your teams, as well. With ScoreMobile, there are injury reports, options to looking at entire schedules, stats, standings, video, and news underneath the option button.

In other words, both are very similar. The main difference: performance. ScoreMobile wins in this regard, with its smooth operation and fast load times whereas ScoreCenter is still a bit jerky and does take a bit to finish.

To wrap it up: both are terrific apps. If you’re a fan of news and ESPN’s coverage, check out ESPN ScoreCenter. If you want the same features but a quicker app, download ScoreMobile.

Sources of information from the Android Market and the Apple App Store, as well as ESPN.com and thescore.com. All ratings and comments are recent as of October 6th, 2011 at 9:21AM. I am not affiliated with either company.

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

Tough Love

Greetings readers,

Fans are an important staple in sports. Basically, no fans equals no money. No revenue; no team. The fans are the ones who buy the jerseys and merchandise, who pay the cable company for Pay-Per-View, and who pay to have a seat.

So let’s ask something, what does a fan do when that team isn’t easy to follow? What if their team is consistently losing?

Today’s topic is going to be covered by two articles. We have ESPN‘s list of the best-ran professional teams and we also have Puget Sound’s Business Journal with their list of the toughest MLB teams to watch (here’s a little guide into how this list was created.)

From the ESPN list, we have a team close to the Miami Valley that is 15th overall in the nation…and one dead last. That’s right, the Reds are 15th and the Bengals are dead last (122nd, if you wondered.) The rankings are based on a few categories, such as players’ effort, ownership honesty, strength of the coaching staff, and values that effect fans. This list took the NHL, NBA, MLB, and the NFL into account.

For the Bengals, the ownership (which, if you ask the majority of the fans and Who Dey Revolution, that’s the problem) is 120th overall. Only the Maloof family of the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Spirit of the former Thrashers scored worse. For the Reds, ownership was ranked 17th.

For a look up north near the lake, the Cleveland Indians were the top team in town, ranking 53rd. The Cavs were 65th, followed by the Browns at 91st. For one last stop, the Columbus Blue Jackets were 87th. Out of the ESPN list, the Green Bay Packers were 1st, followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

With the Biz Journal, the Reds are the 11th toughest team to root for, with the Indians 9th. The Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs are the top two teams in the list. The easiest teams to root for are the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Stats aside: when a team consistently loses, it becomes difficult to continue alliances with that team. While it might become frustrating to continue seeing that team lose, it also affects the social part of lives. For example, Person A is a fan of a team that continues to lose. Person B is a fan of a team with a 24-game winning streak. Person B could rag on Person A for liking that team. That’s just part of the Circle of Sports.

From what I’ve seen, the media seems to cover teams that keep on winning. That’s why you keep seeing the same teams on national broadcasts. The more your team wins, the more you win.

I know this article has mostly been reciting stats and saying obvious things, but it does matter how much people  invest in their team. For the fans, they feel like they’re part of the team and have become family. For the front office, the more they invest usually results in more fans. When the players/coaches invest in the team, that usually brings fans in, as well. It’s the Circle of Sports, if that exists.

One last thing: you might wonder why I used a Seattle Mariner as the picture. Well, while looking at the Puget Sound article, I got the idea to type this article. The Mariners were picked seventh, and that was originally going to be the article. However, I remembered the ESPN list and thought it would add more to the post. That wraps up the closest thing to director’s commentary you’ll see on this blog.

Sources of information from ESPN and Business Journal.

Until next time,

-Lee