I know many of you have seen this before, but I've redone the Website and cleaned up the drawings. This is the last time I'm going to do it, but I wanted to get them as nice as I could. Here are a couple pics, but visit http://www.newolympia.blogspot.com to see the new web site.
If the CCHA season ended today, all four teams in the Lower Peninsula would get first round byes and host second round games simultaneously. The top 4 in order are Ferris St., Michigan (Boo), Western, and Michigan State (Yea). Its very cool that Ferris is ranked #1 in the country right now and that Michigan State is looking better. Hire of Tom Anastos is looking good, hopefully MSU is in good shape in time for Big Ten play down the road.
Option 1. Sell bonds to the general public to the tune of $100 million to be repaid with arena parking revenue. The city would hand that $100 million to Matthew Hulsizer to subsidize the total $170 million purchase price of the team. Hulsizer would only be bring $70 million to the table, plus I think he would cover this season's losses too.
The conservative Goldwater Institute (like a local version of the Heritage Foundation or something) is going around town threatening to raise hell with businesses and institutions willing to purchase these bonds, saying that it is a $100 million illegal "gift" from the city to the prospective owner, because the city already owns the parking rights anyway. This interference is raising the interest rates on the bonds that the city is trying to sell, because there are less buyers interested. That is where the lawsuit comes in, the city would be suing the Goldwater Institute for interfering with the bond sale. The NHL actually has no problem with such a lawsuit.
Option 2. Give in to the Goldwater Institute, fail to raise the $100 million, and waive goodbye to the Coyotes. Now you have a $180 million arena that you owe money on for many, many years sitting rather empty most nights in a city with a struggling economy and a more successful arena downtown. So imagine a new arena that is unpaid for losing it main tenant and competing with an existing arena which is in a better, centralized location for concerts and shows.
Hulsizer has tremendous leverage here, and has used it. The city of Glendale is stuck between a rock and a very hard place. Option 1 is ugly, expensive and perhaps not even legal, but this is less ugly and expensive than option 2 going forward. The city of Glendale built the arena for the Coyotes, so I feel the NHL has a responsibility to give the city a very long leash here to get a deal done. But, even that leash has to be tightening, this has gone on for quite some time now.
If you click on the link below, you can see drawings of previous Kadushin projects. The Red Wings proposal in the News appears to be a total rehash of previous projects, particularly a Windsor Arena proposal.
Also there is no way that is a 20,000 seat arena. No chance in hell.
By looking at it, I figured 14,000 max for capacity. There is hardly any end seating; you would need 80 rows along the side boards to get to 20,000. And then with his 48 inch wide rows, the balcony seating would be horrendous; way too far from the ice. I posted a few new interior shots of my New Olympia Stadium prototype that you can compare to. They aren't as clean or refined, but I think they convey a look closer to what people would actually want. You can see them here
I haven't heard anything official, somebody here in Northern Michigan is reporting on the radio that this could be the last regular season game at the Joe, but it seems they would have announced that by now if a move was imminent. I wish they would make up their mind so their wasn't much speculation.
The Palace's sightline for hockey would be fine. It is built with a 200x85 foot floor if you look at a seating chart, so its not like America West Arena was when the Coyotes moved and one end couldn't see the goal beneath them. Upper bowl seating would be farther away however. I don't think the Palace would make a bad hockey venue itself, but it just isn't the Wings and it isn't downtown, so it just wouldn't feel right. I don't think there would be any actual hockey viewing issues whatsoever. 3d Interactive Palace Map
So? The Phoenix metro area is larger than most existing Canadian markets and a number of American ones, does that mean that the Flames or the Sabres should be getting the axe? If it was just about raw population why not put teams in Europe? London has about seven million people to Phoenix's four, does that mean that London is a more viable market? After all, in your mind whether or not a given population is hockey-crazed or not is completely irrelevant.
Plus, a potential team in Winnipeg would almost certainly receive ownership support at least in part from David Thomson, the richest man in Canada. He owns the media group responsible for TSN *and* the arena a potential NHL team in Winnipeg would play - he would directly make money that would go towards the NHL not only from every Winnipeg game but also from every TSN broadcast and every event at the MTS Centre NHL-related or not. For all those people in Phoenix, they sure aren't climbing over themselves offering to take ownership of it there, let alone anybody with anything even close to the financial clout of someone like Thomson.
Why are people so insistent on a team in Winnipeg? Quebec City was far more supportive of the Nordiques than Winnipeg was of the Jets. The Nordiques were drawing very well when they moved to Colorado. The other problem with Winnipeg is that it is surrounded by wheat fields! There are no other feeder cities to draw from. There is a much larger population base in Quebec, and they have a track record of supporting an NHL team better than Winnipeg. Even Winnipeg didn't see itself with the NHL in its future, otherwise they would have built the MTS Centre 6 rows taller. And if we want to get silly about this and "hockey crazed" is your criteria, lets put six new expansion teams in Canada in the prarie provinces. How about Red Deer, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Lethbridge, Brandon, and how about a big market team like Saskatoon?
You can't judge Phoenix on this year's attendance. The fans didn't know they would have a team until a couple weeks before the season started. I remember when the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix. Winnipeg was getting less attendance than Phoenix is now. That coupled with the weak Canadian dollar and that team was doomed. The Canadian media is utilizing revisionist history when they say Winnipeg should have never moved.
The attendance at Coyotes games when the team was downtown instead of the suburbs was much stronger as well, despite the arena improvement. The Phoenix metro area is SIX TIMES larger than Winnipeg, and anyone that can do math can figure out that a professional team has a better chance long term in a city of 4,300,000 than a city of 700,000, I don't care how hockey crazed Winnipeg suddenly is. I would generalize by saying that hockey has not been a failure in the South, as Dallas, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Anaheim have been strong franchises. Hockey in the Southeast HAS generally been a failure, they are so football crazed and closed minded. And it isn't just hockey, basketball teams in Charlotte, Memphis and Atlanta don't draw well either. Atlanta, Nashville and Carolina should all move to Seattle, Milwaukee, and Quebec City respectively. And the Islanders need to go too. I know its a big market, but New York does not need three teams and the Islanders haven't been relevant in twenty years. Defending Gary Bettman isn't a popular opinion usually, but the Penguins and Sabres have been in dire straights in the past ten years, and look where they are now. Bettman didn't want them moving, and the league is better for it. Perhaps Phoenix is the next turn around story.