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SeattleKraken

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    baseball, lacrosse, hockey, hiking, camping, fly fishing
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  1. SeattleKraken

    Outdoor games & Winter Classic venues

    Just looked this up, and found a ranking of attendance figures for outdoor hockey games. More games take place in football stadiums than I would have imagined, with a recent one last year at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ice_hockey_games_with_highest_attendance
  2. SeattleKraken

    Outdoor games & Winter Classic venues

    I thought I recalled that happening a few years ago, in a Kings/Ducks game. Perhaps that was just a one-off and they won't do it again in sun belt states....I don't know how hard it is for them to control the ice for a planned outdoor event, should the weather decide to go unseasonably warm or something. I'm assuming outdoor events in northern cities present less challenges in maintaining the ice, but I don't know much about the technology they're working with to establish the playing surface.
  3. I'm curious about the fan's overall perspective on outdoor game events, and where that program might be headed in the future. I've read opinions in other threads on how it relates to the current NHL leadership, but I'm more curious to know about the outdoor venues and why the NHL has chosen certain locations over others....and what that meant for the fan experience, if anyone on this site has attended any of these games. I watched the Sabers/Rangers game on New Years Day, which looked cold as hell, but couldn't help but be fascinated by my perceived pros and cons at the Citi Field setup....on the surface, outdoor games sound like a good idea because they're probably making NHL games accessible to fans who may not otherwise attend....but judging by the layout, it appears the distance from the action diminishes the fan experience....or maybe it's just a different type of fan experience with different expectations going into it. While making the games more accessible seems well-intended, I couldn't help but think that there may be fans leaving those outdoor games with a somewhat negative impression that's a misrepresentation of the typical indoor arena experience. I've noticed that outdoor games are played in mostly baseball stadiums (versus football venues)....is there a preference between the two and a big difference in the fan experience? With the specter of the NHL coming to Seattle, I can't help but anticipate the idea of an outdoor game at Safeco Field or the Seahawks stadium, but having no firsthand experience I can't tell which would be the preferred venue....or if the league focuses on these games taking place mainly in the cold weather Northeast due to the concentration of teams there and more showcasing opportunities as a result. Any firsthand impressions on these games or thoughts on the where's & why's of venue type and city location, and where the league might be headed with all of this?
  4. SeattleKraken

    NHL Expansion

    This really drives home the emphasis on hockey-friendly sight lines and minimal obstructions for seating in NHL venues, which adds validation to the lengthy waiting period Seattle has been through to get the league in town (which can be traced back to the big NHL expansion wave through the 1970s). We just haven't had a hockey-friendly building in town before. It really seems like things are looking up to secure an expansion team in Seattle....it's obviously not a done deal at this juncture, but after sitting in on OGV's design charette the other night with the uptown neighborhood group, they're going about it the right way partnering with the local community and giving everyone a voice in the process. It also helps that they're redeveloping and improving a current site, opposed to breaking ground on a new arena location, so the environmental study in play right now should be a no-brainer. OGV seems to know what they're doing and have clearly been in this rodeo before. As I understand it, the Islanders landed in Barclays essentially in desperation due to an unexpected eviction from Nassau, although I don't know what prompted the situation....but you're saying Nassau might have them back temporarily despite the prior severing of relationship?
  5. SeattleKraken

    NHL Expansion

    The Coyotes originally started playing in what was then called America West Arena, I think it was in 1996. However the arena is one of those setups built for hoops, and it can only accommodate hockey if the portion of the stands were removed on one end, with that goofy obstructed view cavern thingadingaling. I know because I went to a game when they first arrived in town, and I was up from Tucson several weekends and thought I'd get a cheap ticket to a game....and, umm, realized why it was so cheap as I couldn't see the game on one end with the obstructed view. Are there any current NHL arenas featuring the "cavern" at one end? That was a huge sticking point in Seattle not getting the NHL w/o a hockey-friendly facility, until we figured out how to get out of our own way and got a venue in place last month with the MOU with Oak View Group and the KeyArena upgrade that's scheduled to start later this year.
  6. SeattleKraken

    NHL Expansion

    With 32 teams, 16 of them are making the playoffs if I'm understanding your point. As I understand it, that presents the highest playoff "opportunity" out of the four major sports, I know it definitely is over the NFL and MLB formats, I haven't followed pro hoop the last couple decades. Stability of franchises also factors in, which I didn't really consider earlier, as we could be running into situations where teams like AZ relocate to places like Houston if things go south in the current locations. I can't recall where I read this, it may have been another forum or an article, but someone pointed out that the NHL does blanket two countries, opposed to a 32 team NFL that's in US-only markets....when I read that, it was one of those forehead-slapping "duh" moments, one of those obvious things that hides in plain sight. So if we get really crazy and speculate an NHL of 40 teams with the addition of two of those being Canada-based (let's say Quebec and Hamilton or Saskatchewan), the league is still inhabiting only 32 US markets in that scenario. I'm guessing at that point we may be looking at 8 5-team divisions to further regionalize, and possibly a retooling of the playoff format, but I'm getting a bit above my understanding of the viability of that as maybe maintaining the larger divisions makes more sense due to tradition, maintaining certain rivalries, etc. I don't think an NHL of 36 or even 40 teams is out of the realm of possibility, especially if the sport keeps tapping into new fan bases....and some of that speculation is certainly driven in part by the Commish and the Board, who seem to be on their decision-making A-game as the sport is riding a wave of increased fan interest (for all I know that's a dangerous statement and there's Bettman haters out there). But I can plead ignorance, as I'm one of those new fans. I'm quickly understanding it's a different fan experience from baseball, which I've been attending regularly since the late 70s. So some hockey nuances are definitely lost on me, as I'm learning....but as a newer fan, this I know -- the product the NHL puts on the rink is by far superior to football and hoops in terms of thrill and intensity. I won't try comparisons to baseball, as they're just way too different. But my observation is that hockey seems to be riding a crest, and teams beyond 32 seem possible and viable if we consider how they blanket markets in two countries.
  7. SeattleKraken

    NHL Expansion

    It seems like Houston will eventually get a team, and it would make sense to consider it after the Seattle expansion (assuming that goes according to plan, barring essentially an act of god). It appears that part of the thinking from Bettman and the Board is to foster regional rivalries, so a Houston/Dallas rivalry would make sense....because right now Dallas seems a bit orphaned. The real question with a Houston team is whether they're going to keep this trend of adding one city at a time, or if they'll want to bring in new teams in pairs. The Board seems to be really concerned with geographical alignment and getting more teams in the West, and eventually I'd imagine they'll want to bump Nashville into the Eastern Conference (also for a rivalry pairing with Carolina)....but to accomplish that in a clean manner you need two more teams out West. I'd like to see the Nordiques come back to Quebec City, see Hartford get the Whalers back, and there's talk of a team out of Hamilton/London....but if this pattern of thinking with expansion in current times continues, unfortunately it doesn't bode well for cities east of the Mississippi to get new franchises anytime soon. The larger the league gets, the more weighted the concerns will be for sound and regional divisional alignment. Obviously there's many factors to consider with expansion, including the watering down effect with the talent pool (maybe someone has a better read on that?) and scheduling. It seems that once the league starts to consider more than 32 teams, they're going to be faced with the decision of rotating playing the divisions in the other conference due to travel concerns and obviously the finite number of games. So if your the Vancouver Canuks, you won't see the 8 or 9 teams in the Metropolitan one year (home and away -- guessing they'd pair inter conference play), and then you won't see the Atlantic division the following year. In a way that would be a blessing in disguise because it emphasizes divisional and conference match-ups and opens up a plethora of new opportunities. If I'm a Seattle fan, I want to beat up on Vancouver 5-6 times per year opposed to the current 4....because, well, it's more fun to wage war with a cross-border rival! :) So that said, I'd be shocked if Houston didn't get a team within the next decade. I'd expect the timeline to be closer to 5 years. Anyone want to throw a shape at this?


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