One Team Moving, Another Preparing To Move

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One Team Moving, Another Preparing To Move

Post by Pounder » Sun May 01, 2016 6:46 pm

News radio station 1130 in Vancouver is reporting that the Vancouver Giants will be moving out of Pacific Coliseum (original home of the Canucks) and into Langley Events Center, 23 miles away in the Fraser Valley. Langley holds 5,000 capacity and is also home of the NLL Vancouver Stealth. Some people think that's temporary, we do know Surrey (closer suburb of Vancouver) is looking into an arena near one of their Skytrain stops, but this has been rumored for so long that I'm not sure I trust how serious that proposal is.

Meanwhile, the primary owner of the Kootenay Ice bought out his partners.

http://kootenayice.net/article/ice-modi ... -structure

The Niedermayers were thought to have invested in order to keep the Ice in Cranbrook, and there was speculation mid-season they would buy out the Chynoweths (whose family helped kind of birthed the WHL in the first place) and keep the team in the mountains. This transaction is a signal to most that the team is moving.

Problem: where? The Langley move moves the territorial claim enough to take Abbotsford out of the equation. The Nanaimo arena proposal was apparently stillborn, maybe an announcement to lock Chinese investors into a position on downtown land, and who were having none of that. Winnipeg brought their AHL team into the same building, so that proposal is at least dead for a few years. That leaves only a couple possibilities:

Wenatchee
Boise

Boise interests were in pursuit of Kootenay a year or two ago, but it's hard to tell if the WHL would approve what's almost a geographic outlier. Wenatchee has a 4,300-seat arena in a market that, in terms of BC and the US, is bigger than Cranbrook, but easily becomes the smallest market. There are obvious concerns about the future of the ECHL in Boise. Wenatchee just played its first year in the BCHL and indications are that they're not moving out for WHL. So it's hard to see the Ice moving at this point... but something's happening.
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