NHL Expansion: Lets Welcome Milwaukee To The Mix

The NHL expansion bonfire continues to grow; now we can throw Milwaukee into the mix. It seems that there are a bunch of cities that want hockey. The idea of if you build it the NHL will come is catching on as Governor Scott Walker is “expected to announce today that he plans to put into the state budget a financing plan that includes bonding to help build a multipurpose arena in downtown Milwaukee.” The idea is now that the NBA team Milwaukee Bucks has a secure future why not try for a NHL team. I can’t help but wonder will Gary Bettman even consider a “smaller” market?

A new arena is expected to cost between $400 million and $500 million. With at least $250 million up front from the Bucks, that means general fund-backed bonding of $150 million or more would be needed unless more private financing is found. [JS Online]

At this point it seems like nothing more than another city attempting to get the NHL’s attention. When you look at the current cities rumored to be in the running 

for a new NHL franchise (Las Vegas, Seattle, Quebec City) Milwaukee is a better fit. It is already centered in the middle of a hockey hot bed with the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild not far away. Add to the mix the St. Louis Blues and you have a new conference all made up for the NHL.

This is all just the beginning of talks, but it does seem like Milwaukee is attempting to become a professional sports hot bed. For those who think hockey won’t work in Milwaukee you are wrong. The is already an AHL team calling the city home the Milwaukee Admirals who according to SI.com are averaging 4,500 per game.

As things get put into motion it would seem the NHL is going to need to come clean and just say what we all know… There will be expansion or relocation and the league as we all know it will change in the coming years. The biggest problem with all of these little rumors and articles is the affect is has on the struggling fans bases throughout the NHL. These fans are sitting around just waiting to see if their team is pulled out from under them for another “younger” city with more “real fans”.