Report: Saskatoon interested in landing NHL franchise

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TSN’s Bob McKenzie is reporting “there have been expressions of interest from parties” in Saskatoon to land an NHL franchise.

Stop laughing, it’s rude.

…interested parties in Saskatoon have contacted the league and suggested there are individuals or parties in Saskatoon who would be willing to ante up the required purchase fee while various levels of government in Saskatchewan would make necessary arrangements to expand and make NHL-suitable the 15,800-seat Credit Union Centre.

Even though Saskatoon’s actual population is around 250,000 — which at face value would seem to be far too small to support an NHL franchise — the Saskatoon interests are pitching that an NHL franchise there would be supported by the entire province and it would be a viable operation.

With all due respect, no, it wouldn’t.

First of all, the entire population of Saskatchewan is barely a million. The city of Regina is approximately the same size as Saskatoon, but it’s a three-hour drive away. Oh, and here’s what that drive can look like during the winter:

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Secondly, the Credit Union Centre (opened in 1988) isn’t even close to NHL caliber.

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So let’s go ahead and put this to bed now. This isn’t 1983 when the Blues nearly moved to Saskatoon. The economics of the league have changed a touch since then.

Go Riders.