January 9, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the National Hockey League lockout during a press conference at the Westin New York in Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Is The NHL Coming To Kansas City

Jeff Rosen of the Kansas City Star recently spoke with NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman about a number of topics including the possibility of bringing a team to the Sprint Center. Here’s some tweets from Rosen on the matter,

Since the arrival of the Sprint Center in October of 2007, speculation has run rabid about Kansas City housing either an NBA team, or, an NHL team. This news isn't surprising considering we've been close to landing an NHL team before when the Pittsburgh Penguins were in limbo about staying there but, reached a deal to build them a new arena and keep them in Pennsylvania.

We even had an owner in place with William "Boots" Del Biaggio, who signed a contract with the company AEG, to become the owner and operator of what ever team would fall in place in Kansas City. Biaggio made an offer to purchase the Nashville Predators, but instead partnered with the current owner at the time and kept them there. He would later be sentenced to 8 years in prison for an investment scheme.

The Sprint Center is still left starved for an anchor team and is used frequently for concerts and sporting events but, not as regularly as it should. Every year, the NBA brings a pre-season game that sells out to the max, proving there is a market here in the mid-west. Unfortunately though, the NHL nor the NBA have any plans of expansion. It will take a team looking to relocate before Kansas City could be rewarded and NHL franchise.

 

So again, nothing official here other than the NHL is aware that there are parties who are interested in bringing professional hockey to Kansas City. We've seen a glimpse of what hockey fandom could be like in KC with the Independence Mavericks, a semi professional hockey team that's been around since 2009. The small local team has won best fans of the Central Hockey League and has sold out the small arena consistently over the last 4 years.

The popularity of the sport has taken on strong with Kansas City's youth, as the new Independence Events Center, where the Mavericks play, has two full sheets of ice where kids can take on the sport in an organized manner. The increase of young players has increased significantly from year to year which again, helps to prove that there is a market for hockey in Kansas City.

Not sure on what is more likely to happen, an NBA team or an NHL team first. Either way, the Sprint Center is built for a team and deserves to house one soon.

What are your guys thoughts on this? Would you rather an NHL team or NBA Team?

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Tags: Gary Bettman Kansas City NHL Sprint Center

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