Kansas City and the NHL: Just a Dream?

Since the building of the Sprint Center in Downtown Kansas City in 2007, there have been rumors of an NHL team being expanded or relocated there. It made sense for many reasons right off the bat. The arena was large, beautiful, and perfectly ready to add a franchise in at any given moment.

Everyone was anxiously waiting for any sort of breaking news regarding expansion or relocation for weeks. Slowly, those weeks turned into months, and soon enough those months turned into years. Now here we are, 2015, on the brink of adding expansion teams, and Kansas City is hardly mentioned. That leaves many wondering, whatever ended up happening to all that talk? Kansas City has gone from a very possible target to a lost cause in 8 years. It leaves many locals puzzled and wondering what happened so quickly to cause that change. The arena is still in great condition, and shouldn’t pose any problems with gaining a franchise. The market is actually not bad like everybody seems to think it is. Kansas City is the No. 31 TV market in the country. It might not sound good, but in comparison Columbus is  No. 32, Buffalo is No. 52, and expected expansion city Las Vegas is No. 41.

Just like any other city that were to gain an expansion team, you would also see the number of hockey fans grow from the time the team is awarded to the time when they first take the ice. Outside of the building they play in, most of the results in the future are all hypothetical. There is no promise that the fans will stay or that the team will be good, all you really can do is hope for the best of the franchise to show up. I don’t have a problem believing in it though; the city has shown much love to its current sports teams. The Royals are currently on pace to set a new season attendance record, the Chiefs never fail to draw fans, even if they sport a lovely 2-14 record, and Sporting KC is nothing short of loved. In fact, Kansas City is known to be one of, if not the best, Soccer cities in America. If they can support Soccer, a sport that has been historically outspoken in this country, I don’t see what the harm is in giving them a chance.

The only thing standing in the way of this? Ownership. None of the owners in Kansas City have expressed even a lick of interest toward putting in a bid for an expansion team. They all scoffed at the $500 million expansion fee, with one of the Kansas City owners Lamar Hunt Jr. calling it “a ridiculously big fee.” He also went on to say that he is not interested in pursuing an expansion team and is not aware of anyone in Kansas City who is willing to do so either. It’s always a shame to see an arena like the Sprint Center go to waste and to continually watch your dreams of a hockey team go down the drain, but until somebody is willing to cough up money it won’t happen.

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