Could Coyotes Move to Canada? Tale of the Tape Between Phoenix & Quebec
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The city of Phoenix has one thing going for it, if it is going to hold on to the Coyotes and keep them from going to another location like Quebec City: The population difference between the two cities.
According to the U.S. Census bureau, nearly 1.5 million people lived in Phoenix as of 2010. The population living in the metropolitan area is approximately 6.45 million.
According to National Post, the population of Quebec City is approximately 765,000, which represents a 6.5 percent increase between 2006 and 2011.
The NHL wants to see the Coyotes stay in Glendale, Ariz. An effort to put the issue of a sales tax increase on the ballot that would helps solve the budget gap was disqualified earlier this month because organizers were unable to get enough signatures on their petitions (via The Sporting News).
That means potential owner Greg Jamison still has an opportunity to complete a deal that would keep the team in Phoenix.
However, if Jamison is unable to complete the purchase, the franchise could be moved.
Where should the Coyotes franchise play?
At the time, the NHL deemed that the Quebec Nordiques' home arena, Le Colisee, was simply too small for an NHL franchise. The capacity at the time was 15,750.
There is little doubt that the people of Quebec City would sell out the new arena if it had an NHL franchise. They would like to get either a U.S.-based franchise that does not have a favorable arena situation or get an expansion franchise.
Hockey is in the blood of many passionate French Canadians. When the Nordiques were a part of the World Hockey Association and then when they joined the NHL, their fans gave them a strong home-ice advantage.
In addition to their loud support, the knowledgeable fans knew the game as well as any fan base in the league.
A team in Quebec City would represent a competitive threat to the Montreal Canadiens. The old Nordiques had a nasty rivalry with the Canadiens, and that took its toll on a team that also had a war on its hands every time it played the Boston Bruins.
When the Nordiques played in Quebec, the Canadiens fought a war on two fronts against the Boston Bruins and Quebec Nordiques every season.
The Coyotes don't have that kind of blood rivalry with any team.
Fans go to games and support the team in playoff games, but hockey is not in the heart and soul of fans in the desert.
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