Moncton — At a press conference in Moncton on Thursday, a group of local businessmen announced that the Hub City is a frontrunner for NHL expansion. Behind the men was displayed a prototype for a team logo: the Moncton Magnets. A fairly complex design, the logo depicts a horseshoe-shaped magnet pulling skyward a lumbersexual-looking man with a hockey helmet and stick.
Days ago it was thought that Las Vegas, Hamilton, as well as Québec City proved to be stronger markets for the 31st team to enter the league; however, a group of local investors calling themselves Tri-East Holdings have come forward with the capital needed as well as pertinent market research proving the strength and economic feasibility of having a team right here in the hub of the Maritimes.
Federal and provincial funding is now in place for the new stadium being constructed in Moncton’s downtown core. Questions surrounded provincial involvement post-election, but Premier Brian Gallant has since given the nod to kick in $25 M as previously promised by Alward and the Torries. If all deadlines are met, the Moncton Magnets could enter the NHL for 2017.
According to commissioner Gary Bettman, “The owners and the executives in the NHL are unanimously in favour of waiting another season if all signs point toward the Moncton expansion being the best fit for growth in our game.” The new Moncton arena appears to be the perfect venue, with a capacity for 35,000 fans. Tri-East has produced convincing numbers that almost every game in a 41-regular-season effort would be well attended.
The math is simple: Moncton draws from a combined population in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec of roughly a million people. They would need .038 percent of people to purchase a ticket for every game to sell out. Tri-East spokesperson Cam West explained: “Look at the public response when AC/DC announced they would be playing at the Magnetic Hill concert grounds this September! It immediately trended on Twitter — they’ll be able to sell 80,000 tickets. We at Tri-East believe with the right mix of players and the proper marketing, Moncton can be the most exciting place in the world to watch a good old hockey game.”
The office of Mayor George LeBlanc released a cryptic press docket stating the city will be contributing an undisclosed amount of money to the team. City Manager Jacques Dubé was spotted Monday night trudging through the snow toward his car. The Manatee‘s ground team caught up with him and asked whether he had any information on the Magnets. “This plan has been kept under wraps for around 5 years,” he said. “Quite frankly, we’re not happy the NHL has made it public.”
Timing looks to be excellent from the fans’ point of view as the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to frustrate and millions of people are on the cusp of abandoning them all together.
Look for further developments soon, as a decision will have to be made in the spring for anything to become official.