Sarnia Sting up for Sale !

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Sarnia Sting up for Sale !

Post by Macker88 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:19 am

With the Sting up for sale and Relocation becoming a real possibility, I just thought where people may think the best spot for relocation would be.

Cornwall is the first that comes to mine for me, and the most sense really. They've been rumored to be interested in a team for sometime. They have a 5000 seat arena, which capacity wise would be sufficient with the OHL standards. The Cornwall Colts of the CCHL currently play there and I could be wrong but I believe the old OHL team played there. I'm not sure about the corporate box situation but I'm assuming there at least a couple. However I have heard that an ownership group may be pushing for expansion into the QMJHL.

Toronto area, well where would they play right. You can say Maple Leaf Gardens, I believe the new rink holds about 3000. It does have about 10-12 corporate boxes plus a couple lounge areas. I believe part of the sale of the rink was that no pro or semi-pro team play in the area, as Eugene Melnyk tried to move the Majors there years passed. I know the Ryerson Rams play there and they do take gate fees. I believe only CIS collegiate sports and special sanctioned events can take place there. What about the Richo Coliseum, well, the Toronto Marlies have trouble drawing good crowds there so I can only imagine how sparse the crowds would be if they where competing with another team. If the Marlies weren't owned by MLSE they would have left town years ago. Throw in the fact the AHL and OHL schedules are largely weekend based and scheduling could become a real issue as well.

Hamilton, well they to once had an OHL team. I don't see it as a logical landing spot, the AHL's Bulldogs have a hard time drawing fans, and the arena is really far to big for an AHL or OHL team to be successful in. Hamilton would never build an OHL specific arena (Ie 5-6000 seat), their holding out still for an NHL team an if they're going to spend money on a rink its gonna be to bring an NHL team in.

Buffalo, a quick drive from Hamilton. Well Buffalo could make more sense, and be natural rivals with the Niagara Icedogs. However the arena situation would be one to think about. OHL teams playing in NHL buildings are never successful, look at the attendance from Ottawa 67's games and Majors games when playing at the Gardens and ACC. They could probably play in the HSBC arena for a year or two but they'd need a more OHL specific rink.

Detroit, Yes we have Plymouth and Saginaw already, but what about a team directly in Detroit. It would be a real long shot, given Detroit's financial state right now. But with two teams already in the area it could make a tidbit of sense. Although a real longshot.

Waterloo, They have the rink, the Waterloo Rec Complex holds just under 4000, it could work for an OHL club. However with the rink located just 10 minutes away from Kitchener's home arena, I don't logically see how Waterloo would be successful. Long time Ranger fans are not going to up an change to being Waterloo fans. There would be a definite rivalry but at this point i too think Waterloo is a long long shot.

Durham/Scarborough, Could another team in the area work. Well there are no rinks, but it could possibly work. Pickering's biggest rink is the Pickering rec, and I think it holds about 1500 max. But has no corporate boxes or area's add any, even for a single season. Whitby Iroqouis Arena holds about 2000 or just under. It has good lighting, nice seating, its a nice facility all in all, but it doesn't have boxes or enough seating. Plus its way to close to Oshawa. Scarborough could make some sense, but no arena again is the issue. Scarborough Gardens where the Wexford Raiders Tier 2 Jr.A team played for years is a 1500 seat arena I believe, maybe 1200 either way its in the 1200-1500 range. But it to has no box seats or areas to add any. Scarborough Centennial has seating on just one side but it does have probably the most seating of any of the aforementioned arenas. However again no boxes and the arena is really aging.

The new arena in Markham would make some sense, and an OHL team could probably play in the old Markham Arena where the Waxers played for years, while the new rink is being constructed. The new rink will be NHL sized, but it will be without a tenant until an NHL team comes.. which could be a long while. The old Waxers rink is close to a Go Station and was recently renovated it holds about 2500, 2300 seats.

Huntsville could be an option as well, they have a rink called the Canadian Summit Centre, it holds 2200. It would probably draw well, but the arena is not OHL suitable.

Lastly Thunder Bay, now the travel would be way to much, but if there was a way for the travel to work, they have the rink, and the fans willing to come.

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Re: Sarnia Sting up for Sale !

Post by StingRay5 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:52 pm

I'd be really torn if they move to Pickering!

I dont see Scarborough or Pickering supporting a team. The closer you get to Toronto the more the fan base gets stuck on the Leafs. I also dont see the locals in Markham supporting a team either. Personally it would make for another great rival for the Gens. I dont favour another franchise crossing the border with the exception of Buffalo.

Reading through the press releases its look like they are really looking for a local ownership solution.
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Re: Sarnia Sting up for Sale !

Post by Macker88 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:53 pm

They are definitely trying to keep the Sting in Sarnia, but there are no local owners willing to buy an keep the team in Sarnia under the current structure. The Sting have been up for sale for a year or more and its only become public lately because there is so little interest in buying the club.

Personally, I think the only logical places at this point would be Cornwall, Buffalo & Markham. Cornwall has the rink that is sufficient size, they have the 67's as a local rival, and I believe they would have the attendance. They have the 2nd highest attendance in the CCHL with just under a 1000 per game. One would think that would at least double, probably triple if an OHL team came in. I also believe they have some corporate boxes that line the top of the arena.

Buffalo, makes sense because of the number of western New York kids that come to the OHL, the local rivalry with Niagara would make sense. An they do have the NHL rink which could house the team until an OHL sized rink was built...if they felt that made sense. I mean the Calgary Hitmen and Ottawa 67's do play in NHL rinks.

Markham will have an NHL size rink with no tenants, which is the main reason I think they could be a landing spot. However I don't no if there would be much of a fan base for OHL hockey. The Markham Waxers are a historic franchise an they folded from lack of support. Markham also has Markham Centennial that they could play out of until construction of the rink is completed.

But in all honesty, Cornwall is probably the only realistic spot at this point. They where extremely close to getting the Battalion.

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