Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Comprehensive Plan to bring hockey to East Texas

Throughout the last few days, I have asked myriad residents of East Texas "Why would a CHL team not work in Tyler, Longview, or somewhere in between?" The response invariably came back: lack of fan interest. I responded that once people were introduced to the sport, they would see how fun it is to be a fan. But then it dawned on me: hockey's not that fun to watch in an empty arena. We need SOME people who understand the game to be in the area. For the few of you reading this from Smoaky.com, by SOME I mean more than 20. Therefore, the first step in my Comprehensive Plan to Bring CHL Hockey to East Texas is to introduce some avid hockey fans into the area. How do we go about this?

Tyler and Longview will have to work together on this, and will have to assis DelWebb (http://www.delwebb.com/Default.aspx) or some company like them to buy up land for a large enough retirement-age development to house anywhere from 10,000-15,000 people. My goal is to create an entire community between Tyler and Longview that resembles the numerous Sun Cities across the Sun Belt, especially the original one in Arizona (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_City%2C_Arizona), but on about a half-scale of the original.

Once this place gets under construction, MARKET IT in the North and Northeast as well as in Canada. My target areas would be Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, and any place North of the border. The retirees in these areas often move to Florida due to it's "good weather" but Texas offers a similar winter climate (though once or twice it does get cold). Plus, East Texas is much prettier than inland Florida, and the Florida coast is almost full already. The time to act on this is NOW.

Once the development is well underway, Gregg and Smith counties should coordinate a 50-percent-each-shared-cost project to build a regional fairgrounds similar to the Golden Triangle's Ford Park (official site http://www.fordparktx.com/, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Park). This park will be located straddling the county line as close to the Sun City-type development as possible. Sun City residents will receive free transportation to and from the games, and retirees 60+ will receive discounts on tickets.

The economic impact of a regional fairgrounds would be huge, with the visitors it would draw. Plus, add a once-yearly Arklatex Fair, and you bring in even more money.

Leaders in Gregg and Smith counties, are you listening? It can be done!

Monday, July 31, 2006

GREENVILLE, TX: GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT TO BUILD ARENA

This sickens me...

http://www.insidetxbiz.com/adminnm/templates/frontpage.asp?articleid=792&zoneid=1



New $50 M arena in GreenvilleFriday, July 21, 2006 - Since February, the Greenville Board of Development has been working with Global Entertainment Corporation on plans to build a $40 to $50 million multi-purpose arena off highway 30 in Greenville. The arena will take approximately four years to build and have a capacity between 5,000 and 6,000 people with corporate boxes. It will be used for sports, concerts, rodeos, religious event, graduation and “thrill shows”. With the completion of the Bush Turnpike (HWY 190) to HWY 30 and the widening of HWY 380 this new complex will be accessible to Collin County residents. Global Entertainment Corporation picked the Greenville area because it is far enough away from major entertainment venues and it will not compete with Frisco. The project named “Project Global” is in the exploratory stage and the Greenville Board of Development has been working with Global Entertainment Corporation to determine that a need and market exist in Greenville. There are 30,000 residents in Greenville, 100,000 in Hunt County and 600,000 in a 40 miles radius. Robert Winningham, director of the Greenville Board of Development, wants Greenville to become a destination and mentioned that other projects are being discussed.The next stage of the process is raising the funds needed between both the public and private sectors. Global Entertainment is a company engaged in sports management, arena and related real estate development, facility and venue management, marketing and venue tracking and brand licensing. Global Entertainment owns the Central Hockey League and the rights to the Forth Worth Brahmas. The Brahmas and the City of Fort Worth have stopped renegotiations with the city concerning lease renewal. The Brahmas have announced that they will be taking the 2006-2007 season off to look for a better deal.“There is speculation that the Fort Worth Brahmans would play here,” said Robert Winningham. “The arena is one that a professional hockey team would play in. It does not have to be the Brahmas but could be a totally new team. I know that a hockey team is definitely going to be in the mix here guaranteeing us 32 home games excluding playoffs.
In other words, Greenville will be given an arena by Global Entertainment to house the Fort Worth Brahmas. This is a team that could have moved to East Texas and had more success than in it's previous city. For a review, the population of Greenville according to 2005 Census Estimates is 25,637 which is up from 23, 960 5 years ago. Clearly the area is not growing as fast as McKinney (pop. 96,581) and Frisco (70,793), two of the fastest growing areas in the state located in an adjacent county from Greenville, but 31.6 miles and 46.8 miles away, respectively (that's not interstate driving either. In fact, Greenville is located 29.2 miles from Rockwall, which most see as the current Eastern edge of the metroplex.

Greenville is located in Hunt County, population of approximately 100,000. Total. Kapesh?

This team will not make it in Greenville. The building of a 5,000 seat arena there is completely unwarranted. I don't know what the CHL was thinking. Oh wait, they weren't.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New CHL Fan Forum

http://chlhockey.forumwise.com/
I'd recommend joining...there's a section for expansion teams. I've already posted that we need one in Longview/Tyler. Some back up would be great!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Longview Autograph Signing Postponed

The Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs have posponed their autograph signing at the Longview Mall (see post directly below) to a later date, according to http://mudbugshockey.com. At the current time, the organization has offered no explanation.

The East Texas CHL Blog will continue to monitor this story.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

CHL Team to visit Longview

The closest current CHL team to East Texas, the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs will be visiting the Longview Mall tomorrow evening (February 9). The team will be signing autographs. For a map to the Longview Mall, click here: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?address=3500+McCann+Road&city=Longview&state=TX&zip=75605&country=us&zoom=7

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

CHL All-Star Game coming to Bossier City, LA

For those of you who have not already heard, next year's CHL All-Star game will be held at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, Louisiana, just outside of Shreveport. The game, to be held on January 17, 2007, will be a great showcase of the product the CHL puts on the ice night-in and night-out in the current league cities.

In order to see the kind of talent the league has, tune into the the 2006 All-Star game at CHLTV.com tonight. The price tonight is $5.95.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

CHL looking at Lansing, MI

So I was reading the boards at http://chlfans.com the other day, and I found an article from the Lansing, MI, paper, showing that Global Entertainment, the parent company of the CHL, was interested in building an arena for a CHL team in Lansing. How does Lansing make more sense than East Texas for a hockey league with teams concentrated in the Southwest? Sure, the Lansing fans would support a team, but it would not be enough to offset the travel costs which would be incurred by teams traveling halfway across the country for a game.