It is imperative that the Oilers have a new building and the plans for a downtown building, I think, are vital not just for the future of this franchise, but for the city...Rexall was built in 1974, making it the oldest in Canada, and in 2007 the cost for refurbishing the arena is reported to be at 250 Million Dollars. Yikes.
The major roadblock to moving downtown for the Oilers is the public backlash against using taxpayer money in an rough economy. The Oilers owner, Daryl Katz, has pledged 100 Million Dollars to building a new downtown arena, but that obviously won't get the job done.
Personally, I don't disagree with the public here. Rexall place is constantly packed and access to it from Edmonton is apparently pretty easy. I don't see anything happening with this until more money comes out of Katz's pocket.
Shifting gears, some quick hits about the spreadsheet I posted earlier:
- Largest Crowd thus far? 22,690 - Saturday, October 25th, Detroit @ Chicago. Good preview for the Classic? Hows a 6-5 SO win for the Hawks sound?
- Smallest Crowd thus far? 10,184 - Monday, November 3rd, Columbus @ NYI. Well, at least it didn't dip below 10K... Could have been a fairly entertaining game for those who showed, as the Isles won 4-3 in OT.
- Home game 6 for the league seemed to struggle, as it has been the only complete home game row that hasn't been above 500,000 fans.
- NYR leads the way with 18 sellouts (yeah, OK), tightly followed by MTL with 17 and MIN with 16. Montreal is the true leader, in my opinion.
- Finally 6 teams have yet to have a reported sellout, drum roll ... Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Los Angeles, Ottawa, and Phoenix. A bit surprised to see Ottawa in there. I mean, c'mon, even Atlanta sold out there home opener.
I also wanted to mention that I get all reported attendances from NHL.com and all the Rink Capacities from each arena's Wikipedia page. Yeah, sorry, I'm lazy.