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Mike Wickett


Wickett's World - NHL team in Milwaukee?

After a really interesting discussion on the 1250 facebook page, i decided to put my thoughts down on the idea of the NHL in the Brew City (now accepting team names...)
Would an NHL team succeed in Milwaukee? While I don't think the timing is right in 2013, I think its an interesting discussion. The NHL surely doesn't need to expand. This league needs expansion like it needs another lockout. I mean, here's 6 teams i'd cross off the NHL landscape without worry: Phoenix, Tampa, Florida, Carolina, Columbus and one of the teams in California. So coming to Milwaukee is not likely. As a matter of fact, The Blackhawks would have to 1st give the "ok" to allow Milwaukee to have a team in the vicinity. 
But could this town support an NHL team? I don't know. No, the Admirals don't sell out a single game that doesn't include a concert, but they're an AHL team. They're a MINOR LEAGUE TEAM. Would an NBDL sellout in ANY city? Nope. Milwaukee doesn't exactly sell out the BC for Bucks games not involving Lebron or Kobe...or Marquette games when Syracuse, Notre Dame or Georgetown isn't around. Yes, you'd have your core fans but what happens if the local team isn't any good? Would ANYONE go? 
I wonder how the sports dollar would get stretched in the brew city. I'm not saying Milwaukeeans are cheap, let's call them "frugal". The biggest complaint I hear about the Bucks?? Ticket prices are too high. BTW-The Bucks have the CHEAPEST ticket in the NBA, and well, like the NBA, NHL tickets aren't cheap. In comparison, the cheapest Blackhawks ticket is about 85 at the United Center in Chicago, but yes- that's chicago. The cheapest Bulls ticket at Bulls.com?? $61. You and I both know you can get into the BC for a Bucks game cheaper than $61, so Brew City Hockey would be more affordable too. 
Is hockey a draw in Wisconsin? Ummmm....not sure. It surly is in Madison. The Badgers pack the Kohl Center. High school hockey is growing in popularity, but that's HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY. How many hockey fans do you REALLY know? BE HONEST....Not many. Would the allure of an NHL team get out of towners to come downtown? Not a few thousand...18,000?? Would cheeseheads learn the neutral zone trap? Dump & Chase? Icing? Could you embrace Barry Melrose? Hockey night in Canada? wait- let's not get ahead of ourselves. 
Sorry hockey fans. I love the "coolest game on ice" but it's probably a pipe dream to get a team up here. 
Oh and one more thing: Dear NHL, give cable subscribers the NHL Center Ice package for free for the shortened season. It would go a long way to a pissed off fan base that you've cut in half (maybe more) for the 2nd time in 7 years. 

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01/08/2013 10:33PM
Wickett's World - NHL team in Milwaukee?
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01/09/2013 5:49AM
agree Mike
I know a ton of hockey fans, but I played growing up and coached high school hockey for about 10 years. There's no way Milwaukee could support a team. It's all about the cost, you nailed it. I'd like to see a major junior team here in asmaller arena. I think that might work, but no way an NHL team works.
01/09/2013 6:54AM
You can get a seat for $45.00 for a home game for the Blackhawks. Standing room is less than $30.00. I can't believe Milwaukee CAN'T support an NHL franchise. There have been sports teams sharing the same name in other cities: New York Giants, St. Louis Cardinals as examples. If you don't want to use Brewers, the Milwaukee Crew (as in Brew Crew).
01/09/2013 7:41AM
i'd love it
i'd love to see it, but you're probably right about not getting enough fan support. i do think if they were to bring in a team, and it was succesfull early, they would draw well. i think wisconsin is one of if not the best supporting state of local sports teams. im not sure if it's because theirs not much else to do up here or what, but we love to sit around, drink beer, and scream for our home team. your right about the admirals. it's not a pro team, it's different. i love hockey, but i have a hard time really getting excited about the admirals. the good players get called up to nashville, and by the time the playoffs come around, nashville has called up our best players. i think a pro team would draw better. i hate the fact that chicago has a say in weather or not we get a team. i aslo hear the argument that they brought in exhibition hockey in the past, and it didnt draw well. im not sure who played in those games, but it's exhibition. nobody gets excited about exhibition. then i hear people tell me to root for the blackhawks. im sorry, i cannot root for any chicago team. you're probably right though, nhl in milwaukee is a pipe dream. if it ever does happen though, you'll be sure to find me in the stands with a jersey on, a beer in my hand, and screaming for the home team.
01/09/2013 10:17AM
Good blog Wickett
I like the blog Wickett. Weather or not we'll ever a see a pro team here in Milwaukee, I guess we'll see. I for one would love it. If it is ever to happen, we'll need more blogs like this. I think the first step is to get some chatter going about it. Maybe a little more talk on the radio. You and Chuck outta do a segment or two on the subject. A little bit of hockey talk here and there can only help. Keep up the good work Wickett!!
01/09/2013 2:36PM
Name 'em...
The Milwaukee Blades
01/17/2013 7:37AM
Correction of Correction
The Blackhawks according to their website charge fiftyfour bucks for the least expensive ticket face value. This state loves the Green Bay Packers and everybody else has to win to get support.
01/29/2013 8:52AM
The Milwaukee Beer Barons
Miller sponsered.....people would buy merchandise with will help fund towards the new arena. This would Start a new rivalry to the south. Another reason to buy a ticket.
02/01/2013 10:10AM
Milwaukee Coyotes??
Ok, maybe not the Milwaukee Coyotes, but it sounds like the Phoenix Coyotes may be looking for a new place to call home. Get on the phone Wickett. Figure out a way to get em up here.
02/07/2013 8:34PM
Milwaukee Lagers
To make it work, you have to market it as a team that represents the entire state and make a constant effort to developing a winning team. It's the reason the Brewers and Packers draw well and the Bucks.....well......don't.
02/08/2013 2:10PM
Not happening
The NHL will never allow a team in the Blackhawks "trading Zone" Old man Wirtz fought that idea like crazy claiming that the hawks drew fans from a :"regional Market" Wirtz may be gone but the barrier may remain...Oh BTW- who hasthe $$ to buy an expansion franchise?
02/19/2013 4:26PM
No hockey for Milwaukee
Milwaukee had its chance to get NHL hockey when Lloyd Pettit was alive. There are cities in the U.S that would not be able to support NBA team, such as St. Louis, Buffalo, Nashville, or Pittsburgh. So, Milwaukee happens to be a town that would not support hockey as long as the Bucks are around. Heck, the local newspaper refuses to provide coverage for Wisconsin hockey, and that's a team that has won 6 NCAA title. Simply put, Minnesota, Michigan, and the greater Chicago area are hockey areas, while Wisconsin has always supported basketball more.
02/24/2013 12:12PM
Blackhawks "Regional Market"...
I'm a Hawks fan down here in the Chicago area and I think it would be awesome if the NHL came to Milwaukee...I think a rivalry would quickly develop between the two teams. As far as the Hawks claiming Milwaukee as a part of their regional market, well I'm sure Bill Wirtz did that back when the Hawks were struggling to fill the Chicago stadium back in the 90's-2000's. Now he is gone and after winning the Cup in 2010, hockey has never been more popular in Chicago. Point is...the Hawks don't NEED Milwaukee support to fill the United Center like in the past...every game is a sellout and there are more people who want to go to games but can't find tickets.
02/26/2013 7:38PM
Dare to Dream
I agree it comes down to how much people like hockey. Remember, the Blackhawks ticket prices only got so high in recent years due to skyrocketing demand (that's what a successful team with a promising future will do). Prices match the demand, and a team starting out would have lower prices at first. But what if the games weren't at the Bradley Center but in a new stadium built in one of the western suburbs? Maybe they would draw more Madison fans on a regular basis? With two cities behind one team, maybe it could be successful?
02/27/2013 10:42PM
yes... if the bucks left
An NHL team would suceed in Milwaukee but only IF the Bucks relocated. Milwaukee is currently saturated with basketball: Bucks, Warriors, Panthers...no wonder the Bucks play to a half empty BC. If the Bucks went to, say, Kansas City or somplace else, the timing would be right for an NHL team to relocate to Milwaukee. Folks, the Bucks haven't been popular, well, since Kareem Abdul Jabbar. The notion that there are no hockey fans in Wisconsin is a myth propagated by those who are not hockey fans themselves. Time to move "Forward" Wisconsin!
02/28/2013 10:15AM
Hockey is on the upswing
Hockey is booming in popularity in Wisconsin. Hockey fans develop with the blossoming youth programs and high school programs. more kids growing up playing hockey means more adult fans looking to watch. Wisconsin as a State is more likely to embrace aprofessional hockey team than they are an NBA team. If we could somehow work out a three way trade where the Coyotes or Panthers moved up here and the Bucks went to KC it would be a dream come true.
03/04/2013 3:17PM
Team name
The Milwaukee Muskies
03/20/2013 9:29PM
Team name
Milwaukee Maulers. Team mascot would be a polar bear.
03/30/2013 7:42AM
Support the Admirals and the NHL Will Come
Wisconsin's so close to an NHL Milwaukee Admirals team; they just need an owner and a willing state's worth of hockey fans to back and support it (in order to do that, the Ads should really start talking with FOX Sports Wisconsin to show off the games even more. The Bradley Center was originally opened for pro hockey back in '88 and it really only needs the standard renovations (seating, refacing, cleanup, etc.). Heck, they've even got the amazing new video scoreboard practically made for hockey itself. Should the Ads go up the ladder, the only Wisconsin hockey affiliate left will (and should) become the AHL team: the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) at the Resch Center (if you've never been to one of their games, I highly recommend it). My Sconnie hockey mantra has been this lately: "Support the Admirals and the NHL will look to Wisconsin." Go to their games, follow them on their Facebook page, check out their YouTube channel, watch them on AHL Live or listen to them dish it out on Sportsradio 1250 WSSP's online broadcast. I know, I sound like I'm preaching, but the NHL is watching the AHL attendance within the newly realigned Midwest Division for opportunity and I say we give it to them. With the Peoria Rivermen moving out (along with the former parent St. Louis Blues still up for sale) In the end, Wisconsin will be complete with a team. Other than that, it'll be a cold day in hell when I follow the Fibhawks after the whole territorial royalty stint the pulled in the '90s. I'll stick to my Badgers, Gamblers (FASTHockey.com) Admirals (AHL Live) thank you very much.
04/13/2013 7:56PM
I don't know either
If you actually watched U-Wisconsin play this year attendance was horrible, but yes I do agree that hockey is bigger in Madison then in Milwaukee (they did start off bad but were on fire late until losing to Mass-Lowell). The only thing I have to say is if Florida Panthers have a team, I don't know how Wisconsin could not have a team. I could really care less anyway as I am a huge Blackhawk fan and Wisconsin Badgers fan. Been watching the Hawks for 10 years and I would not turn my back on them if Milwaukee got a team.
08/05/2013 4:30PM
NHL time
With word that LeBron James wants to run the players associstion and the NBA/Fan disconnect, its time for the NHL to challenge the Bucks and see who survives. That will determine the layout of a new arena!
10/25/2013 2:13PM
This article is completely wrong, who said the packers were going to succeed in green bay, when they first started? Have the bucks ever done anything, most people dont care about the bucks, theyd watch the bulls instead....weird for a city that likes to despise its big brother, chicago. I could see a professional team generating more interest and the players in the NHL ACTUALLY TAKING PRIDE IN THEIR HOME STATE. Wisconsin has always produced hockey players. Markets with far less hockey players produced succeed, so I seriously doubt this article's knowledge. Did you know, the admirals have the highest attendance of all the AHL teams, i thought we didnt support them...
11/01/2013 9:43AM
NHL in Milwaukee
I have searched on this topic because I would like to see an NHL team in Milwaukee; most likely the Admirals being upgraded from the AHL. The problem is people always say, "they never sell out unless theres a free concert". you know why? Because no one cares about the AHL, most don't even know it exists. I am a die hard hockey fan, I've played and watched all my life, and I wanted to be pro. The only reason I pay attention to the minors is, I like to see where players come from. Furthermore, I don't live in Wisconsin since I am in the military but people always call me Canadian, because us Wisconsinites pratically are. To their surprise I'll tell them hockey isn't popular in WI because we only have a minor league team. Of course basketball is popular because it's America people love basketball, but the Bucks are not at all good. They say an NHL cannot be fiscally supported in Milwaukee yet we have a terrible MLB team that built a new stadium some 10 or 15 years ago. I've been to those games and see maybe 15k people in a stadium that can support probably around 50k (I don't know the exact numbers). So as you can see, from my perspective, WI spent millions investing in a team that really has little impact. I am not saying an NHL in WI would sell out every game, but most teams aren't like the Red Wings or Bruins. It may no sense that Texas, Arizona, California, and Florida have NHL teams with California and Florida having multiple teams and Wisconsin has none. Wisconsin loves sports and beer!!!! The admirals are a minor league team so of course they'll draw limited support, put an NHL team there and see what happens...
11/01/2013 7:10PM
Not with the Bucks in town
An NHL team would never make it in Milwaukee with the Bucks still around. There aren't enough sports dollars in the city to support an NHL team by any means. Milwaukee has trouble supporting the Bucks as it is, plus its a very fair weather city.
11/12/2013 3:41PM
Any Milwaukee team is a well supported team.
I would love for Milwaukee to have an NHL team. The Admirals dont get much support for 2 reasons. They are a minor league team...and lets face it, they arent even a good minor league team. If the NHL would open thier pocket books to allow a Milwaukee team to play it would be one of the best investments they have ever made. Name: The Milwaukee Stickers
01/03/2014 1:30PM
Support the Admirals
AHL hockey is just a step below NHL in talent and its much more affordable. The more people we get to support the Ads the better the chance someone with the deep pockets would step up and toss Milwaukee's hat in to the ring for a new NHL franchise here.
01/25/2014 5:23AM
I love watching hockey. It would be great to bring a team to the brew city so we could beat the puck out of the Black Hawks. More fighting less Hockey! Just like the Admirals do to the boys teams south of our state border. I was a season ticket holder for years of the Admirals and would do it for our new NHL team without hesitation. I would love to see them use the team name, MILWAUKEE MUSKIES. It is our state fish, we love fish fries, beer and ice fishing. It should be a no brainer. It would also be a cool logo and the name just rolls well. MILWAUKEE MUSKIES. Too bad NHL is so cold to the idea. Why don't we all get together and buy a team just like the Green Bay Packers were put together. We could sell stock in the MILWAUKEE MUSKIES and make history again. Small markets can succeed. Just give Milwaukee a chance that is all we ask. Let's put it to a vote. I vote "YES". GO MUSKIES GO !!!
04/16/2014 7:23PM
Milwaukee Milkman
I'm not much of a hockey fan, but I've been watching playoff hockey. If Milwaukee got a team I would love that. I would go to games and watch on TV. I'm not going to watch chicago or Minnesota, Da Blackhawks still suck, But with a home team i would have something there. Bucks need a new arena now put a NHL team in that arena also, Name could Be the Milwaukee Milkman.
04/24/2014 4:46PM
Wisconsin deserves a team.
There's a special rivalry between Wisconsin area teams and Minnesota/Illinois teams (such as the Packers and Vikings, or the Brewers and Cubs) Many hockey players grew up in Wisconsin and Wisconsin has a great sports environment. Although the main cities that are pursuing a franchise are Kansas City and Quebec, Wisconsin can't be out of consideration. They have a much stronger, and more passionate fan base than Kansas City, Kansas City had a hockey team, which eventually became the New Jersey Devils. Kansas City's only main rivalry in their history was with the St. Louis Blues, a team in Wisconsin would already have strong rivalries with Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit, and Colorado. They should relocate the Panthers to Wisconsin, and give two new franchises to Seattle and Quebec. The Divisions would each have 8 teams. Smythe: Anaheim, Arizona, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Vancouver Norris: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, Winnipeg, Wisconsin Adams: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Tampa Bay, Toronto Patrick: Carolina, Columbus, Long Island, New Jersey, New York, Philadephia, Pittsburgh, Washington
04/29/2014 4:49PM
Wisconsin fans
I know a lot of people from here and from other states that would love to go watch a pro hockey team for Wisconsin I mean I live in a small town fan of every Wisconsin team but I have to be a wild fan because there is no NHL team I think Wisconsin has a big enough fan base I mean if Minnesota does I am sure we do bring a pro team to Wisconsin
06/22/2014 8:36PM
Wisconsin hockey
I hate that we don't have an NHL team. First, Chicago claims Milwaukee is in their regional market....do they not know Wisconsin hates Illinois? Lol I swear Wisconsin is full of Minnesota wild fans because who else are they going to follow? Not the blackhawks.... I follow the admirals but honestly it's AHL so yeah, it's hard to take that team serious like you would a pro team. The bucks need to go. They have some loyal fans but most basketball fans in wi follow the lakers, heat, or even the bulls...nobody cares about the bucks and that's the sad truth. If they are loyal enough to follow them here when they suck they will follow them anywhere. Wisconsin is full of hockey fans but they either, don't watch because wi doesn't have a team or they watch other teams. Region has nothing to do with it...
08/12/2016 3:26PM
Milwaukee Maurders
Milwaukee Maurders
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