With the recent news of the upcoming VHL expansion rumors have been swirling as to where the two new teams will end up. There seems to be many speculations about the teams going to warm weather climates, but hockey is a cold weather sport. The northern city of Juneau, Alaska is making there pitch.
“Hockey comes from the north,” stated Oscar Smith, “It only makes sense for the VHL to continue to expand in the north.” Smith is one of a dozen people who have been trying to convince the VHL to come to Alaska. The group believe that not only would a franchise here be welcomed warmly, but that it would thrive in an area that is desperate to have a sports franchise of it's very own.
“Alaska doesn't really have much in the way of professional sports,” he continued. “We kinda have to latch on to a team from somewhere else. It can be tough to root for a team thousands of miles away.”
In order to sway the VHL the Juneau committee has put forth several bold proposals in order to entice them to choose Juneau. First, they have offered to cover half of the team's startup costs, such as equipment and jerseys. Second they are offering to build a brand new arena to serve as the home rink for the new team. The arena is a state of the art and one of a kind design that would give the VHL the most unique hockey arena in the world.
“With the popularity of outdoor hockey games we wanted to make that experience available to more people,” said Jean McCleary the architect of the proposed arena. “In trying to capture that vision I have designed the first ever hockey arena with a retractable roof.”
Taking a cue from football and baseball stadiums McCleary says that her new design will allow for both indoor and outdoor experiences depending on the weather. “Usually these are designed to keep cold weather out, but our design is just the opposite. Any cold day on the calendar could become a unique experience for the fans.”
While it certainly is a bold design, one has to wonder if the world is ready for such a big step forward. There are several people on the board who were not in favor of the design. John Cunderland was the loudest to object. “I don't see the point,” he stated. “Outdoor games are special because they are so rare. If every game could be played outdoors then why even play in the arena? Just throw some water in the parking lot and play there.”
Still the majority of the committee was in favor of the design and if a team does come to Juneau the new arena could be ready by season 70. “We have a lot of people with a lot of experience who work seasonally,” said McCleary. “It wouldn't be too hard to get a large team together and make this project a reality quickly.” The designs call for a 21,348 seat stadium with a fully retractable roof. Extra lights are placed around the edge of the roof to provide more light for outdoor night games.
It will be interesting to see if the city gets a team. A unique stadium could be just what a new team needs to really cement itself in the league.
565 words for week ending 8/18/2019 Theme week doubles