There's really one simple way for the league to fix Florida's low attendance and it is to give other Florida cities NHL teams. Florida is a big state, and filled with old people. Old people don't usually drive far distances. Put an NHL team in other big populated cities and the attendance to Florida hockey games will grow! There is also a big tourist population that travel all over Florida, not every person is made of money and rents a car. Put a hockey arena within driving distance of local Holiday Inns and Marriotts, they can have a complimentary shuttle!
Here's where Florida can have new teams:
- Make it more convenient for people. I am going on my honeymoon in March and I will be taking a cruise that leaves from Fort Lauderdale. Put a rink right there. I'll definitely go! I'll try to get my husband to go. I'll definitely tell people about it, it will be great!
- Give a team to Disney World! It worked for Anaheim. Build the arena at the center of Epcot. Make the social media dude the guy who runs the Epcot Centre account. They will be a hit!
- I don't know much about Sarasota but it seems like a great place because that is where Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau lived in The Odd Couple II! I know that Sarasota has a minor league baseball team, probably (Walter Matthau was an announcer for them in The Odd Couple II) so that means they are already into sports. I bet they would love an outdoor game because baseball games are played outside! If there are financial difficulties in the beginning, they can borrow money from their sister city, Hamilton, Ontario!
- Another great place to have a NHL team would be Winter Park, Florida! Imagine a town that loves winter so much that they named themselves after their favorite season! They would definitely draw great attendance! One of the biggest attractions in Florida is Winter Park's very own sinkhole. Tourists from all over the world love to visit this Earth swallowing delight and these tourists could alao love hockey as well. In fact, the Sinkhole could host the next Heritage Classic game!
- A city in Florida that draws some tourists is Naples! Naples is home to the Sun-n-Fun Lagoon, which is a great water park that has 4.5 star rating on google. You don't really see a water park with that high of a rating anymore. It would be fun to have a lot of water attractions at the Naples' hockey arena to attract those who love the Sun-n-Fun Lagoon.
- Have you ever seen a spaceship take off while your favorite *sunglasses* star player scores a goal? No one has. EVER. Build a glass top arena in Cape Canaveral to draw in the crowd who is often overlooked--people who love sports AND science. Bill Nye probably LOVES sports but always felt like an outcast because of his love of science. Give these people a home. Also give astronauts discounted tickets.
- St. Petersburg, Florida, which is often called the Vancouver of Florida by me, is the second largest city in the Tampa Bay area. There is over a 100 different neighborhoods. Diverse neighborhoods means a diverse population means there will probably be people who like hockey there. How great would it be if Tampa had another rival? You would have to name it something that is the opposite of Lightning, like Thunder or Rainbows.
- Gainesville, home to a lot of great musicians, could introduce the sport to a town who doesn't have a notable professional hockey player who is from there.Every town has to start from somewhere, and a good way to spread the word about this team is allowing local ska bands in that area to play their demo between plays at the arena.