Buzz3eed: Eight Places In Texas To Move The Minnesota Wild

by J.R.

In Monday’s Pioneer Press, columnist Charley Walters passed along this gem:

A little birdie says the Wild lost $30 million during their abbreviated 2012-13 season, and a cash call was made to team investors in February. The Wild paid bonuses totaling $20 million to sign free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

Now that seems almost silly — $30 million is an extraordinary amount of money to lose for a team that claimed 104 percent capacity, even in a lockout-shortened year in which they paid two players $20 million combined.

Of course, we are talking about Craig Leipold. The story of his business acumen can be found here. This is a man who took over a franchise that had a waiting list for season tickets. Then, four years later, he crowed about how spending $20 million on two players sparked season ticket sales. Logic tells us then that under Craig Leipold’s leadership, the season ticket base eroded for a team playing in the self-proclaimed State of Hockey. Great job, Craig.

Now, a caveat — the Wild weren’t the only Conference III team that had lockout problems. Attendance was up in Nashville, but the paid number was down with the overall figure buoyed by the team giving away nearly a literal ton of tickets per game.

In any event, this report of monetary troubles in Minnesota led to this obvious reaction from Monica McAlister at Kukla’s Korner:

Is the State of Hockey at risk of losing their second National Hockey League Franchise?

It has been 20 years, nearly to the day, that the Minnesota North Stars packed up and moved to the sunbelt and became the Dallas Stars; and low attendance and lost revenue during seasons where the team did not play up to the standards of their fan base.

All this based on a report sourced to a little bird — and let’s be real, how reliable are birds?

Obviously, Minnesota isn’t going to move, but if they do, they are moving to Texas, because Texas has a long history of screwing Minnesota sports-wise. Not just the Stars relocation, but also the Herschel Walker trade. Indeed, the only time Minnesota bested Texas in anything sports-related was when Coach Hayden Fox’s Minnesota State Screamin’ Eagles defeated West Texas in the Pioneer Bowl. None of those things exist, but God bless a bed-ridden Luther noticing the guard’s tell. How unlikely is it, by the way, that West Texas — which was ranked No. 1 in the country — had gone an entire season with a guard giving away crucial information on literally offensive play? Very unlikely, just like Minnesota beating Texas in sports.

Anyway, here’s eight Texas cities to which the Wild could relocate.

St. Paul

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PROS: Ryan Suter’s family — which is very important — won’t have to learn a totally new address; more exciting than St. Paul, Minnesota.

CONS: Could be confused for the other St. Paul, Texas; 630 people seems like too low a population to support a hockey team, even if it does work for Winnipeg.

Houston

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PROS: Conference III would get a claim on Gordie Howe to go with Conference III Legend Bobby Orr. Houston is a gigantic city with no hockey team. Not even an AHL team, because — wait for it — the Wild moved it to Iowa. Revenge!

CONS: These folks might have a copyright claim.

Laredo

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PROS: Could tap into lucrative Mexican market, where hockey is a grower. Laredo is actually really safe (no, seriously).

CONS: In St. Paul, a wrong turn across the river means you end up in the slightly less-boring Minneapolis. In Laredo, a wrong turn across the river means you end up in the epicenter of a vicious, violent city controlled by a dangerous drug cartel.

San Antonio

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PROS: I get to tell the Davy Crockett “I’m going to Texas” story five or six times a year. “Rampage” isn’t all that different from “Wild.” Badass coach already in place who is way better than displaced social-studies teacher Mike Yeo.

CONS: Peter Horachek might actually be more dangerous than Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

Lubbock

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PROS: People in town already used to “street rat crazy” because of former Texas Tech football coach-slash-pirate-expert Mike Leach.

CONS: Potential confusion between Lubbock’s newspaper and visiting hockey team from Colorado.

Abilene

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PROS: Instant sponsorship opportunity with these dudes to put the kibosh on future losses. Local zoo could have high Horton Number.

CONS: Not even the most famous Abilene.

El Paso

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PROS: It’s Wild as the West Texas wind:

CONS: Only reason to have a team is so I can link that Marty Robbins song…and that would (maybe) get old after awhile.

Ft. Worth

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PROS: Located in large Metroplex with great airport and not one, but two pretty solid zoos (IMPORTANT). Lots of great “Fort Worth Wild”/”Worthwhile” jokes (tip of the stack to the WingingIt fellas)

CONS: Via Wild fan Jeremy on the Twitter — “Come on, if Ft. Worth gets a hockey team Dallas will want one too.”