Every movement needs a visionary. Travis White may be that visionary.
White is a city councilor in Proctor, Minnesota. It’s a city in the northern part of the state whose population was just over 3,000 people in the 2010 census; but it’s located just outside of Duluth and roughly four and a half hours away from Grand Forks, North Dakota.
And Travis White believes it should be home to a National Hockey League expansion team.
“Hockey is the number one sports in northern Minnesota,” said White, via the Grand Forks Herald. "With the window of opportunity here where the NHL is looking at expanding and the history that we have up here of hockey, it would be a no-brainer.”
The NHL team is the latest part of a sports Mecca plan for the area from White. His resolution to support an NFL team returning to the area – the Duluth Eskimos were a thing from 1923-27 – was approved in May. He has designs to build a minor league baseball stadium as well.
On Monday, White proposed his resolution to bring an NHL team to Proctor and build an arena for that team.
Although a lot of people were skeptical about his idea to pursue an NFL franchise, White said many of those skeptics were more accepting of the idea of an NHL team. People took issue with the NFL concept because of the size of the stadium that would be needed, while attendance at professional hockey games is less than football, White explained. The Minnesota Wild's average attendance is around 18,000.
White noted that Minnesota Wild fans travel from around northern Minnesota south to the Twin Cities to see the games -- and their money goes into the metro's economy when it could be staying in northern Minnesota. Additionally, it would mean less travel time for fans, he said, pointing out that residents of Grand Forks, N.D., would need to drive 50 miles less if they were going to Proctor than Minneapolis.
“You look at Grand Forks, the University of North Dakota, their hockey team brings in about 11,600 fans to each home game, while the lowest NHL team brings in 11,200. That's part of the market for an NHL team up here,” explained White via FOX 21.
Yep! And while we’re sure the city can scare up the $1 million needed to apply for an NHL expansion team, that $500 million needed to actually get one might be more challenging.
So … Proctor, Minnesota, then.
The Proctor Doctors? The Proctor Gambles? The Proctor Tamed (the perfect rival for the Wild)?
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