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Potential expansion in Atlanta: green light for arena construction imminent
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot

Even if expansion isn’t in Gary Bettman’s short-term plans (at least, that’s what he said in early 2023), cities are doing everything they can to apply to become the NHL’s 33rd franchise.

We know that Salt Lake City requested an expansion process not long ago, that Houston remains serious and that Quebec City is doing everything in its power to win over Bettman and his group.

And then there’s Atlanta. The Georgia team has twice been unable to keep its club in the NHL. I guess the third time’s the charm, eh?

I say that because Forsyth County, a suburb of Atlanta, is about to give the green light to an arena project.

As Kevin Weekes points out, it’s a big step towards a professional team.

A few months ago, city commissioner Laura Semanson, without promising a professional team, offered commentary on the development of a billion-dollar arena.

She mentioned that the goal or desire of this project was to host an NHL team. Certainly, the city is ready and prepared to host not only a hockey team, but any other professional team that wishes to play in Forsyth County.

Between 2010 and 2019, Forsyth County was named the 15th fastest-growing city in the U.S., the first in the state of Georgia.

And if a team from the state wants to keep its place in the Bettman circuit, a strong population and a good plan of attack are a must.

In any case, assistant commissioner Bill Daly said a few months ago that he was optimistic the next Atlanta team would eventually achieve better results than the previous two. After all, with an owner who’s not all about money and a well-located amphitheatre, it can be profitable.

MLB, the NFL and the NBA all count on Atlanta. Why not the NHL?

These are issues to keep an eye on, but it’s likely that one of these future teams (Salt Lake or Forsyth County) will be the destination of the Arizona Coyotes’ probable move, in the end.

Meanwhile in Quebec City…

Breaking news

– News from the balloté.

– Nice story.

– Official.

– The Quebecer hangs up his cleats.

– Great.

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