Bow Valley Coyotes

M.G. McIntosh




  • Voice in the Wind Magazine Inc.


As many of you know, the Arizona Coyotes are having a little trouble paying their bills. They also are in need of a new arena. I think I can help with both. Hear me out. 


Why don’t we temporarily relocate the Coyotes to either Banff or Canmore, Alberta. This is kind of an experiment that I think we should try – an NHL team as a tourist attraction. Yes, that’s right. I want the Coyotes to come to Bow Valley as an attraction. Now at this point you’re thinking I’m nuts. Well, maybe I am. After all, the Coyotes are about as popular as watching grass grow. Or perhaps you prefer to watch paint peel. Pick your boredom. But here’s the thing. I’m not targeting a North American audience. Banff, in particular, is known for hosting international tourists. So where is this going?  


Having worked with many people from all over the world, I have found one surprising connection between them – they would like to watch their first ever NHL hockey game while they are overseas. Whether they are from Australia, the U.K., New Zealand, Japan, South Korea or anywhere else where they don’t have hockey, they want to experience hockey. And for them, that means Canada. This is why the Coyotes’ will sell tickets. It’s not about winning in this market, it’s about being NHL. It’s about telling your friends back home you went to a hockey game. It’s about the story and the memories. It’s about the friendships that formed because of Our. Great. Game. Ordinarily, that would mean a trip to Calgary to watch the Flames play a game 130km away from our town. Many of the tourists (and workers) from abroad don’t have cars. This makes it difficult for them to reach the city, but it’s a piece of cake to travel between Banff and Canmore – there’s a bus.


It’s not like Calgary would be missing the revenue. The Flames have a pretty good  attendance record. Arizona, on the other hand, gets a bigger turnout to a homeless fight. Moving the Coyotes to these small towns might actually improve the overall attendance and they clearly need the money. In the meantime, Banff and/or Canmore would get the benefit of a full hockey season as an attraction to the town. Everyone who lives here knows that there isn’t much going on from September through to April (what we call the “shoulder season”) and it wouldn’t be difficult to package Coyotes’ season tickets into ski packages – we do stuff like that all the time. It’s our wintertime bread and butter. If successful we could look at expanding the seating. For this reason and the many requirements of a National Park, I believe that Canmore would be better suited to housing the team, though I expect that Banff will see an increase in tourism as a spillover from the hockey team.


The biggest plus of moving a hockey team to Bow Valley is the whole Bow Valley. By this, I mean the opportunity for a three way partnership between Lake Louise, Banff and Canmore. Playing hockey in the Canadian Rockies is awesome anyway. Playing outdoor hockey in Lake Louise (which has been done before), is spectacular. Between the 3 locations, there would be ample opportunity for outdoor games – anytime the Coyotes’ want one, in fact. There is always ice somewhere in the Bow Valley. Residents know that the coldest temperatures are in Lake Louise, making it the most ideal location for the outdoor game(s). In the meantime, Banff and Canmore both have arenas. What better way to show off Canada’s game (sorry lacrosse), than to give tourists the opportunity to witness an outdoor game and  an indoor game. Maybe we hold an outdoor game once a week – say for Hockey Night in Canada (every Saturday)? Might be an interesting way to export hockey to the U.K. given that the NHL has tried games in London before. Maybe with an “adopted team”, the game could grow at a faster rate? We won’t know until we try it! SO TRY IT!!!! What are you waiting for? Luke Schenn’s return to Toronto?!? (Yes, I’m poking fun at Steve”Dangle”). We should totally do this! It’s not forever, it’s for now. Let’s make use of the Coyotes current predicament – it’s a win for everyone.


What does the NHL have to lose? Revenue? From a team that is struggling to pay its bills? Are they afraid to disappoint the Coyotes’ one dedicated fan? Whatever rationale the NHL uses, remember that I said this: It’s not forever, it’s for now. The Coyotes’ are “between places”, right now. What better time to take a flyer on a new idea? If nothing else, it would be a fascinating test of a hockey-tourism partnership. Thanks for reading!! Please like, share and subscribe to read my book!! And please follow me on twitter – I need to go viral!!! LOL.


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