It‘s no secret that Baltimore is a sports town. From the Orioles to the Ravens, Charm City loves its hometown teams. But there‘s one big sport that Baltimore is still missing: hockey.
The NHL has been expanding rapidly in recent years, with new teams popping up all over the map. But Baltimore has yet to get a team of its own. Some people say it‘s only a matter of time before the NHL comes to Baltimore, while others believe that the city will never get an NHL team.
Baltimore hockey fans and betters would love to see an NHL team in their city. Not only would it give them a chance to root for a hometown team, but it would also be a great opportunity to bet on a new sport at the highest level.
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So which is it? Will Baltimore ever get an NHL team? Or are they doomed to be left out in the cold?
Will Baltimore Ever Get an NHL Team?
Baltimore’s long history with professional hockey
Baltimore has a long and proud history with professional hockey. The first professional team in Baltimore was the Baltimore Hockey Club, which was established in 1895. The team played in the International Professional Hockey League, which was the first fully professional ice hockey league in the world. The Baltimore Hockey Club was one of the most successful teams in the league, winning the championship in 1897. The team disbanded after just two seasons, but professional hockey would soon return to Baltimore. In 1916, the Baltimore Americans were formed as a charter member of the NHL’s predecessor, the National Hockey Association. The Americans were one of the most successful teams in the league, winning three championships in four years.
Unfortunately, the team folded in 1925 due to financial difficulties. Baltimore would not have another professional hockey team until 1962 when the Baltimore Clippers were established as a member of the American Hockey League. The Clippers were one of the most successful minor league teams in history, winning six championships between 1962 and 1976. The team eventually moved to Massachusetts and became the Springfield Indians. In 1997, professional hockey returned to Baltimore when the brand new Baltimore Bandits began play in the AHL. The Bandits only lasted two seasons before moving to Hershey, Pennsylvania. However, hockey fans in Baltimore still have a team to call their own: the Maryland Black Bears of Junior A hockey’s Eastern Hockey League.
Since the city was not even able to maintain an AHL franchise, that makes it difficult to imagine that they would be able to support an NHL team in the long term.
What would it take for Baltimore to get an NHL team?
In order for Baltimore to get an NHL team, a few things would need to happen. First, a new arena would need to be built. The city currently has no arena that meets NHL standards, so a new one would need to be constructed. This would be a costly undertaking, but it would be necessary in order to attract an NHL team.
Second, a potential ownership group would need to emerge. An NHL team is an expensive investment, so the owner would need to be wealthy and have a passion for hockey. There are a few potential ownership groups that have been rumored, but nothing has been confirmed.
Lastly, the city would need to show that it is capable of supporting an NHL team. This would likely require high attendance numbers at games and a robust television market. Baltimore currently ranks 26th in Nielsen‘s designations of Major Market Areas, so there is some work to be done in this area.
It is possible that Baltimore could someday get an NHL team, but it would require a lot of work and investment. The city has a long history with professional hockey, but it has been unable to maintain a team in recent years. If a new arena is built and a potential ownership group emerges, then the city might be able to attract an NHL team. However, the city would need to show that it is capable of supporting an NHL team before anything could happen.