If the NHL suddenly decided to drop a hockey team on Portland, OR, (HA, RIGHT,) where would the players live?
My guesses are for the Pearl district expensive apartments, the new condos going up downstream from Pill Hill, or in the West Hills somewhere. Possibly a few of them would be out in the trees around Reed, but that seems slightly less likely, somehow.
Oh, and by the way, here's how our arena would stack up
PDX ROSE GARDEN SEATS FOR HOCKEY: 17,544
Arenas I Have Been In (Or Will Be Soon)
Verizon Center (Caps) :18,277
(see, it WAS smaller than the Wachovia, I wasn't crazy.)
Wachovia Center (Flyers) :19,519
Mellon Arena w/Standers (Pens) :17,132
Arenas for teams that have been wavering on the chopping block?
Sommet Center (Predators) :17,113
Philips Arena (Thrashers) :18,545
Just for comparison, Giant Center (one of the bigger AHL arenas) tops out seat-wise in the mid 10,000s.
Obviously, the answer is to move a struggling team to Portland and plonk them down in the Rose Garden, see if they really take off, and then demolish the Coliseum to either a) build them a bigger hockey specific arena, or b)build the Trailblazers a new arena and leave the Rose Garden to the Hawks and the Portland Whatevertheirnamesare.
(If the Thrashers move, do they become the Portland Western Meadowlarks? If anything, I think they should push to become the Portland Thundereggs. Just imagine the arguments they could get in with the Lightning, logo-wise. Or hell, just go back to my original idea and call them the Portland Thorns.)