St. Louis in the running for 2018 IIHF Junior Championship

Got love for St. Louis sports? Let's talk Pro, College, High School, or otherwise.
The Blues and the St. Louis Sports Commission have partnered to lobby for the 2018 International Ice Hockey World Junior Championship. They will be hosting USA Hockey committee members over the next two days and are in competition with Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

The Post-Dispatch has a story on it today that goes more in-depth: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/hockey/p ... 70eea.html.

This would be huge. The sales pitch of growing the game, partnered with the city's successful hosting of the Frozen Four (2008?), makes me think we have a pretty good shot.
They've been advertising or at least plugging it on the radio broadcasts. Kerber and Chase seemed pretty excited about the possibility to see a strong brand of hockey with some future stars. It would be great to be awarded the opportunity both from a hockey and a civic perspective. One more example of strong local sports ownership working with the city to build us up.
The Blues Facebook page has pics from the reception for the iihf world championship site committee at Union Station last night.
One problem is that the Scottrade Center was opened in 1994 and has almost no upgrades. Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center opened in 2010. Buffalo's First Niagra Center isn't much older than Scottrade but has had numerous upgrades including locker rooms, ice plant and HVAC.

I hope we don't lose it because they like the city but not the arena.
Buffalo just hosted in 2011, from what I read. If USA's hockey goal is to grow the game, I'd think that makes it between us and Pittsburgh. I feel like Pittsburgh is known more as a hockey city (nothing to base that off of, maybe just the Penguin's success), so maybe St. Louis provides the best shot to achieve that goal.

And I know we've talked about Scottrade before, but I've been to games at DC's Verizon Center and Boston's TD Garden, and I find Scottrade to be just as enjoyable if not more so. It's not like it's Shea Stadium.
dweebe wrote:
One problem is that the Scottrade Center was opened in 1994 and has almost no upgrades. Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center opened in 2010. Buffalo's First Niagra Center isn't much older than Scottrade but has had numerous upgrades including locker rooms, ice plant and HVAC.

I hope we don't lose it because they like the city but not the arena.



You sir have a crystal ball.

World Juniors hockey championship: St. Louis looks good but Scottrade upgrades needed

The Scottrade Center needs upgrades if St. Louis hopes to be the host city for the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, an event that’s estimated to bring with it a $25 million economic impact locally.
That’s according to Chris Zimmerman, president and CEO of the St. Louis Blues, who said the Blues are finalizing plans to add a new scoreboard, locker rooms and other technological capabilities at the Scottrade Center.

more
http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog ... looks.html

Honestly, even in the current state, Scottrade is more than nice enough to host this event. If it's good enough for NHL then....
moorlander wrote:
dweebe wrote:
One problem is that the Scottrade Center was opened in 1994 and has almost no upgrades. Pittsburgh's CONSOL Energy Center opened in 2010. Buffalo's First Niagra Center isn't much older than Scottrade but has had numerous upgrades including locker rooms, ice plant and HVAC.

I hope we don't lose it because they like the city but not the arena.



You sir have a crystal ball.

World Juniors hockey championship: St. Louis looks good but Scottrade upgrades needed

The Scottrade Center needs upgrades if St. Louis hopes to be the host city for the 2018 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, an event that’s estimated to bring with it a $25 million economic impact locally.
That’s according to Chris Zimmerman, president and CEO of the St. Louis Blues, who said the Blues are finalizing plans to add a new scoreboard, locker rooms and other technological capabilities at the Scottrade Center.

more
http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog ... looks.html

Honestly, even in the current state, Scottrade is more than nice enough to host this event. If it's good enough for NHL then....


I'm just thinking about the back of house stuff that's been neglected. I never said it wasn't a nice arena to watch hockey at. If the ice surface is subpar or the locker rooms not big enough for a tournament: could that swing the vote to Buffalo or Pittsburgh? (During a tournament you might need 4 full size locker rooms. 2 for the teams currently playing and 2 for the teams playing right after that. Does Scottrade have that? I don't know.)

But if the Blues are willing to address those infrastructure issues, then we're okay.
shimmy wrote:
And I know we've talked about Scottrade before, but I've been to games at DC's Verizon Center and Boston's TD Garden, and I find Scottrade to be just as enjoyable if not more so. It's not like it's Shea Stadium.

I thought the knocks against Scotttrade were largely about the backstage stuff, not the visitor experience.
MarkHaversham wrote:
shimmy wrote:
And I know we've talked about Scottrade before, but I've been to games at DC's Verizon Center and Boston's TD Garden, and I find Scottrade to be just as enjoyable if not more so. It's not like it's Shea Stadium.

I thought the knocks against Scotttrade were largely about the backstage stuff, not the visitor experience.


My only gripe as a fan is the center scoreboard isn't HD.

Plus bigger and more TVs by the concession stands wouldn't hurt. Those small TVs they have now look like what you buy for $89 on Black Friday from WalMart to stick in a guest bedroom or a kitchen.

But like I've said elsewhere, back of house, heating/cooling and ice plant and supposedly really rough.
Looks like they were impressed.

http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/10/22/ ... niors-bid/

Along with Buffalo’s experience hosting the tournament, Pittsburgh is offering the 5-year-old Consol Energy Center. But Bertsch said the 21-year-old Scottrade Center will not be a drawback.

“With what (Blues owner) Tom (Stillman) and (Blues President) Chris (Zimmerman) were showing us for the engagement and the renovations and things that’ll be happening over the next couple of years, we’re going to be seeing some nice things happening in the building that left us feeling completely confident that everything’s going to be of a first class nature.”
I can't even remember where I heard it from, but I think somewhere it was mentioned that the Blues will be investing in some fan experience upgrades over the next couple of years, potentially including the scoreboard. The above quote seems to jive with that.
jstriebel wrote:
I can't even remember where I heard it from, but I think somewhere it was mentioned that the Blues will be investing in some fan experience upgrades over the next couple of years, potentially including the scoreboard. The above quote seems to jive with that.


They probably need to address this:
Image
I've been told that's a priority as well, though there's no time table on that. That's two fold. One is getting actual wifi, another is getting the data carriers to improve their signals/networks. I'm told Verizon works pretty well. I know from experience that AT&T does not work basically at all.
I'm surprised at San Jose not having it. I figure they'd tear down the arena with their bare hands for the crime of no wifi.

jstriebel wrote:
I've been told that's a priority as well, though there's no time table on that. That's two fold. One is getting actual wifi, another is getting the data carriers to improve their signals/networks. I'm told Verizon works pretty well. I know from experience that AT&T does not work basically at all.


Verizon's name used to be on the front of the building and their signal is great. (Charter replaces it this year.)
Getting back to the Juniors: the Blues website had pictures of them taking the reps to the Family Arena plus some sort of event at Ballpark Village.
Buffalo wins.

****!
shimmy wrote:
Buffalo wins.

****!


http://www.si.com/nhl/2015/12/04/buffalo-world-junior-championships-nhl-draft-combine-hockey-events-terry-pegula
But neither city stood a chance against Pegula, whose vision or commitment has turned Buffalo America's new Hockeytown.
I haven't read the article. Don't really have the heart to.

But St. Louis has a chance to do this, and the Blues have announced a commitment to really push it.

But if they want to do it in a manner that will win events like this, they need to put that practice facility downtown. As we've talked about elsewhere. At or near Union Station would be ideal.

Investment in youth hockey anywhere in the region is a good thing, but driving all over the county to the various events and facilities won't have the same impact as see it all within 5 blocks of a vibrant (I'm dreaming here) downtown.
jstriebel wrote:
I haven't read the article. Don't really have the heart to.

But St. Louis has a chance to do this, and the Blues have announced a commitment to really push it.

But if they want to do it in a manner that will win events like this, they need to put that practice facility downtown. As we've talked about elsewhere. At or near Union Station would be ideal.

Investment in youth hockey anywhere in the region is a good thing, but driving all over the county to the various events and facilities won't have the same impact as see it all within 5 blocks of a vibrant (I'm dreaming here) downtown.


When the Blues were in Buffalo a few weeks ago some of the sports writers and other people visiting were tweeting a bunch of pictures showing all the rinks and related development. It's impressive. St. Louis really didn't have a chance.
It could also be argued that St. Louis hosting the games would've put it in a better decision to make steps towards those improvements and grow the game in the lower Midwest.

I'm not blaming the IIHF. It's not their responsibility to build facilities and I'll readily admit that Buffalo is one of the best hockey cities in the U.S. Still, what could have been.
I wish we would have scored this, and hope it serves as a impetus for better development opportunities for the Blues and the City. However, for all of the bad press the NFL gets, it's not as though they have a monopoly on head trauma. What is youth hockey or the NHL doing differently that make its promotion for youth participation more palatable? Could the argument be made that we dodged a bullet by missing out on an opportunity to host a brutal sport on an international stage?


http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/04 ... abuse?lite

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK185336/

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=554909

http://www.wingingitinmotown.com/2015/5 ... otocol-nhl
I don't think so. Hockey is not the same as football. In football, hitting is inherent to the sport. It pretty much is the sport. However, in hockey the lower levels aren't nearly as brutal as the NHL. I don't know the IIHF rules, but attend a high school or college game and while there will be some pushing, shoving, and rough play in the corners, big hits aren't nearly as prevalent.
Really? I enjoy hockey, but hitting is absolutely inherent to the sport; it's the only major sport to quite literally encourage its participants to punch each other in the head. I think the concern is legit.

That said, no I don't think the city dodged a bullet by not getting the games.

-RBB
Hitting is NOT inherent to the sport. The NHL is not doing enough to remove head injuries for the game. In fact, their engaged in their own denial of concussions lawsuit. But HOCKEY doesn't rely on hitting to be hockey.

Youth under the age of 12 (I believe) already do not play with body checking. Some older youth leagues in Canada have begun banning body checking under the age of 17.

All of women's hockey plays without checking. And if you ever watch it, it's still a good product. It may lack compared to the men's game, but the lack of checking isn't why.

If the NHL and the leagues below it eliminated checking, there would be substantial pushback. This is witnessed by the fact that the NHL still hasn't eliminated fighting. (There are good reasons for that, but ultimately the head injuries should be enough to get rid of it. They outweigh everything else.) But in time, fighting will be eliminated. (Note that HOCKEY does not encourage participants to fight. Rather many leagues in North America regulate it as a normal part of the game. But that's not universal or inherent to the sport itself.) And perhaps in time, checking will be eliminated. And when that happens, hockey will still be hockey. And hockey fans will still be hockey fans.

I'm not sure hockey even needs to eliminate body checking. If they want to eliminate nearly all head injuries, they do. But you could still eliminate most of them by simply holding players more and more accountable for reckless hits. They try to do this now, but they're not very consistent and the punishments are steep enough. If you hold players heavily accountable for reckless checks that include or create hits to the head, players will stop risking that. At that point, you could still have body checks.

Anyways, the difference between hockey and football is that football won't survive if you eliminate hitting. In truth, hitting does not have to be what the game is about. The game could be about the scheme's and the routes and the speed and the passing, etc. But I suspect that if tackle football became flag football, the sport would indeed die. Football fans would cease to be such.

But hockey without body checks would still draw hockey fans.
Today's NHL game is drastically different than it was 20 or 30 years ago; much less violence today. Actually, we just had a family discussion about this over Thanksgiving turkey.