St. Louis Blues: Chicago’s Reasoning For Being Hub City Illogical

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 08: Mackenzie MacEachern #28 of the St. Louis Blues chases the puck in front of Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on March 08, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 08: Mackenzie MacEachern #28 of the St. Louis Blues chases the puck in front of Duncan Keith #2 of the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on March 08, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Blues still don’t know which city will be their host for the NHL playoffs. However, their rival city is making a big push but with bad ideas.

The St. Louis Blues might know when they could restart their 2019-20 campaign for a second Stanley Cup, but they still do not know where. The NHL continues to negotiate with various markets about being a hub city, but it increasingly feels like feet are being dragged.

According to various reports, the league has knocked its list down to six cities. Most still think Las Vegas is a presumptive favorite.

Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles are the other cities still in the running. That eliminated Columbus, Dallas, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Pittsburgh.

You can argue whether some of those cities were eliminated purely based on health reasons or out of fear of the social anxiety going on in certain markets, but that is pure speculation. What we do know is those cities are out and the remaining six are making their pitch.

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If Vegas is the top choice, you would think Toronto has a leg up on the rest as it is the lone eastern market in the bunch. There are cases to be made for or against any of the others.

As much as we poke at them and say nasty things about their hockey team, the truth is Chicago is a very nice city. It has its problems, but so do all cities and towns.

Chicago does have a good amount of rinks. There was a time, not that long ago, that Chicago had a team in every major hockey league from the NHL down through the junior ranks, which means there is ice available.

There is also a good amount of hotel space. That gives the league options.

The knock against the hotels is that they are in Chicago’s Loop area, which is not that close to the United Center. The more travel, the more risk.

However, all bias aside, the push from Illinois and Chicago representatives seems illogical given the circumstances.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, government officials have been touting the economic impact that having 12 teams in the city could do. The article states it could help suffering hotels and restaurants.

The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot said ‘‘everything they would want to put on with a best-in-class playoff experience is here in Chicago,’’ as reported by The Athletic’s Scott Powers.

I understand that most of that is political speak, trying to make your area sound good. However, beyond the hotels, there really should not be that much impact. That kind of defeats the point.

You’re not going to have fans in the stands and Illinois is still slowly letting loose of the reigns on social interaction, so it is not like the bars and restaurants would be filled to capacity with fans. As far as the players go, I have long advocated that they should be kept isolated.

We can argue about all the ancillary things like masks, etc. but the players should be at the hotels unless they are practicing or playing. Maybe that sounds cruel, but the money they get paid should make a couple months of discomfort worth it.

The idea that players would be going around to entertainment venues or restaurants is silly. Clearly, if there are not restrictions then players would be free to do as they wish, but it seems odd to be touting the tourist value of a city or area when the idea would be to cause no disruption to that area’s population/travel.

It definitely could help sportsbooks or casinos, as the Sun-Times article states. However, they would get the same uptick in business just given live sports is going on, even if it was not in Chicago.

Blues should play entire roster in round-robin games. dark. Next

For me, personally, outside of the rivalry of the two cities, I don’t really care if Chicago is a hub or not. However, whether it is Chicago or any city, making a pitch based on things that shouldn’t really be impacted by an isolated event going on within your city seems odd.