Does Palm Springs have enough hockey fans to fill a 15,000 seat arena?

As a follow up to news that Palm Springs is in the running to land a minor league hockey team, KMIR is out with a story where a unnamed employee attended the NHL Awards in Las Vegas this and spoke to some “hockey insiders” who told the TV station that a 15,000 seat stadium built for hockey and concerts could be coming to Palm Springs. 

At the NHL awards last night in Las Vegas, NBC Palm Springs spoke to several NHL Executives, many of whom confirm the rumor of a hockey venue coming to Palm Springs.

What we’ve also learned is that the venue in Palm Springs would be for hockey and concerts. Concert promoters Live Nation are also said to be involved in the project. In a conversation Thursday afternoon, one of the principles said it is, “a very good rumor” that concert promoters Live Nation is attached to the proposal.

At last night’s event, hockey insiders we spoke to say a Palm Springs hockey and music venue is a perfect fit.

A “very good rumor you say?” Okay, well, better than a very bad rumor, I suppose.

And while the thought of having any sport of pro sporting event that is not golf or tennis in the desert sounds like it could be a rad thing, KMIR posts that the stadium would be a whopping 15,000 seats – which sounds like a lot for a minor league hockey team in the Coachella Valley, which doesn’t exactly scream “hockey town.”

Now sure, the snow birds would probably love to see some hockey, but let’s be honest here, most of them are in bed by 8 pm.  So that’s going to be a challenge.  Add that to the fact that so many people with disposable incomes in the Coachella Valley are working behind the bar or waiting tables at night and you might get the feeling that drawing even 7,500 for a night game is going to be a huge challenge for any potential team.

On the other hand, most nights there is literally nothing else happening in the Greater Palm Springs area, so the team would have mid-week entertainment dollars basically to itself.  It might also give the out-of-town convention crowd an option at night other than getting shitfaced at the hotel lobby bar, so that’s a plus – and, dude, have I mentioned that minor league hockey seems wild.

Clearly, the cost on construction for a stadium of this size would require extensive research before getting started and maybe it finds that there really is the potential to attract thousands of hockey fans to a season’s worth of games in the Coachella Valley and, on off-nights, even more crowds for concerts with artists that aren’t the same 20 that keep playing the local casinos.

Let’s hope so.