Are NHL’s Eyes On Alpharetta Georgia?

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Two groups want to build arenas in Alpharetta.

Alpharetta, Georgia is not a hockey hotbed or is it? Anson Carter, a former National Hockey League player, wants to be part of a group that wants to bring an NHL expansion franchise to the suburban Atlanta community. Alpharetta Sports and Entertainment Group has put in a formal request to the NHL “to reintroduce an NHL franchise” in Alpharetta. Alpharetta has never had an NHL franchise. Carter’s group is the second set of investors that want to bring an expansion franchise to Alpharetta, a community about 30 miles north of Atlanta. Krause Sports and Entertainment CEO Vernon Krause also wants a franchise in Alpharetta with an arena as centerpiece of a proposed development called the Gathering at South Forsyth.

The Alpharetta Sports and Entertainment Group plans to redevelop the North Point Mall which would include an arena, practice and community facilities, a professional-level outdoor stadium for soccer and/or lacrosse, hotels, a performing venue, an esports facility, and various residential, retail, dining, conference and community spaces. In 1971, the NHL decided to add two franchises in response to the formation of the World Hockey Association and the possibility of seeing a New York WHA team. The NHL awarded teams to New York and Atlanta investors. By 1979, the Atlanta Flames franchise investors were losing money and in 1980 the Atlanta owners sold the business to Calgary, Alberta interests. The Flames business had a fan base. In 1997, Ted Turner decided to buy an NHL franchise. Turner didn’t spend much on the team and the franchise got caught up in the worst merger of the 21st century after AOL and Time Warner combined businesses. Subsequent ownerships were terrible. The franchise did have a fanbase but that team was sold to Winnipeg, Manitoba interests in 2011. Is a third time a charm? Stay tuned.

Anson Carter

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