South Forsyth County Auto Dealer Wants To Build An NHL Arena In The Atlanta Area

Two groups want an NHL franchise in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

The Atlanta metropolitan area doesn’t have a National Hockey League franchise but there are people in that market who want to get an NHL franchise. The latest suitor is a car dealer by the name of Vernon Krause who has about 100 acres of property in South Forsyth County, which is about 30 miles from Atlanta, that he is looking to turn into an arena-village.  Another group from the suburb of Alpharetta also wants a shot at getting an Atlanta expansion franchise. Atlanta lost its first NHL franchise in 1980 because ownership did not have the type of money needed to support a franchise and sold the Flames business to Calgary interests.

The second NHL franchise fell victim to incredibly bad ownership. Ted Turner owned the franchise that he bought during the National Hockey League’s expansion to Nashville, Columbus, Ohio, St. Paul, Minnesota and Atlanta in 1997. But Turner got the business during the Time Warner hostile takeover of his business. Time Warner then merged with AOL which may have been the worst business decision of the 21st century and started selling off assets and closing down sports properties like the Goodwill Games and WCW Wrestling. AOL Time Warner sold the hockey business in 2003 and more bad ownership ensued until the team was sold to Winnipeg investors in 2011 and moved to the Manitoba city. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman claims the league is set at 32 teams and no franchises are going to relocate. Arizona is a problem market and the future of the Tempe-based franchise may be decided in May when Tempe voters will answer the question of whether they want an arena-village in town. It is doubtful that the NHL would to return to Atlanta after two franchise failures. But money does talk and if someone from the Atlanta area has enough money, the NHL might listen.

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FILE – In this Dec. 4, 2018, file photo, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman has ruled out expansion. .(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)