All great teams and athletes have rivalries. Alabama vs Auburn, Lakers vs Celtics, Red Sox vs Yankees, Messi vs Ronaldo. They bring out the best, and sometimes the worst in each other, but almost always bring entertainment.
By that logic, do the Stars need a designated rival?
Dating back to their inaugural season, the Dallas Stars have never had a so-called local rivalry. Dallas is more than 500 miles from any other NHL team, and due to their demographic location, don’t really have any other teams competing for their fanbase in the area. The Ducks and Avalanche in the early-late 2000s were intense battles in their day and the Predators in the late 2010s are as close to a consistent rivalry as the Stars have ever had, so isn’t it time for that to finally change?
In 2021, a new National Hockey League franchise out of Seattle, Washington will have its Expansion Draft. After that, there will be more room for growth in the league and more spots to fill. Based on how fast the Las Vegas Golden Knights were able to achieve their success, more teams might be added at a quicker pace than ever before.
Hockey is gaining more popularity among participants, viewers, and listeners each and every day. A game that was once thought of as one that only people in cold climates played is now being played practically everywhere and anywhere in different forms and facets. Roller hockey, ice hockey, inline hockey, street hockey, starter leagues, beer leagues, non-contact, and full force hockey is in almost every metropolitan area in the United States. So when will the fourth largest city in America finally get a team?
Houston, Texas is constantly growing and has a population that is just shy of 3 million people. It is one of the most diverse cities in the South and is historically known for having wealthy entrepreneurs in the oil, gas and medical fields, not to mention being home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.
With NBA, NFL, MLB and MLS franchises already established in the city, an NHL franchise should soon follow.
- Space and stadium availability wouldn’t be a problem. Houston isn’t short on amenities and frankly, a larger scale hockey stadium could be an investment to further expand their amenities to its citizens.
- The fanbase would grow quickly. With a mix of oil tycoons, hip hop artists, and actors/actresses that are from Houston, it would be nearly impossible for stories like that to stay off of social media and to gain further traction as the team picks up steam. Regular people want to be like the stars, and the branded gear would be a hit in the area to all demographics.
- Money is definitely not an issue. Just consider the possible investors. Houston’s own Beyoncé could be the owner and founder of the franchise. Her and husband Jay-Z are not exactly short on capital. Jay-Z recently announced that his company, Roc Nation, has partnered with the NFL, so it would just make sense to partner with another professional sports league to further extend his reign. Can’t imagine how entertaining and the fan experience that each home game would provide.
For the city of Houston and the NHL, it doesn’t make any sense to not have a team in the 713. It has the money, interest, space, availability, attraction factor, and publicity to be huge. Undoubtedly, the team will be based around a very corny Texas- or space-themed name, but big woo. People root for teams for the love of the game, for the excitement, for the bragging rights. If a Top 5 city in the U.S. can’t possibly get one of every single major professional sports franchise, then who can?
The Stars are Texas’ NHL Team, and the greater part of the Southern United States’ team too, but wouldn’t it be a little more exciting to have an in-state rivalry to look forward to? The MLB, NBA, NFL, and MLS all have Texas rivalries already established.
It’s time to give the NHL, the Dallas Stars, and the State of Texas the same thing.