March 30, 2009

Where the NHL fans are

Map of NHL Team Fan Areas

I've probably put this up before. This new SB Nation Tampa Bay Lightning blog that I'm a part of has some interesting side perks. If you want to call them "perks," that is. One of them is belonging to a few online blogger groups.

One guy had asked on a message board how far each blogger lived away from the arena of the team that they blogged about. (I live 850 miles away from the St. Pete Times Forum, in case you were wondering - that's a 14½-hour drive or so.) And our fearless leader, hockey blog editor James Mirtle, said he lived less than a mile away from the Air Canada Center in Toronto.

Someone had asked if he was still trying to pretend that he's not a closet Canucks fan (he's originally from Kamloops, BC). And then another person said that he didn't count since his isn't a team blog. Then yet another person said that he had to measure the distance from where he lives to the geographic center of all of the NHL cities - and others were giving their estimates as to where that was.

I'd offered to find the actual centroid for all of the NHL cities, and then asked if I could change around international or state/provincial boundaries while I was at it. Someone suggested I delete Wisconsin. Why, I have no idea. I suggested moving Toronto into Texas, Montréal into Louisiana, put a mountain range down the middle of Florida, put an ocean somewhere between St. Louis and Saskatoon, and then move southern California up along the Oregon coast. People seemed to like that NHL realignment better than others they'd heard.

Anyways, I'd remembered this site (linked above) and decided to post it as a different topic since people were so interested. I could do something like this - only better - but I'd have to have the full cooperation of the NHL and all 30 teams. Kind of a hassle, actually, but doable.

One of my friends suggested I do that for a geography masters thesis. I laughed at her. Getting the data I'd need out of teams could be pretty challenging, after all. Mostly because it's a privacy issue.

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