Report: Providence, Not Worcester, A Top 10 Hockey City
Thursday, July 05, 2012
Central Massachusetts hockey fans may love their Worcester Sharks, but apparently not as much as Rhode Islanders love their Providence Bruins.
The sports blog bleacherreport.com just named Providence one of the top ten non-NHL cities in the entire country while Worcester did not make the cut.
While no specific criteria was given for the blog's choice of top ten non-NHL hockey cities, it did mention that support for minor pro, collegiate and junior teams are generally the most indicative aspects of a community's hockey loyalty.
The website also did not rank the cities 1-10, instead choosing to list them by alphabetical order. Here is the list:
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Manchester, New Hampshire
Providence, Rhode Island
Rochester, New York
New England cities and towns that did not make the cut include Worcester, Lowell and Springfield, Massachusetts. Portland, Maine also missed the cut as did Burlington, Vermont.
Here's what was written about Providence:
The Providence Bruins have consistently attracted at least 6,000 fans per night each year and have seen an exponential increase at the gate despite three straight non-playoff seasons and a league-wide cutback from 40 to 38 annual home games.
In 2010-11, the P-Bruins pulled the unlikely feat of drawing a larger nightly average crowd to the Dunkin Donuts Center than their co-tenants, Providence College basketball. They fell only 67 people shy of outdrawing the Friars again this year.
To round out their second decade in the Rhode Island capital after moving down from Portland, the P-Bruins garnered the AHL’s President’s Award “for excellence in all areas off the ice.”
Elsewhere around town are the Division I men’s and women’s programs at Providence College and Brown University, who annually vie for the Mayor’s Cup.
Next season, the Dunkin Donuts Center will host both the AHL All-Star Game and the East Regional of the NCAA men’s hockey tournament.
The city of Providence always has loved its hockey going back to the Rhode Island Reds at the old Auditorium. Now, fans of the Boston Bruins get a chance to see many of tomorrow's stars today in Providence much like Red Sox fans have done for years in Pawtucket.