The Case For Shreveport As One Of The US’s Best Hockey Towns
The personal finance website WalletHub put together a list called 2021’s Best Cities for Hockey Fans, and I got really excited when I saw it. Because I'm a hockey fan, so there's a lot of self-interest here. I wanted to see if my hometown team, the Detroit Red Wings, were able to make the list. But I had another hope when I opened the list too...I wanted to see if Shreveport got some love.
As far as my self-interest goes, Detroit did very well on the list. Detroit ended up just behind Boston, placing Detroit (known as Hockeytown) as #2 overall...with Boston stealing #1. That might make you ask "how can Detroit still be Hockeytown at #2?", and I will tell you its because the Red Wings have been trash for a few seasons now, and they're STILL #2...so yeah, Hockeytown.
Special shout outs to all of my other Michigan towns who made it, like Ann Arbor (University of Michigan), Sault Ste. Marie (Lake Superior State University), Houghton (Michigan Tech), Marquette (Northern Michigan), among others. Michigan is a hockey-rich state.
But then what about my second hope...where did Shreveport rank?
See, Shreveport is home to the Shreveport Mudbugs of the North American Hockey League (and technically home to East Texas Baptist University too). The Mudbugs call George's Pond at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport home. They were formerly the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, who played in multiple leagues from the late 1990s through the early 2010s. During that stretch, the team enjoyed sold out crowds, and championship banners. Those same banners hang today inside The Hirsch.
The Mudbugs went away for a few years, but came storming back in 2016 as a member of the NAHL.
The NAHL Mudbugs won the championship, known as the Robertson Cup, in their second season back. The team has made the NAHL playoffs in every year (except the canceled 2020 season) since their return. They have also regularly led the NAHL in attendance numbers. Showing the community's support for their team remains strong.
Community support for the Mudbugs has been so strong, they even made it to the finals of the Kraft Hockeyville competition.
Even though they didn't win the competition, the Mudbugs generated some insane support. Including from NHL teams like the Nashville Predators.
So with all of this success, and fan support, Shreveport has to make this list right? At least, that's what I expected. But Shreveport didn't appear on the list at all. But don't get too upset (like I did), because there's a reason Shreveport didn't make it.
See, WalletHub didn't want to take into account cities like Shreveport. They actually removed them from the qualifiers right away when putting their data together. Even though cities smaller than Shreveport, like Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan made the list, it's because of the type of hockey played there. The WalletHub list only includes cities with NHL or NCAA Division 1 hockey in them. So Shreveport was eliminated before they even had a chance.
But based on all of the information about Shreveport's love of hockey, and success on the ice, it's easy to see that Shreveport would rank very high on this list, if they were allowed to compete. Maybe not "Hockeytown" type levels, but they would absolutely make it into the Top 10.