For decades, Detroit has laid claim to the title of ‘Hockeytown USA” and this city has finally met its match in all places with ... St. Louis. Yes, St. Louis, Missouri has traditionally been regarded as a baseball town with the St. Louis Cardinals reigning supreme as the sports champion in the Gateway City. Professional football has lost two franchises in St. Louis as both the St. Louis Cardinals (NFL) and the St. Louis Rams have moved on to greener pastures on the west coast. St. Louis only has two professional sports teams left: the Cardinals and the NHL’s St. Louis Blues.
The Blues have set a standard for excellence by winning the 2019 Stanley Cup and firmly establishing St. Louis as a hockey town. Hosting a Winter Classic, winning the Stanley Cup and most recently hosting the NHL All-Star weekend, the people of St. Louis has shown that they are firmly connected to the Blues and to the sport of hockey in general. Hockey momentum is brewing in a city known for its breweries to the point that city leaders have pushed to bring the NCAA Frozen Four tournament to St. Louis, as noted by the St. Louis Plain Dealer:
"In fact, on Monday, they bid on a men's Frozen Four (NCAA Division I hockey semifinals and final) for Enterprise Center."
To further illustrate the strength of hockey in St. Louis, Wallethub recently ranked this city as the third most hockey-friendly in the United States behind other great hockey towns such as Detroit, Boston, Pittsburgh and yes Anaheim, CA (that may sound strange to many hockey fans east of the Mississippi but remember many Californians originally hail from other climes including Northern cities and Canada.) Game attendance in St. Louis is continually strong and ranks consistently in the top half of NHL teams and Blues fans have been loyal and true to their team since being part of the original expansion back in 1967. Traditional city rivalries between St. Louis and Chicago have been carried over into a Blues-Blackhawks rivalry each season as well.
As the fortunes of NHL hockey wane in traditional hockey towns such as Detroit, a new “Hockey Town” has emerged right in the heartland of America. St. Louis not only serves as a geographic central beacon for the whole United States but acts as a gateway back and forth between the east and the west. The sport of hockey has shown time and time again that St. Louis is a strong supporter of the NHL and its Blues franchise and rightfully can claim itself now to be the new Hockeytown USA.