How Tukwila Stacks Up

Full disclosure: This is somewhat recycled content but wanted to update some of the maps I have done with the news from yesterday.


As most of you know, the bulk of the population is located in Seattle and the East Side (Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish). The Tukwila site is roughly equal distance for the two locations. One clear advantage is the ability to tap into the Tacoma market (the third biggest city in Washington State).


Income Levels

Now population does not create a market itself. You need customers that fit the demographic and one of those core components is income. I have already established that NHL fans tend to be wealthier compared to other sports fans.  Similar to an approach I did a few months ago, I overlaid income levels by looking at tax returns by zip code. Below is a map of the # of returns that had an Adjusted Gross Income over $75,000.


Travel distance tolerance

As luck would have it, I conducted a survey about a month ago and asked the following question: If Seattle were to get an NHL team, how many miles would you be willing to travel (drive, public transit, etc.) to a game? To my surprise, a majority of respondents said they would travel over 15 miles (red box in dashboard below). Here is the break down by county:

DistanceDistance Proxies

Here are a few of the distances to some of the proxy arenas in the NHL and NBA.

Tukwila Site

  • 11 Miles from downtown Seattle.
  • 14 Miles from downtown Bellevue.
  • 23 Miles from downtown Tacoma.

Canadian Tire Center, home of the Ottawa Senators:

  • 16.6 Miles from downtown Ottawa

St. Paul MN, home of the Minnesota Wild:

  • 12.4 Miles from Minneapolis

The Palace at Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons:

  • 33 Miles from Detroit

Glendale AZ, home of the Arizona Coyotes:

  • 10 Miles from Phoenix
  • 21 Miles from Scottsdale
  • 27 Miles from Mesa

Sunrise FL, home of the Florida Panthers

  • Sunrise, FL is 31.2 Miles from Miami

On a personal note, I grew up going to Oakland A’s games, a lot of them. The distance we traveled seemed very reasonable. Traffic seemed bad but just something we lived with to go to games. I looked up the distance and it was 20 miles with a good stretch on the parking lot known as I-680. I did not live in San Francisco Area when the Sharks moved to San Jose but occasionally I would be visiting my family while the Sharks were in town and we would catch a game. That distance we would drive was 55 Miles. This just seemed like a normal distance to drive to watch a game.

7 thoughts on “How Tukwila Stacks Up

  1. I need to point out the the Minnesota Wild play in downtown St. Paul. Granted, it’s several miles from Minneapolis, but it is still in the downtown area of a major metroplitan city. Not that it matters any, but the hockey history on the St. Paul side is much richer than that on the Minneapolis side.

    • The Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul is only 7 miles from the east/west border of Minneapolis/St. Paul and only 9.5 miles to the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.

  2. That is true but it is a pretty comparable setup as Seattle and Bellevue for major cities. I could have flipped it and said Target Center is 12.4 Miles from St. Paul.

  3. Thanks for all of your efforts, John. I’m sure your contributions will ultimately aid in getting the NHL to Seattle. I can’t wait for that day to come!

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