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:

Distance Proxies

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

Tukwila Site

Canadian Tire Center, home of the Ottawa Senators:

St. Paul MN, home of the Minnesota Wild:

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

Glendale AZ, home of the Arizona Coyotes:

Sunrise FL, home of the Florida Panthers

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.

John Barr