With a league still in its infancy, travel considerations take a front-seat in any discussion of where to place a franchise. Pittsburgh is nicely situated to take advantage of the current locations of the five existing NWHL clubs. A quick trip to Buffalo and a longer, but manageable, trip to Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Boston, Pittsburgh would provide an easy solution for expansion when it comes to travel.
With the addition of the Minnesota Whitecaps to this upcoming season, the NWHL will get its first taste with a new logistical challenge: air travel. Prior to this upcoming year, all NWHL clubs primarily used buses to get to/from road games.
Since most trips prior to this season were under 500 miles driving, the addition of an almost 1500 mile trip one way for some teams (from Boston to Minnesota) could present some interesting obstacles, especially as the season moves towards winter. A franchise in PIttsburgh, similar to the Buffalo Beauts, would still need to travel by air to Minnesota, but would be a reasonable bus trip to all other existing NWHL franchises.
Additionally, the location of the potential NWHL team’s home in Pittsburgh in Cranberry, PA has a considerable amount of lodging options, presenting the league with one less logistical nightmare. Hotels from all brands surround the Penguins practice facility, with some less than a five-minute drive to the rink. Between a variety of hotel options and a relatively convenient setting, Pittsburgh’s minimal logistical difficulties offer an ideal home for a league without deep pockets.