Good article on what makes a "hockey town"

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Gnashville, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=frei_terry&id=2568761
     
  2. Rand

    Rand Registered User

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    The day Wirtz drops dead Chicago will easily sell out the arena for years to come regardless of what the ticket prices are, it's a testiment to just how huge hockey is in Chicago that the team even still exists there given the manner in which he's screwed the fans over the years.
    Wirtz is the closest thing there is to a modern Harold Ballard.

    Chicago can sell hockey at practically any level. In terms of pure level for the game albeit not necessarily the NHL stirctly I'm not sure any city can compare.
     
  3. Jazz

    Jazz Registered User

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    It is too bad that someone (ie, Bettman, Daly or someone perhaps with marketing savy) can't pull Wirtz aside and inform him that we are in 2006.... :banghead:
     
  4. TorontoSports

    TorontoSports Registered User

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    I still think it would take some more work than just wirtz dropping dead because that market has been neglected to the point that people don't really care anymore in general. I don't think you will need to do too much because Chicago is a great sports town, maybe just get them competitive again and market them (i.e put home games on Television) and the fans will come back.
     
  5. Evil Genius

    Evil Genius Registered User

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    The fools who perpetually talk about eliminating teams they perceive as unsuccessful are usually the ones who have never spent a Friday night at a game in Nashville, or Atlanta or Carolina or Tampa.

    Fans there are just as into their teams as in traditional hotbeds in Toronto or Montreal or Detroit. But as in virtually any market you've got to give the fans a reason to come out to the games. Do that and all 30 NHL markets can, and have proven to be solid hockey towns.

    Good article. Terry Frei's one of the best NHL writers out there.
     
  6. dabid

    dabid Registered User

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    Having good attendance only on Fridays isnt going to cut it..
     
  7. vbet*

    vbet* Guest


    Have you ever worked in a bar and tried to tell a 60 year old regular that sits at the bar that no he can't drink 10 beers and drive home legally?

    Some people get angry, some people get old, some have both happen to them. Maybe he just doesn't care anymore and is trying to lose all his kids inheritance?
     
  8. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    Which isn't what "Evil Genius" said. But don't let that stop you.
     
  9. dabid

    dabid Registered User

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    They dont have good attendance regardless, but I wont let that stop them.
     
  10. Since when?
     
  11. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    I've always thought Terry Frei to be a good hockey writer.

    I don't remember the first time I read him, so let's be conservative and say "for at least the last ten years".
     
  12. Evil Genius

    Evil Genius Registered User

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    So if the Bruins draw 16,000 fans a game and Atlanta only draws 15,500 that means what? That Boston's a good hockey market and Atlanta automatically isn't?

    If Tampa draws 20,000 does that mean that it's a 25% better hockey market than Boston is?

    If the B's were an elite team they'd draw more sellouts. Same goes for Atlanta, Nashville, Phoenix etc. Tampa got a huge bump in fan support from winning the cup. Carolina will get the same sort of bump next season. Winning teams draw well. Losing teams do not. It's not complicated.
     
  13. Evil Genius

    Evil Genius Registered User

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    Personal preference, I guess. I like Terry Frei. He's no Bob MacKenzie but he's pretty good.
     
  14. dabid

    dabid Registered User

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    I didnt say anything about the Bruins and good attendance
     
  15. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    It seems as though you're deliberately not saying anything, because you don't want to get pinned down on your opinion.

    Instead, you're making vague notions about so-called "non-traditional markets", and lobbing grenades from some hidden position.
     
  16. dabid

    dabid Registered User

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    The Canes made it to the cup final in 2002, how is it that they only finished 19th in attendance that year?

    The Ducks sure had a great attendance boost in 2003-04, the year after they made it to the Cup Final. If 23rd is good for Anaheim.
     
  17. Evil Genius

    Evil Genius Registered User

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    So what does 'cut it' then? If a place like Atlanta draws 15,500 fans and have never made the playoffs does that mean it's a lousy hockey market?

    My point is simply that there is a double standard out there. Phoenix, Carolina & Atlanta all finished last season with an attendance within 2-3% of a 'traditional' market like Boston but nobody ever talks about whether having an NHL team in Boston 'cuts it'? Nobody ever questions whether Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Calgary etc is a 'hockey town' when their attendance dips.

    Guess that double standard that exists just sort of grinds my gears.
     
  18. I've never liked his writing, personally.
     
  19. Evil Genius

    Evil Genius Registered User

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    I can turn that on it's head and say that Anaheim drew 7% more fans the season after they made it to the finals. Not bad. Carolina managed to increase it's attendance the season after it made it to the finals despite being the worst team in the league that season.

    In most cases winning will draw more fans. Exceptions - Toronto could got 0-81 and the final game will be a sellout. New Jersey could win the cup and be nowhere near the top of the league in attendance the next season.
     
  20. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    That's fair. You can't like everyone, I guess.
     
  21. Thanks for understanding; that's exactly what I feel.
     
  22. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Still on hiatus

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    Carolina: Recall that the Hurricanes hadn't done squat in the years leading up to 2002; they finished 8th in the East in 2001 and were summarily dismissed by New Jersey. Also recall that the Hurricanes spent their first 2 seasons at Greensboro waiting for the current arena in Raleigh to be built. The combination of poor performance and being 90 minutes away from "home" hurt the franchise until the team showed signs of actually being competitive. (I'd be interested to see how their attendance changed from 2001 to 2002; I suspect making the playoffs in 2001 attracted fans the following season.)

    Anaheim: The Ducks lost to Detroit in 4 straight in 1999, then followed up with seasons of 34-33-12-3, 25-41-11-5, and 29-42-8-3 ... all of which had the same thing in commong - no playoffs. The Ducks needed a huge rally in the second half of the season to crawl into the 7th seed, where they went on their run to the Finals. (This was also roughly the same period of time as when the Lakers were stringing another championship run together.) When you have a team that (A) has only been around 7 years, (B) has barely finished above .500 twice, (C) has another pro team enjoying incredible success in the same market, and (D) you proceed to stink it up 2 years in a row and start down that road for a 3rd, fans have this incredible tendency to stay away.

    I wouldn't attempt to draw any kind of meaningful correlation between "attendance in a given season" and "playoff performance in the same season" as a means of defining how well a market is supporting its team(s). Now ... if those two teams didn't improve in attendance after their playoff run, you might be on to something - but I still would see what correlation there is between playoff performance in a given year and attendance the year after before jumping to any conclusions.
     
  23. Gnashville

    Gnashville HFBoards Hall of Famer

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    Guess you didn't read this part
    Bruins get an "Original Six" free pass in your mind also
     
  24. dabid

    dabid Registered User

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    Didn't say that either.
    I highly doubt the Bruins would have any threatening relocation rumors if they wernt an original six club anyway.
     
  25. Irish Blues

    Irish Blues Still on hiatus

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    When your team's owner also owns the arena the team plays in, the chances of said team picking up and moving are pretty close to non-existant. (Among teams that fit that description despite playing to less than capacity crowds regularly over the last several years: Boston, Chicago)

    Someone else will have to list all the teams for which this doesn't apply to; off the top of my head, I know St. Louis and Pittsburgh are on the short list; Calgary may be on there.
     

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