Could the 2019 Winter Classic be the game where the 'bloom falls off the rose'?

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  1. Fenway Administrator Sponsor

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    The NHL has done well with selling tickets at all the outdoor games the past 10 years but they may have a real headache in trying to sell tickets in South Bend, Indiana next year.

    Up until now every outdoor game in the US had teams that were a reasonable drive to the venue but Boston is 900 miles from South Bend and that drive in late December is risky because of possible lake effect snow from Buffalo to Toledo on I-90. I-80 is an alternative but still risky that time of year.

    Chicago is only 90 miles away but are Blackhawks fans eager to pay big dollars to see a team that is on the downside? Throw in the drive which is not fun as anyone who has gone to a Notre Dame home game can attest.
    The South Shore commuter rail will be an option from the Loop but that is a long 2 hour ride.

    80.000 seats is a big nut for the NHL and 90% of that has to come from Chicago fans - the logistics simply do not work for Bruins fans especially with the game being on a Tuesday. There are NO nonstop flights from Boston to South Bend and Amtrak is 20 hours.

    When the game was first scheduled nobody could foresee that the Bruins would be the elite team and not the Hawks but that is the reality.

    This game is going to be a very hard sell.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
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  2. Spartachat Disgruntled Melnyk Bot

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    If they can't sell-out, they will probably just paper the event to students at the university.
     
  3. Svechhammer 2 Flags 1 Cup

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    I know this is a crazy concept, but maybe putting teams in this thing whose fans haven't developed an apathy towards it due to being in it every 2-3 years wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. Of course fans of Chicago or Pittsburgh would begin to grow apathetic towards the event, they're literally in it every year. Give someone else a chance and you might see the excitement of the event return.

    Imagine if the AllStar game was held in one of the same 2 or 3 cities every year with the prices they charge. By the 3rd time hosting, nobody would care anymore.
     
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  4. tony d Registered User

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    The bloom has fallen off this rose long ago, these games where both fun and fine at first but now the novelty has wore off big time.
     
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  5. Yukon Joe Registered User

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    Why do you assume that Blackhawks fans have to come from Chicago proper?

    10 seconds of googling confirms my suspicion that Indiana is largely Blackhawks country. There's over six million people in the Hoosier state. Instead of assuming it's the same old Blackhawks fans who go to every one of these, think of it as a chance for Indiana hockey fans to see a big profile game in their home state.
     
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  6. No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    The Blackhawks could still be Cup contenders next year (we won't be), and the interest would already be pretty damn low. The vast majority of the fanbase is over these outdoor games, and has been for quite a while.

    That being said, the fanbase is large enough and Notre Dame has a big fanbase as well, so I fully expect it to sellout even if the secondary market is weak.
     
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  7. JaegerDice Based God

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    The last outdoor game Blackhawks fans honestly gave a **** about was the Pittsburgh game at Soldier Field.

    I'd be thrilled if the NHL came to the Blackhawks over the summer and told them they were being replaced.
     
  8. cutchemist42 Registered User

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    Even if its not sold out, it will be papered and announced as such.

    I remember many here thinking the BC Place game was papered too but announced as sold out.
     
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  9. 93LEAFS Registered User

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    They’ll be happy as long as they sell a heavy amount of the limited edition jerseys and other apperal. It feels the event is more about that now than the actual game.
     
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  10. willy702 Registered User

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    Even when the Hawks aren't that good we all get "blessed" with about 20 of their games on national TV. If any fanbase can sell this one out on their own its the Hawks whether they are contenders or not. Granted they only had half as many tickets to sell, but the Sabres and Rangers sold out this year and really who wanted to watch that game?
     
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  11. Fenway Administrator Sponsor

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    My entire premise is the Blackhawks have to fill the seats on their own as the Bruins might be able to attract 5 to 10K fans.

    The Bruins have hosted 2 outdoor games with mixed results.

    At Fenway Park in 2010 we had fun - and we won the game





    Foxborough in 2016 was simply a disaster



    There is a fondness in the Boston area for Notre Dame but logistically it just doesn't work for Boston fans.
     
  12. bleedblue94 Registered User

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    What do you guys mean by "papered?"
     
  13. hangman005 Flowers Right Pad

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    I think given away in such a manner they can say they sold them.... I maybe completely off the reservation on this though.
     
  14. bleedblue94 Registered User

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    My assumption as well, but I wanted to be sure
     
  15. TheSituation Registered User

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    Ticket sales are nearly as important as the TV ratings. That will continue to tank.
     
  16. tailgunner Registered User

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    the same teams are in the Winter Classic over and over and over
    Pittsburgh
    Chicago
    Washington
    Rangers
    Boston
    rinse repeat rinse repeat rinse repeat
     
  17. AtNightWeFly You better run.

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    You forgot Philadelphia but yeah. Its the same teams over and over and then they went and added the extra outdoor games and it was a wrap after that. Oversaturated.
     
  18. Spartachat Disgruntled Melnyk Bot

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    It is basically means what you said. They give away tickets in contests or to special groups and claim all the tickets were "sold".
     
  19. 93LEAFS Registered User

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    Also, could it be difficult to paper the event with ND on Christmas break and/or being going on their own trips for Bowl Season?
     
  20. King_Stannis Registered User

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    The ghost of Dollar Bill will once again paper the venue.
     
  21. Brodie workers of the world unite

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    who will be on winter break and not on campus, presumably
     
  22. cutchemist42 Registered User

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    What went wrong at Foxborugh? Did that not sell out?
     
  23. Make Registered User

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    The tv product is quite awful tbh, and the live experience can't be that great either considering how far the rink is from the stands. Would be great if they could create a venue where the stands are closer to the rink, but then they wouldn't be able to sell 60 000 tickets so it wouldn't be profitable.
     
  24. Killion Registered User

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    Yeah. They could actually do it but the costs to bring in bleacher seating etc combined with insurance etc, repairs to the field post event & so on would very likely be prohibitive, many facilities loathe to even host it. But your absolutely correct as that pretty much what it'd take for these things to be fan friendly if attending; better in terms of broadcast as well whereby there's some intimacy to the rink, event. These are all essentially staged in the controlled environments of arena & stadium facilities, washrooms, concessions, lighting, dressing rooms, medical facilities, entry gates etc...

    If they were imaginative at all & willing to spend they could stage these games at unique outdoor venues (Plains of Abraham outside of Quebec City - desert floor outside of Scottsdale or wherever in & around Phoenix etc as yes, we have the technology) however the costs would be high as youd be looking at creating a temporary & obviously portable infrastructure, 1000's of moving parts & pieces. Think outside of the box, turn back the pages to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Barnam & Bailey, the era of the great travelling events & circuses of the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries which is still carried on by Cirque du Soleil & other smaller travelling road shows of one kind or another.

    Thats pretty much what it would take for these events to re-gain any relevancy though as its the NHL, dont hold your breath. Theyve gotta do something though. Much of their growth, attraction, sizzle to the steak for their sponsors & broadcasters was/is predicated, built around these events & there dying a slow death. People no longer amused. Tuning out. The guy responsible for it, former NHL Director of Marketing John Collins who spearheaded these activities in 2007 (and who was in large part responsible for the phenomenal growth of the Leagues Central Revenues & increases in Broadcast Fee's) is gone from the scene, left the NHL, was often mentioned as a possible successor to Gary Bettman.... and meanwhile these "fad events" have seen their day. Some fads become trends, trends becoming solidified in the mainstream, but this is not the case with the Classic Outdoor Games, Stadium Series etc. A fad who's day came & went. They now need to reinvent themselves & that takes guts, imagination.
     
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  25. SingnBluesOnBroadway Retired

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    I'm not sure it really matters who plays. The bigger issue is these games are supposed to be a showcase for hockey and the level of hockey that is played is awful. The passing isn't as crisp. The speed isn't as fast as it is indoors. It's just not a true example of the game....
     
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