HC Sochi - The most overlooked team?

Discussion in 'The KHL' started by Rigafan, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Rigafan

    Rigafan Registered User

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    I was bored last night watching a video on Sochi (and how absolutely gorgeous it looks), video is

    here:

    I've heard people call it a 'Tropical paradise' before but didn't actually realise it was one!

    That then got me on to HC Sochi, obviously! So other than having one of the best logos/uniforms in the league during their first few seasons (I'm not a fan of this current rebranding), a fantastic arena, and such a great looking place to live, work and play for the players - why isn't HC Sochi more popular with players/fans etc?

    Season 1: Playoffs
    Seaosn 2: Playoffs (4th finish in west conf)
    Season 3: No Playoffs (just missed out Jokerit)
    Season 4: Playoffs
    Current season 5: on track for Playoffs

    I wasn't aware of their unbelievable PO appearances record till I looked. They just flew under my radar for some reason and they seem to with everybody else? What gives?

    Their attendances according to hockeyarenas.net are.. well decent I guess but surely with such a great team, great arena and great location they should be filling the place out?!

    Capacity 12,000
    Season 1: 7,556
    Season 2: 5,213
    Season 3: 5,312
    Season 4: 5,453

    Is it a demographic problem? I read the population is around 350k people but something like 20% is Armenian. Or is it the location of the arena? But looking on the map its a 40 minute journey from the city centre to the arena, surely for such a well performing team people would take a 40 minute journey?
     
  2. vorky

    vorky @vorkywh24

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    Your arguments are valid, especially the location. I read somewhere there are many people from Omsk as well. I would add another reason - hockey is a new sport in the region.
     
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  3. Urbanskog

    Urbanskog Platinum Member

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    A 40 minute distance from the city center to the arena is certainly long, I have never heard of the distance being that long anywhere else. As for other reasons, you actually analyze the reasons for their poor attendance in the last paragraph yourself.
     
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  4. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Yeah it is kinda obvious. A new ice hockey team in the tropical city with no history with that sport whatsoever, 40 minutes might not seem like a long drive for people from really big cities but for us, living in modest ones, anything above 15 minutes by car is quite a journey. Add that to the team not being some world beaters and here you have it.
     
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  5. Rigafan

    Rigafan Registered User

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    Given their record so far it doesn't look like they are too far from being a dominate team in the KHL. If they can keep it going
     
  6. SoundAndFury

    SoundAndFury Registered User

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    Let's be real, they are nowhere near it. They have good imports but pretty much every decent Russian player (except Barulin, who is arguably overpaid) gets snatched by the big boys once he brakes out and the bottom of the roster works as a farm club for Loko, SKA, Ak Bars and CSKA. Only Amur takes it even further. Sochi has been steady and that is an achievement in this league but there is really not much room for growth.
     
  7. Exarz

    Exarz Registered User

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    It's worth comparing to the newly established football club Sochi playing in the Russian 2nd division. They play at Fisht Olympic Stadium and have so far an average attendance of 3452. As football is clearly more popular in the region (but also since I guess most of the people in the region already support Kuban), the distance from the actual city should be the major problem.
     
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  8. LIOVA

    LIOVA Registered User

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    Sochi is the longest city in Europe and is 146 km along the coast and stadiums were built near the border with Abkhazia. About 400 thousand people live in Sochi. I also live in Sochi (Lazarevskoye) and I have to go to the stadium by car for 2 hours and if it is without traffic jams,if not a day off after the game I get home only at 1 am. To be honest I thought that so many will not go as far!
     
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  9. Rigafan

    Rigafan Registered User

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    Hey Liova, if you live in Sochi what is the general view on HC Sochi then? I see they are trying to make some partner program with local bars and clubs to show their live games, thats a nice move!
     
  10. hansomreiste

    hansomreiste Registered User

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    I wish I was as optimistic as you. Sochi as a city has big potential to be relevant in both football and hockey but the stadium & arena is, as already said, far from the city centre and for some reason people in Sochi don't seem to be so interested in sports. HK Sochi has had their fair share of financial troubles as well so I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see them leave the league in years to come if KHL decides to contract even further and leave only the best up and running.
     
  11. vorky

    vorky @vorkywh24

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    I can not agree with you on contraction of HC Sochi. There are other candidates for contraction, clubs with 5k arena for example.
     
  12. hansomreiste

    hansomreiste Registered User

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    I'm not saying they'll be among the first ones to go. They simply don't seem to be good enough to last long if KHL decides to get smaller. Or maybe even if they have no such intention, HK Sochi still might find it too difficult to finance the team. They are by no means one of the richer or relatively stable clubs of the league.
     
  13. vorky

    vorky @vorkywh24

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    Fine.

    Of course, never say never. On the other hand, I see Sochi (and Vladivostok) as two key cities for the KHL. The league will do everything in their power to keep a club in those cities.

    There are not so many teams for contraction. Neftekhimik, Severstal are clear ones. Vityaz should be next in line. That is all.

    Perhaps, there will be another way of contraction later. Who knows? If it happens, Slovan is in a more dangerous situation than Sochi.
     
  14. Rigafan

    Rigafan Registered User

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    According to Russian Wikipedia Sochi are 'sponsored' by Russian Railways and also by the local Government. I can't seem to find any names behind these though. Still I'd have to agree with Vorky (not just cause I made this post either!) I think Sochi are here to stay. I don't think they'd have built such an arena if they weren't
     
  15. Alessandro Seren Rosso

    Alessandro Seren Rosso Registered User

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    And yesterday almost 8000 spectators against Barys. I wonder why the KHL doesn't play much more games on Fri-Sat-Sun, especially in this period of the year, where the football is not playing.
     
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