NHL teams and their fanbase reach

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by TheMoreYouKnow, Mar 31, 2011.

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  1. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    I was wondering about this in the context of the Wings and SW Ontario and how deep the Wings' reach goes into Ontario and I'm curious about a few other such issues.

    1) Do hockey fans in the U.S. Pacific Northwest in general but more specifically the Seattle area and cities like Bellingham or Everett root for the Canucks or for the closest U.S. team, the Sharks? Or is it all over the place?

    2) Do francophones in the Ottawa River region support the Senators in any meaningful way or is this Habs territory?

    3) What's the fan situation in Nova Scotia these days? Habs? Bruins? Leafs? Penguins because of Crosby?

    4) Same with Saskatchewan. Do people go for the Alberta teams as the geographically closest teams or the Leafs as "Canada's team"? Or just whoever is currently good and has superstars?

    5) Do the Hawks draw in the Milwaukee market?

    6) Do Brooklyn and Queens already have Islanders fans or is this still Rangers territory? Do the Devils have any fan presence in the actual five boroughs?

    That's just for starters really, I think it's kind of an open-ended question almost.
     
  2. SilverSeven

    SilverSeven Registered User

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    There are quite a few french Sens fans. Sens get a fair bit of media attention in French too. Its quite incredible hot big of a fanbase Ottawa has when you consider it is within driving distance of the two, by far, biggest teams in the hockey universe. At 20 years old next season, the first generation of "born" Sens fans is coming up to, so the number should only rise. Until recently, it was exclusively fans that were either children, converts from other teams, or new to hockey.
     
  3. BamBamCam*

    BamBamCam* Guest

    I live in Seattle -

    I root for Boston and I follow (not as much as I did 15 years ago) the Portland Winter Hawks.

    But I was born, raised and breed in Boston and went to college in Portland Oregon. But living here for 13 years now and 20 in the Pac Northwest. I really don't know any native Seattlette NHL fans, this is a piss poor hockey town. In Portland, there were more active fans of hockey and open NHL fans. In Portland it was random teams, anywhere from the Sharks, Canucks to the Wings. In Seattle you see the occasional Canuck fan visiting from Canada.
     
  4. danishh

    danishh Registered User

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    in general, pre-sens, the capital region and eastern ontario was split between the habs and the leafs. In general (obviously not all), Francophones were habs fans and Anglophones were Leafs fans.

    Now, i'd say we're at 35/35/30 habs/leafs/sens. Sticking an expansion team in the middle of two of the oldest teams in the league with two of the largest fanbases does that. I'd say in general though, the elder francophones have been more receptive to switching allegiances to the sens than the older anglophones.

    The key is the kids, those ~25- who grew up with this team. This club is 20 years old. We wont see what a born and raised sens fanbase is for another 20 years at best, when all the kids like myself who grew up with this team have the money to buy seasons/packages and when a lot of our parents and grandparents generations (think 50/55+) die out or stop coming to the games.
     
  5. go_leafs_go02

    go_leafs_go02 Registered User

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    Detroit's fan base definitely goes into Ontario. I lived in Chatham about 10 years ago, and it was likely about 50/50. Towards London (an hour east of Chatham, and therefore further from Detroit) it was practically all Leaf fans.

    Sarnia I think has a few wings fans, but they're mainly concentrated in Windsor especially and Chatham.
     
  6. SilverSeven

    SilverSeven Registered User

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    35/35/30 is extremely generous to Leaf and Habs fans in Ottawa IMO. If that was the case, the Sens wouldnt dominate all local media the way they do. Id put it more at 60 sens, 25 habs, 15 leafs. With Leafs fans generally being in the more rural areas around Ottawa.
     
  7. mucker*

    mucker* Guest

    Generally speaking in the US, hockey does not reach beyond the current metro market.

    Baseball and football teams will carry into secondary markets, so Portland would be Seahawks fans and Richmond, VA would be Redskins fans.
    In hockey (and the NBA for that matter), fanbases are much more localized in the metro area.
    Hence you won't find Blackhawk or Red Wing fans in Indianapolis as you would Cubs and Tigers fans.
     
  8. mucker*

    mucker* Guest

    Actually, does the sabre fanbase reach into Ontario, or does it stop right at the border?
    What I always found fascinating was how Buffalo (a great fanbase) gets invaded by Leafs fans (understandable), but when Buffalo is at the ACC they have a very poor presence.
    I could understand it being high demand for tickets, but it;s not the ACC is all Leafs fans because I see a lot of Leafs games on TV and I swear they always seem to have a large contingent of opposing fans (Habs/Flames and all other Canadian teams along with Pens/Flyers/Wings/Hawks).
    So I never understood why a team like Buffalo who sells out and travels very well across the USA has such a poor following at a rink 90 miles away when just about every other NHL team is well represented at the ACC.
     
  9. BamBamCam*

    BamBamCam* Guest

    Not when it comes to Original 6 teams. I run into people all the time from anywhere in the US including random spots like Mississippi who loved the Bobby Orr era Bruins and still follow them because of it. But this only goes for Original 6 teams.
     
  10. mucker*

    mucker* Guest

    Well, I disagree. Unless you are ruining into people who played for the ECHL you generally will find hockey and hockey teams have limited reach beyond their market.
    And I doubt you run into people all over the US who are Bruins fans, come on man don't be a homer.

    The only US team who really could argue to have a broad reach would be the Wings, and even then, it's really nothing.
    US teams by overall popularity would go:
    Wings, Pens, Rangers, Hawks, Flyers, Bruins...and even then, again, hockey is niche and hardly a big deal outside the immediate market.
     
  11. Pinchy

    Pinchy Registered User

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    I can only go from experience, but I lived in Windsor for four years and it was probably a 50/50 split between Leafs and Red Wings fans...
     
  12. danishh

    danishh Registered User

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    i dont think it's that generous. Think about all the people that appear to be sens fans when we're doing well, but suddenly this year or in 2008-09 disappear. There is a large amount of 'partial converts' remaining in the area, and that wont change until the first sens generation is older.


    sabres fanbase does penetrate significantly into southern ontario, especially in the niagra-st catharines region.

    as for why they dont show up as well at the ACC, the simple answer is money.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  13. SilverSeven

    SilverSeven Registered User

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    The same has been true of the Leafs and Habs though. Even in Montreal and Toronto. People seem to buy into this myth that those teams have sold out every game ever a little too much.

    In Ottawa, it is especially true of Leaf/Hab fans. They are often flavour of the week type fans, shifting between many different teams.

    I am curious why "partial converts" count as Habs/Leafs fans and not Sens fans though.
     
  14. danishh

    danishh Registered User

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    mainly because they, in my opinion as an ottawan for 19 years and a sens fan for 22, are still habs/leafs fans who are just hockey fans, embracing the sens because they like hockey, but at the end of the day they are still fans of their childhood teams at heart.

    when fans in montreal or toronto stop supporting their teams in bad times, they dont turn to other teams. When fans in ottawa do, they revert back to their original allegiances.

    That's not an insult to sens fans or the fanbase, it's just a statement based on what i've experienced. I'm sure this will change over time, but 20 years isnt enough. 20-25 year-olds dont sustain a fanbase, 45-55 year-olds do. It's a fact that sens fans have to accept and we have to wait another two decades to see what kind of lasting fanbase this team has.
     
  15. mucker*

    mucker* Guest

    :dunno:Then why do Habs/Sens/Flames/Oilers/Canucks/Wings/Hawks/Pens/Flyers and so many other fanbases get tickets to ACC if it's about money?
    Those teams are all much, much further away from the ACC than Buffalo.
    Usually a fanbase travels well to another rink depending on
    A) Proximity
    B) Size/rabiness of their fanbase
    C) Size/rabiness of host fanbase and availability of tickets

    Buffalo is very close to Toronto.
    Buffalo has a very good fanbase.
    Toronto has a very good fanbase BUT the ACC has a lot of road fans.

    Logically one would think that Buffalo would have a strong showing at ACC since Buffalo is
    Nearby
    Has a strong fanbase
    And so many other teams far away from ACC hit the arena.

    I don't get why a team like Philly MUCH further away gets so many fans at ACC but 90 mile away Buffalo doesn't.
     
  16. Cornwall OHL

    Cornwall OHL That's my O face.

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  17. TheMoreYouKnow

    TheMoreYouKnow Registered User

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    I've seen maps like that and in that map it for example claims the Seattle area for the Canucks and all the way up to Oregon and Southern WA for the Sharks.

    I think Seattle area cable includes the Vancouver CBC station so you could probably watch a fair amount of Canucks games living there, though I don't know if Rogers Sportsnet is at all available. The Comcast sports station in Portland seems to carry both selected Sharks and Canucks games even though the obvious focus is Trail Blazers basketball. So there might be something to it? Maybe Canucks fans know if there's a sizable U.S. Northwest presence on their various forums?

    A thing I note on the map: it shows all of Jersey as Devils territory. Wouldn't it make sense for South Jersey to be Flyers territory? I kinda have the sense the Devils are associated with the NYC market part of New Jersey and once you are South enough that Giants fans turn into Eagles fans you get Flyers fans too. Maybe a local can clarify that.
     
  18. Giuseppe Franco

    Giuseppe Franco Registered User

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    I used to have family in southern Jersey and I remember being surprised as a kid that they were Flyer fans cos I just assumed everyone in Jersey rooted for the Devils. From what they told me though, everyone was a Flyers fan down there.

    As for the other local areas, I'd say it's roughly 50/50 for Isles and Rangers on Long Island. For the city, it's something like 75/15/10 for Rangers, Isles and Devils with most of those Isles fans being in Queens (since it borders the Island). In Westchester and some counties north, the figures are roughly the same with perhaps the Devils and Isles switched. Just based on my experience although of course these figures seem to fluctuate depending on how well the teams are doing.
     
  19. dronald

    dronald Registered User

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    Dont forget that fans randomly like other teams, but it's not always due to location. I'm in Hamilton and people here like all sorts of different teams, from Vancouver to Detroit to Montreal.

    To answer above, the reason people can flock to the ACC from other places is because they have the money to do so, where it's hard for people living in Toronto even to afford Leaf tickets. As far as Buffalo goes, people in St Catherines and Niagara Falls Ontario will go to to the HSBC because of the convenience if they really like Hockey. Thats the number one reason they wont put a team in Hamilton is because it will mess with Buffalos fan base.
     
  20. Confucius

    Confucius Registered User

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    The one common denominator I've noticed over the years. The majority of any team's fans comes from the home team's city. The area providing the second most number of fans for any NHL team, comes from southern Ontario. It holds true for all teams. Just shows how many hockey fans there are in Southern Ontario.
     
  21. AdmiralsFan24

    AdmiralsFan24 Registered User

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    Milwaukee is pretty much all over the place. In places like Kenosha where they get Chicago sports stations like CSN, they tend to go for Chicago teams including the Blackhawks. Others go for popular teams like the Wings and Leafs. Sometimes we get Wild games on an alternate Fox Sports channel so some are Wild fans and since the Admirals are affiliated with the Predators there are quite a few Predators fans as well.
     
  22. Bear of Bad News

    Bear of Bad News HFBoards Escape Goat

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    I'm one, and I know quite a few. Maybe you're just hanging out with the wrong people.
     
  23. Fugu

    Fugu Guest

    During the pre-cable days, places that picked up broadcasts from WGN and Detroit staions (Canadian Plains) developed fans for those teams.


    Re: Wings fan base. The biggest gripe you get from Western Conference fans is about the huge number of Wings fans in their areas who generally only seem to show up for the Wings tilts. The team has a huge following in many US markets. Therefore, I have to believe that you will have a large number also in the secondary markets. If we dig up the national ratings for playoffs and big event games (e.g., Winter Classic), you have places with no hockey team registering in the top ten or fifteen. I think these are the transplants, retirees and snowbirds (at least for the warm areas).
     
  24. Fugu

    Fugu Guest


    Yes, but you're not normal or average. :D
     
  25. Jesus Christ Horburn

    Jesus Christ Horburn Registered User

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    I'm still continually surprised how there are Leaf (and usually Wings) fans everywhere.

    I watched the Leafs @ Wild game on TV and it almost seemed like a home game for them...in Minnesota!
     

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