Will arena sizes ever increase?

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by obsenssive*, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. obsenssive*

    obsenssive* Guest

    [​IMG]

    the Bell Center has 21,273 capacity. air Canada center is 18,800.

    when montreal's/toronto's next arenas comes due for construction (and that won't be for some time I know) how far do you think they could take it? I think that habs/leafs fans would easily sellout a 25,000 seat arena. maybe even up to 27-28,000. It would be so cool to go to regular season NHL games with +25k fans.

    is ~20,000 is the natural limit for NHL arenas? because that seems to be where its at in our era. of course these mega outdoor (WC's) and indoor games (gelsenkirchen) are getting people to rethink this.
     
  2. Corey Perry*

    Corey Perry* Guest

    I believe arenas will eventually get bigger becuase in places like Montreal or toronto, your going to sell out no matter what so, they would be making alot more money. But I think the limit for a hockey arena should be about 28-30k. if you get bigger than that, your bassically just playing in football stadiums.
     
  3. Street Hawk

    Street Hawk Registered User

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    Montreal's is probably about as large as you want to go, even in Canada. Always looks good to be sold out, rather than have a few hundred unsold in a larger arena.

    As for the Leafs, if they had their way, I think the ACC would be larger for hockey, closer to 20K, given the demand. But, the plans for the ACC were already there and the land purchased, when MLSE bought the Raptors.
     
  4. Buck Aki Berg

    Buck Aki Berg Done with this place

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    I think we're more likely to see smaller arenas in the future. The powermarkets (Montreal, Toronto, NY, etc.) will always have buildings knocking on 20,000, but in other markets where sellouts - regardless of team performance or popularity of opponent - aren't a given, I think, will shrink their arena sizes in the next go-round in order to create ticket scarcity and drive up ticket prices (not to mention bring down construction costs).

    I think if Winnipeg ever does land a team, a lot of people will be watching their business model and taking notes. There are quite a few cities that have similar-sized barns and would be a good fit for hockey, and if Winnipeg gets a team, and if other owners try to emulate their model, it could significantly alter the landscape of the business side of the game.
     
  5. Fourier

    Fourier Registered User

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    The Oilers have recently had big demand for their tickets but are still looking at a an arena in the 18500 range.

    You don't want to over build. If there is a sense that you can always get a good ticket it could cost you season ticket holders which you really need for the long haul.
     
  6. Felonious Python

    Felonious Python Still Drej

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    Interesting question. It's one of those things that I suppose will eventually level out, if it hasn't already.

    I wish they'd also build some smaller and mid-sized arenas and not just the mega ones we see nowadays. Minor league teams need a place to play too.

    However, I don't agree with Haymaker's point about NHL teams building smaller the next time around. It doesn't make as much sense when you consider population growth and experience curves in arena construction.
     
  7. straka91*

    straka91* Guest

    Yes they will naturally increase as the population increases. MTL and Tor I think will be the 1st teams to break 30000 sometime in the next quarter century.
     
  8. v-man

    v-man Registered User

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    I could see them at most build to 25,000, but after than, you're seriously impeding the viewer experience. They'd have to build extremely steep upper bowls to make anything viewable for the people on top. I've seen games from several private boxes up top, and places like Scotiabank Place are almost unusable as they are now. You're simply too far away from the action to make it enjoyable. Going even higher just to squeeze in another 5,000 fans worth in attendance would hardly be worth it, especially if you're the only game in town and don't have a basketball team to split the venue with you. I doubt it would do wonders for other events such as concerts as well, since a more cavernous building would hardly be acoustically superior to smaller halls. If markets can support buildings of more than 25,000, then quite frankly, they can support a second team and venue, which to me would be a preferred option to building venues out and up to the point of having the guys on ice appear as ants. There's a point at which it's better to stay at home and watch on TV than go out and watch two tiny dots battle for a speck of dust in person.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
  9. wjhl2009fan

    wjhl2009fan Registered User

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    I would not count on it one thing you have to keep in mind is the growth of the population not all but alot are soccer fans and not all the growth is hockey fans you could say very little is hockey fans.
     
  10. cbcwpg

    cbcwpg Registered User

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    This is the one good point the owners and people building the arenas / stadiums forget ( the experience ). I'm sure if Toronto or Montreal built a 50,000 seat arena for hockey they would sell it out, and the owners would be happy, but if your one of the saps in the last 25,000 seats, what's the point in going? All your going to see is some dots moving around the ice. You will never see the puck nor how a goal was scored until you see the replay.

    This is the same reason I don't get people going to these "Winter Classic" games. I don't see paying the money they ask to sit outside 2 miles from the ice surface.
     
  11. v-man

    v-man Registered User

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    Well, those games are obviously gimmicky and all about experiencing something unusual, so you can say "I was there". If more hockey games were played in stadiums, the cool factor would die off fast and the seats would be empty because the venue doesn't suite the game.
     
  12. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    I think you've got it right here. The 20,000-seat behemoths were a 1990s thing... the pendulum is swinging back in the other direction. In addition to raising the average ticket price, another factor is the increasing number of suites.

    Here are the arenas built in the past 15 years, with capacities listed. The decline in capacity is apparent:

    Bell Centre - 1996 - 21,273
    St. Pete Times Forum - 1996 - 19,758
    Wells Fargo Center - 1996 - 19,537
    Scotiabank Place - 1996 - 19,153
    HSBC Arena - 1996 - 18,690
    Bridgestone Arena - 1996 - 17,113
    Verizon Center - 1997 - 18,277
    BankAtlantic Center - 1998 - 19,250
    Air Canada Centre - 1999 - 18,800
    RBC Center - 1999 - 18,680
    Philips Arena - 1999 - 18,545
    Staples Center - 1999 - 18,118
    Pepsi Center - 1999 - 18,007
    Nationwide Arena - 2000 - 18,144
    Xcel Energy Center - 2000 - 18,064
    American Airlines Center - 2001 - 18,532
    Jobing.com Arena - 2003 - 17,125
    Prudential Center - 2007 - 17,625
    Consol Energy Center - 2010 - 18,087

    Just to round out the list, here are the hockey capacities for new NBA arenas not included above:

    Conseco Fieldhouse - 1999 - 18,500
    New Orleans Arena - 1999 - 18,000
    Oklahoma City Arena - 2002 - 18,036
    AT&T Center - 2002 - 13,800
    Toyota Center - 2003 - 17,800
    FedEx Forum - 2004 - 11,411
    Time Warner Cable Arena - 2005 - 14,100
    Amway Center - 2010 - 17,200

    Personally, I'm thankful for this trend. I usually find the smaller arenas to be much more fun than the mammoth ones.
     
  13. seanlinden

    seanlinden Registered User

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    Even when the ACC was built, they could've gone bigger. The reason they didn't was to limit supply (keep prices high) and make sure it was filled every single night, playing off the fact that people would feel "lucky" to go to the games. In todays day & age, professional sports are not a gate-driven business, they are a media-driven business, so it doesn't make sense to push the boundaries of the ~20,000 range. What will problably happen is you'll see the smaller cities decrease arena size marginally, with the big markets staying the same.
     
  14. Jeffrey93

    Jeffrey93 Registered User

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    I agree with tarheel....makes me wonder what those 'Toronto Legacy' guys were smoking when they were clapping their traps about a 25,000 seat arena.
     
  15. Turboflex*

    Turboflex* Guest

    Political ploy to rally fans who can't get ACC tickets (priced out by lack of supply).
     
  16. seanlinden

    seanlinden Registered User

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    Like Turboflex said.... these guys were tools who thought the right way to bring another team to Toronto was to "rally POed Ontario-residents". The only way a team is going to go somewhere is if the prospective owners meet iwth the NHL, and do it quietly.
     
  17. GreatCanadian

    GreatCanadian Registered User

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    Speaking of oversized hockey arenas, when the Tampa Bay Lightning played in the Thunderdome in the early-90s (28,000 seats or something rediculous like that), how was the sight lines there? has anyone ever seen footage or gone to see a game?

    I am curious to know how 28,000 seats for a semi-hockey arena-ish :laugh: place worked out.
     
  18. Jeffrey93

    Jeffrey93 Registered User

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    I know some people that went. They said in some seats you had to have your head turned about 45 degrees to be looking at the ice. I'm sure those were in the far off seats though....

    [​IMG]
     
  19. MoreOrr

    MoreOrr B4

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    I thought you were going to be asking about ice-surface dimensions. But I suppose it makes sense, on the Business Board, to be asking about seating capacity.

    Now really, do you think that even a 1/3 of the League's teams could regularly sell out even a 20,000 seat arena? Creating super large arenas would do one thing, that's for sure, and that's augment the difference between teams that can attract large numbers of fans and those which can't. The differential already exists; highlighting it certainly wouldn't be good for many franchises. But hey, maybe that's the objective... weed out the teams that can't fill a 20-25,000 seat arena.

    Also, you have to take into consideration the physical impracticality for fans viewing a game in an arena that is so huge. For those who attend the Bell Centre, for example, can anyone here confirm that any seat, at any spot, in that arena can offer the fan a good view of what's happening in a hockey game?
     
  20. Killion

    Killion Registered User

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    You mean that dealeo' up in Downsview?. :laugh::laugh::laugh:
     
  21. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    For some urban (in the city) locations, it would be ridiculous to think about adding capacity without significant improvements to public transportation (as the parking isn't growing/there).

    And many/most do not have the $$ to add/improve infrastructure/transportation.
     
  22. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    They could always increase the size of the puck :sarcasm:
     
  23. obsenssive*

    obsenssive* Guest

    in 1901 the height of the average male in Canada was 1.68 meters. today its 1.87 meters.

    thats a 9.4% increase in a ~century!

    why isn't the puck 10% bigger?
     
  24. tarheelhockey

    tarheelhockey Highest Boss

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    Nike is working on a prototype already:

    [​IMG]
     
  25. htpwn

    htpwn Registered User

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    There probably is a way to make a 25,000 seat arena without hurting sight lines too much but it would take some very creative engineering to do it.
     

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