Winter Classic in South Bend looks to be an attendance disaster

Discussion in 'Fugu's Business of Hockey Forum' started by Fenway, Nov 8, 2018.

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  1. Fenway

    Fenway RIP Fugu Sponsor

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    Everything I am hearing is this WC is looking like an attendance disaster as an 80,000 seat stadium is involved - second largest in WC history after Ann Arbor which was an easy sell with the Ontario border only 45 miles away.

    If the game was at Wrigley Field, the White Sox park or Soldier Field it would sell out. South Bend is 95 miles from Chicago and there is a time zone change as well. For Boston fans the cheaper option is flying into Detroit and then renting a car and drive 203 miles to South Bend or fly into Midway and drive 100 miles.

    South Bend as a venue could work but Boston was an idiotic choice for the road team. Detroit (203 miles ),Columbus (254 miles), Pittsburgh (373 miles) or Nashville (436 miles) all make far more sense than Boston (895 miles)

    Bruins fans all loved the game at Fenway - it was magical




    Foxborough - not so much




    This could be an epic fail for the NHL :popcorn:
     
  2. 93LEAFS

    93LEAFS Registered User

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    Novalty has worn off, Chicago is a bad team, and had multiple of these. Bruins are good but are so far away from any convenient travel there it is ridiculous. I also feel the Stadium Series and this even are now more about selling merchandise. I'm sure the league loves getting out novalty one-off jersey's for their major teams in a marquee event. Plus, I would think most of the local South Bend studens, will one be on Christmas vacation. And, two not going to buy a ticket until ND isn't in a January 1st bowl.
     
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  3. the4thlinegrinder

    the4thlinegrinder Registered User

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    My friends and I used to have a tradition of watching the WC every year (despite the 10am West Coast start time (on New Year’s Day no less)), but now none of us care about the game. Probably started around 2015. I couldn’t even tell you who played in it last season. The teams usually being the same is the biggest part of it. The NHL and NBC got greedy. No surprise there.
     
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  4. BKIslandersFan

    BKIslandersFan Registered User

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    Shoulda really kept it one game per year, two max, one for Canadians.
     
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  5. GuelphStormer

    GuelphStormer Registered User

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    yes, bottom line. and even that novelty since day one, has been increasingly undermined by the challenges in broadcasting / lighting; poor in-house fan sight lines / seat distance to ice; actual product on ice (teams/players) and rink quality (ice); fan travel; unpredictability of weather; ticket price, etc. ... yes, outdoor games just ain't special anymore.
     
  6. Spirit of 67

    Spirit of 67 Registered User

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    It may or may not be that the novelty has worn off. I could be more that it's the same teams in the same venue/area (sorta speak).
    Maybe try Nashville vs _______ at the Titans stadium.
    How 'bout Fla vs TB in Orlando?
    Vegas vs Arizona on the strip?

    Get some different teams in different locations.
     
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  7. Coinneach

    Coinneach Registered User

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    Winter Classic is still by far the most watched regular season game on NBC. Similar for Stadium Series matches. No reason to cancell it.
     
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  8. DowntownBooster

    DowntownBooster Registered User

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    Any idea as to how ticket sales are doing for the WC in South Bend?

    :jets
     
  9. LadyStanley

    LadyStanley RIP Fugu

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    The problem with a NFL arena for NYD game for Winter Classic is that although RS is over, there are playoff games that may need to use facilities, so hard to schedule. College venues are easier for that as you know the season is done.

    There is no stadium on the Strip (unless you're building a temporary one). The Raider's future home won't be ready until 2020 (and is near the Strip, but not "on" the Strip) and is "indoors". UNLV's current home is off Strip and not the big size that you might want to see. Cashman isn't that big and is north of Downtown LV.
     
  10. Montrealer

    Montrealer What, me worry?

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    There's no need to guess, you can just go on Ticketmaster and see what's available. There's still availability but even if they played the game today it wouldn't be anywhere close to a disaster from what I can see, even taking into account resellers (which could potentially be empty seats if they don't resell).
     
  11. Llama19

    Llama19 Registered User

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    According to Ticketmaster, there are approximately 4,419+ tickets available...
    (22 sections show 100+ tickets available and I was not about to count each for an exact total)...

    And, that is not counting available resales....

    From that perspective...out of a 80,000 seat stadium...I would not consider a 94% capacity a disaster...

    But...we all know that ticket solds/announced attendance figures are never truly accurate... ;)
     
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  12. Fenway

    Fenway RIP Fugu Sponsor

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    The NHL paid for ads during the World Series on the Boston FOX station.
     
  13. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    Exactly, it's no where near as bad as Fenway is making it out to be.

    The blue is the tickets remaining (red is resale).

    upload_2018-11-8_9-25-31.png
     
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  14. Brunomics

    Brunomics Registered User

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    From the chart above it isn't terrible.

    I love going to Notre Dame. My friends and I make a yearly trek out there. But after landing in Chicago I have to say that drive out absolutely sucks. So I can say that it definitely is a deterrent. Plus all the kids are still home on intersession so you aren't getting the students to go as well.

    Are they even able to see alcohol there since it's going to be on campus? They don't during the ND games.
     
  15. IU Hawks fan

    IU Hawks fan They call me IU

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    For the Michigan game the league got a 1 day liquor license, so my guess is yes.
     
  16. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    So not a disaster, but a underwhelming showing. Makes sense.

    The apparent problem is that the NHL and the Blackhawks probably both assume that they have ownership of the Notre Dame fanbase, and while I won't deny that among both Notre Dame and the state of Indiana at large that the Blackhawks are probably the most popular NHL team, the fact of the matter is that it's not even remotely close to a 1:1 ratio, and most fans in that area don't care about hockey beyond maybe the Notre Dame program. And there's a negative reaction there as well, as loads of Hawks fans actively hate Notre Dame so the thought of paying money to go to a game at their stadium is a non-starter for a significant number of us regardless.

    Plus, spoiler alert.... the Irish football team is sadly really good this year, which means that Notre Dame fans are looking at January 1st as the downtime between the first round and the championship game for them potentially, or at the very least even if they lose a game before the end of the year possibly around the time they'd be playing in a major bowl game. As a result, they're not going to remotely buy hockey tickets when they'd much rather buy football tickets and even if they don't intend to buy their interest is still in watching the team on TV at the very least.

    Finally, both the Hawks and Bruins fanbases are blase about the thing. Maybe, fans of either team would be up for taking a trip to Boston or Chicago, but not for a college town in northern Indiana. And beyond that, both are just more annoyed at getting an outdoor game nowadays versus the genuine excitement the first couple times it happened, and with the Hawks no longer being an elite team that interest in traveling very far to a nowhere town for probably expensive and cold seats isn't remotely appealing to most Chicago fans.

    Nothing about this makes sense, but that's the m.o. for the NHL, I guess.
     
  17. Fenway

    Fenway RIP Fugu Sponsor

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    My information is a lot of the seats being shown as sold are actually in blocks that have been reserved. I do know that Breakthru Beverage Illinois has been offering freebies to bar owners and a number of bars are planning bus trips.
     
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  18. BattleBorn

    BattleBorn Global Moderator

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    aka the post-merger name of the Wirtz family's company? :laugh:
     
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  19. patnyrnyg

    patnyrnyg Registered User

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    Tickets seem cheaper than last year, but still ridiculous, which is likely a big part of the problem. Last year, I paid $240 each after fees for upper deck on the infield. It was fun, but if the Rangers host again within the next 10 years or so, I will likely pass.
     
  20. justafan22

    justafan22 Registered User

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    Kind of surprised Montreal didn't get this year's TBH, they've never hosted a game.

    Leafs habs would've been amazing at say Molson

    EDIT (either do leafs/habs as a heritage game) or habs/boston/detroit
     
  21. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    There's a distribution center off I-55 just north of Bloomington-Normal that used to be branded with the Wirtz moniker, and seeing that Breakthru branding instead is still double-take worthy.
     
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  22. End on a Hinote

    End on a Hinote Registered Abuser

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    The stadium series was their biggest mistake. Once a year is perfect, throwing a bunch in through out the season just kills it.
     
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  23. Dirty Old Man

    Dirty Old Man Mistaken for magic

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    What percent capacity of seats sold do you consider a disaster?
     
  24. No Fun Shogun

    No Fun Shogun 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    I don't know what is the threshold, but I don't think that many would view over 75,000 attendees with 3 empty seats out of every 50 to be disastrous.
     
  25. Fenway

    Fenway RIP Fugu Sponsor

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    WBZ-FM in Boston was told by sister station WSCR as of now they are projecting below 60,000.
     

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