World Juniors' Attendance

Discussion in 'International Tournaments' started by Rob, Dec 27, 2010.

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  1. Rob

    Rob Registered User

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    At the suggestion of a moderator over on the US-Finland thread I've decided to start thread discussing attendance.

    Tonight's attendance for the above game was 14,093 with possibly half of the crowd Canadian.

    Although the tournament is pretty much only known by die hards in the US I was a surprised considering Buffalo is a pretty good hockey market. However, another reason brought up might be the price gouging. According to some Sabres fans the tickets ranged from $65-$80. It looks like the organizers correctly knew that a lot of Canadians would be coming across the border. Unfortunately it migh dissuade a lot of Buffalo fans from buying tickets to a tournament they know little about.

    Hopefully the word quickly spreads and we see the US sellout by the time the reach the semi-finals. The US should win the remaining of their games in a weak division creating greater interest.

    Of note - Canada v Russia was close to a sellout with 18,690.
    Germany v Swizterland got 13,629 :amazed:
    Sweden v Norway had 1,320 at the university rink.
     
  2. I was there today and the only number that looks accurate is Canada-Russia.
     
  3. Street Hawk

    Street Hawk Registered User

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    I believe either TSN or Sportsnet reported earlier this week that 63% of the tickets sold were sold to Canadians. So, expect near capacity for all Team Canada games in the round robin. Given that Canada is in the tougher pool this year, the fans should get good games from Russia, Sweden, and the Czechs. Norway, not so much, which would be good, since it's the 2nd of back to back games for them.

    There's a reason why USA hockey holds the tournament at a border city and not places like Denver and St. Louis. No way Canadians can make those games.

    Would be interesting to see the breakdown of the crowd should the US and Canada face each other in the medal round. Home ice, might not be the advantage the US were hoping for if Canadians purchase 10K or more of the tickets to the game.
     
  4. Evil Doctor

    Evil Doctor Cryin' Hank crying

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    I think that Canada/Russia was technically a sellout since capacity was 18,690, even though there were a few empty seats that could be seen. It's quite possible the numbers given (which I got from the IIHF website) might be tickets sold as opposed to turnstile count.

    As for getting more American fan participation, I'm not sure what can be done. Buffalo is perhaps the one corner of the United States that loves hockey more than anyone else. The city of Buffalo certainly isn't hiding the tournament. There were plenty of signs indicating were to go to get to the tournament. There appears to be plenty of advertising and promotion of the event. The Buffalo News has tons of stuff on their website related to it. There is plenty of parking and transit links to HSBC Arena. Honestly, I find it frustrating, I think it would be cool to see a sea of red, white and blue cheering the USA squad in the US, but even during the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter games in 2002, it seemed like it was mostly Canadian crowd at the Gold Medal game. I honestly wonder how Team USA is going to respond to being on home soil but not have a home crowd?

    Oh, an interesting factoid, the United States has hosted the tournament 5 previous times while Team USA has 5 tournament medals (2 G, 1 S, 2 B) but has yet to win a medal on home soil....
     
  5. While I think the US will win their division I think they will lose in the Semis.
     
  6. dystemper

    dystemper Registered User

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    as others have noted, the ticket prices are ridiculous. i'm sure the organizers were banking on canadians buying up a lot of tickets since buffalo is a border city, but for the casual fan and in the pursuit of growing interest in this tournament south of the 49th, it almost feels like a middle finger.

    but due to the sheer amount of canadians buying up tickets, i'm sure the organizers will feel like they've done an excellent job at the end of the day, even when the home team can't even sell 70% of capacity (maybe this will change, who knows).

    either way, it's a damn shame. such a good opportunity to give this tournament more exposure in a bigger hockey market in the states.
     
  7. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    This tourney will never be *big* anywhere but Canada, and the IIHF knows it. We would all be be better off if that's acknoweldged and we move on.
     
  8. 6 8 5 13

    6 8 5 13 Registered User

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    I was at the Canada vs Russia and USA vs Finland games today in Buffalo and I can assure you there was no turnstile count during the Canada game. The crowd was so large heading into the arena that they just opened the doors and let people walk in freely. My ticket was never checked by anyone, or scanned (and IIRC there were no actual turnstiles that I went through).

    During the USA game however, my ticket was scanned.

    I found it very odd that they were allowing people just to walk in like that without checking anything during the Canada game.

    As for attendance, the Canada game appeared to be a sellout, or near sellout, with 95% Canada fans. The USA game had the arena about 2/3rds full with about half of the people (including me) still in their Canada gear cheering for Finland, and the other half Americans.
     
  9. I was there too but my ticket was scanned. So was my gf's.
     
  10. drew5580

    drew5580 Registered User

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    I was at both late games and not all but alot of Canadian fans showed no class whatsoever. Seen a few get kicked out of local bars between games and canadian fans threatening vendors. Have your first beer somewhere else. I do have to give credit to them for pretty much filling the majority of both games.
     
  11. dystemper

    dystemper Registered User

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    while i agree this tournament will never be as big in the states as it is in canada, i feel ticket prices are a serious roadblock.

    compared to the 2005 tournament hosted in north dakota, which averaged more than 6000+ fans per game (including sellouts or near sellouts for every canada and usa game), out of a population of 90 000, it shows that people are willing to watch this tournament if the ticket pricing is fair.
     
  12. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    I guess, although the North Dakota/Minny tourney was old home week for Canada as well.
     
  13. It is too bad. It is such a terrific tournament and other countries are missing out.

    Imagine if everyone loved it as much as Canada. It would be so much fun!

    Watched the Buffalo news tonight. They LED(!!!) with the WJR`s but, instead of looking at Team USA, they played up the ``Tens of Thousands of CRAZY Canadian came to Buffalo today; it was a sea of red and white; those Canadians are such hockey nuts!!!`

    It wasn`t done in a malicious way. It was done in the way you would tease your best friend but...

    It is unfortunate the hockey itself wasn`t the priority.

    PS... I have always thought TSN was down playing Team Canada - making them into the underdog. However, I get the fealing the Buffalo media thinks Canada will win.
     
  14. jfb392

    jfb392 Registered User

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    It probably has to due with the ticket deals, in my opinion.
    Until like a month ago, you had to buy packages that included tickets to every single game at both arenas which started at about $500.
    Then like a month ago, they introduced day passes and then finally single tickets about two weeks ago.
    I get that they want to sell tickets to less popular games so they package them, but they waited much too long to start selling packages that were less than every single game.

    Also if you notice the Switzerland-Germany game attendance, it was a lot for a game no one would be incredibly interested in.
    It's probably because the tickets cost half of what the USA game cost, so people know they can still experience the World Juniors without being price gouged.

    I don't know if Canadians realize it or not, but the WJHC literally isn't talked about here.
    I mean, the NHL is hardly even talked about by ESPN.
    We do not have a dedicated channel here in Buffalo for hockey either or even sports, so it's not like we can carry the games or hype them.
    Our games are simply carried by MSG which talks about NYC basketball and football all day, then cuts to our games when they are on.
    It's not a holiday tradition for most even here in Buffalo, which I think is a "good hockey market", because there simply isn't access to the games.

    Since we're the almighty US, offering someone else's TV channels like TSN in cable or satellite packages would probably make us cry ourselves to sleep at night since American programming is superior programming.
    It doesn't help that TSN blacks out all the games that they stream either.
    NHL Network does carry the US and Canadian games, but it's still a premium channel.
    I believe only started carrying the tournament last year, so I'm not sure how many people know about it.
    It's not like people think hockey and holidays means World Juniors like they do in Canada.

    Personally, I wouldn't spend any money to see Team USA and I'm a US citizen.
    The only thing exciting about the team to me is that they are defending champs.
    Maybe I feel that way because I've always cheered for Canada and against the US for as long as I can remember, but I'd just rather spend my money (and in fact, I have spent my money on Canada instead) to see a team I know something about and that has big names.

    It will just never be that big anywhere outside of Canada in my opinion.
    Hockey is still a niche sport here and there isn't as much media coverage, so it can't become a tradition for many or anything like it is in Canada.
     
  15. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    It's a chamber of commerce moment for the city of Buffalo-what do you expect?
     
  16. I know but it was almost like the hockey was an after thought. Even the US win was downplayed.

    I had big hopes for Buffalo. I thought that this could turn into a big Canada USA challenge - both on the ice and in the stands. I have since come to the conclusion that the people of Buffalo don't care about the tournament at all. They only care about the fact that it is bringing big dollars into an area that is in desperate need of a financial injection.
     
  17. The one part of what you wrote that I truly disagree with. TSN does a terrific job.

    Maybe you were being facetious.
     
  18. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    Are you a Pollyanna or are you just playing one on the internet? I'll tell you what-why not have the WJCs in Canada every year and make it completely irrelevant in the world of sports? That's the only thing that appears to be capable of satisfying many Canadians. We get it guys: You're the best team! You're the best hosts!
     
  19. jfb392

    jfb392 Registered User

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    I was being sarcastic.
    Everyone else carries US programming and the US doesn't carry anyone else's because we are the only place that matters, at least in our minds.

    I agree and I like TSN.
    I've been watching the tournament on there for the past couple years via streams and I always prefer NHL games on TSN.
     
  20. dystemper

    dystemper Registered User

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    i think a LOT of people in buffalo care about this tournament and were super-excited when they won the bid to host it. it might not rival the interest-level in a canadian city, but for hockey-lovers in buffalo (and obviously, there's a lot), they were really excited about this tournament... and then the ticket pricing came out.

    i think the buffalo organizers drank their own koolaid in regards to what people were willing to spend -- it's right after christmas, the economy is struggling, and you're competing with the sabres (albeit, they'll be playing away games), and the buffalo bills... with all that combined, paying premium prices to see amateur hockey games isn't going to make a lot of sense for a lot of people.

    the organisers are just lucky that buffalo is 20 minutes from the border.
     
  21. I didn't mean it that way. I guess I was just hoping that because Buffalo has a love of hockey it would have been bigger. Embraced! I was wrong.

    And to answer your Pollyanna reference... I try to be an optomist. However, I am always disappointed. :)
     
  22. Rabid Ranger

    Rabid Ranger 2 is better than one

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    You're not going to get "embraced" anywhere but Canada. It's just not that kind of spectacle. The sooner we can agree on that and move on to actual hockey talk the better.
     
  23. Agree. I think the organizers thought "Even if we overcharge and alianate the Buffalo hockey fan, we always know Canadians will come and spend what it takes to support their team and the tournament. "

    I think this was done at the detriment of the Buffalo hockey fan. I believe they were an after thought. I think the organizers don't care because at the end of the day they can say they brought X millions of dollars into the local economy and held the best US(!) World Juniors ever.
     
  24. There we will have to disagree. :)

    This Thread has to do with "Attendance" and, based on that, I believe is in reference to it's success in Buffalo and whether it was embraced.

    :)
     
  25. obsenssive*

    obsenssive* Guest

    I view the poor american presence as directly related to the buffalo economy. urban southern ontario is all-in-all mostly tertiary and quaternary economy (with some secondary). in other words extremely well developped, and with a skilled and educated labour supply. (Ontario as a standalone entity has the 3rd most highly educated/trained labour force in the world, per OECD.)

    Buffalo, and pretty much all of northern New York, is nothing like southern Ontario. It was a secondary sector economy once, but that was years ago, its decline began long ago, and it has little remaining. The labour force is not even comparably educated/trained to southern Ontario.

    so it is simply not comparable to holding the tournament in Canada. Even though Ontarians/Canadians may be quick to cast it as disinterest, it is not.

    (from an ontarian perpective because the vast majority of those visiting are from ontario)
     

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