Fan stay away in Droves |||| Sinking attendance: Who's to blame?
Some scary attendance figures are staring NHL accountants in the face. The Coyotes are averaging just over 12,000-and that’s announced attendance, not occupied seats. Also the Coyotes are building a new arena. The smallest crowd in Phoenix this season was the 9,639 announced for a visit by the Jackets. The Blue Jackets and the Wild, the NHL’s two newest teams, continue to draw capacity crowds in their third seasons. Detroit, Toronto, Dallas, Colorado, Montreal, the NYRs and Philly also draw capacity crowds or close to it on a regular basis. Look elsewhere around the league, and there are big blocks of empty seats at every game. The Predators is averaging announced crowds of 12,431, Atlanta is at 12,625, Buffalo is at 12,759, Chicago is at 12,854, Anaheim is at 13,192 Boston is at 13,510 and New Jersey is at 13,873. The Bruins have been one of the best teams in the NHL but on many nights they can’t attract flies to the difficult-to-access Fleet Centre.
The Ottawa Senators also are among the leaders in the overall standings, but they haven’t sold out a game yet at the Corel Centre this season. Sellouts aren’t a sure thing anymore in Toronto and Montreal. The weakened North American economy and boring games are the main reasons for the overall attendance decline.
The NHL has a bad problem and it’s growing fast. There are cities that are having trouble drawing fans. That is, drawing them into their arenas. There seems to be about 8 teams that can continue to have strong attendance. Why is this? Some of these are high paying teams, some are not. At the same time, we have outstanding playing teams that are not drawing a lot of fans into their arenas.
Is it the ticket prices? Is it the sport? Is it the teams? What is it? Something needs to be done and quick. Read this article ’cause it looks like there may be even less coverage in the near future than there is now! I don’t know about you but I don’t like the sounds of this. The NHL is losing “respect!” I love this sport too much to be losing even more coverage on tv.
Do the players need to get out more into the public and let themselves get known more? Do they need to try and spread hockey through more schools? Something must be done here folks. This just sounds scary.