Tuesday, October 24, 2006

NHL attendance problems?

NHL attendance problems?
It's too early to start worrying
Posted on 24/10/06

As the revamped, salary-capped National Hockey League skates through the third week of its second postlockout season, critics are already pointing to sagging attendance in several markets as a sign that the league still faces serious problems. That is a ridiculous leap in logic.

Attendance is off only marginally league-wide from the level of a year ago, which was to be expected.
Last year at this time, teams were pulling out all the stops to draw people back to the sport, and even casual fans were curious about how their teams would fare under new rules. Now they've drifted back to their old habits. And in most U.S. markets, going to hockey games, particularly during the work week or early in the season, is not one of them.

"The reason you see some week-day crowds so far this season in the 10,000 to 12,000 range is because that is likely close to the season-ticket base of those teams," said Steve Violetta, the executive vice-president of the Nashville Predators. "Not too many groups or walk-up tickets are sold in most markets on a Tuesday."

Read more here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

NHL attendance could be a problem. Again.

NHL attendance could be a problem. Again.
Last Updated Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006
by Scott Morrison

Gary Bettman is probably right, of course: it is still a little too early to panic.

But be careful because, as Yogi Berra once said, it gets late early out there.

Bettman was referring the other day to some early troubling attendance trends in the National Hockey League, which, as of Tuesday, were showing an overall average decline of one per cent from a year ago, though there have been big increases in Buffalo, where there is hope of a championship, and Carolina, where there is proof of one.

The usual hotbeds, especially north of the border, have continued to fill the seats but, early or not, there is no denying there are some concerns out there.

Read more here.