Eastern Conference Finals: Philadelphia Phantoms vs. Providence Bruins
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05-16-2005, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Originally Posted by
Bob Clarke Fan Club
One thing that shocked me reading this thread was the Phantoms attendance...I don't live in Philly but didn't they draw really well in Seasons 1 and 2 ??
Yes, the Phantoms drew very well in the first two years. However, attendance has consistently declined ever since. As a former Phantoms STH, I attribute this to a number of things...
1) The first two seasons (especially the 2nd since they won the Calder Cup), the Phantoms were a novelty. This has long since worn off. The fact is, Philadelphia is a major league city that doesn't really support minor league teams. Not to mention, as I have said numerous times, Philadelphia is a Flyers town and not a hockey town. If the Flyers aren't playing, nobody seems to care.
2) The Phantoms were initially marketed as an affordable hockey option. Unfortunately, this turned into an inexpensive family night out. The majority of the "fans" in attendance are birthday parties and youth groups. This has chased the real hockey fans out as they have grown sick and tired of uncontrolled children running up and down the aisles.
3) The Phantoms, initially, stocked their lineup with a number of colorful veterans that were very likable and marketable (Bialowas, MacIsaac, Roussel, McCosh, Coles, etc). The team also played with a lot of attitude, intensity and emotion, just like their coach Bill Barber. After John Stevens took the job, the team now reflects his personality, or lack their of. Seasons 4, 5 and 6 were extremely boring.
4) Competition, or lack there. When the Phantoms first started, they were the only minor league hockey option in the Delaware Valley. Now, you have the Trenton Titans, Reading Royals and the now defunct AC Boardwalk Bullies. The Titans and Royals both play in awesome brand new buildings that are sized appropriately for crowd sizes of 3,000-7,000. The Spectrum, on the other hand, is a horrible place to watch a game when there are only a few thousand in the stands.
Even if the Titans and Royals only draw 3,000 each, that's 6,000 customers that are spending their hockey dollar elsewhere.
5) The Phantoms treated their STH base like crap. For a number of seasons, they simply did not care that they were losing fans hand over fist. You would complain to your ticket rep and it would fall on deaf ears.
Just my two cents on the subject.
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