Why isn't Hockey big in Britain or France?
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10-10-2012, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Originally Posted by
You don't need to even bring up all those MLS investment and sponsorship facts. Your average American has heard of MLS, your average Briton has absolutely no idea about the Elite Ice Hockey League. Your average American has heard of David Beckham and Pele, few in the UK know of Crosby or Ovechkin. A fair few know of the LA Galaxy, only a tiny amount of people know of the Nottingham Panthers. It's entirely different.
Point taken, but MLS is still only a fraction of soccer support in the States. As someone said, its probably 3rd behind Euro and Mexican soccer.
The average punter doesn't care about MLS, but MLS isn't really a barometer for the sport. A Premier League game on the weekend got a 1.1 in the ratings, compared to a game in MLS getting 0.4. We could ask the same of hockey: instead of looking at EIHL, what signs are there that the NHL is popular? Any comparisons need to take the whole picture into account.
But to come back on topic, its the climate and lack of history with the game. The sports that were popular 100 years ago in the UK are the same sports that dominate today. Basically nothing has changed. For change to take place, you need a large grassroots movement, and a conducive climate to play the game. Hockey at this point has neither of those things in the UK, or France. The only sport that can really establish itself in the UK that isn't big already is basketball I feel.
There's a good reason why hockey is popular in the parts of Europe that it is. Nothing is out of place about it. Suitability to playing the game which leads to participation, which leads to history and cultural relevance.
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