NHL Attendances Following a Work Stoppage
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11-02-2012, 08:50 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Québec City area
When the shortened 1995 season started, I remember that some teams, particularly Canadian teams, were drawing smaller crowds than usual at the start of the season, even though it was January and that at that time of the year is when attendance usually starts increasing. Nordiques had less than 14K after 13 home games into the season even though they normally pulled over 14.5K, the Jets started with an unusually high amount of crowds under 10K (typical at the start of each season but not that often) and the Canucks had a crowd of 10K once. Attendance might have picked up a lot as the season progressed, but as soon as the lockout ended I think it was lower than usual.
This time, unlike 2004, I'm kinda expecting attendance to drop, but not as bad as the 1994 baseball strike, because the teams with very strong fan support and waiting lists will still draw almost as much support and only the teams at risk (such as Phoenix, Dallas, nashville, Carolina, Tampa, etc) and to a lesser extent Columbus, Colorado, Edmonton Islanders and Devils will have noticeable attendance decreases.
There just won't be insane things like Pittsburg vs Philadelphia drawing 6,000 fans a game at the season start, unless a massive NHL fan boycott was organized with medias and fans all around the continent with protests in fronts of arenas on ticket sale hours where nobody is let in, and if that happens, then Winnipeg will lead the entire league in attendance because I doubt such protest would happen in a city where people only had one NHL season in 16 years.
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