CBA Thread, Daniel Bryan Edition: The lockout is (tentatively) over!
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12-15-2012, 09:31 PM
I left the gate open
Join Date: Mar 2009
Originally Posted by
OKC is a strange case, though, in that they used to be a successful southern market - one that lost fans after moving up in league quality. The Blazers were a top CHL team in the '90s and '00s, averaging over 8,000 a game as recently as five years ago. They folded rather suddenly in 2009 and a year later the Barons started in the AHL, but in an older, smaller arena and at half their old attendance numbers. Two years later they've dropped to last in the league. Something can't be right there. Maybe ticket prices are too high because the team should be attractive to watch. They made the conference finals last season and now are middle of the pack with some top Oilers prospects.
Oddly enough, a lot of what happened to them happened here in SA as well. We had the CHL Iguanas for about 7 seasons (non consecutively as the IHL was brought in during the middle) and while the crowds weren't huge, there was still a pretty good build up. It was almost like a niche thing and you knew certain people. When the Rampage were brought in not everyone was all that thrilled about it cause they felt the Iguanas were more local, cheaper, and just a better deal. It took a few years (AHL records only go back to the 05-06 season but that season and the next the Rampage were in the bottom 10 of league attendance til they started to move up) but I think once people saw the AHL had stability and the theme nights getting different people out you could see the change.
Also, last lockout we had Bouwmeester and Weiss, which now I know isn't like Hall, Eberle, and Hopkins, but because of the whole crap fans were going through, it wasn't as easy to go. The players are good, but not all of them who know they should be in the NHL are going to give it their all or will be too happy being there. Personally I was glad when Bouwmeester was loaned off to Chicago by the end of it.
Finally I think the Rampage really benefit from being owned by the Spurs. They play in the same arena and the Spurs have always been about getting the athletes out into the community and you can see that with the AHL & WNBA. While the Barons & Thunder arenas are pretty close I believe, there is nothing better when you can remind people to go to hockey games and get their stuff in the pro shop. Add into that the Rampage had rivals in Houston and eventually Texas, and while OKC could be a potential, it hasn't had time to really build up just yet.
Needless to say who knows what could happen in that situation. Their attendance does seem to be holding steady from last year to this year and maybe a few more winning seasons will help. It would be interesting to know from fans what the scene is really like and if it is growing or what.
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