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03-13-2013, 04:28 PM
Off Center
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Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
Agreed. I probably won't go to as many games after realignment, even if ticket prices don't go up. The away fans (most of whom shed their Lightning loyalty as soon as their old team comes to visit which makes them even more annoying) are bad enough as it is, and I get my fill of northern elitist ************* here on HF

I'll save my money and wait for the Bolts to get their own arena back instead of a winter home for the snowbirds. Market to the away fans, and you kill off your home fanbase. Can't have your cake and eat it too.
it's a punch to the gut when the bolts aren't doing well and the arena is overrun with opposing fans, but it actually creates a sort of cool dynamic when the team and home fan base is strong. there's a back and forth between the sets of fans that forces both to keep the energy high, but ideally the home team fans are a significant majority. this is a big contributor to the excitement of attending european football matches (moreso the chanting and cheering during, not so much the occasional bashing in of each others' faces afterwards) or local rivalries in any of the north american pro or college sports

i know baseball and hockey are 2 very different live sports experiences, but the Rays are a good example...i've been to at least 100 rays games over the years and the best ones were games like the Cubs series in 2008, where the place was packed and you had a very passionate and pretty substantial contingent of Cubs fans that raised the bar for the home fans to get behind their team. then again, fan bases from the midwest are far less likely to be *******s than fans from the northeast. pink hat and yankee fans are still obnoxious, but these days they get drowned out and the ratio\experience is much different than it was in the Devil Rays years. there are games against very good teams like the Rangers or Angels that are well attended but you could probably be sitting on the infield baseline and overhear a conversation in the outfield seats

i think that back and forth can bring a little more passion out of the home fans and add to the atmosphere. as long as it doesn't sound like an away game, i think the players can feed off of it too

also, having some connections to the hotel industry locally, it sure can help fill a few rooms and restaurants over the years

edit: the travel is a real killer though. especially when you've got another division where you could do a circuit of the home cities in fewer miles than it takes to get from miami to tampa

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