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04-11-2007, 05:40 PM
  #19
GetPucksDeep
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: the other Duluth
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To say that the city which put on the largest Olympics the world has ever seen is a crappy sports town is myopic.

Competition for sports dollars here is tough. You can't see a seasons worth of ACC basketball in NYC. You cant go to SEC football in NYC. etc. etc. Atlanta has things you can't do in NYC. (shocking I know).

The hardcore base of Thrasher fans is a mix of nothern transplants and southerners who became hockey fans back when the Flames were here. But for transplants, they have to decide to give up on their old team and become Thrasher fans, otherwise, they just come out twice a year when the team they grew up with is in town. I've seen a grown man change jerseys in the middle of a Flyer/Thrasher game depending on who is winning. It's tough to let go and give your heart to the expansion club. I still occasionally wince at the sight of the spoked B.

Atlanta's population is 50% black. They are not natural hockey fans. Nonetheless, black attendance at Philips is up every year, and is now at the point where blacks in the stands aren't 'token.'

But all this takes time. The team invests a lot in supporting youth hockey. Those kids are future season ticket holders, just as so many middle aged guys like me that I meet at games played hockey as kids up north.

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