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Old
10-03-2007, 01:00 AM
  #1
edmontonoilers89
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Question for Blues Fans

Hello Blues fans,

I'm writing a paper for my Business of Hockey class (these are the kinds of classes I'm privileged to be able to take by going to a university in Edmonton) and was wondering if you guys would be able to help me out with something.

I know the Blues have had attendance struggles over the past few seasons after being close to the top of the league for many a time. I was wondering what exactly happened that turned some of the die hard fans away from the team. I'm more interested in the die hard fans (you guys) because I'm trying to contrast what effect marketing the game to the casual fans has on the die hard fans, specifically if there is a trade off.

More specifically, was there more to the team struggling that caused some of you to stop going to games? And what have the Blues done under John Davidson and the new owners to try and win you guys back? I think it's fairly obvious that as a team improves, fair weather fans jump on the bandwagon, but I'm more curious at what it takes to win die hard fans back that may have felt cast aside and dismissed. I noticed the team now has free meal nights, family packages, etc.

Also, would someone be able to tell me the number of season tickets sold for the past few years, specifically the past maybe 7-8 years, so the spectrum runs from when the team was doing well, to when it was struggling, to where the STH base is at now since the new ownership group stepped in.I haven't been able to find that information anywhere.

Some input would be highly appreciated.

Thank you very much and good luck this coming season!

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10-03-2007, 02:25 AM
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General Veers
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this city is a baseball town. always was,always will be. the cards won it all, we were so bad we got the first overall pick, and there was a lockout. all three of these things happened in a row and it killed off the average hockey fans interest here locally. you are correct when you point out how the die-hards remained. we always bleed blue, and since we're fans of the only local team without a championship, we are easy to dismiss by the mighty baseball zealots here in "baseball heaven" as far as the resurgence recently, i chalk it up to having friendly-faced people in the front office(jd) and hockey geniuses behind the scenes(jarmo) with a lot of youngsters staying "in-house" to give the franchise direction. finally, i'll give credit to the marketing of the team to get noobs and die-hards excited. just look at my earlier comment saying i "bleed blue". this was a slogan from years ago but i still use it in reference to my affinity to the team. "whew"

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10-03-2007, 02:37 AM
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kimzey59
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I can't give you answers to all of your questions, but I'll do what I can.


While grabbing the #1 overal pick in 06 and our poor start to last year certainly didn't help matters, the reason the fans stayed away had surprisingly little to do with our on-ice performance.


The biggest issue in regards to us "Die Hards" staying away was Bill Lauries' choice to sell the team and his actions in the process. He chose the worst possible time to sell the team(just at the end of the lockout), delayed the sale far longer than he needed to and gutted the team in the process(costing St. Louis their 2 best and most marketable players in Pronger and Demitra). When compounded with the other "cost cutting moves" that Laurie had issued over the last 3 years of his reign, St. Louis was left with a talentless joke of a team.

Our Defense was in shambles with the loss of Pronger and MacInnis(due to retirement) and the uncertainty surrounding Jackman. On Offense we had 2 aging Stars(Tkachuk and Weight; both of whom were considered to be grossly overpaid), a collection of gritty role players and nobody else of note. A lot of fans were also very uncomfortable with our coaching staff and our Scouts hadn't started to supply us with any young talent for us to look forward to.

St. Louis fans, by and large, saw this as a team with no chance and no future and took this destruction of the team as a personal slap in the face(rightfully so IMO). They stayed away last season because there was no signs of improvement until Andy Murray took over.

All of that said, the outlook on this team has changed over the last year and the fans are now pouring out of the wood work. Season ticket sales are up by(I believe) 6000 tickets compared to last year.

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10-03-2007, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
I can't give you answers to all of your questions, but I'll do what I can.


While grabbing the #1 overal pick in 06 and our poor start to last year certainly didn't help matters, the reason the fans stayed away had surprisingly little to do with our on-ice performance.


The biggest issue in regards to us "Die Hards" staying away was Bill Lauries' choice to sell the team and his actions in the process. He chose the worst possible time to sell the team(just at the end of the lockout), delayed the sale far longer than he needed to and gutted the team in the process(costing St. Louis their 2 best and most marketable players in Pronger and Demitra). When compounded with the other "cost cutting moves" that Laurie had issued over the last 3 years of his reign, St. Louis was left with a talentless joke of a team.

Our Defense was in shambles with the loss of Pronger and MacInnis(due to retirement) and the uncertainty surrounding Jackman. On Offense we had 2 aging Stars(Tkachuk and Weight; both of whom were considered to be grossly overpaid), a collection of gritty role players and nobody else of note. A lot of fans were also very uncomfortable with our coaching staff and our Scouts hadn't started to supply us with any young talent for us to look forward to.

St. Louis fans, by and large, saw this as a team with no chance and no future and took this destruction of the team as a personal slap in the face(rightfully so IMO). They stayed away last season because there was no signs of improvement until Andy Murray took over.

All of that said, the outlook on this team has changed over the last year and the fans are now pouring out of the wood work. Season ticket sales are up by(I believe) 6000 tickets compared to last year.
Well said. The only thing that I would add is that under coach Mike Kitchen, the Blues were unwilling to truly give some rookies a legitimate shot. I think that the Blues would have had less troubles with attendance, if they would've at least attempted to give a young player a shot. The answer was to send them to Peoria and sign someone elses waiver casualty to fill out the roster. I never saw where we were shown a glimmer of hope for the future unless it was forced. Example:

Kahnberg - As much of a stir as he caused, we should've given him the chance to prove he couldn't play at this level. We weren't going to win anything anyway. When he blasted the crossbar in preseason, he showed he had more offensive potential than half our roster. Instead, we sent him to Siberia. (No offense, but Peoria is not the place to be.) I would pay to see him fail rather than pay to see Hinote or Salvador.

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10-03-2007, 06:55 AM
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what the others are saying is true, the Cardinals won and the Rams were doing well but, the Blues finished dead last. To top it off the the Blues raised prices of the cheap tickets and didnt improve the team over the offseason that year. That is why the people stayed away. Because we are show me state and the way it works here in St,louis is if you dont try then we dont buy.

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10-03-2007, 03:32 PM
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StLooFrenchy
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All the above reasons, along with the fact that the average midwesterner does not have the disposable income to attend all three big teams, so generally, the two best will get more attention. It has been said that this is a baseball town; true, yet I think there is a wind of disgust coming in about ownership and prices at the new Gougatorium that the blues could take advantage of.

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10-03-2007, 10:32 PM
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As a die-hard Blues fan, I never waivered. Eventually, somebody was going to buy the Blues and try to improve the team. I gritted my teeth and waited. If ownership had remained the same (i.e. The Wirtz's from Chicago) I would have cut my BlueNote tatoo off myself and found another team to root for. I say this because a die-hard fan of any team, any sport should not be considered a die-hard fan if they blow off their team over a season or two of, well, suckiness. I believe that most of the fans that did go to the games were of the the True Blue Die-Hard Fan Club. I apologize for not answering your questions. I'm just a little sensitive as to who is considered a die-hard fan and who is considered a casual fan. And yes, you are incredibly lucky to get to take a class called Hockey Business and I am most envious. Good luck to your Oilers. I cheer for them everytime they play Detroit. Course, I cheer for every team when they play Detroit. Go Blues!!!

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10-07-2007, 01:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
I can't give you answers to all of your questions, but I'll do what I can.


While grabbing the #1 overal pick in 06 and our poor start to last year certainly didn't help matters, the reason the fans stayed away had surprisingly little to do with our on-ice performance.


The biggest issue in regards to us "Die Hards" staying away was Bill Lauries' choice to sell the team and his actions in the process. He chose the worst possible time to sell the team(just at the end of the lockout), delayed the sale far longer than he needed to and gutted the team in the process(costing St. Louis their 2 best and most marketable players in Pronger and Demitra). When compounded with the other "cost cutting moves" that Laurie had issued over the last 3 years of his reign, St. Louis was left with a talentless joke of a team.

Our Defense was in shambles with the loss of Pronger and MacInnis(due to retirement) and the uncertainty surrounding Jackman. On Offense we had 2 aging Stars(Tkachuk and Weight; both of whom were considered to be grossly overpaid), a collection of gritty role players and nobody else of note. A lot of fans were also very uncomfortable with our coaching staff and our Scouts hadn't started to supply us with any young talent for us to look forward to.

St. Louis fans, by and large, saw this as a team with no chance and no future and took this destruction of the team as a personal slap in the face(rightfully so IMO). They stayed away last season because there was no signs of improvement until Andy Murray took over.

All of that said, the outlook on this team has changed over the last year and the fans are now pouring out of the wood work. Season ticket sales are up by(I believe) 6000 tickets compared to last year.
Not to mention the constant raise in ticket prices even when the blues where falturing. But your right on.

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