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Calmest the AHL has been in a while

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Old
12-28-2011, 04:19 PM
  #1
Majik1987
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Calmest the AHL has been in a while

I know there are always teams that could be relocated, but it seems like this year, there isn't a lot of talk of imminent relocation. No Sabre rattling from any ownership groups to pull up stakes and move.

Is this a sign that the AHL has reached a level of stability, or the calm before the storm?

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12-28-2011, 11:21 PM
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I think it may be the calm before the storm. There are rumors about Norfolk, Syracuse, and San Antonio floating, but they are only rumors at this point. I can tell you attendance is down about 1000 per game in Syracuse since the Ducks arrival here last season. The fans are not happy with the way the team is playing right now, or not playing depending on who you talk to. Couple a losing team with higher prices and lower quality at the concessions stands and more expensive parking, and that does not bode well for hockey here in Syracuse. Perhaps things will brighten, but for now, there aint no light visible at the end of the tunnel.

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12-29-2011, 02:21 AM
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I think the NHL rumblings have stolen a lot of thunder from any people who might be looking at AHL relocations -- as the Atlanta->Winnipeg move showed, there's a lot of influence on the AHL silly season from the NHL silly season. That said, I agree - the AHL Silly Season watch has been a real yawner for this particular season. Looking at the attendance, there's really no precipitous drops -- the largest percentage losses are Springfield (8.3%, 275 fans per game) and Connecticut (9.4%, 400 fans per game). Springfield got sold, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the new owners give ONE more year before pushing for relocation, but that market has cried wolf so many times that the eventual move when it comes will both be surprising and not surprising at the same time.

The only one I'm kinda keeping my eye on at this point is Abbotsford, to see if the legal maneuvers may be taken to try to break the 10-year revenue guarantee out there. If that is broken, I look for that team to move in a fraction of a heartbeat.

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12-29-2011, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchrulz View Post
I can tell you attendance is down about 1000 per game in Syracuse since the Ducks arrival here last season.
Thanks for playing, but the Crunch attendance is actually UP by 12 fans a game (0.26%) from the same number of home dates last season.

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12-29-2011, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by HansH View Post
Thanks for playing, but the Crunch attendance is actually UP by 12 fans a game (0.26%) from the same number of home dates last season.
Just wondering where you are getting your stats from? The AHL site shows an average of 4904 this year and 5154 last year. (-250 per game) I haven't been able to find anything with specific numbers by games played for each year.(Well this year is easy enough)

My ticket agent (I'm a new Monarchs half season tix holder.... o.k actually 20 games worth of flex tix so I don't get the cheap soda deal. Next year I will do the Real 20 game pkg ) said that the AHL attendence usually picks up from now till the end of the season. Is this an accurate statement?


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12-29-2011, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BigMeanie17 View Post
My ticket agent said that the AHL attendence usually picks up from now till the end of the season. Is this an accurate statement?
That's VERY true in both Milwaukee and Chicago... football season ends (soon in for Chicago, not for Milwaukee), which helps attendance both on Saturday (college games) and Sunday (NFL) dates.

This week and last week have also had some nice attendance at both locations due to the Christmas break with a large attendance of families. (Milwaukee had 7k last night versus the usual 2-3k for a weekday)

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12-29-2011, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMeanie17 View Post
Just wondering where you are getting your stats from? The AHL site shows an average of 4904 this year and 5154 last year. (-250 per game) I haven't been able to find anything with specific numbers by games played for each year.(Well this year is easy enough)

My ticket agent (I'm a new Monarchs half season tix holder.... o.k actually 20 games worth of flex tix so I don't get the cheap soda deal. Next year I will do the Real 20 game pkg ) said that the AHL attendence usually picks up from now till the end of the season. Is this an accurate statement?
You're comparing the full year 2010-11 season to the year-to-date 2011-12. As your rep said, the attendance picks up after the New Year. HansH has a website that tracks minor league attendance and shows the average attendance game by game. His site shows the +12 through game 15 for Syracuse year over year.

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12-29-2011, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
You're comparing the full year 2010-11 season to the year-to-date 2011-12. As your rep said, the attendance picks up after the New Year. HansH has a website that tracks minor league attendance and shows the average attendance game by game. His site shows the +12 through game 15 for Syracuse year over year.
Thanks for the link Just to make it clear I wasn't arguing HansH point/numbers. I was just curious as to where he got the info. You're correct that the 2 numbers/totals are not a good comparasion. Which why I was wondering.

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12-29-2011, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjerina View Post
That's VERY true in both Milwaukee and Chicago... football season ends (soon in for Chicago, not for Milwaukee), which helps attendance both on Saturday (college games) and Sunday (NFL) dates.

This week and last week have also had some nice attendance at both locations due to the Christmas break with a large attendance of families. (Milwaukee had 7k last night versus the usual 2-3k for a weekday)
Yeah the Monarchs had 6100+ for Monday's game. I'm guessing that's in the top 3 for the season. (Maybe opening weekend was better.)

EDIT: It would be 5th highest per HansH site. I was just a "little" off.


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12-29-2011, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchrulz View Post
I think it may be the calm before the storm. There are rumors about Norfolk, Syracuse, and San Antonio floating, but they are only rumors at this point. I can tell you attendance is down about 1000 per game in Syracuse since the Ducks arrival here last season. The fans are not happy with the way the team is playing right now, or not playing depending on who you talk to. Couple a losing team with higher prices and lower quality at the concessions stands and more expensive parking, and that does not bode well for hockey here in Syracuse. Perhaps things will brighten, but for now, there aint no light visible at the end of the tunnel.
Welcome to affiliated hockey. I don't think it's as much about affiliations as it is just catching the breaks. I think the fans blaming Anahiem are crazy, it's way better than Columbus. You could go one step worse and be NHL Owned. Also Howard Dolgon needs to quit catering to the outside world such as offering guys like Kris Humphries roster spots, not that he would have increased attendance as he is just an NBA Journeymen. Even if he was married to a Khardashian they are the new Hilton's, useless and do nothing important.

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12-29-2011, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjerina View Post
That's VERY true in both Milwaukee and Chicago... football season ends (soon in for Chicago, not for Milwaukee), which helps attendance both on Saturday (college games) and Sunday (NFL) dates.

This week and last week have also had some nice attendance at both locations due to the Christmas break with a large attendance of families. (Milwaukee had 7k last night versus the usual 2-3k for a weekday)
I don't buy that. Football is on one day, Sundays. Well okay if you like College but thats a more pickier subject to debate vs the pro situation.

I also would think most people are broke after the Holiday season so to speak so why should attendance go up, shouldn't it be going down? Or so one would think anyway.

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12-29-2011, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMeanie17 View Post
Thanks for the link Just to make it clear I wasn't arguing HansH point/numbers. I was just curious as to where he got the info. You're correct that the 2 numbers/totals are not a good comparasion. Which why I was wondering.
No worries. I was just explaining the difference.

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12-29-2011, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by HansH View Post
I think the NHL rumblings have stolen a lot of thunder from any people who might be looking at AHL relocations -- as the Atlanta->Winnipeg move showed, there's a lot of influence on the AHL silly season from the NHL silly season. That said, I agree - the AHL Silly Season watch has been a real yawner for this particular season. Looking at the attendance, there's really no precipitous drops -- the largest percentage losses are Springfield (8.3%, 275 fans per game) and Connecticut (9.4%, 400 fans per game). Springfield got sold, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the new owners give ONE more year before pushing for relocation, but that market has cried wolf so many times that the eventual move when it comes will both be surprising and not surprising at the same time.

The only one I'm kinda keeping my eye on at this point is Abbotsford, to see if the legal maneuvers may be taken to try to break the 10-year revenue guarantee out there. If that is broken, I look for that team to move in a fraction of a heartbeat.
Connecticut is a first place team too. Aren't they owned by MSG though so shouldn't they be safe anyway?

As for Springfield, bad team again...not surprising. Springfield is the AHL's Johnstown Chiefs or Wheeling Nailers. Were all just waiting for "that day" to get here I guess.

As for the lack of a silly season don't you think with the increased amounts of NHL Ownerships that it sort of brings that down a bit?

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12-29-2011, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
I don't buy that. Football is on one day, Sundays. Well okay if you like College but thats a more pickier subject to debate vs the pro situation.

I also would think most people are broke after the Holiday season so to speak so why should attendance go up, shouldn't it be going down? Or so one would think anyway.
You can choose not to believe it, but if you look at the trend, especially for Chicago and Milwaukee, their per game attendance goes up after the first of the year.

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12-29-2011, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Majik1987 View Post
You can choose not to believe it, but if you look at the trend, especially for Chicago and Milwaukee, their per game attendance goes up after the first of the year.
The question would be why though. Shouldn't people like I said be more broke now than during holiday shopping season time?

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12-29-2011, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
Welcome to affiliated hockey. I don't think it's as much about affiliations as it is just catching the breaks. I think the fans blaming Anahiem are crazy, it's way better than Columbus. You could go one step worse and be NHL Owned. Also Howard Dolgon needs to quit catering to the outside world such as offering guys like Kris Humphries roster spots, not that he would have increased attendance as he is just an NBA Journeymen. Even if he was married to a Khardashian they are the new Hilton's, useless and do nothing important.
As a Crunch fan, I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. This season, the Crunch had a decent paper lineup to start the season. Who knew Anaheim would be so bad and that Deslauriers would be a bust so far as a veteran goaltender? I don't think Holick gets very much out of his team's skill, so if anything he might be the downfall. As for Dolgan, 100% agree!

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12-29-2011, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
The question would be why though. Shouldn't people like I said be more broke now than during holiday shopping season time?
Not necessarily. Football has a huge following, so people are not going to skip football to go to a minor league sporting event. The first part of the year is a lower period.

However, people are going seek (and therefore spend on) entertainment regardless of the time of year. If they have less money to spend after the holidays, that makes minor league sports even more attractive as opposed to major league sports.

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12-29-2011, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
The question would be why though. Shouldn't people like I said be more broke now than during holiday shopping season time?
Because the casual fan who goes to two or three games a season instead of 38 is more likely to think to go to games later than the season, in the middle of playoff races and so on, than they are to think "hey, this is game three of a seventy-six game season - I think I'll go on the off chance that there's an amazing hat trick".

Grudges develop over the course of a season - if there was some bad blood from when two teams met earlier in the season, the local media can drum that up when those "bad boys" return to town (just look at the crowd the first time the WCHL Phoenix Mustangs came back to San Diego after their player attacked the San Diego coach as he came out for the third period, causing the rest of the game to be cancelled).

It's just simple human nature to pay more attention to the local team in the second half of the season than the first. I'll tell you from having looked at these stats for more than ten years (and I used to have graphs along with the attendance numbers on my site, but I need to find a way to get that extra software back in play) -- the home opener is almost always a big spike (marketing - "hockey is back!"), followed by a steady general decline until somewhere between the sixth home game and Xmas, followed by a slow and steady regain and increase in the average. Some teams' curves differ from year to yeah, but that's the typical "shape" of the teams' attendance curves.

Thanks for the plug for the site, and the clarifications, Majik!

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12-29-2011, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by HansH View Post
Thanks for the plug for the site, and the clarifications, Majik!
No worries. You do some quality work.

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12-29-2011, 03:27 PM
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As a Crunch fan, I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. This season, the Crunch had a decent paper lineup to start the season. Who knew Anaheim would be so bad and that Deslauriers would be a bust so far as a veteran goaltender? I don't think Holick gets very much out of his team's skill, so if anything he might be the downfall. As for Dolgan, 100% agree!
Palmeri and Bonnino are good. When the NHL team underachieves it hurts your team, Now they can call up younger guys to see what they have. The Ducks have a lot of goaltenders...so much so Timmone got shown the door recently. Tarrki is good and another one named Bobkov is on the way next year I think. Hiller is good from what I understand. I think McElwhinney is the backup, surprising he'd be a good AHL starter....or backup. Deslauriers has been an up and down guy in his career but wow hes awful this season. They almost should call up Cousineau to backup. Lol.

I know most Crunch fans love the guy and I guess he's passionate but I don't think Dolgan ever has his priorities in order. I recall when they invited Britney Spears to a game when she was making a come back. Then it was the outdoor fioasco/getting a game in the Dome. He was mad that last years outdoor game outdrew his. Now Kris humphries, he grew up in Minnesota but I heard he didn't play so hows he gunna help the team? I guess all these side things are nice but it should be about winning. Granted like I said in this game of affiliated hockey your parent club can dictate your direction. You can't control injuries or them underachieving. Even a great team can deal with injuries. I was surprised Hollick wasn't given the job and I was shocked Carlyle got the boot so fast. The Ducks handpicked the guy hoping he would be their next coach then they don't give him a shot here. Will be interesting to see what happens this offseason. Last year Dolgon made a lot of noise. Things didnt get better this year. Palmeri at least is likely soon to be a full time NHL Guy. Not sure about Bonnino though.

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12-29-2011, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Green Men Rule View Post
The question would be why though. Shouldn't people like I said be more broke now than during holiday shopping season time?
The casual fan generally sees February/March/April as "hockey season". Doesn't matter whether they actually attend football games or not.

I also don't understand why you think people would spend money on hockey games if they are spending money buying presents during the holidays. But if they buy tickets as gifts, they will be used later in the season.

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12-29-2011, 07:20 PM
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Thrilled that we had 10,806 last night (Wednesday) in Hershey vs. the Baby Pens. The bears fans seem fairly content with our alignment with the Caps, hopefully it continues. Still miss the days of being a Philly affiliate though.

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12-29-2011, 07:55 PM
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Here in Norfolk, there is a fair amount of concern that Tampa may head elsewhere for 2012-13 and beyond. And the list of NHL teams that would be interested in moving their AHL affiliate here is likely very short given the Norfolk's problematic travel situation.

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12-30-2011, 12:07 AM
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11029 in Chicago tonight

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12-30-2011, 09:05 AM
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Overheard one ticket rep say it was the largest weekday crowd since the Wolves inaugural 94/95 IHL season. Place was packed!

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