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07-08-2012, 07:07 PM
  #1
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The Denver hockey market

What is the Denver hockey market like? It seems that the building hasn't been close to filled in quite some time, I know there's currently a rebuild going on but still. Back in the day was it up there with montreal, Detroit, Boston, Toronto etc etc? What i'm really asking is where does Av fans rank when compared to the Phillys, Toronto etc?

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07-08-2012, 07:31 PM
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It's not fair to rank the Avs' market to any Canadian market. I live in Vancouver. You absolutely cannot compare the Canucks' fan base to the Avs'. It is a completely different beast. Also, the team has been around for less than twenty years, so the "die hard" fan base is relatively smaller than the older teams. To put it simply, when the Avs are winning, the fans will show up. When they are losing, the town turns on them. Denver is a bandwagon city when it comes to sports, minus the Broncos. Denver is first and foremost a NFL city.

Dallas Stars? I don't know what this fan base resembles. Pretty unique series of past events.

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07-08-2012, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by foppagirl21 View Post
It's not fair to rank the Avs' market to any Canadian market. I live in Vancouver. You absolutely cannot compare the Canucks' fan base to the Avs'. It is a completely different beast. Also, the team has been around for less than twenty years, so the "die hard" fan base is relatively smaller than the older teams. To put it simply, when the Avs are winning, the fans will show up. When they are losing, the town turns on them. Denver is a bandwagon city when it comes to sports, minus the Broncos. Denver is first and foremost a NFL city.

Dallas Stars? I don't know what this fan base resembles. Pretty unique series of past events.
Meh.. Outside of Toronto,Montreal and Edmonton probably.. What city isn't a bandwagoner? When the team isn't winning, people won't show.

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07-08-2012, 08:01 PM
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its one of the most extreme bandwagons around.

if the team is winning = 457 straight sellouts
if the team is losing = 40% capacity.

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07-08-2012, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by foppagirl21 View Post
It's not fair to rank the Avs' market to any Canadian market. I live in Vancouver. You absolutely cannot compare the Canucks' fan base to the Avs'. It is a completely different beast. Also, the team has been around for less than twenty years, so the "die hard" fan base is relatively smaller than the older teams. To put it simply, when the Avs are winning, the fans will show up. When they are losing, the town turns on them. Denver is a bandwagon city when it comes to sports, minus the Broncos. Denver is first and foremost a NFL city.

Dallas Stars? I don't know what this fan base resembles. Pretty unique series of past events.
Exactly. Denver will always be a Broncos first city. It takes the other major sports (Avs, Nugs, Rocks, Rapids, Buffs, etc.) being in the top of their leagues for anyone to notice, especially local media. It's Broncos all the time, all year long.

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07-08-2012, 08:18 PM
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Who wants to spend that much money to watch a crappy team in person? Some people value their money more than others do.

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07-08-2012, 08:18 PM
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The hockey market is considerable (and surprisingly) decent. Lately the adult leagues have been constructed pretty well and some have ex-DI players, but majority of hockey players and fans still play in the D leagues.

Right now the hockey product from Colorado has been stagnant. I've noticed a lot of players making NAHL and USHL teams, but nothing considerable talent, like Austin Levi or the California boom. Bowman comes close, but seems to be a bottom 6 liner.

Maybe it's a lack of junior teams (just one in Boulder) and just one really good minor hockey program (maybe two with Rampart). While we do have solid college culture, majority of these universities get their talent from outside of Colorado. And none of these colleges' are major sporting groups, besides AFA. Even though I can't stand CU, I would love if they decided to spend money and upgrade to DI and not a stupid ACHA team and would do wonders in the hockey market.

Colorado is just like any other town with a small population and that is bandwagon city. When I was watching the 03-04 season, and it reminded me that the Avs were kings in the state and even rivaled the Broncos in popularity. Still to this day a when talking to people I found that 4 in 5 did enjoy hockey, even if they didn't watch it.

The problem I have is in the media. Majority of the sports talk shows and the local news only talk about two teams; Broncos and Rockies. Rockies is understandable because they're the only major sport in summer and majority of their fans are complete bandwagoners. What we need is a host like Cowlishaw for Colorado, while Woody Paige and Dater are far from that.

All in all I would say that the potential for hockey culture in Colorado is amazingly high, but I would say that it's not heading that way as we speak. Avs are the main force in that department, IMO. Also there is no doubt in my mind that we will be seeing a USHL or NAHL team in Colorado in the next 20 years.


Last edited by S E P H: 07-08-2012 at 11:56 PM.
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07-08-2012, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by KRM93 View Post
What is the Denver hockey market like? It seems that the building hasn't been close to filled in quite some time, I know there's currently a rebuild going on but still. Back in the day was it up there with montreal, Detroit, Boston, Toronto etc etc? What i'm really asking is where does Av fans rank when compared to the Phillys, Toronto etc?
I feel like it's on the rise, as long as the team continues to improve, the fans will come. But you can't expect a non-traditional market to stick around when the management refuses to spend money. Last season was an excellent step in the right direction.

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07-08-2012, 10:42 PM
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Bottom 5 in the NHL. The media nor do local fans really care about Colorado anymore. They're starting to build some momentum the only way they can - winning - but the Avalanche are still far from relevant.

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07-08-2012, 10:47 PM
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Colorado is like every other US Hockey market - we only notice hockey when we're doing well.

Toronto and Montreal are the only true hockey markets I know.

Possibly Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver too...but I haven't attended games in those cities yet so I can't speak for them.

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07-08-2012, 10:49 PM
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I really find it shocking that Colorado's fan base isn't bigger than what it is after those cup wins which should've laid the foundation for a huge generation of Avs fans...maybe the team did a poor job of promoting or following up. The whole region with their college program + weather seems like a good place for hockey bu you worry that if this turns into a bad team then we'll be lumped with Fla or NYI or whoever in terms of bad attendance.

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07-08-2012, 10:55 PM
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I live in Toronto so I'm not sure, but that's surprising considered that we came into the league with a bang. Like other have said, you'd think people would hop on board after that. I'd love to go to Denver to see a game, really would. It kind of sucks being the only Avs fans out of your friends.

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07-08-2012, 11:49 PM
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Denver will always be a Broncos-first town. Local radio talks Broncos 12 months a year and talks the other 3 major sports during their seasons and the talk time dramatically increases when teams are winning. Attendance and attention follow that pattern, like others have said. If the Avs win, fans will support the team and buy tickets & bandwaggoners will come back to watch...the Avs will become relevant again. It's the same with the Rockies and the Nuggets (puke).

There are definitely more rinks around town than before the Avs got here. There are outdoor rollerhockey rinks in Aurora and Parker (suburbs of Denver) and Ice rinks in Littleton, Lone Tree, and Broomfield. More High Schools have hockey teams than when I was a kid (I honestly didn't know of any HS teams when I was in school in the early 90's). Indoor rollerhockey rinks are in just about every town (suburb) as well. I never noticed any rinks of any kind before 1996.

Hockey is a niche sport, to be sure, but there is support, there are fans here. But it's tough when money is tight and there are at least 3 other tickets in town. Most people would rather spend money to go see a winner, a team that is competitive and makes the playoffs, rather than a team you can expect to lose when you go to the game. I can't say I don't feel cheated when I drop $60 to go to a game and we lose. I watch every game on TV (have since around '98) and get to 1 or 2 games a season. In '08 when Forsberg came back I went to 4 games in a few week span just to see him. Same will be true if we become competitive...I'll drop the cash to go to the games, and I'm not alone.

I also must say I do find it a little odd after reading the boards for so long, then recently joining, how many of the regular members who contribute to the Avalanche Boards are not local. Just sayin'. Glad you're all out there. If you're not local you should definitely make a trip if you can, see the city, and get to a game. Colorado is beautiful, the weather is unbeatable, Pepsi Center is a great building, and well, the Avs need your support *cough* money.

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07-08-2012, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by foppagirl21 View Post
It's not fair to rank the Avs' market to any Canadian market. I live in Vancouver. You absolutely cannot compare the Canucks' fan base to the Avs'. It is a completely different beast. Also, the team has been around for less than twenty years, so the "die hard" fan base is relatively smaller than the older teams. To put it simply, when the Avs are winning, the fans will show up. When they are losing, the town turns on them. Denver is a bandwagon city when it comes to sports, minus the Broncos. Denver is first and foremost a NFL city.

Dallas Stars? I don't know what this fan base resembles. Pretty unique series of past events.
Hey foppagirl, do you go to UBC?

Just wanted to add that even Vancouver went through rough times in the late 90s. Much more people in BC cheered for other teams (Leafs, Avs, Wings, Bruins, etc.) than the Canucks. The Canucks only became cool again about 10 years ago for the general public. Not surprising then that the Avs would suffer after hitting a cold streak.

I would really be interested in knowing what the non-NHL hockey market is like in Denver/Colorado (minor hockey, junior, college). I know a few players who went down to Colorado College and they seemed to like it.


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07-08-2012, 11:56 PM
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Fans are not showing up anymore in Denver because the Avs aren't taking more aggressive approach for committing to winning like they did in the old days.

Many fans believe the ownership has gone cheap, and they just don't care. It's not that the team is losing fans not showing up, ts more like the organization isn't showing any signs that they are ready to do everything for the team to be a winner again.

I can't blame the fans.

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07-09-2012, 12:03 AM
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Fans are not showing up anymore in Denver because the Avs aren't taking more aggressive approach for committing to winning like they did in the old days.

Many fans believe the ownership has gone cheap, and they just don't care. It's not that the team is losing fans not showing up, ts more like the organization isn't showing any signs that they are ready to do everything for the team to be a winner again.

I can't blame the fans.
Agreed. With the whole post, but especially the bold. I would show up to more games if ownership gave the impression they were serious about building a contender rather than hugging the cap floor, and so would lots of others. More would show if we started winning and making the playoffs. The issues are not at all the fans' issues. More like a response.

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07-09-2012, 12:07 AM
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I would really be interested in knowing what the non-NHL hockey market is like in Denver/Colorado (minor hockey, junior, college). I know a few players who went down to Colorado College and they seemed to like it.
As I said above.

No junior market at all. Only minor team that gets attention is the Thunderbirds and maybe the Rampage. We have one junior Tier III team in Boulder is decent, but is pretty much nonexistent.

We have a very solid college market, but it's more regional than anything. DU is VERY popular in the metro area, CC is very popular in the south, and AFA has it's cult following between DU and CC. Playing in a separate division keeps AFA's attendance up.

In the college towns of CU and CSU there is aboustely no hockey culture or market. I would like CU pay and develop DI team because the potential is outstanding at that school and city. Would do wonders for growth in college hockey as well. I'm pretty sure people who go to CU would have much more info on this topic.

Colorado Eagles are another very popular team in Windsor and have an insane attendance percentage. all in all, every hockey team has a solid following, but you don't want to start milking the teams as well. Besides CU the only thing I would do is create a junior team on the east metro area.

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07-09-2012, 12:19 AM
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As I said above.

No junior market at all. Only minor team that gets attention is the Thunderbirds and maybe the Rampage. We have one junior Tier III team in Boulder is decent, but is pretty much nonexistent.

We have a very solid college market, but it's more regional than anything. DU is VERY popular in the metro area, CC is very popular in the south, and AFA has it's cult following between DU and CC. Playing in a separate division keeps AFA's attendance up.

In the college towns of CU and CSU there is aboustely no hockey culture or market. I would like CU pay and develop DI team because the potential is outstanding at that school and city. Would do wonders for growth in college hockey as well. I'm pretty sure people who go to CU would have much more info on this topic.

Colorado Eagles are another very popular team in Windsor and have an insane attendance percentage. all in all, every hockey team has a solid following, but you don't want to start milking the teams as well. Besides CU the only thing I would do is create a junior team on the east metro area.
Sorry, missed your post. Thanks for the info. It would be interesting if CU got involved. I think Colorado has the potential to be similar in many ways to the Boston market for college hockey (Boston College, BU, Northeastern, etc.). Though what that area has going for it is a very strong prep hockey program at the high school level (I'm including Connecticut since it's close by). It seems this is the piece that Colorado's missing right now.

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07-09-2012, 06:21 AM
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Agreed. With the whole post, but especially the bold. I would show up to more games if ownership gave the impression they were serious about building a contender rather than hugging the cap floor, and so would lots of others. More would show if we started winning and making the playoffs. The issues are not at all the fans' issues. More like a response.
Yeah, it just looks like they are trying to improve this team the cheapest way possible. They underpay their players EJ, Duchene etc. One would think they sign this payers to smaller contracts because the plan is to go all in on free agency and sign some big name players but that's not even the case.

They pass on every top and best UFA'S available each year so I'm not exactly sure what their plan is. I can certainly understand why many fans would think they gone cheap.

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07-09-2012, 06:49 AM
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Hey foppagirl, do you go to UBC?

Just wanted to add that even Vancouver went through rough times in the late 90s. Much more people in BC cheered for other teams (Leafs, Avs, Wings, Bruins, etc.) than the Canucks. The Canucks only became cool again about 10 years ago for the general public. Not surprising then that the Avs would suffer after hitting a cold streak.

I would really be interested in knowing what the non-NHL hockey market is like in Denver/Colorado (minor hockey, junior, college). I know a few players who went down to Colorado College and they seemed to like it.
I graduated from UBC!

The non-NHL market is the exact same way- if the team is winning, people will get all excited and show up. Case in point the Denver Pioneers hockey team. When they were winning (what, 2004-6? cannot remember the years), people were talking about them all the time. Some of my closest friends went to DU and CC and of course they enjoyed the hockey programs there. But for outsiders, unless the team is winning, no one really cares. Seriously, the Denver Broncos are the only team in Denver that has support when playing terribly.

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07-09-2012, 07:16 AM
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I can't even read these threads. As a person living in Toronto who has to pay obscene amounts of money to watch the worst product in the NHL(only team to not make the playoffs post-lockout), I can show very little sympathy to high prices/poor product/etc. I catch 2-3 Avs games per year, live, when I go down and the lack of interest is embarassing. I won't go further than that.

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07-09-2012, 07:48 AM
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I can't even read these threads. As a person living in Toronto who has to pay obscene amounts of money to watch the worst product in the NHL(only team to not make the playoffs post-lockout), I can show very little sympathy to high prices/poor product/etc. I catch 2-3 Avs games per year, live, when I go down and the lack of interest is embarassing. I won't go further than that.
Your post hits the nail on the head- the Maple Leafs are THE established sports team in Toronto, been in place for years and have generations of followers. In Denver the Broncos command top dollar (albeit with a much bigger stadium tickets can be found cheaply when the team sucks), while the Avs get full attention only when they are winning. Do the Blue Jays sell out many games?

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07-09-2012, 08:10 AM
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The NHL has not been in Colorado all that long considering how long some of our competitors have been in the game. There is history and tradition elsewhere. There is legacy. There is culture.

Colorado are still trying to establish an identity. There was instant success, and while that was awesome at the time, it has hurt us now.

Expectation was always going to take a battering, as we worked out what team we were / are in the long term.

The way today's team plays comparitively speaking is a far cry from what is was only a decade ago. Back then, losing was not an option. Now, it's part of the recipe to build success (which I find strange). Back then, it was number one, or nothing. Now, it is a matter of just scraping into 16th (play-offs) and that's success.

My biggest beef with this management / ownership, is that their culture based on mediocrity is diluting what to me was an awe inspiring legacy and culture.

We are no longer that team people fear. We are no longer that team people set the benchmark to. You ask this young generation of "NHL fans", not "Avs fans" what they think of Colorado (say 16-23 year olds), they'd say or describe us as that ordinary team, they feel sorry for, because they "heard" we used to be so strong years ago.

In my opinion, young people like to associate with winners (unless there is another factor involved, like community, or atmosphere - Leafs as an example). Colorado are not winners at present both on and off the ice - thus, Pepsi Center is becoming more and more empty (although I believe attendance was slightly up this year?).

Yes, people will tell you HOW we are going to dominate later / one day, but perception is everything. Colorado is now grouped with teams like The Islanders, and of late, The Blue Jackets.

That guys, is a mighty hard sell, and I feel for marketing at present. They can't go around talking about beating down the opposition (because more often than not, we can't / don't). That's why they say, "it's all about the A". It's an easy slogan that can't be scoffed at.

Simplified. We are not a contender. We are a survivor. We work hard. We don't have a superstar (right now). We have been "building" for years now. That's not attractive to prospective customers. People will gravitate to the Penguins, Caps, Redwings & co. because they are winners.

We might not agree with that, but that's life - it's a reality. People can only continue to watch a lower tier grinder for so long before it becomes tedious for them. And why should they pay $$$$ for that?

Anyways, that's my take.

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07-09-2012, 08:11 AM
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Your post hits the nail on the head- the Maple Leafs are THE established sports team in Toronto, been in place for years and have generations of followers. In Denver the Broncos command top dollar (albeit with a much bigger stadium tickets can be found cheaply when the team sucks), while the Avs get full attention only when they are winning. Do the Blue Jays sell out many games?
The who?

Seriously though, no they do not and neither do the Toronto Raptors or Toronto Argonauts.

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07-09-2012, 08:59 AM
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It's tough seeing mediocre crowds at Pepsi Center. I'm not going to sympathize with people who aren't going because the Avs don't have a winning team. What kind of fan is that? You only show up when the Avs are a Cup team? People have no problem spending money on Broncos games when they were missing the playoffs or getting killed by better, Super Bowl teams.

Maybe the truth of the matter is, the Avs only have a small section of hardcore fans who will support the team through a rebuild period. Ask any fan who had season tix during the Cup years and don't go anymore if thay can name anyone on the team these days. These are the same people who only knew Sakic, Forsberg, & Roy... aka "BANDWAGON FANS". The Avs had a lot of these and now we're seeing who the real fans are.

No matter, when the Avs start winning again, seats will fill. Just ask the Blackhawks & the Penguins.

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