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Is the attendance in the OHL declining

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Old
10-04-2013, 07:59 AM
  #1
mouse 29
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Is the attendance in the OHL declining

I realize it is still early but having viewed almost of the games televised and attended all of the home games in Barrie, it certainly appears that the attendance is.

So I thought I would throw this out to see what everyone thinks.

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10-04-2013, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mouse 29 View Post
I realize it is still early but having viewed almost of the games televised and attended all of the home games in Barrie, it certainly appears that the attendance is.

So I thought I would throw this out to see what everyone thinks.
The colts are usually around 3300 to 3700 until about November then you see the 4000+ attendance Games come.

The team that I noticed has had lower attendance is Sudbury. When I used to live there they had numbers of 4500+ and now they seem to be seeing much less.

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10-04-2013, 09:10 AM
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Windsor had 4400 at their game last night which is the smallest crowd they've had since moving into the WFCU Centre. Right now, in Windsor, the buzz is all about the Tigers. Nobody is really in a hockey frame of mind yet.

Elsewhere in the league, Ottawa only had 1500 people last night.

Kitchener and London are the only teams I can think of off hand that haven't experienced decline in attendance.

I think the whole thing is a combination of rising ticket prices and diminishing returns (ie OHL hockey ain't what it used to be).

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10-04-2013, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by LeafsColts13 View Post
The colts are usually around 3300 to 3700 until about November then you see the 4000+ attendance Games come.

The team that I noticed has had lower attendance is Sudbury. When I used to live there they had numbers of 4500+ and now they seem to be seeing much less.
I noticed the attendance seemed rather low at the home opener in Barrie and has not seemed to much better around the 2700 - 2900 mark.

Last nite watching the games Peterborough looked almost empty as did Ottawa,
The Kingston - Belleville game was pretty sparsely attended as well.
The OS game the other nite against London seemed pretty empty in comparison to other games I have seen at OS.

I am wondering if we are starting to see the backlash of

1) higher costs for the games vs the product on the ice.
2)Some of the rule changes the 'O' has done in comparison to other leagues. IE the number of suspensions and the 10 game fighting rule vs the other leagues.
3)the change in the import status especially regarding goal tending.
4)the perceived inequality in the 'O' with regards to drafting, import players, NCAA players, and players refusing to report to certain teams

Or is this just a trend that happens every year or so???

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10-04-2013, 09:54 AM
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Plymouth's only had one home game so far, and the attendance was about normal for this time of year (less than 2,100). The Whalers typically do not draw well in the autumn, which is why they usually open the season with a lot of road games. All the football -- college, high school, and even lower levels -- seems to really impact the crowds in the fall.

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10-04-2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by etr102 View Post
Windsor had 4400 at their game last night which is the smallest crowd they've had since moving into the WFCU Centre. Right now, in Windsor, the buzz is all about the Tigers. Nobody is really in a hockey frame of mind yet.

Elsewhere in the league, Ottawa only had 1500 people last night.

Kitchener and London are the only teams I can think of off hand that haven't experienced decline in attendance.

I think the whole thing is a combination of rising ticket prices and diminishing returns (ie OHL hockey ain't what it used to be).
Watching the game it certainly did not appear that there were 4400 in attendance. My gut feeling is that the attendance figures are fudged to make it seem better than it was. After all not too people will support something that is failing. (Perceived or Otherwise)

As I see it there are two teams London and Kitchener that seem to do quite well. Maybe another 10 teams that are doing OK and the rest of the 20 teams are hanging on.

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10-04-2013, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Whalers Fan View Post
Plymouth's only had one home game so far, and the attendance was about normal for this time of year (less than 2,100). The Whalers typically do not draw well in the autumn, which is why they usually open the season with a lot of road games. All the football -- college, high school, and even lower levels -- seems to really impact the crowds in the fall.
It is unfortunate and something that bothers me as well is the lack of TV coverage for the games in the US.
Perhaps Televising these games would provide more interest on both sides of the border.
But perhaps that is discussion for another thread

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10-04-2013, 10:19 AM
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Attendance for most teams is usually down in the fall as the weather is still nice out. It's not until the weather gets a little colder that you start getting bigger crowds.
It's like people wait for hockey weather before going into a rink.
Some people would rather be out on a Friday night when it's 15-20 degrees than being in a rink.
It's a strange thing.

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10-04-2013, 11:13 AM
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Agreed. For example, in Windsor, the temperature today is around 75F (sorry, being brought up on Detroit news/media, I don't really think in Celcius).

Anyway, when I go outside on a 75 degree day, hockey is the last thing on my mind. I still attend every game, but most people around here don't start getting into hockey until the Tigers are done playing.

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10-04-2013, 11:28 AM
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I dont live in Ontario but if its true attendance is down blame it on boss of the league.Remember the fans are people who work in rural areas who are not going to spend money on no hit hockey.And stop saying their 18 yrs old kids in whl rule changes are starting.Ban fighting ban any rough play and this will turn off real fans.Do teachers lawyers really go enmasse to violent sports no

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10-04-2013, 11:35 AM
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Belleville attendance

As a season ticket holder for over 25 years, I would guess the season ticket base is down significantly in Belleville. The crowds are generously announced at around 2,000.
My guess at the decline is as follows:
1. Showing home games live on local cable has impacted attendance. I know several people who did not renew their season tickets and said "I'll just watch the game on t.v." The league's decision to telecast home games live was a huge blunder. It may work in London and Kitchener but not in smaller centres such as Belleville and Peterborough;
2. The uncertainty of the future of the Bulls who are on the second last year of their contract with the city with no new arena in the cards;
3. There seems to be a disconnect between the owners and the fans. I've only seen Gord once in 10 years in the east balcony. He should try to connect more with fans as as an out of town owner he does not have the same connection as a local owner;
4. There is a dislike by many fans about George's style of hockey. Bull's fans hate the trap. I think George has had good success in Belleville so it is a double edged sword. At one time the teams playing against the Bulls in Belleville knew it was the Bull's barn, some nights the Bulls get pushed around;
5. Maybe the biggest reason is the aging season ticket holder base as Belleville has probably one of the oldest fan bases. The local economy has made it difficult for the Bulls to attract younger season ticket holders.
It Belleville loses the Bulls it will be a huge loss for the community so hopefully something will happen in the next 2 years to keep them in Belleville.

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10-04-2013, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whalers Fan View Post
Plymouth's only had one home game so far, and the attendance was about normal for this time of year (less than 2,100). The Whalers typically do not draw well in the autumn, which is why they usually open the season with a lot of road games. All the football -- college, high school, and even lower levels -- seems to really impact the crowds in the fall.
Is there a part of the season when they do draw well?

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10-04-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonester01 View Post
As a season ticket holder for over 25 years, I would guess the season ticket base is down significantly in Belleville. The crowds are generously announced at around 2,000.
My guess at the decline is as follows:
1. Showing home games live on local cable has impacted attendance. I know several people who did not renew their season tickets and said "I'll just watch the game on t.v." The league's decision to telecast home games live was a huge blunder. It may work in London and Kitchener but not in smaller centres such as Belleville and Peterborough;
2. The uncertainty of the future of the Bulls who are on the second last year of their contract with the city with no new arena in the cards;
3. There seems to be a disconnect between the owners and the fans. I've only seen Gord once in 10 years in the east balcony. He should try to connect more with fans as as an out of town owner he does not have the same connection as a local owner;
4. There is a dislike by many fans about George's style of hockey. Bull's fans hate the trap. I think George has had good success in Belleville so it is a double edged sword. At one time the teams playing against the Bulls in Belleville knew it was the Bull's barn, some nights the Bulls get pushed around;
5. Maybe the biggest reason is the aging season ticket holder base as Belleville has probably one of the oldest fan bases. The local economy has made it difficult for the Bulls to attract younger season ticket holders.
It Belleville loses the Bulls it will be a huge loss for the community so hopefully something will happen in the next 2 years to keep them in Belleville.
Same in Sarnia as your 1st point,televising the OHL games on local cable is killing Sarnia as many just stay home to watch.Plus a rookie team this year.

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10-04-2013, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BoxerMax View Post
Is there a part of the season when they do draw well?
They generally do better after the holidays. They are not big crowds by the standards of some of the OHL franchises, but will usually draw around 3,000 on average, with a few sellouts a year. The official arena capacity is about 3,500, and they've had crowds as big as 4,000+.

Considering all the other things to do in the area, that's not bad. There are four major league sports teams, two major college programs (with football, basketball and hockey as big draws), plus headliner concerts and several large casinos. That's a lot of competition for people's entertainment time and money. No other OHL market (now that Toronto no longer has a team) has anywhere near that much entertainment competition, and the local media provides almost zero coverage of the team.


Last edited by Whalers Fan: 10-04-2013 at 12:53 PM.
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Old
10-04-2013, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonester01 View Post
As a season ticket holder for over 25 years, I would guess the season ticket base is down significantly in Belleville. The crowds are generously announced at around 2,000.
My guess at the decline is as follows:
1. Showing home games live on local cable has impacted attendance. I know several people who did not renew their season tickets and said "I'll just watch the game on t.v." The league's decision to telecast home games live was a huge blunder. It may work in London and Kitchener but not in smaller centres such as Belleville and Peterborough;
2. The uncertainty of the future of the Bulls who are on the second last year of their contract with the city with no new arena in the cards;
3. There seems to be a disconnect between the owners and the fans. I've only seen Gord once in 10 years in the east balcony. He should try to connect more with fans as as an out of town owner he does not have the same connection as a local owner;
4. There is a dislike by many fans about George's style of hockey. Bull's fans hate the trap. I think George has had good success in Belleville so it is a double edged sword. At one time the teams playing against the Bulls in Belleville knew it was the Bull's barn, some nights the Bulls get pushed around;
5. Maybe the biggest reason is the aging season ticket holder base as Belleville has probably one of the oldest fan bases. The local economy has made it difficult for the Bulls to attract younger season ticket holders.
It Belleville loses the Bulls it will be a huge loss for the community so hopefully something will happen in the next 2 years to keep them in Belleville.

Gord is at every game. He usually travels to away games aswell.

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10-04-2013, 01:35 PM
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Guelph's attendance is normal for this time of year.

Guelph set attendance records last year regularly having 4000+, but even last season with an NHL Lockout, it was brutal in Septmeber/Early part of October.

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10-04-2013, 01:53 PM
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Response to Massey, and Tonester01 .

I find that interesting that you feel that by televising local games has had a negative impact on the attendance. Maybe somebody could correct me if I am wrong but I don't belief we see that too much in Barrie. We normally average around 3700 according to other posters. So with a rink capacity of around 4000 that's not too bad.

A few years back my wife and I had the opportunity to visit the pollen nation, and other than the parking it was an enjoyable experience. Vibrant atmosphere, friendly people and the food wasn't too bad. So it is sad to hear when a franchise is not getting the support or living up to potential.

As well it is sad to hear the comments from Belleville. If I remember correctly last year at the beginning the attendance was extremely poor as well. I can't speak towards an absentee owner as Howie Campbell and partner are generally at every game and usually they can be found wandering around the restaurant talking with fans.

It is beginning to sound like they are several issues rearing their heads!!

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10-04-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormSurge9 View Post
Guelph's attendance is normal for this time of year.

Guelph set attendance records last year regularly having 4000+, but even last season with an NHL Lockout, it was brutal in Septmeber/Early part of October.
Yes I have always noticed that Guelph gets very good support from their fans, even though you have London in your division. I thought all Western conference fans were Knights fans (HAHAHA)

So seriously if I compare Belleville or Peterborough for example to Guelph, what would you say makes the average fan go to the rink to watch the Storm as compared to not supporting the Sting or the Bulls??

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10-04-2013, 02:39 PM
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Quality of team, easily.

Guelph has one of the top teams in the league this year while Belleville and Sarnia are in rebuilding modes.

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10-04-2013, 02:39 PM
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With an owner like Mark Burgess alienating long term season ticket holders, I see ticket sales in Sudbury going down even with the team supposedly being an eastern conference "contender".

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10-04-2013, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thom View Post
I dont live in Ontario but if its true attendance is down blame it on boss of the league.Remember the fans are people who work in rural areas who are not going to spend money on no hit hockey.And stop saying their 18 yrs old kids in whl rule changes are starting.Ban fighting ban any rough play and this will turn off real fans.Do teachers lawyers really go enmasse to violent sports no
Wow, so much wrong here I don't quite know where to start.

First of all, please describe how you define "rural".

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10-04-2013, 03:35 PM
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Ottawa made up a huge chunk of attendance in the East for several years in the early-to-mid 2000's, but they're sinking now. Announced attendance of 1400 last night but there were no more than 500 people there.

67's never drew well at playoff games in Kanata, never drew well on weekdays, and it was a train wreck waiting to happen when they moved out there full time.

Attendance will improve when they move back to Bank St. but a lot of collateral damage, many season ticket holders will not be back

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10-04-2013, 04:08 PM
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I'd expect the Otters attendance to be up quite a bit this season. Even with the terrible team and half-finished arena with averaged around 3,100 a game last season, and it was very good in the second half. Something like 9 Saturdays in a row to end the season with 4,000+. I've heard tomorrow night's game is already pretty much sold out, and we usually have a large amount of game-day ticket purchases. Combination of the new arena and a team that should be competitive every night, wouldnt be shocked if we average close to 4,000 this season. I think just about every market besides London and Kitchener start off a bit slow, then attendance picks up for the second half of the season.

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10-04-2013, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by LeafsFIO View Post
Ottawa made up a huge chunk of attendance in the East for several years in the early-to-mid 2000's, but they're sinking now. Announced attendance of 1400 last night but there were no more than 500 people there.

67's never drew well at playoff games in Kanata, never drew well on weekdays, and it was a train wreck waiting to happen when they moved out there full time.

Attendance will improve when they move back to Bank St. but a lot of collateral damage, many season ticket holders will not be back
I agree with your comment, watching the game it certainly didn't appear that there was more than a few hundred in attendance.

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10-04-2013, 04:48 PM
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Quality of team, easily.

Guelph has one of the top teams in the league this year while Belleville and Sarnia are in rebuilding modes.
Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't Guelph always draw well in attendance??

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