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Location and its role in attendance

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Old
04-06-2017, 12:02 PM
  #1
stealth1
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Location and its role in attendance

I always hear a lot of fans say that location of the arena plays a big role in attendance. I have never understood the reasoning behind it. I live in the Niagara region in Ontario and it takes me about 40 minutes, depending on the border, to get to Key Bank center in Buffalo. I go to about 5 to 10 games a year. Most are weekday games and I have never thought of not going cause of it taking to long to get there.

It makes no sense cause people are willing to go to concerts or WWE events at these same arenas during the week but won't drive there for a mid week hockey game. I know people will say there is a difference between the 2 cause one is a special event. IMO they are both same. People are willing to drive out to see these events but not willing to do the same for hockey. The hockey game is usually not as long as these special events. To me it shows me the level hockey is on compared to a lot of other entertainment options.

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04-06-2017, 12:41 PM
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DowntownBooster
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There is a difference between a one-time WWE event to that of an NHL team playing scheduled games. The WWE event, like a concert, will attract fans from all over the region who would be more than willing to go to the 'special' event. However, NHL teams rely on a fan base made up of mostly season ticket holders and they want convenience. It is not convenient to be driving long distances for 40+ games each season.


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04-06-2017, 12:54 PM
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powerstuck
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If you really want people to embrace your argument...you need to tell them how often would you traveled to Air Canada Centre in Toronto if you weren't so close to Buffalo.

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04-06-2017, 01:08 PM
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stealth1
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Originally Posted by powerstuck View Post
If you really want people to embrace your argument...you need to tell them how often would you traveled to Air Canada Centre in Toronto if you weren't so close to Buffalo.
When you add the border wait time into it, its almost the same. Its usually 20 to 30 minute wait at the border for game nights in Buffalo. I have never thought it was a big deal to leave right after work for a game and get back home around 11 or so depending on traffic and when the game gets out. If I was a Leaf fan I would have no problem driving to Toronto on a week night to see a game. My boss has season tickets for the Leafs and he drives to the game from work all the time. I have never heard him complain about the drive.

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04-06-2017, 01:16 PM
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The Feckless Puck
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Originally Posted by stealth1 View Post
I go to about 5 to 10 games a year.
This is why you don't understand the reasoning. I mean no offense or disrespect, but if you are a season ticket holder who goes to 40 games a year like I was for over a decade, that commute becomes a real strain - particularly when you're doing it three times a week, and even worse if you're caught in traffic jams to boot.

Reduce the number of games in a season, and the difficulty making it out to those games recedes. Baseball has the same problem, except worse - if you have five or six games in a week, you'd better be centrally located or else the negatives of distance start outweighing the positives of the experience.

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04-06-2017, 01:25 PM
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stealth1
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Originally Posted by The Feckless Puck View Post
This is why you don't understand the reasoning. I mean no offense or disrespect, but if you are a season ticket holder who goes to 40 games a year like I was for over a decade, that commute becomes a real strain - particularly when you're doing it three times a week, and even worse if you're caught in traffic jams to boot.

Reduce the number of games in a season, and the difficulty making it out to those games recedes. Baseball has the same problem, except worse - if you have five or six games in a week, you'd better be centrally located or else the negatives of distance start outweighing the positives of the experience.
Fans never used to make that big a deal about where the arena was located. Its not just the season ticket holders that make a big deal about it. I hear that a lot of the casual fans, like me who go to a few games a year, seem to complain about location of the arenas.

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04-06-2017, 01:30 PM
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tarheelhockey
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Consider that many STH don't simply go directly to the game after work.

For me:
- Leave work at 5pm (if I'm lucky)
20 minute drive to afterschool care
- Pick up kids
10 minute drive home
- Change, maybe eat if it's a 7:30 game
20 minute drive to arena
- Park
10-15 minute walk to seats


Now, I happen to be located reasonably close to the arena so if I push it, I usually have time to get to the game at or close to puck drop.

But consider what this schedule would look like for someone who has 30+ minute commutes in between home, daycare, and arena. It would simply be impossible to catch the first part of the game, you'd be late every single time.

Now consider what it would be like to do this 40-50 times per year. That little 10-20 minute difference in commute adds up to A LOT of missed hockey.

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04-06-2017, 04:34 PM
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tony d
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In Edmonton, where my sister lives, they're a 1/2 hr. away from Rogers Centre. They get to a game or 2 a year. To me why watch a game at the arena when you can do it at home on the TV? With wrestling those shows aren't on TV and usually only come to a city once or twice a year.

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04-06-2017, 05:26 PM
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Well, look at the most successful non-traditional markets. Right now, it's Tampa and Nashville. One thing (though not the only thing) they have in common is a very centrally-located arena. Then look at a place like Ottawa, which has had worse attendance than any other Canadian market despite hockey's popularity- the arena is out in the middle of nowhere.

Arizona, Florida, and Carolina also rank low on the list of population size located within a 1-2 mile radius of the arena. I think people want arenas where they don't have to commute too far, and many people also want arenas with other things to do around, especially for weekend games.

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04-06-2017, 06:17 PM
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Aren't we kind of overstating Nashville's success, especially relative to Tampa? Tampa has done well, both from a business standpoint and a hockey-ops standpoint. The Bolts have their championship from '04 and have been a quality team through most of the 2010s. The Predators have never made it out of the second round. Ratings for Tampa are pretty good, I believe. We don't know what kind of ratings the Preds get because Fox Sports doesn't report them. If they were anything to be proud of, they'd shout it from the rooftop. The logical conclusion is that their ratings are abysmal, even worse than the Ducks and Panthers, who do report.

I really think Nashville is a "there are 15,000 fans but they're all at every game" scenario, which is enough to get by with good road draws and their fabulously generous taxpayer subsidies, but I would never call them a success like I would the Lightning.

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04-06-2017, 06:18 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony d View Post
In Edmonton, where my sister lives, they're a 1/2 hr. away from Rogers Centre. They get to a game or 2 a year. To me why watch a game at the arena when you can do it at home on the TV? With wrestling those shows aren't on TV and usually only come to a city once or twice a year.
Wrestling is on TV and go to a hockey game live and try and make the argument that it's the same as watching it on TV (or any sporting event in general). The atmosphere alone makes it 100 times better.

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04-06-2017, 06:44 PM
  #12
madhi19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Consider that many STH don't simply go directly to the game after work.

For me:
- Leave work at 5pm (if I'm lucky)
20 minute drive to afterschool care
- Pick up kids
10 minute drive home
- Change, maybe eat if it's a 7:30 game
20 minute drive to arena
- Park
10-15 minute walk to seats


Now, I happen to be located reasonably close to the arena so if I push it, I usually have time to get to the game at or close to puck drop.

But consider what this schedule would look like for someone who has 30+ minute commutes in between home, daycare, and arena. It would simply be impossible to catch the first part of the game, you'd be late every single time.

Now consider what it would be like to do this 40-50 times per year. That little 10-20 minute difference in commute adds up to A LOT of missed hockey.
The end of the 8PM start was really the death of the happening game. With 8PM start you could reasonably get back from work, get a decent meal, and be on time for the national anthem. It was late enough that you could make a night out of it. Now with early start you're rushed to be at the rink and since it end around 9:30, you just go back home to eat some leftover.

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04-06-2017, 08:10 PM
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berklon
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Originally Posted by TBC View Post
Wrestling is on TV and go to a hockey game live and try and make the argument that it's the same as watching it on TV (or any sporting event in general). The atmosphere alone makes it 100 times better.
I agree that watching a game at home on TV isn't the same as watching it live.
I find the experience much better at home.

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04-06-2017, 08:14 PM
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powerstuck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhi19 View Post
The end of the 8PM start was really the death of the happening game. With 8PM start you could reasonably get back from work, get a decent meal, and be on time for the national anthem. It was late enough that you could make a night out of it. Now with early start you're rushed to be at the rink and since it end around 9:30, you just go back home to eat some leftover.
Or you eat at the arena, which you know, NHL and its members like you spending 20 bucks for 2 hotdogs.

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04-06-2017, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by berklon View Post
I agree that watching a game at home on TV isn't the same as watching it live.
I find the experience much better at home.
You're one of a million. I couldn't think of any reason on why I would rather sit at home and watch (obviously excluding costs).

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04-06-2017, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Elephant Igloo View Post
Aren't we kind of overstating Nashville's success, especially relative to Tampa? Tampa has done well, both from a business standpoint and a hockey-ops standpoint. The Bolts have their championship from '04 and have been a quality team through most of the 2010s. The Predators have never made it out of the second round. Ratings for Tampa are pretty good, I believe. We don't know what kind of ratings the Preds get because Fox Sports doesn't report them. If they were anything to be proud of, they'd shout it from the rooftop. The logical conclusion is that their ratings are abysmal, even worse than the Ducks and Panthers, who do report.

I really think Nashville is a "there are 15,000 fans but they're all at every game" scenario, which is enough to get by with good road draws and their fabulously generous taxpayer subsidies, but I would never call them a success like I would the Lightning.
Give Us a Stanley Cup, double the population, 7 more years of existence, and multiple superstar forwards and then we would be a success in your mind. Not to mention good ownership which we never had until 2007!!!
Fact is our attendance is excellent in spite of the team's failures!!

So Ottawa is packing our arena on Tuesday nights, not to mention Arizona, or Florida bringing 2000 plus fans?? Also interesting that you can call out subsidies but when I mentioned them in Winnipeg everybody goes Ape!!!


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04-06-2017, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Gnashville View Post
Give Us a Stanley Cup, double the population, 7 more years of existence, and multiple superstar forwards and then we would be a success in your mind. Not to mention good ownership which we never had until 2007!!!
Fact is our attendance is excellent in spite of the team's failures!!

So Ottawa is packing our arena on Tuesday nights, not to mention Arizona, or Florida bringing 2000 plus fans?? Also interesting that you can call out subsidies but when I mentioned then in Winnipeg everybody goes Ape!!!
I don't get you Gnash. We show our support for the Predators drawing well this year and you still have to find a way to take a shot at Winnipeg.


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04-06-2017, 09:35 PM
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Gnashville
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I don't get you Gnash. We show our support for the Predators drawing well this year and you still have to find a way to take a shot at Winnipeg.

my main point was comparing Tampa's numerous advantages over Nashville!
I didn't take a shot at Winnipeg!! I pointed out the double standards when it's called subsides in Nashville but not in Winnipeg! I have stated several times I have no issues with the Jets but they are exactly equal in every way to Nashville but as you see one receives criticism and the other does not.

Between Nashville and Winnipeg
Revenue is virtually equal
Ticket prices are virtually equal
Government assistance is virtually equal (even the same source of taxation)
Revenue sharing is equal
Most of this is by design as Winnipeg used Nashville as a blueprint for success!

Why does some (like above poster) refuse to call Nashville a success?
I doubt you will see any like him question Winnipeg as they do Nashville!
No one claims the only reason for a seasonal sell out in Winnipeg was visiting fans buying up tickets!!

I know the real reason but point out the hypocrisy of some.

The only thing I didn't like about the Thrashers moving to Winnipeg was the way Atlanta fans were treated by the media, A$G, and the league, very little of that was Winnipeg related.


Last edited by Gnashville: 04-06-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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04-06-2017, 10:13 PM
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powerstuck
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@Gnashville

Many posters here have personal opinions which is as it should be. But if a certain individual attacks Nashville as a hockey destination, YOU turn that attack into ''all Canadians hate Nashville''. Which lets be honest sucks.

I have been in Nashville and saw a hockey game there. Nothing bad I could even imagine to say about the experience I had. I may only hate your team when they beat my team at hockey, but that's about it.

You can attack someone's arguments with facts all you want, but please don't mix us all up in the same basket. And I say this knowing that the user you were replying to initially is not even from Winnipeg.

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04-06-2017, 10:24 PM
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DopeyFish
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Originally Posted by powerstuck View Post
If you really want people to embrace your argument...you need to tell them how often would you traveled to Air Canada Centre in Toronto if you weren't so close to Buffalo.
Toronto is a weird city though

Coming from Kitchener... Hamilton... Barrie... Oshawa... Montreal... Buffalo you can basically hop on a train and the second you get off you're at the arena.

ACC is one of the best placed arenas on the planet

(though as well placed as it is... it's more annoying to get there from niagara than in buffalo)


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Old
04-06-2017, 10:52 PM
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Jonas1235
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If I lived across the street from the Saddledome, I'd still only go to 3 events a year but I'm not rich. For the regular person I think have transit available for sporting events is important.

The guy who has season tickets and can pay for the parking will travel hours to go to games if they love it enough.

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04-06-2017, 11:57 PM
  #22
Gnashville
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@Gnashville

Many posters here have personal opinions which is as it should be. But if a certain individual attacks Nashville as a hockey destination, YOU turn that attack into ''all Canadians hate Nashville''. Which lets be honest sucks.

I have been in Nashville and saw a hockey game there. Nothing bad I could even imagine to say about the experience I had. I may only hate your team when they beat my team at hockey, but that's about it.

You can attack someone's arguments with facts all you want, but please don't mix us all up in the same basket. And I say this knowing that the user you were replying to initially is not even from Winnipeg.
If you took a poll right now of Canadians and said "name 5 NHL teams you want to see contracted or relocated" I guarantee Nashville finishes 3rd or 4th on that list.

Major misconception about my posts are that they are attacks on certain markets/fans they are not and should not be construed as attacks. I only point out the hypocrisy of some people that judge markets based solely on geography. Yes I try to use facts and not misconceptions, exaggerations or lies (unlike some). As I stated Winnipeg and Nashville are razor close to each other in all major categories deemed relevant. Which is why I used them more often when comparing markets. I could use Ottawa (which has cheaper tickets than Nashville on average) also.

No one dare call Winnipeg, or Ottawa a failure (IMO they are not) but love to create false narratives in Nashville. As the poster I responded to claimed, Nashville was a failure and should not be listed as a success. His claims were that Nashville had pathetic ratings (can not be proven), reliance on visiting fans, and large subsidies. Others I have seen are falsified attendance (which the lease prevents them from doing) and other bogus claims. The one thing that segment cannot admit is Nashville is a decent hockey market and the fans do exist here and are growing. Remarkable given how we have had virtually 0 playoff success, and no exciting skilled offensive stars to promote in 2 decades. For the most part of the team's history, it has been a very boring team to watch. This year we will watch another 1st round exit to frustrate us, but yet the fans will continue to support our average team. Teams like Chicago get a pass during lean times but when we start a long losing period and attendance drops (which it will) I know the vultures will start circling again.

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Old
04-07-2017, 07:13 AM
  #23
tarheelhockey
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If you took a poll right now of Canadians and said "name 5 NHL teams you want to see contracted or relocated" I guarantee Nashville finishes 3rd or 4th on that list.
Well if you frame an entire conversation so that it's guaranteed to produce offensive results...

I feel pretty confident that if you took a poll of Canadians and simply asked "should the NHL get rid of some of its teams?" the overwhelming majority would either have no opinion or would say no.

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04-07-2017, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Well if you frame an entire conversation so that it's guaranteed to produce offensive results...

I feel pretty confident that if you took a poll of Canadians and simply asked "should the NHL get rid of some of its teams?" the overwhelming majority would either have no opinion or would say no.
I'm not sure about that. There are large swaths of people here who need to be prodded to understand that it's a good thing for hockey that players are starting to come from California and Texas and Arizona.

Heck, even despite Matthews saying he never puts on a pair of skates if he hadn't watched the Coyotes, there's a lot of people that *still* think Arizona should not have a team located there.

You're in ACC basketball country. You understand what devoid of logic is. You've read about Kentucky "fans" and the official from the regional final. People up here aren't that different when it comes to hockey.

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04-07-2017, 11:58 AM
  #25
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For some, it is about getting there after work. I used to work in Manhattan. Guy I worked with was a diehard Devils fan. He worked Sunday-Wednesday from 8-6. He went to every thursday, friday, saturday game and on occassion would use a vacation/sick day to go another night. He would go to all 41 games if he could. Problem was, by the time he left work, took the train back to his town in NJ, he could not make it to the Meadowlands for a 7:30 game. I left that company in 2001 and haven't spoken to him since. But, when the Devils moved to Newark, first person I thought of was him and if he was planning to go more often. He always said, if the arena was at Newark Penn Station, (it is across the street) the way MSG is over NY Penn Station, he would go every night.

Another friend of mine who was an Isles fan worked in Manhattan used to say the same thing. Could not get home from work on LIRR and get to the Coliseum without really hauling it. Hated arena food and fast food. He would not have time to eat something before the game. He lived in Western Suffolk County, so about an hour train ride home and depending on traffic, about an hour to an hour and a half to get to coliseum. (That included parking car, walking in, getting to his seat,etc).

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