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The Business of Hockey Discuss the financial and business aspects of the NHL. Topics may include the CBA, work stoppages, broadcast contracts, franchise sales, NHL revenues, relocation and expansion.

Location and its role in attendance

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Old
04-07-2017, 12:46 PM
  #26
Gnashville
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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 will reframe the question "name a NHL team you want moved?" I still think we get a lot of votes

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Old
04-07-2017, 12:52 PM
  #27
tarheelhockey
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I will reframe the question "name a NHL team you want moved?" I still think we get a lot of votes
But that's a leading question.

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04-07-2017, 01:35 PM
  #28
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When we lost the Thrashers 90% of the comments from all over the League were pretty negative about hockey being played south of st. Louis. Whenever people talked about relocation or contraction all the Southeast teams were mentioned. Nashville has fallen off that least recently because of it's success on the ice but it didn't matter that both Carolina and Tampa had won a Cup.

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04-07-2017, 01:42 PM
  #29
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I'm not a mod, nor do I play one on TV, but the 'location' referred to by this thread is location of the arena in the city, not location of the city within North America. Can every second thread on here not become some treatise about how people's feelings are hurt by comments by another fanbase?

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04-07-2017, 01:56 PM
  #30
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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.
8 PM start could be a good idea for lots of teams.

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04-07-2017, 02:09 PM
  #31
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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 them in Winnipeg everybody goes Ape!!!

Haters gonna hate
I agree and I just can not fault Bettman for supporting cities after his first year or two.

Nashville was in trouble a long time ago and Bettman and the NHL helped to make sure the city and fans kept the team and look at Nashville today. Or Columbus.

The Penguins, Sabres, Senators and even Oilers were in financial trouble and Bettman would not let them move no matter what. Pittsburgh and Buffalo are literally the best NHL hockey markets per person in the USA!

That is why supporting Phoenix and doing everything possible to keep them there is the right move.

NHL hockey is an awesome sport and any almost any city that has a decent winning team will support their team. And after some good karma with fans newer teams will support their teams even when they are not winning.

Now unlike the NHL of the early 90's or the NFL today. If you own a team you can not leave it. Not easily at all. You are committed to the city and the fans to work out your financial problems or sell to someone that will keep the team in the city.

Nashville is a huge example of the success of that philosophy. A decade ago who thinks the Predators own Nashville and could sell out an entire season only being a wildcard playoff team?

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Old
04-07-2017, 03:26 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
I'm not a mod, nor do I play one on TV, but the 'location' referred to by this thread is location of the arena in the city, not location of the city within North America. Can every second thread on here not become some treatise about how people's feelings are hurt by comments by another fanbase?
Indeed, this has gone pretty far from the thread topic and is into the usual deep ruts that we're all familiar with around here. Let's get back to talking about arena location, not franchise location.

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Old
04-07-2017, 05:41 PM
  #33
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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.
I literally have no idea how people can have season tickets to a baseball team, especially with the amount of weekday afternoon games they have.

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04-07-2017, 10:18 PM
  #34
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I wonder where the Bruins would be today if Jacobs had built a new arena in New Hampshire (30 miles from Boston) in the early 80's like he had planned.

For decades the Patriots had problems with getting fans to Foxborough because of the location and road conditions. From many parts of the region it becomes an 8 hour event - but the last 20+ years that have been fielding good teams. When they finally start to lose again they are going to have problems.

St Pete baseball has always been about location of the stadium. The Expos finally died in Montreal because the stadium was on the east end of the island and not the west where most fans were from.

The long gone Richfield, (Cleveland) Coliseum should have been a warning to anyone who wanted to build an arena/stadium away from the center.

30 years ago I did work for a AAA baseball team in Maine that decided they would locate in a beach community roughly 10 miles south of the largest city Portland and after 5 years the franchise moved to Scranton in 1989. A few years later investors got a AA expansion team and placed it in Portland and it has thrived since 1994 and it got even better when the Red Sox moved their affiliation there in 2003.

https://www.si.com/vault/1984/07/09/...ine-attraction

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04-07-2017, 11:44 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Bruins1233 View Post
I literally have no idea how people can have season tickets to a baseball team, especially with the amount of weekday afternoon games they have.
Most teams other than the Cubs and White Sox don't play that many day games. The Texas Rangers hardly play any at all.

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Old
04-08-2017, 01:10 AM
  #36
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Proximity to a city/transport center definitely plays a role in the success of teams playing more than 8 home games a year.

It is not the only factor but, sure, has to be considered. When a team is performing poorly, do you want to go great distances to see them play poorly?

I think the only NHL teams with ex-urban facilities are Ottawa, Florida, Arizona, Anaheim and Carolina. Most have had successful and lean years in attendance. Highly likely linked to variances in performance.

If however, you are successful and STILL cannot attract flies, time to consider your options.

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Old
04-08-2017, 01:52 AM
  #37
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For me it's mostly a question of money. To drive all the way downtown and watch my Habs play, it never costs me under $200, since I like to eat, drink - have a good time while there. I could get lucky and pay under $150, but games are expensive. I could have a similar experience at a bar with other great fans, and all have a blast together. It's fun to go to games once in a while (I try to go to about 5 games a year), but more than 5 is hard. And like others mentioned above, it's hard wanting to go see your team if they're not competing or if they're not really good.

The success of a team plays a very large role in attendance (I find). Take for example Montreal: the entire city is filled with Habs fans. Yet... I could tell you that last year, towards the end of the season when everyone knew the Habs wouldn't make it in: the attendance was abysmal. It wasn't even half-full. When I went to a couple of games this season: they weren't much fuller either. Now that their back in the prime spot, attendance hit a high again.

I personally give major, MAJOR props to all Leafs & Oilers fans who kept positive for so long and remained fans the duration of the time. Now look at them both: back in the playoffs with amazing young talents!

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Old
04-08-2017, 02:20 AM
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky_Hoyt View Post
Proximity to a city/transport center definitely plays a role in the success of teams playing more than 8 home games a year.

It is not the only factor but, sure, has to be considered. When a team is performing poorly, do you want to go great distances to see them play poorly?

I think the only NHL teams with ex-urban facilities are Ottawa, Florida, Arizona, Anaheim and Carolina. Most have had successful and lean years in attendance. Highly likely linked to variances in performance.

If however, you are successful and STILL cannot attract flies, time to consider your options.
Let's look at the Devils.

Would they be better off today if they had built a new arena at the Meadowlands than moving to Newark? That is a tough call but it is also safe to say many in the affluent NJ burbs wanted no part of going to Newark.

I am an east coast guy but I have to admit my radar is on high alert in Newark after a game - and it is only 12 miles from Manhattan.

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04-08-2017, 04:31 AM
  #39
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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.
No lines for the bathroom...Beer/snacks are much cheaper...Nobody complains if I fall asleep.

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Old
04-08-2017, 09:39 AM
  #40
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Regarding baseball season tickets, few people with season tickets attend all the games or even most. That's why even for relatively important games (such as rivalry games, big name matchups) you'll usually find something on Stubhub.

I think location itself in a metro area certainly matters. If I live within 40 minutes of the arena/ballpark, I may go a dozen times a year. If I live like 90 minutes away I may only go 1-2 times a year, but if I live within 15 minutes I may get a low end season ticket and just go whenever I feel like it. That really just means that you don't want to build a stadium or arena that's nowhere near people live and not easily accessible by car and transit.

But price would probably be a bigger factor. It's easy to go to the ballpark a lot because there's always cheap tickets. It's a different story with hockey or basketball especially if the team is good. And NFL games are a different production altogether.

I think safety also matters but less so in terms of whether it's a great neighborhood but more in terms of getting to and from the game in a safe way i.e. the nature of the infrastructure. If you have to walk 10 blocks through the hood to get to your car or the next transit station, well that's going to be more of an issue.


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Old
04-08-2017, 02:37 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
I wonder where the Bruins would be today if Jacobs had built a new arena in New Hampshire (30 miles from Boston) in the early 80's like he had planned.

For decades the Patriots had problems with getting fans to Foxborough because of the location and road conditions. From many parts of the region it becomes an 8 hour event - but the last 20+ years that have been fielding good teams. When they finally start to lose again they are going to have problems.

St Pete baseball has always been about location of the stadium. The Expos finally died in Montreal because the stadium was on the east end of the island and not the west where most fans were from.

The long gone Richfield, (Cleveland) Coliseum should have been a warning to anyone who wanted to build an arena/stadium away from the center.

30 years ago I did work for a AAA baseball team in Maine that decided they would locate in a beach community roughly 10 miles south of the largest city Portland and after 5 years the franchise moved to Scranton in 1989. A few years later investors got a AA expansion team and placed it in Portland and it has thrived since 1994 and it got even better when the Red Sox moved their affiliation there in 2003.

https://www.si.com/vault/1984/07/09/...ine-attraction
There are a lot of people in the Merrimack valley, moreso than Southeastern MA.
The Merrimack Valley is about the size of Buffalo.

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Old
04-09-2017, 08:13 PM
  #42
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Originally Posted by Fenway View Post
Let's look at the Devils.

Would they be better off today if they had built a new arena at the Meadowlands than moving to Newark? That is a tough call but it is also safe to say many in the affluent NJ burbs wanted no part of going to Newark.

I am an east coast guy but I have to admit my radar is on high alert in Newark after a game - and it is only 12 miles from Manhattan.
No, they would not be better off. The last few years at the Meadowlands was a death march for the team and the place was impossible was a pita to get into with the half built abandond mall they put up around the arena.

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04-09-2017, 08:26 PM
  #43
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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.
Considering 30+ years ago in the golden age of suburban arenas attendance across the league was much much lower, maybe fans then were silently complaining.

I currently live in Downtown Miami right now. For me to go to a Panthers game during the week I have to leave work significatly early, and fight traffic on 95 to drive nearly an hour to Sunrise. Needless to say in the two years I have lived here I have gone to a total of 2 Panthers games.

Needless to say if the Panthers had stayed in downtown Miami and built what is now American Airlines Arena with the heat (to meet hockey standards), I would probably go to many games a year.

And it isn't like Sunrise is central in the region to both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, it is out of the way for both cities. Since moving down here I understand the Panthers situation better. They basically had to restart the entire franchise in 1998 when they moved to Sunrise and have been an awful team (save a few individual seasons) since.

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Old
04-09-2017, 11:28 PM
  #44
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Originally Posted by jkrdevil View Post
Considering 30+ years ago in the golden age of suburban arenas attendance across the league was much much lower, maybe fans then were silently complaining.

I currently live in Downtown Miami right now. For me to go to a Panthers game during the week I have to leave work significatly early, and fight traffic on 95 to drive nearly an hour to Sunrise. Needless to say in the two years I have lived here I have gone to a total of 2 Panthers games.

Needless to say if the Panthers had stayed in downtown Miami and built what is now American Airlines Arena with the heat (to meet hockey standards), I would probably go to many games a year.

And it isn't like Sunrise is central in the region to both Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, it is out of the way for both cities. Since moving down here I understand the Panthers situation better. They basically had to restart the entire franchise in 1998 when they moved to Sunrise and have been an awful team (save a few individual seasons) since.
My wife's family lived in the Keys for a few years and even finding where the Panthers play is an adventure. The team was awarded to Miami and then decided to move to 1/3 of the way to Orlando in the middle of the Everglades. Just an awful spot for anything. It took me driving 20 miles out of the way just to find where it is at the end/beginning of Alligator Alley (one of the most desolate stretches of highway in the US). The NHL should have said "you want to move your team where?" when the plans for the arena came out. Look at it on Google Earth and you will see nothing to the west but swampland. They should have build it closer to the coast and between Ft Lauderdale and Miami off either I95 or the Turnpike.

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Old
04-10-2017, 08:34 AM
  #45
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My wife's family lived in the Keys for a few years and even finding where the Panthers play is an adventure. The team was awarded to Miami and then decided to move to 1/3 of the way to Orlando in the middle of the Everglades. Just an awful spot for anything. It took me driving 20 miles out of the way just to find where it is at the end/beginning of Alligator Alley (one of the most desolate stretches of highway in the US). The NHL should have said "you want to move your team where?" when the plans for the arena came out. Look at it on Google Earth and you will see nothing to the west but swampland. They should have build it closer to the coast and between Ft Lauderdale and Miami off either I95 or the Turnpike.
Well, the idea was to avoid the congestion of 95 and the Turnpike as much as possible. Also, to be able to draw not just from Miami and Ft Lauderdale, but Boca Raton/West Palm Beach too.

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04-11-2017, 01:32 PM
  #46
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I think there are a couple of aspects to the location that are important. The first is convenience for fans: is it close to a person's home or workplace and are there easy ways to access it? The second is whether there are other things to do nearby to make it an attractive place to spend an evening.

I have lived in two cities with NHL: DC and Raleigh. In DC it was very easy to get to the games via public transit and the area around the arena was very lively. I would usually take the metro to meet friends for games and we would hang out before and/or afterward at a bar or restaurant. In Raleigh not only do we have to drive out to the arena, but it is just so isolated and there is nothing else to do in the area. This year I went to a couple of Hurricanes games, but if the location had been more convenient to downtown I would have gone to several.

That's just me obviously, others might be the opposite. Say someone lives in Durham, they are probably more likely to go to a game at the Hurricanes' current location than if they had to go all the way to downtown Raleigh.

And of course location is just one of several factors people take into consideration, including how much they like they game, cost, quality of the team, etc.

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Old
04-12-2017, 12:34 AM
  #47
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The "new NHL" has only one good location. Downtown.

Transportation is big, but no longer is an arena off of its own highway off-ramp the right location (see Ottawa/Kanata).

The suits as well as piles of other people are downtown just prior to game time (and more and more people are living downtown). The location should be easy for them to get to (staying downtown for the game instead of going home) and relatively easy for them to get back home from. But....you want them to eat there....maybe head close to the rink after work and have a beer and bite somewhere....enjoy the game, walk back to where they parked for work and head home. Or something close to that.

Locations help create 'districts'.....help (re-)vitalize downtown cores. However.....I think it reduces the reach a franchise can expect to draw from. For example, if the Leafs built an arena at the 404/401....it would be much easier for people from a decent distance to get to the rink. Way easier than getting to the ACC. But...who benefits from that? People get in their cars, leave work, drive to the rink, watch the game, get in their car and go home.

Teams don't even want that.....arenas get funded by districts now.....teams invest in the region to capitalize further on having 18,000 people in one small area. So, as wise as the plan is to once again build arenas downtown and develop the area surrounding them....it also limits the reach teams once had. It's coinciding with more and more people living downtown in major cities. So it's smart on so many levels....even with the radius you draw from being reduced.....you're quite possible attracting more customers, and definitely more revenue.

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04-12-2017, 12:18 PM
  #48
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Originally Posted by Elephant Igloo View Post
Most teams other than the Cubs and White Sox don't play that many day games. The Texas Rangers hardly play any at all.
Most teams play a decent amount of day games, about 10 or so which is 15% of the home schedule. Heck there are day PLAYOFF games. (3-4PM Local time). No other league dares to do that.

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04-12-2017, 02:54 PM
  #49
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Whether downtown or not, I think what really matters is that it's a well-connected area for as many people as possible. The problem of suburban venues was lack of public transport but also that you built something on a spoke of a hub and spokes system. If there's a major freeway and other notable roads nearby, that's cool for everyone in that area but nevertheless pretty bad if you live at the other end of the metro.

The transport networks of big cities tend to be built to shuffle as many people to the CBD and back. The closer you are to the CBD the better the connection.

But whether it needs to be exactly on or right by the CBD also depends on the city. An extensive public transport network or a highway system that is designed for a multi-centric conurbation can make a big difference there.

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04-21-2017, 09:07 AM
  #50
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Hockey in the south: How big of a role does stadium location play?

I recently visited Tampa and what struck me was how great of a location Amalie Arena has. It reminded me of Nashville which I visited two years ago where Bridgestone Arena also has a fantastic downtown location. I've not visited any other of the soutern expansion team's arenas but my understanding is that many of their arenas are not located downtown in the same way.

My understanding is also that Tampa and Nashville are widely regarded as the most succesful of the southern teams, not in Stanley Cups won but more in how they have brought fans to their arenas.

My theory is that the arena location has played a big role in the market success of these franchises. Do you agree or are other factors much more important eg. team success, marketable players, owners etc.?

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