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Not selling out a playoff game

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Old
04-27-2006, 05:51 PM
  #26
braindead
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That to me makes tonight one of the most important games in franchise existence. Lose tonight and we probably don't sell out Sunday. Lose Sunday with 2K empty seats and Craig is left scratching his head and wondering what life in portland oregon would be like. OK a bit far fetched but it doesn't make me feel good about our long term existence when we cant sell out a playoff game.

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04-27-2006, 06:24 PM
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FangFingers
I think the prices are a real problem.

I went to Fridays game in the cheap seats - $60

Then, I bought into the hype and bought 3 expensive seats for Sundays game $94 a piece for $280+.

There's no way I can swing for another set of 3 in that bracket. That would be like $700 bucks in 1 week for hockey tickets.

Even if youre a casual fan, and your interest is piqued by playoff hockey fever, youre not going to plunk down $100.00 bucks per ticket to go and see.

This just reeks.
did you see were he claimed tickets only went up 10%? Violeta (sp?) is a joke.

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04-27-2006, 06:47 PM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braindead
. . . it doesn't make me feel good about our long term existence when we cant sell out a playoff game.
I know Craig has always said he believes in this town and isn't going anywhere.

However, those comments were made previous to him struggling to sellout playoff games . . .

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04-27-2006, 08:23 PM
  #29
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Interesting post from the "other board"

Long post

-----Original Message-----
From: "Brian Perkins"
Date:
To:violetta
Subject: RE: Marketing Ideas

Mr. Violetta,
Your strategy is not reaching the potential casual fan outside of the Metro area. The affiliate stations are low power AM stations with no nighttime coverage area. Youth hockey doesn't exist in the Clarksville area or southern Kentucky. Bowling Green's paper gives more coverage to WKU intramurals than to the Preds. There are no billboards, have been no visits from players or Puck Patrol, and minimal to no awareness of the educational partnerships in the Clarksville / Montgomery County area. Even the free tickets for military night earlier this season was poorly publicized around Fort Campbell. I realize that as a partial season ticket holder who travels over 800 miles for weekend ice pack games and makes sure my wife and daughter bring somebody to fill my seat when I can't get home that I am not the primary audience for advertising, but when I wear my jersey and people ask what team it is I see how lacking knowledge of the team is around Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
I know that sales are very slow for Sunday's game, but blacking out TV coverage may very well backfire if the team chooses to go that route.
Dangle that stick in front of the local businesses to coerce them to buy some seats and lure a few more casual fans through the doors, but please consider what price ranges have sold out or are down to singles before pulling the trigger.
For some good news, about 20,000 potential fans should be returning to Fort Campbell just before the beginning of the 06-07 season. Many of them are transplants from more traditional hockey areas and would love to catch a few games after a year in Iraq. They'll just need to have the team publicized when they get back. I'm sure that the division rear detachment could help with any necessary coordination.
Thank you for your time,
Brian Perkins

___________
Brian: we are constantly evaluating and tweaking our strategy in these outlying markets. New radio affiliates, and in fact a new radio flagship station, may well be in order for 2006-07. I am with the team in San Jose right now but plan to share with you our written plan for Clarksville and southern Kentucky.

As far as the blackout, let me make our position clear:

1) There are about 2,600 tix left for game 5 Sunday, some as low as 36 dollars. The Predators playoff ticket prices are the lowest in the NHL: we have a 12.50 playoff ticket, which is HALF as much as the next cheapest playoff ticket out there, 25.00 in Carolina. Buffalo for instance does not have a playoff ticket under 50.00. Memphis NBA playoff tickets range from a low of 36.00 to 250.00.

2) Having said that (and I hope you share this with your fellow Preds fans) we honestly feel that the average fan ( Joe and Jill fan I like to call them) have done their part this season. Our average PAID attendance was up 20 pct this season from 2003-04 and season tickets were up about 2,000. Almost all of this increase was because of Joe and Jill fan. We understand and sincerely appreciate that.

3) Our issue (and hopefully the message we as a management team delivers) has not changed since the lock-out ended last July: WE NEED COMPANIES IN NASHVILLE TO BUY MORE SEASON TICKETS. And we need them to buy them in the lower bowl. 90 pct of our full season ticket holders bought their playoff tickets, because most of the full season ticket accounts are held by companies. Conversely, only about 60-70 pct of partial plan holders bought their playoff tickets. That is because most of those are held by Joe and Jill fan, and we understand that finances play a role for them.

4) We have a full time group sales staff of 5 people who spend every hour of every day calling businesses to get them to buy groups of tickets, anywhere from 20 tickets up to 2,000. So we are trying to sell not only season tickets but group tickets to businesses.

Brian let me make a suggestion: we are doing all we can to get companies to buy tix for Sundays game and avoid the blackout. But Preds fans like you can have a huge impact as well. Companies will respond to Joe and Jill fan (joe and jill consumer to be more accurate) quicker than they will the. Predators. You and your fellow fans have the power to make this blackout lift. Call the radio talk shows and get on the internet blogs and challenge Nashville companies to step up. There are plenty of Nashville area companies (comcast) that have a vested interest in seeing the blackout lifted. You have the power and passion to get their attention.

Steve Violetta

Steve Violetta
Nashville Predators Hockey

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Old
04-27-2006, 11:25 PM
  #30
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And the guy has a point. We do have low ticket prices...a hundred bucks for lower bowl tickets in other markets is a steal...The problem is, Nashvillians just don't make the money that other larger cities do....and we aren't used to paying so much money for a sporting event...

We have to have corporate support to realistically support this team.

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04-27-2006, 11:27 PM
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enoch
And the guy has a point. We do have low ticket prices...a hundred bucks for lower bowl tickets in other markets is a steal...The problem is, Nashvillians just don't make the money that other larger cities do....and we aren't used to paying so much money for a sporting event...

We have to have corporate support to realistically support this team.

now...that's not true. davidson county is a wealthy county...and williamson is top TEN in the COUNTRY. There's plenty of money in Nashville.

That said..what is it? Was the first year in the playoffs similar to our first couple seasons in the league, where it was the "in" thing to do? And now it's..."oh, maybe i'll go next year?" Did we sell a comparable amount of tickets last year...and Wings fans got the rest?

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04-28-2006, 01:52 AM
  #32
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For those that had the sharks announcers, Violetta was ineterviewed by Wrigley during the 2nd intermission.

He called out the Nashville corporations and also praised Bridgestone, Pepsi, and Taco Bell for buying tickets. He implored any area CEO's who were watching the game to get off their couch and order tickets for their company. He cited the corporations that had reg season tickets that didn't buy playoff tickets as the main problem and said the regular fans have been great. I think he said 1500 of the 2000 available tickets are in the lower bowl and are seats corporations usually buy.

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Old
04-28-2006, 05:12 AM
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorekids
now...that's not true. davidson county is a wealthy county...and williamson is top TEN in the COUNTRY. There's plenty of money in Nashville.
Yeah but what about Sumner, Wilson, Robertson, Montgomery, Dickson, Rutherford, Trousdale, Cheatam counties? There's A LOT of people here in these surrounding counties.

I know that Hendersonville likes to pretend they're "Brentwood North", but really none of these counties have the money of Williamson/SOUTH Davidson county.

People around here are just not going to pay for expensive tickets.

But if businesses had the seats and then just didn't buy, that's stupid and they should be ashamed of themselves. I mean, we had the BEST HOME RECORD in the ENTIRE NHL. That should tell people it would be a good time and a good chance to see a win.

I still think it all goes back to marketing. I am by no means a marketing expert, but I never see anything advertising or shouting out that the Preds are playing or even in the playoffs. How many colleges do we have in the area? That's a huge market that could be exploited but no one does anything for them. The media here is stupid too. Steve Wrigley is the ONLY reporter out there. You can be damn sure that on Sunday we're not going to be given much coverage due to the NFL draft. There are specials already planned by channel 2 for the draft, but they just gloss over the Preds. And radio, 560 all they talk about is college sports, and their signal is extremely weak. And 104, on game days they should be talking about hockey, but no, they have to have the baseball guy in there for 2 hours or have that McClain guy in there for 3 hours. Oh, the other day on 104 they had a big segment on the attendance. After they said they had tix to give away. Oh but they weren't for the Preds, they were to Zanie's. That just doesn't make sense. And then that baseball guy on there saying he would rather sit home and watch something else if he couldn't get free tix, that's ignorant to say that on the Preds station.

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04-28-2006, 12:34 PM
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraserburn
I was going to drive the 10 odd hours to get to nashville for sunday's game, but the only ticket i'd be able to get would be the $86 dollar ones........thats pretty weak
I love the predators but they arent the leafs or the wings how do they justify that price
Ditto on that. I was seriously thinking of driving the 3-4 hours from Atlanta to cheer on the Preds on Sunday. The start time was actually a plus because I could do it in a single day and save on a hotel. $85 a seat is a bit much though.

Plus, all the real cool fans sit in the nosebleeds.

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04-28-2006, 02:15 PM
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorekids
That said..what is it? Was the first year in the playoffs similar to our first couple seasons in the league, where it was the "in" thing to do? And now it's..."oh, maybe i'll go next year?" Did we sell a comparable amount of tickets last year...and Wings fans got the rest?
No it was because the fans bought the tickets. I bought lower bowl tickets last year for 59 bucks...59 dollars!!! The playoff increase last season was a 3 dollar flat increase period.

As for the first part, I wasn't aware of that, but I still think that as a whole we have less people, with less money than other markets...and without corporate support we cannot really expect the fans to shell out the cash to lock up the lower bowl every game, especially with increases.

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04-28-2006, 02:58 PM
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnrocketman
Does anyone else think ticketmonster's search for seats is stupid? why do I have to pick my seat and area to be told it is not available? Why can't I justr find what hasn't sold yet and pick what I want???
I've always thought that their system stunk. You should be able to specify an area too, not just a price range.

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04-28-2006, 08:23 PM
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuithead
I've always thought that their system stunk. You should be able to specify an area too, not just a price range.
Gotta find a more honest and more competant (sp?) provider of tickets besides Ticketmaster. They are horrible and their service leaves alot to be desired.

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04-30-2006, 12:10 AM
  #38
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I think the Titans last home game had 18,000 fans there even though they sucked this season. You telling me the time the Preds need their fans the most and we can't sell out a home game? This is ridiculous some saying that they don't know if they want to attend a "potential" elimination game? ***? Boy is this city making the critics of having hockey here in middle TN look good. I guess a game 7 wouldn't be a potential elimination game and you wouldn't attend. I'm severly dissappointed in this city I thought the fans here were die hard for their teams that represent Nashville, boy was I wrong.

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04-30-2006, 02:25 AM
  #39
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There is no excuse for not selling out a playoff game. Didn't they even have a promo where if someone shaved their head, they could get into one of the games (can't remember if it was 1 or 2) for free?

The NFL and ticket prices are no excuse. With over 550 000 people in Nashville, you would think that a city with a solid fan base would be able to find 20 000 people that would be able to both afford ticket prices and to skip some NFL talk show on TV. And with over 2000 tickets still available for Game 5, which could be the last game of the year, is really disappointing.

Watching the series on TV, I have to say I was very impressed and surprised and how good the fans are in Nashville. But now that I find out that they can't even sell out a playoff game, I see that the base of hardcore hockey fans is not as big as I thought or as it should be, especially considering how good an exciting the team has been recently.

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04-30-2006, 02:48 AM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaws
There is no excuse for not selling out a playoff game. Didn't they even have a promo where if someone shaved their head, they could get into one of the games (can't remember if it was 1 or 2) for free?

The NFL and ticket prices are no excuse. With over 550 000 people in Nashville, you would think that a city with a solid fan base would be able to find 20 000 people that would be able to both afford ticket prices and to skip some NFL talk show on TV. And with over 2000 tickets still available for Game 5, which could be the last game of the year, is really disappointing.

Watching the series on TV, I have to say I was very impressed and surprised and how good the fans are in Nashville. But now that I find out that they can't even sell out a playoff game, I see that the base of hardcore hockey fans is not as big as I thought or as it should be, especially considering how good an exciting the team has been recently.

The Mason head shaving thing was in the regular season. And as for there being "no excuse," I tend to agree...but it's not all that uncommon in the United States. Neither of the two Devils home games in the first round sold out, the Lightning struggled to sell out their playoff games on the way to a Stanley Cup in 03-04. Also, if you read the article, you see that it's not the "fans" that aren't coming out...it's the businesses. All playoff teams rely on some corporate support, and a lot of the businesses that hold season tickets opted not to purchase playoff tickets...presumably because of the price increase. We're not talking about the 30 dollar, affordable for the family of 4 tickets...we're talking to the 100 dollars plus tickets in the lower bowl.

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04-30-2006, 10:35 AM
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomorekids
The Mason head shaving thing was in the regular season. And as for there being "no excuse," I tend to agree...but it's not all that uncommon in the United States. Neither of the two Devils home games in the first round sold out, the Lightning struggled to sell out their playoff games on the way to a Stanley Cup in 03-04. Also, if you read the article, you see that it's not the "fans" that aren't coming out...it's the businesses. All playoff teams rely on some corporate support, and a lot of the businesses that hold season tickets opted not to purchase playoff tickets...presumably because of the price increase. We're not talking about the 30 dollar, affordable for the family of 4 tickets...we're talking to the 100 dollars plus tickets in the lower bowl.
I'd also throw in that Nashville's hockey fanbase is quite a bit younger than most markets. They are even less likely to be able to afford the $100 tickets. In fact, I'd say a good portion of the die-hard hockey fans can't afford any tickets because they are 25 and under (and the younger you go, the higher the percentage of hockey fans). They must rely on their parents to attend games.

I think that has a lot to do with the growth of the market from the ground up in youth and high school programs, which have seen exponential increases in participation. It's now one of the top spectator sports for high school athletics despite having miserable conditions. Many high school hockey programs have better attendance than their respective baseball teams. Oftentimes, only football and men's basketball is bigger.

This is a slow process. That our corporate support has faltered is just evidence of that. The leadership in the business world is often 40-60 and was never concerned about hockey until the Predators came a few years ago. And even then, most don't care all that much. As the younger generation moves in and begins to take a foothold in the workplace, the season ticket base will increase. As they rise up through the corporate ladder, business sales will increase.

The problem is time. You cannot make someone age faster. You cannot make them be successful quicker. You've just got to wait for it to happen. Now, the Preds have to try other things until this base is capable of supporting the team. I think that's where I'd like to see a little more creativity from the Predators with regards to ticket sales. When it's clear that the market is having trouble purchasing $100 tickets, find the group that really wants to attend but cannot afford it and concoct a creative solution to make it work.

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04-30-2006, 06:32 PM
  #42
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Per the NP site,

Quote:
The Nashville Predators would like to thank their corporate partners that have purchased blocks of tickets to Sunday's Game Five at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Pepsi Bottling Group
Taco Bell and MRCO
Two Rivers Ford
Zeitlin Realtors
Red Bull
Longhorn Steakhouse
Sounds like the push for extra support came through, lets hope it can translate into some season-ticket sales. Red Bull is quickly becoming one of the biggest sports advertising/supporting companies around. Just bought an entire MLS team, as well as the one they previously owned in Austria. And getting into the mainstream sports in America as well...no real point, other than it piques my interest as an advertising major.

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04-30-2006, 11:48 PM
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyClause
I'd also throw in that Nashville's hockey fanbase is quite a bit younger than most markets. They are even less likely to be able to afford the $100 tickets. In fact, I'd say a good portion of the die-hard hockey fans can't afford any tickets because they are 25 and under (and the younger you go, the higher the percentage of hockey fans). They must rely on their parents to attend games.

I think that has a lot to do with the growth of the market from the ground up in youth and high school programs, which have seen exponential increases in participation. It's now one of the top spectator sports for high school athletics despite having miserable conditions. Many high school hockey programs have better attendance than their respective baseball teams. Oftentimes, only football and men's basketball is bigger.

This is a slow process. That our corporate support has faltered is just evidence of that. The leadership in the business world is often 40-60 and was never concerned about hockey until the Predators came a few years ago. And even then, most don't care all that much. As the younger generation moves in and begins to take a foothold in the workplace, the season ticket base will increase. As they rise up through the corporate ladder, business sales will increase.

The problem is time. You cannot make someone age faster. You cannot make them be successful quicker. You've just got to wait for it to happen. Now, the Preds have to try other things until this base is capable of supporting the team. I think that's where I'd like to see a little more creativity from the Predators with regards to ticket sales. When it's clear that the market is having trouble purchasing $100 tickets, find the group that really wants to attend but cannot afford it and concoct a creative solution to make it work.
You just hit the nail right on the head.

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05-01-2006, 03:30 AM
  #44
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So what finally happened? Was enough tickets sold in time for the game not be blacked-out on TV?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyClause
I'd also throw in that Nashville's hockey fanbase is quite a bit younger than most markets. They are even less likely to be able to afford the $100 tickets. In fact, I'd say a good portion of the die-hard hockey fans can't afford any tickets because they are 25 and under (and the younger you go, the higher the percentage of hockey fans). They must rely on their parents to attend games.

I think that has a lot to do with the growth of the market from the ground up in youth and high school programs, which have seen exponential increases in participation. It's now one of the top spectator sports for high school athletics despite having miserable conditions. Many high school hockey programs have better attendance than their respective baseball teams. Oftentimes, only football and men's basketball is bigger.....
Interesting thoughts. I had no idea that the fan-base was that polarized. It is good news for the future....if that future comes soon enough. Just curious though, what accounts for such a high success rate with the under-25 age group in such a short time?

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05-01-2006, 04:06 AM
  #45
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It was on OLN. They lifted the blackout back on Friday.

A few companies stepped up and bought tickets (they were listed a few posts up).

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05-01-2006, 07:46 PM
  #46
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Did anyone hear "JC" from Madison on 104.6 today about 3:30 pm? Said a great thing happened in Nashville Sunday night; the Preds got beat so he does not have to listen any more about Hockey. Said they ought to play munbly peg at the GEC. Anyting is better than hockey. Also said he was Titans season ticket holder. I am NOT a pro football fan (hockey and baseball only for me) BUT if I were, I would NOT buy titans tickest becasue of Pac-Man "the common thug" Jones. "JC", kiss my grits!

If and untill the buisness community in nashville supports hockey, the lowere bowl will always be empty of full of Red Wings fans. If I owned a buisness in nashville and could not support baseball, football, and hockey, I'd support none, Find out which don't support hockey but support football and/or baseball and boycott them!

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05-01-2006, 09:13 PM
  #47
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Well said Muddycreek, I will buy more Red Bull and Pepsi now that I seen that they step up along with a few others that I will now purchase products from. You've got a few dipchits here in the middle TN area that would sit at a game of football even though their team is 4-10. I looked up the attendance 69,149 for the last game of the season when the Titans were 4-10. For a pivotal game 5 and we couldn't get a sell out of 17,500. This city should be ashamed of themselves. I think sorry a$$ Vandy has more people attend even though they know they are going to lose before they step onto the field. The local media is to blame for this, they will cover our 7th round pick so in depth that I know his cousins first names. I don't know why Kariya would come here, I know he won't stay after next season with a city that can't sell out a playoff game. You have more action in one shift of hockey than you do in a quarter of football. I'm not paying for one Titans ticket this season and it almost makes me not want to pull for the Titans. Who wants to see Slack-Mac Jones get 4 or 5 personal calls? I can go on and on about how pissed off I am towards this city right now. Bunch fukin hicks I think our younger generation will make this a hockey town in the future. Atleast I hope or we won't have hockey here for much longer. Peace and may "JC" rott in hell for his comments.

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05-01-2006, 10:26 PM
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazz
So what finally happened? Was enough tickets sold in time for the game not be blacked-out on TV?

Interesting thoughts. I had no idea that the fan-base was that polarized. It is good news for the future....if that future comes soon enough. Just curious though, what accounts for such a high success rate with the under-25 age group in such a short time?
The Preds have had a strong grassroots campaign, and with the assistance of former Predators like Darren Turcotte, the Preds have worked to grow hockey at the high-school level and below. And because hockey is such a new sport in Nashville, it has to 'win' over most fans. Despite it's exciting and physical nature, it's difficult to overcome years of not being a fan or even caring about the sport. That's the state a fair portion of our older fans are in. They'll follow it in the paper and catch a minute or two of the game if nothing is on, but they don't have the love for the game.

The younger generation doesn't have the level of built in loyalties that their parents do. They are more of a clean slate with which to work. They see the good qualities of hockey and are intrigued by it. And due to the Preds hard work, it's fast becoming en vogue to play hockey. That's a great combination for the youth hockey market. And considering that Nashville has strong pockets of middle class and above, hockey can be afforded.

My concern for growth revolves around ice time. Though the amount of rinks in the Nashville area has at least doubled, the interest has grown by much, much more. And that added interest keeps means an increased demand in the rinks. But since the supply has not changed in several years, the costs of ice time are too high. The Predators need to be involved in more rink openings. I'd say the Nashville market can support upwards of 8-10 hockey rinks (they currently sit at 4, if I'm not mistaken). The market could also stand to have several indoor/outdoor inline hockey rinks. That is an exploding sport in Nashville but with very little formal places to play.

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05-01-2006, 11:47 PM
  #49
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I've heard rummors that someone is looking to put two sheets of ice in the Hermitage area to get the Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville and Hermitage crowds.

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05-02-2006, 12:23 AM
  #50
Stars-Preds
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The planting of ice rinks really does help grow the sport. Down here in Dallas we have several Dr Pepper StarsCenters all over the Dallas/Fort Worth area and it has really helped attach the Dallas Stars with the various communities.

That said, from experience, I know the bulk of the Stars lower bowl seating is purchased by companies who buy the full season ticket plans. Dallas takes advantage of some of the deepest corporate pockets in the country and that really helps fill up the building.

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