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Old
11-05-2003, 06:33 PM
  #1
Puddy
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attendance

The attendance at the Thrashers game was around the 10,000 mark and likely exagerated at that. Do you think that a trade for a guy like Mike Comrie would get more fans down to the rink? If not Comrie, then who would you the fan pay your money to see? Obviously people didn't come out to see one of the greatest young players in the game, Ilya Kovalchuk. The Sabres have been on a bit of a roll lately, and that sure hasn't seemed to help their attendance. I'm not singling out the Sabres as the only team not drawing any fans, because there were a lot of empty seats in Ottawa the other night and they were last year's top team in the entire league.
I would pay to watch Comrie. Drury looks good right now. Max Afinogenov a couple of years ago had me bragging to everyone I knew that he was going to be something special. Injuries have curtailed that, but it was nice to see him wanting the puck tonight and getting an early goal. Anyways, the question is How do the Sabres fill their building? And which players could the Sabres realistically acquire that could help acheive that goal?

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Old
11-05-2003, 06:57 PM
  #2
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Mike Peca

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Old
11-05-2003, 07:06 PM
  #3
Takeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL
Couple in the fact that it was buy 1 get 1 free and that is pathetic...just like the performance on the ice.
Hmmm...I think you may be onto something...

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Old
11-05-2003, 09:30 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddy
Anyways, the question is How do the Sabres fill their building? And which players could the Sabres realistically acquire that could help acheive that goal?
If they win consistantly the fans will come. It doesn't matter who wears the uniform. That was proven when a no-name Sabres team sold out consistantly when they went on their 2nd half hot streak under Ted Nolan. Their mini-hot streak is hardly enough to convince people this team has turned the corner. Poor season ticket sales is the core of the problem. They need to get up to 13,000-15,000 season tickets sold so these games where attendance has been historically bad, don't have such an impact.

People were excited when Golisano bought the team. There was an opportunity to market the Sabres on the premise of a fresh start with a young, exciting team. That was dealt a severe blow when Larry Quinn was put in prominent position. It turned into a death blow when Regier and Ruff were brought back. As far as many fans are concerned this is the same old Sabres who've stunk up the arena the last 2 seasons. Until they're a winner, that attitude isn't going to change.

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11-05-2003, 10:03 PM
  #5
SuperNintendoChalmrs
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I think it suggests that football has a stranglehold on the sports identity of the community.....I think it also suggests that Buffalo is a bit of an overrated, or over-inflated sports community. The early 90s are no longer around folks.....

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Old
11-06-2003, 04:27 AM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNintendoChalmrs
I think it suggests that football has a stranglehold on the sports identity of the community.....
Yeah, go Bills...

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Old
11-06-2003, 04:49 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNintendoChalmrs
The early 90s are no longer around folks.....
Yeah, the local economy keeps getting worse and ticket prices keep going higher. Buffalo may no longer have a fan base with sufficient income to support an NHL team. No one wants to admit it, but this area is really in sad shape.

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Old
11-06-2003, 05:01 AM
  #8
Takeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffaloed
Yeah, the local economy keeps getting worse and ticket prices keep going higher. Buffalo may no longer have a fan base with sufficient income to support an NHL team. No one wants to admit it, but this area is really in sad shape.
Geesh, three-quarters of your comments are always so pessimistic...

What will cheer you up?!

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Old
11-06-2003, 05:11 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo21
What will cheer you up?!
Hire Marshall Johnston

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Old
11-06-2003, 06:22 AM
  #10
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Put yourself in Regier's shoes. Over the last few years he has operated admirably for a team in such despair thanks to poor ownership and an NHL marketplace that obviously favors the haves over the have-nots. Most of his trades have been positive, and he didn't come in and destroy what Muckler started when he was GM. This team is good enough to make the playoffs this year. If they don't, Tom Golisano will surely re-evaluate their positions and make whatever changes are necessary.

Our strengths seem to be a deep core of forwards and an ability as an organization to find decent players in the draft. We are not the best at it, but we have to be considered in the top 10, perhaps even top 5 when it comes to the draft. We lack top end talent because we rarely get to pick in the top 5. All indications thus far show that Thomas Vanek will be a top line forward in the future.

Goaltending in the organization is deep, but Biron hasn't stepped forward as THE MAN. Noronen and Miller offer hope for the future, and were good draft picks. We can't afford a guy like Cujo to provide more consistency, and right now there isn't another team in the league that wants or needs Marty or Mika.
The defense needs help. Tallinder and Kalinin may be very good in the future. But we still lack a presence like Scott Stevens, as do most NHL teams. The guys we have are capable, but don't intimidate with their skill or toughness, and no opponent is scared to come into HSBC and get 2 points.
We are a middle of the road team which isn't going to sell 13,000 season tickets. And if the NHL doesn't get its' financial structure in order, then Buffalo will not have a team after this season or the next. I've cheered for Buffalo for a long long time and I think it is sad that 6000 fans is all we can draw to a game against Kovalchuk and a competitive Atlanta team.
Regier has to do something soon. Comrie would be a spark. More importantly, finding a top 4 defenceman would be HUGE. Ultimately, we need a defined direction. A punishing defence to go with a skillful group of forwards would be the ultimate combination.
I just don't think that Regier or Ruff will do anything than go with what they got. Does anyone see it differently?

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Old
11-06-2003, 06:33 AM
  #11
imyourhuckleberry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo21
Yeah, go Bills...

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Old
11-06-2003, 06:57 AM
  #12
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Yes a winning team will bring the fans. Although they got spaked last night my girlfriend and i are going to the arena friday to buy tickets for the game, i don't know why i guess i'm just a loyal fan. oh well i hope they win this divisional game against the Habs.

 
Old
11-06-2003, 07:38 AM
  #13
LALALALALALAFONTAINE
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I ran a few simple regressions measuring Sabre attendance against:

1. Attendance that year. Results:

Regression Statistics
Multiple R 0.437388801
R Square 0.191308963
Adjusted R Square 0.165222155
Standard Error 1513.416377
Observations 33

Coefficients
Intercept 10923.62204
Pct 8198.415254

About 17% of Sabres attendance is explained by record alone.

2. Run against victories and with coach.
SUMMARY OUTPUT

Regression Statistics
Multiple R 0.833807342
R Square 0.695234683
Adjusted R Square 0.512375493
Standard Error 1156.68668
Observations 33

Coefficients
Intercept 6132.604662
Pct 12147.99203
Imlach 42.80168179
Crozier 3813.697448
Smith 1898.142018
Pronovost 2975.156145
Neilson 2755.463273
Bowman 1437.219227
Sator 1441.601115
Dudley 2495.107785
Muckler 1812.014269
Nolan 3078.796811
Ruff 4391.512397

Yes, Ruff was the biggest draw as head coach.

About 51% of Sabres attendance is explained by record alone. For stat nerds like me, every coach had a dummy variable assigned, except if only coached part of a year. Since several coaches Muckler/Dudley coached the same year, they both got credit, so a dummy for all coaches was used.

3. Attendance vs. record, coaches and arena
SUMMARY OUTPUT

Regression Statistics
Multiple R 0.845484121
R Square 0.714843398
Adjusted R Square 0.519736249
Standard Error 1147.923314
Observations 33

Coefficients
Intercept 7118.492831
Pct 10645.53137
Imlach -303.8301326
Crozier 3633.483479
Smith 1919.904129
Pronovost 2895.251752
Neilson 2699.59825
Bowman 1326.917403
Sator 1218.669538
Dudley 2359.550482
Muckler 1637.914431
Nolan 1876.245709
Ruff 2228.830746
HSBC 1944.801288

The effect of HSBC Arena is that Nolan and Ruff are less popular as coaches. Crozier is the most popular.

4. Attendance vs. record, arena & previous year's playoff run.

Regression Statistics
Multiple R 0.741921924
R Square 0.550448141
Adjusted R Square 0.424573621
Standard Error 1256.515517
Observations 33

Coefficients
Intercept 10169.46333
Pct 7402.50907
HSBC 1789.718786
No Playoffs 101.2227018
Round 1 915.502498
Round 2 871.2205858
Round 3 1785.400492
Finals 2097.909564

As expected, the better the previous year's playoff results, the more attendance. Explains 42%

5. Attendance vs. record, previous yr's record, arena & previous year's playoff run.

Regression Statistics
Multiple R 0.755459494
R Square 0.570719048
Adjusted R Square 0.421403934
Standard Error 1013.110174
Observations 32

Coefficients
Intercept 12626.17581
Pct 5442.498891
Last Yr Pct -2635.364712
HSBC 1363.666569
No Playoffs 397.0156728
Round 1 986.8597096
Round 2 1304.008902
Round 3 2314.307072
Finals 2642.826493

Adding in previous year's record didn't add anything, and is negatively correlated, which is surprising. Explains 42%.

6. Replace previous year's record with improvemnt from previous year's record. Not a significant change, but the sign makes sense. Already captured in other variables.

Regression Statistics
Multiple R 0.755459494
R Square 0.570719048
Adjusted R Square 0.421403934
Standard Error 1013.110174
Observations 32

Coefficients
Intercept 12626.17581
Pct 2807.134179
Improve 2635.364712
HSBC 1363.666569
No Playoffs 397.0156728
Round 1 986.8597096
Round 2 1304.008902
Round 3 2314.307072
Finals 2642.826493

Attendance is affected by wins and losses, but also by other things.

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Old
11-06-2003, 08:02 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LALALALALALAFONTAINE
Attendance is affected by wins and losses, but also by other things.
One of the other things was John Rigas "selling" up 1500 to 3000 season tickets per year to Adelphia. I don't think we'll ever have reliable data to input on that score to get accurate statistics.

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Old
11-06-2003, 09:55 AM
  #15
SuperNintendoChalmrs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takeo21
Yeah, go Bills...
Are pretty much all the Bills games sold out? They are.....based on what....false promises???

Team sucks but they'll still get the fans.....

Next year??? Sellouts may be hard to come by.....

I went to a Bandits playoff game this past spring......5,000 people tops....attended the game......brutal....the game is exciting, it was a playoff game, ticket prices are low.....

Where did all the fans go? I'm convinced Buffalo underwent some sort of sporting "heyday" in the early 90s.....Bills on top, Sabres still sold well, marketable stars in LaFontaine, Hawerchuk, Mogilny, etc. Bisons always breaking 1 million fan marks, large attendance (novelty of new baseball park not having worn off yet).

Buffalo fans show up when:

1. Team is winning....or in the case of the Bills this year, promises to win.

2. Some novelty thing is occurring.....new baseball stadium, new team (Bandits).....

3. Maybe many fans who showed up to so many events have moved out of the area in the last decade......

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Old
11-06-2003, 10:20 AM
  #16
Puddy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNintendoChalmrs
Are pretty much all the Bills games sold out? They are.....based on what....false promises???


Buffalo fans show up when:

1. Team is winning....or in the case of the Bills this year, promises to win.

2. Some novelty thing is occurring.....new baseball stadium, new team (Bandits).....

3. Maybe many fans who showed up to so many events have moved out of the area in the last decade......

Would you go to a Bills game if Drew Bledsoe wasn't on the team? Is he the biggest draw for the team? For me he is. I am a casual football fan who watched when Flutie was there and turned it off when management mistakenly thought giving Johnson the ball would make them a winning team.

Now apply that to the hockey team. The current Hockey News issue (Joe Thornton cover) does a few pages on each teams franchise NHL'er and picks Satan for the Sabres and mentions that "Martin Biron's value is increasing with his solid play." Satan is a talented player, but this team needs to add someone tat the fans can associate with this team. When people think of the Sabres of the past, they mention guys like Hasek, Peca, Lafontaine, Mogilny and Perreault. Maybe Drury can turn into a guy worthy of being on that list. A lot of other players like Pyatt and Briere and Kotalik give us hope for the future. But none stand out as the quintessential Sabre that defines a winning team and puts fans in an empty building. This team deserved more than 6500 fans last night. Derek Roy may be a great player, but bringing him up won't sell another 10,000 seats. It is time this team made a statement by finding more guys like Drury who won't allow his team to give away points to teams they can easily outskate. Teams like Atlanta.

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Old
11-06-2003, 10:58 AM
  #17
SuperNintendoChalmrs
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Are people still using Rigas as an excuse to stay away from games?

You would think there might be a little more goodwill on the part of the fans to be thankful that there is still an NHL team in town.

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Old
11-06-2003, 11:03 AM
  #18
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Detroit,Vancouver,Colorado,etc. do not draw if they don't win.It's not just winning but winning consistently that will draw the fans.The hardcore fans you never have to worry about they will always go,the casual observers are the ones you have to get out there to jack up the figures.Toronto is the only team I know of that will draw regardless of winning or losing,since Buffalo doesn't have/can't rely on the corporate community as much as Toronto (size obviously has to be taken into account) then they have to target fans over corporate support.

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Old
11-06-2003, 11:57 AM
  #19
LALALALALALAFONTAINE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buffaloed
One of the other things was John Rigas "selling" up 1500 to 3000 season tickets per year to Adelphia. I don't think we'll ever have reliable data to input on that score to get accurate statistics.
That's a good point. I could put in an ownership dummy to measure that. I could have measured the first year effect of a new building too. The problem is there are only 33 years of data. By the method I am trying to measure it, you can't measure it using more than 32 variables. When you need a variable for a new coach, you run out fairly quickly.

Plus, there are the ordinary things you'd mention like the cost of the tickets, parking, local economy, # of 4' snow days, etc..

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Old
11-06-2003, 02:29 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL
Did you factor in rising cost of beer?
Or that workers for "local" companies have to commute thousands of miles from India in order to go to a game.

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Old
11-06-2003, 04:27 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LALALALALALAFONTAINE
I ran a few simple regressions measuring Sabre attendance against:
i follow, which i guess makes me a stat nerd too
stata 7.0? intercooled even

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Old
11-06-2003, 06:15 PM
  #22
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I don't think Buffalo can use the economy as an excuse.....it always sucks.

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Old
11-07-2003, 05:25 AM
  #23
LALALALALALAFONTAINE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL
Did you factor in rising cost of beer?
You aren't drunk beforehand????

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Old
11-07-2003, 06:25 AM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LALALALALALAFONTAINE
I ran a few simple regressions measuring Sabre attendance against:

[regression analysis snipped]

Attendance is affected by wins and losses, but also by other things.
LaLa, thanks for that. It puts in perspective that things are not as simple as some would have you believe. Building a customer base is difficult and multi-variable. While we all may have our opinions, it is sometimes quite revealing to look at things with other metrics.

BTW, what statistics program did you use? SAS? Mstat?
(not that I'm in any way anything other than a stats neophyte, just curious)

Ta,

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Old
11-07-2003, 06:32 AM
  #25
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Today's TBN said that about 1000 tickets remain for tonight's game.

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