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Treasure Trove of NBA Attendance Data for Comparison Purposes (Down 7.4%)

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Old
12-12-2009, 09:10 AM
  #26
Melrose Munch
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Originally Posted by Jonas1235 View Post
Here's viewership numbers from last weekend.

1. NHL, Maple Leafs at Bruins, Saturday, CBC: 1,453,000

2. NHL, Montreal Canadiens centennial ceremony, Friday, CBC: 1,203,000

3. NHL, Bruins at Canadiens, Friday, CBC: 1,101,000

4. NHL, Flames at Sharks, Saturday, CBC: 810,000

11. Curling, Road of the Rings, Sunday, TSN2: 333,000

13. NBA, Raptors at Wizards, Friday, TSN: 219,000

16. NBA, Raptors at Bulls, Saturday, TSN: 203,000


Curling is more popular than basketball....
Ouch thats ugly. I thought the Raptors would get at least 500k

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12-12-2009, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by GSC2k2 View Post
Indeed that is true. I would posit that people who would suggest that the NBA is not of interest to Canadians are those who keep their world tightly focused on a very narrow continuum. Stroll through a mall in any of the major population areas and you will see a lot of NBA jerseys.
This. While I grant that the Raptors showing up 15 years ago makes it tough for them to make the inroads just yet, the fact is many of us were NBA fans long before the Raptors ever got there.

It's funny how, as a Canadian, I can be a Penguins fan, and I'm considered a hockey fan, but if I like the Pistons instead of the Raptors, I must not be an NBA fan.

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12-12-2009, 09:28 AM
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas1235 View Post
Here's viewership numbers from last weekend.

1. NHL, Maple Leafs at Bruins, Saturday, CBC: 1,453,000

2. NHL, Montreal Canadiens centennial ceremony, Friday, CBC: 1,203,000

3. NHL, Bruins at Canadiens, Friday, CBC: 1,101,000

4. NHL, Flames at Sharks, Saturday, CBC: 810,000

11. Curling, Road of the Rings, Sunday, TSN2: 333,000

13. NBA, Raptors at Wizards, Friday, TSN: 219,000

16. NBA, Raptors at Bulls, Saturday, TSN: 203,000


Curling is more popular than basketball....
Olympic trials curling is a more popular TV property than a run of the mill basketball game. I guess that is a point.

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12-12-2009, 12:02 PM
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I'd guess a second NHL team at the ACC in Toronto would be a welcomed addition after the Raptors relocated. The NBA isn't really on the radar of most Canadians in my experience.

GHOST
Apparently you missed the point that Americans don't have a giant chip on their shoulder about whether markets "deserve" a team or not. Even Canadian don't all love the NBA--I don't loose any sleep over them having a team.

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12-12-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonas1235 View Post
Here's viewership numbers from last weekend.

1. NHL, Maple Leafs at Bruins, Saturday, CBC: 1,453,000

2. NHL, Montreal Canadiens centennial ceremony, Friday, CBC: 1,203,000

3. NHL, Bruins at Canadiens, Friday, CBC: 1,101,000

4. NHL, Flames at Sharks, Saturday, CBC: 810,000

11. Curling, Road of the Rings, Sunday, TSN2: 333,000

13. NBA, Raptors at Wizards, Friday, TSN: 219,000

16. NBA, Raptors at Bulls, Saturday, TSN: 203,000


Curling is more popular than basketball....
It's Olympic Trials and plus there is no other NBA teams in Canada, so really who want's to watch another Toronto team? There should be a team in Vancouver... Maybe even Montreal and Calgary... The NBA can only go so long of ignoring the fact that there isn't many more great American markets, while the Canadian ones are growing fairly quick.

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12-12-2009, 12:12 PM
  #31
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Originally Posted by Areid1990 View Post
It's Olympic Trials and plus there is no other NBA teams in Canada, so really who want's to watch another Toronto team? There should be a team in Vancouver... Maybe even Montreal and Calgary... The NBA can only go so long of ignoring the fact that there isn't many more great American markets, while the Canadian ones are growing fairly quick.
But....are they basketball markets? Do they deserve a team?


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12-12-2009, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonas1235 View Post
Paid Attendance:

Memphis: 6,879
Sacramento: 7,606
Milwaukee: 8,331
Philadelphia: 8,701
Charlotte: 8,969

Announced Attendance:

Memphis: 12,117
Sacramento: 12,145
Milwaukee: 14,578
Philadelphia: 12,853
Charlotte: 14,850

Can you say, Free Tickets!

So, you're saying those markets draw fewer people than the Coyotes or Thrashers?

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12-12-2009, 01:38 PM
  #33
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But....are they basketball markets? Do they deserve a team?


This is like saying NYC doesn't deserve an NHL team, being the country's largest population center and media market.


Maybe Americans would get more uppity about their NBA if 2/3rd's of the teams were in Canada, and Stern wanted to place more in places like Halifax or Winnipeg while Minnesota waited....


Anyway, enough of the silliness. What have we learned about the NBA's attendance issues that help us put NHL attendance in perspective?

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12-12-2009, 01:39 PM
  #34
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Apparently you missed the point that Americans don't have a giant chip on their shoulder about whether markets "deserve" a team or not.
Get back to us when there are at least 5 NBA teams in Canada with poor attendance and laughable TV ratings while some US markets with huge fan support are dying for an NBA team of their own.

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12-12-2009, 02:23 PM
  #35
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post

Anyway, enough of the silliness. What have we learned about the NBA's attendance issues that help us put NHL attendance in perspective?
Indeed. The purpose of the original post was to place the current obsessing over NHL attendance in some context. For some, it is apparently fun to post pictures of empty seats and cite every single attendance figure which falls below some as-yet-unannounced standard that those posters use for purposes of deeming markets to be NHL-worthy. They seem to think that these figures thereby mean that the NHL is in the midst of some unique financial disaster and that almost all of the owners are going broke.

The real story seems to be that professional sports (I could have posted about similar declines in MLB, too) is in the midst of significant attendance challenges, and the NHL is weathering it better than most.

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12-12-2009, 03:18 PM
  #36
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I would ask everyone to keep in mind, for the 1000th time, that attendance is not the only guage of interest in a particular market.

The fact that teams are drawing flies is one thing. When you get a look at local TV numbers, for instance, things become that much more dire.

For example, even if the Florida Panthers were selling out, those 20,000 people are just about the only ones watching the game.

Even if we are to examine attendance, we need to delve further than announced attendance figures. How much are people willing to pay for tickets, for example.

To post some NBA attendnace figures as if to say, "See? Other sports are struggling, too." is a little disingenuous.

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12-12-2009, 04:01 PM
  #37
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
This is like saying NYC doesn't deserve an NHL team, being the country's largest population center and media market.


Maybe Americans would get more uppity about their NBA if 2/3rd's of the teams were in Canada, and Stern wanted to place more in places like Halifax or Winnipeg while Minnesota waited....


Anyway, enough of the silliness. What have we learned about the NBA's attendance issues that help us put NHL attendance in perspective?
FWIW, anyone that wants them can have all the NBA teams. Even though I love basketball, I can't really enjoy the NBA. As you know I'm just down the road from LeBron James and the Cavs. I have never had any interest in going to one of their games. I watch only the 4th quarter of playoff games.

Pepperdine University's Graziadio Graduate School of Business and Management reports:
http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/054/nba.html

Quote:
35 percent of the average NBA teamís revenues are derived from gate receipts, thereby making fans the most important customer.
Quote:
A strong correlation exists between a teamís success on the court and tickets sold; fan morale increases and the interest of non-fans is piqued when a team accumulates wins. The longer a winning team can hold on to its dynasty, the better the chance it has of creating a sustainable competitive advantage.
Quote:
Substitute Products

Substitute products strongly impact the dynamics of the professional basketball industry because 70 percent of NBA fans are casual entertainment seekers, rather than die-hard fans. In other words, [casual] basketball fans have very low switching costs compared to fans of other sports such as football, baseball, or hockey. Moreover, of the other professional sports, only football has a higher average ticket price than basketball (Figure 5). It is thus not only easy, but also cost-effective for the casual basketball fan to switch to another sport.
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Key Success Factors for Teams in the NBA

So what? Who cares if customers are moderately powerful, suppliers are generally weak, rivalry is fierce, and revenue lost to substitutes is high in the industry of professional basketball? Again, the problem with most applications of Porterís 5-Forces Analysis is that the critical implications of the analysis are not delineated. What does the Industry Analysis tell us about the key success factors for firms in the industry?
The report also contains links to many interesting charts and tables.

Most interesting are many findings posters constantly and vehemently criticize when attacking other hockey fans: On Court success and attendance, the causal nature of the average fan in attendance. Additionally, they discuss just how difficult it is for expansion teams to succeed.

It also concludes there are several critical factors in achieving success:

Brand value
Home market size
Effectively targeting the casual fan

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12-12-2009, 05:00 PM
  #38
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Originally Posted by Alan Jackson View Post
I would ask everyone to keep in mind, for the 1000th time, that attendance is not the only guage of interest in a particular market.

The fact that teams are drawing flies is one thing. When you get a look at local TV numbers, for instance, things become that much more dire.

For example, even if the Florida Panthers were selling out, those 20,000 people are just about the only ones watching the game.

Even if we are to examine attendance, we need to delve further than announced attendance figures. How much are people willing to pay for tickets, for example.

To post some NBA attendnace figures as if to say, "See? Other sports are struggling, too." is a little disingenuous.
Really? If you believe all that, you should hurry yourself over to the ever-growing thread on NHL attendance where certain posters delight in posting daily updates of evidently unacceptable and carefully selected attendance numbers of carefully selected markets. I trust that you will be able to put a stop to that sort of thing, since you feel that it is relatively immaterial.

As for the rest of it, you continue with your ongoing motif that "interest" is what is important, regardless of whether it manifests itself in $$$$. I am sure that you remain eternally puzzled by how all this non-interest generates significant local TV dollars south of the border. How could the Coyotes generate $4.5 million a year with miniscule ratings? How does NYI generate $30+ million a year in TV dollars despite no local "interest"? How does FLA get on TV, period?

In short, your theory about "interest" does not hold water in the real world. What matters are dollars, which do not track nicely with "interest".

I frankly take umbrage at your suggestion of disingenuousness. Read the article. Gate receipts are mentioned prominently as well. Unfortunately, they don't have a stat for "interest" in the article (as if that means anything).

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12-12-2009, 05:27 PM
  #39
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Interesting article/link. Although I know little about the NBA, I understand that the franchises receive substantially more from central derived revenues and national TV deals, which may provide certain teams with more of a buffer against poor local attendance than NHL teams.

In my experience the NBA appears much more popular as a TV sport than the NHL in many parts of the USA. Walk into a sports bar and you'll almost always see a NBA game on during the season; that's just not the case with professional hockey in many areas.

However, what I do find interesting is that the NBA does have its basket case franchises, as this data seems to indicate, and that could be relevant to future NHL relocation or expansion as to a certain extent the NBA and NHL are replacement products for each other (i.e., as primary arena tennants for mid-sized USA markets). For example, I understand the Maloofs own the Sacramento franchise and have been unsuccessful in obtaining public funds for a much needed new arena. The Maloofs own an interest in a Las Vegas casino and there has been speculation they could move their NBA to Las Vegas if that city builds a new arena. Similarly, I understand franchises in places such as Memphis and New Orleans amongst others are in dire straits. In this case, an NBA owner might be persuaded to relocate a franchise to Kansas City, where AEG has expressed an interest in either an NBA or NHL team for the empty Sprint Center.

GHOST

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12-13-2009, 11:23 PM
  #40
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Originally Posted by GSC2k2 View Post

In short, your theory about "interest" does not hold water in the real world. What matters are dollars, which do not track nicely with "interest".
Oh, I beg to differ. Where are the vast majority of NHL revenues being generated? In Canada, and in US markets interested in hockey, that's where.

Just where do you think the NHL would be without TSN, Sportsnet, CBC, RDS...

If you take these 10 teams: Anaheim, San Jose, Los Angeles, Dallas, Nashville, Miami, Tampa, Raleigh, Atlanta and Phoenix - my guess would be that they generate far less than 33% of League Revenue. I stand to be corrected.

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12-14-2009, 06:56 AM
  #41
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Originally Posted by GSC2k2 View Post

As for the rest of it, you continue with your ongoing motif that "interest" is what is important, regardless of whether it manifests itself in $$$$. I am sure that you remain eternally puzzled by how all this non-interest generates significant local TV dollars south of the border. How could the Coyotes generate $4.5 million a year with miniscule ratings? How does NYI generate $30+ million a year in TV dollars despite no local "interest"? How does FLA get on TV, period?

In short, your theory about "interest" does not hold water in the real world. What matters are dollars, which do not track nicely with "interest".

I frankly take umbrage at your suggestion of disingenuousness. Read the article. Gate receipts are mentioned prominently as well. Unfortunately, they don't have a stat for "interest" in the article (as if that means anything).
Attendance, and the price people are willing to pay for a ticket, are just one indicator of interest.

In the first bold, you qualify interest.... It's an odd qualifier because a great deal of interest in a team in a given city usually does track very nicely with media covereage, media deals, attendance, and merchandise sales, for example. Interest usually tracks very nicely with demand for the different product offerings.

You then say that total revenue (dollars) do not track nicely with interest??????

Where does the money come from then? Someone plops a team down in a city, and corporations give them money for the heck of it?

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12-14-2009, 07:01 AM
  #42
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FWIW, anyone that wants them can have all the NBA teams. Even though I love basketball, I can't really enjoy the NBA. As you know I'm just down the road from LeBron James and the Cavs. I have never had any interest in going to one of their games. I watch only the 4th quarter of playoff games.

Pepperdine University's Graziadio Graduate School of Business and Management reports:
http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/054/nba.html



Quote:
35 percent of the average NBA teamís revenues are derived from gate receipts, thereby making fans the most important customer.


The report also contains links to many interesting charts and tables.

Most interesting are many findings posters constantly and vehemently criticize when attacking other hockey fans: On Court success and attendance, the causal nature of the average fan in attendance. Additionally, they discuss just how difficult it is for expansion teams to succeed.

It also concludes there are several critical factors in achieving success:

Brand value
Home market size
Effectively targeting the casual fan
As to the bolded part, if gate receipts are the most important element to a league that gets nearly a billion dollars from natnl media rights, what does it say for the NHL?

That it's "gate-driven" perhaps?

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12-14-2009, 07:37 AM
  #43
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As to the bolded part, if gate receipts are the most important element to a league that gets nearly a billion dollars from natnl media rights, what does it say for the NHL?

That it's "gate-driven" perhaps?
Interestingly enough, I thought the report really drives home the point that the NHL needs to do everything in its power to drive a similar TV contract in the medium term. I believe that may be the key to a stable business in the long term.

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12-14-2009, 12:52 PM
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Interestingly enough, I thought the report really drives home the point that the NHL needs to do everything in its power to drive a similar TV contract in the medium term. I believe that may be the key to a stable business in the long term.
Yet how do you force the national networks to do that, if after 20 years of trying, they're still not convinced. There was a blurb that probably should go into the BOG meeting thread that one of the topics would be digital media rights, which as I noted two years ago was indeed a hot topic.

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12-14-2009, 01:29 PM
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Yet how do you force the national networks to do that, if after 20 years of trying, they're still not convinced. There was a blurb that probably should go into the BOG meeting thread that one of the topics would be digital media rights, which as I noted two years ago was indeed a hot topic.
Well obviously they can't be forced. I would think they need to do whatever it takes to make the NHL broadcast property very valuable to the networks.

It means an awful lot of marketing, and development of markets across the continent. I also suspect they will need to find a way to really drive ratings in the very large markets: LA, NY, Chicago, Bay Area, Dallas - Ft. Worth, Philly, Atlanta, Boston, Phoenix etc. In short they must expand the customer base.

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12-14-2009, 01:36 PM
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Well obviously they can't be forced. I would think they need to do whatever it takes to make the NHL broadcast property very valuable to the networks.

It means an awful lot of marketing, and development of markets across the continent. I also suspect they will need to find a way to really drive ratings in the very large markets: LA, NY, Chicago, Bay Area, Dallas - Ft. Worth, Philly, Atlanta, Boston, Phoenix etc. In short they must expand the customer base.
You left Detroit off the list, only one of the biggest draws nationally!

That's the problem though. If you need certain teams in certain markets to be in good positions, probably playoffs, having a system that forces parity or team rebuilding every year isn't the way to create and sustain interest.

One might ask why even have 30 teams if say only 10 or so drive the ratings, and you need some odd number for them to play against-- and beat the majority of the time.

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12-14-2009, 04:26 PM
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You left Detroit off the list, only one of the biggest draws nationally!

That's the problem though. If you need certain teams in certain markets to be in good positions, probably playoffs, having a system that forces parity or team rebuilding every year isn't the way to create and sustain interest.

One might ask why even have 30 teams if say only 10 or so drive the ratings, and you need some odd number for them to play against-- and beat the majority of the time.
Leaving Detroit off was not an accident. I'm not sure casual sports fans want to hear anything of Detroit on any subject. I believe Detroit is a sore spot in the American consciousness. The Big 3 are right up there with major banks on the undesirable list.

As far as driving the ratings, clearly popularity in those very large markets delivers lots of viewers. On the other hand, look at the NBA. LA and Boston are by far the best draws over the long term, yet Cleveland simply due to LBJ is as strong a draw. One could easily argue the Celtics are the equivalent of the Habs or Yankees, while the Lakers are their foil, sort of a Red Sox.

The NBA has adopted a strategy that promotes their bankable stars: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Jordan,Alan Iverson, now LeBron and Kobe Bryant. On the other hand, the Raptors have Bosh, Barngani and Hedo Turkoglu, yet they can't draw flies on TV.

I think the NHL pursued a similar strategy in the heyday of Gretzky, Lemieux, and Messier. I think it actually worked at that time. Perhaps they can rebuild with Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin etc. Not to sound too Don Cherry-like, but I wonder if the large number of Eastern Europeans and Russians make the NHL a more difficult sell in the US. After all, they were the political enemy for several generations, and I'm not sure how well the average US sports fan identifies with them. Maybe that's the Raptors challenge as well?

I imagine US fans can more easily identify with Americans and Canadians. I think it's likely casual US fans even prefer French Canadians over anyone else.

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12-14-2009, 05:00 PM
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Leaving Detroit off was not an accident. I'm not sure casual sports fans want to hear anything of Detroit on any subject. I believe Detroit is a sore spot in the American consciousness. The Big 3 are right up there with major banks on the undesirable list.

As far as driving the ratings, clearly popularity in those very large markets delivers lots of viewers. On the other hand, look at the NBA. LA and Boston are by far the best draws over the long term, yet Cleveland simply due to LBJ is as strong a draw. One could easily argue the Celtics are the equivalent of the Habs or Yankees, while the Lakers are their foil, sort of a Red Sox.

The NBA has adopted a strategy that promotes their bankable stars: Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Jordan,Alan Iverson, now LeBron and Kobe Bryant. On the other hand, the Raptors have Bosh, Barngani and Hedo Turkoglu, yet they can't draw flies on TV.

I think the NHL pursued a similar strategy in the heyday of Gretzky, Lemieux, and Messier. I think it actually worked at that time. Perhaps they can rebuild with Ovechkin, Crosby, Malkin etc. Not to sound too Don Cherry-like, but I wonder if the large number of Eastern Europeans and Russians make the NHL a more difficult sell in the US. After all, they were the political enemy for several generations, and I'm not sure how well the average US sports fan identifies with them. Maybe that's the Raptors challenge as well?

I imagine US fans can more easily identify with Americans and Canadians. I think it's likely casual US fans even prefer French Canadians over anyone else.
Yes, but then you need Crosby in NYC or LA, not a smaller media market. You definitely don't put two generational talents on one team in a small media market. Malkin should go to Philly-- or Phoenix, as I've suggested before.

Ovechkin in NYC is perfect. He's flamboyant and you need a bubbly person to grab their attention and keep it.

Then you cross your fingers and hope they don't get too much off-ice extracurricular attention.


This all seems staged though, leek. I understand the marketing and building publicity arguments, but as a purist hockey fan (I like the sport, I don't need bells and whistles), "building stars" so people will decide to like a sport? Blech.

Why can't we just have people liking a sport? Once upon a time, people liked sports. Baseball was a family outing, a nice afternoon at the ballpark. It was nice to see a true star come to town (e.g., the Babe Ruths or Joe DiMaggios), but not every fan thought they should have one of those guys and a shot at the World Series every year. Something has been lost along the way, due to all the contrived expectations.

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12-14-2009, 06:26 PM
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Why can't we just have people liking a sport? Once upon a time, people liked sports. Baseball was a family outing, a nice afternoon at the ballpark. It was nice to see a true star come to town (e.g., the Babe Ruths or Joe DiMaggios), but not every fan thought they should have one of those guys and a shot at the World Series every year. Something has been lost along the way, due to all the contrived expectations.
Society is now more focused on the individual. The concept of teams grasps people less and less while personality and individual achievement resonate more and more. The rise of the human interest story touches the sporting world as well, basically this **** sells, a lot of people are really interested in names of Ovechkin's pet cats and how they were really scared in the animal shelter before he adopted them.

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12-14-2009, 11:03 PM
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Yes, but then you need Crosby in NYC or LA, not a smaller media market. You definitely don't put two generational talents on one team in a small media market. Malkin should go to Philly-- or Phoenix, as I've suggested before.

Ovechkin in NYC is perfect. He's flamboyant and you need a bubbly person to grab their attention and keep it.

Then you cross your fingers and hope they don't get too much off-ice extracurricular attention.


This all seems staged though, leek. I understand the marketing and building publicity arguments, but as a purist hockey fan (I like the sport, I don't need bells and whistles), "building stars" so people will decide to like a sport? Blech.

Why can't we just have people liking a sport? Once upon a time, people liked sports. Baseball was a family outing, a nice afternoon at the ballpark. It was nice to see a true star come to town (e.g., the Babe Ruths or Joe DiMaggios), but not every fan thought they should have one of those guys and a shot at the World Series every year. Something has been lost along the way, due to all the contrived expectations.
Good question. How does any sport put the Genie back in the bottle? From 1958 until today, sports have crossed over from simple diversion to major entertainment business. Thank TV and the 1958 NFL Championship, Bill Veeck, the Super Bowl, Jerry Jones, MLSE, Magic vs. Bird, MacDonalds, Tim Hortons, Nike, Reebok, Adidas...

In order to compete in today's hockey entertainment business, teams need to chase that magic $95 million in revenues. They need to cater to corporate spending, do what's needed to garner major TV deals, and charge a lot for their product. It's not the NHL as much as it is the sports industry.

If we want that simple, leisurely game, we need to move from NHL Hockey to Juniors and NCAA Hockey. I can go see the #1 ranked NCAA D1 hockey team for $20 per game for any seat I want, and no one demands a sellout or laughs at the fans if the arena isn't sold out.

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