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From about how far away would the average fan commute to attend games?

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04-21-2010, 02:24 PM
  #1
MoreOrr
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From about how far away would the average fan commute to attend games?

This is a question for the purpose of getting an idea about what the average distance from NHL arenas would be in which fans might attend games.

In your personal speculation:
From about how far away from the location of the arena would the average non-hardcore (not necessarily casual) hockey fan, in the surrounding area of your NHL city, commute in order to attend at least between 2 to 4 Regular Season games per Season?

For example:
Detroit = from about *??* km/mi away.

EDIT: If distance is difficult to calculate, then perhaps mentioning the most distant outlying communities that would be likely to have fans who at least semi-regularly attend games.

Oh, and please mention the city or team to which you are referring.


Last edited by MoreOrr: 04-21-2010 at 08:13 PM.
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04-21-2010, 02:44 PM
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Based on the Sharks STH's I know and discussions with my STH rep, I would guess about 60-65% of Sharks STH come from Santa Clara County (~0-25 miles from the arena), with the rest coming from San Mateo County (~20-45 miles), Alameda County (~10-45 miles), San Francisco (~45-50 miles), and Santa Cruz (~25-35 miles).

I know of only a few fans who come from further North - Napa/Sonoma/Contra Costa Counties. Berkeley (~45 miles) and SF (~45-50 miles) are the furthest concentration of fans that I know.

I won't count the guy I know who flies his plane in from Oregon for ~15 games a year.

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04-21-2010, 02:47 PM
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I'm going to avoid talking in miles, because driving a mile to Madison Square Garden is significantly different than driving a mile to the RBC Center.

In terms of minutes, I'd say that 90 minutes is really pushing the boundaries that a normal person would commute. That's a 3-hour round trip to watch a ~2hr 30min game. 60 minutes is more likely, and I would think the ideal closer to 20-30 minutes for a person to buy a ticket without thinking twice about the drive.

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04-21-2010, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdb209 View Post
Based on the Sharks STH's I know and discussions with my STH rep, I would guess about 60-65% of Sharks STH come from Santa Clara County (~0-25 miles from the arena), with the rest coming from San Mateo County (~20-45 miles), Alameda County (~10-45 miles), San Francisco (~45-50 miles), and Santa Cruz (~25-35 miles).

I know of only a few fans who come from further North - Napa/Sonoma/Contra Costa Counties. Berkeley (~45 miles) and SF (~45-50 miles) are the furthest concentration of fans that I know.

I won't count the guy I know who flies his plane in from Oregon for ~15 games a year.
So, probably 0-30 miles each way. (And do realize that can be 60+ minutes of travel to get to a weeknight game depending on traffic, but nice and fast on the way home.)

I also know of a few who attend 1-2 games/month who drive 2-5 hours each way (Central Valley/NorCal). (They often make a weekend out of it.)

In addition, the Sharks have a number of groups who travel to SJ (Sharks Ice at San Jose which has four sheets of ice) for tournaments. So that could be hundreds of attendees in a weekend.

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04-21-2010, 03:02 PM
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Well if I was a season ticket holder I would travel up to an hour each way (30 miles). If I was only going to attend 2 to 4 games per year, the only real limit would be a tank of gas each way (400 miles) and maybe one overnight stay but then I'd probably hope for back to back games (Fri, Sat:- Sat, Sun )

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04-21-2010, 03:08 PM
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Wow, what a loaded question for me.

I have from the town of Campbell, NY drove to Nashville, Buffalo, and Ottawa for a game live.

As for hours in Car? 16, 3, and 7

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04-21-2010, 03:13 PM
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I'm going to revise my answer a bit:

If you were to draw concentric circles around the arena, I think you'd find that there are steep drop-offs in attendance at each 30-minute increment:

Under 30 minutes' commute: People don't think twice about going to the game. It's just a matter of getting a ticket in their hand.

30-60 minutes' commute: A little less regularity, but you're still in the heartland of support and the biggest factor is whether the arena is urban or suburban.

60-90 minutes' commute: People will stop and think seriously about whether they want to get home close to midnight. You're losing parents/kids, the elderly, and people with tepid interest.

90-120 minutes' commute: Aside from hardcore fans, people are only going to do that once or twice as a novelty.

120 minutes+: Maybe you'll get them to the arena if they're already in town for something else.

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04-21-2010, 05:10 PM
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If we are talking about purchasing season tickets - then I wouldn't be willing to do drive further than 30 - 40 minutes each way.
If we are talking about going to 5 - 10 games a year....I'd be more in the 60 - 75 minute range.

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04-21-2010, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jsginsocal View Post
If we are talking about purchasing season tickets - then I wouldn't be willing to do drive further than 30 - 40 minutes each way.
If we are talking about going to 5 - 10 games a year....I'd be more in the 60 - 75 minute range.
Seconded

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04-21-2010, 07:53 PM
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One hour.

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04-21-2010, 08:06 PM
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I realize the total logic of giving an answer in terms of time rather than distance, but for my purposes of trying to draw a circle around a city to include all surrounding areas that could likely have fans that would commute to go and see games, the "time" factor doesn't help me much. Perhaps if you give an answer something like kdb209's,
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdb209 View Post
Based on the Sharks STH's I know and discussions with my STH rep, I would guess about 60-65% of Sharks STH come from Santa Clara County (~0-25 miles from the arena), with the rest coming from San Mateo County (~20-45 miles), Alameda County (~10-45 miles), San Francisco (~45-50 miles), and Santa Cruz (~25-35 miles).

I know of only a few fans who come from further North - Napa/Sonoma/Contra Costa Counties. Berkeley (~45 miles) and SF (~45-50 miles) are the furthest concentration of fans that I know.
that would be helpful.

But hey, any answer is better than no answer.


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04-21-2010, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
I realize the total logic of giving an answer in terms of time rather than distance, but for my purposes of trying to draw a circle around a city to include all surrounding areas that could likely have fans that would commute to go and see games, the "time" factor doesn't help me much. Perhaps if you give an answer something like kdb209's,
that would be helpful.
Then speaking for myself, i cannot help you. I think your approach is flawed. Distance is not a factor. IMO, only time is, for most people.

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04-21-2010, 08:18 PM
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Then speaking for myself, i cannot help you. I think your approach is flawed. Distance is not a factor. IMO, only time is, for most people.
Oh of course, but I'm trying to perhaps establish some sort of average distance, which logically will be based on time. Although I realize that the travel time factor can vary greatly from one city to the next.

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04-22-2010, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Oh of course, but I'm trying to perhaps establish some sort of average distance, which logically will be based on time. Although I realize that the travel time factor can vary greatly from one city to the next.
Unfortunately, I think you're in for quite a bit of work if you want this to be accurate.

People measure their commutes in time, not space. But maps are drawn in space, not time. So you're going to have to figure out a reliable way to adjust your map to reflect distance-in-terms-of-time, if you want to have accurate results.

Intuitively it would seem simplest to measure suburban arenas (Glendale, Sunrise) with wider circles. Then use slightly smaller circles for pseudo-urban arenas (Columbus, Nassau), and then smaller circles for deeply-urban arenas (MSG, Verizon Center). But then there's another twist -- you can easily take a train to urban arenas, whereas the suburban ones are only accessible by car. So perhaps their "reach" is larger than it seems. It's all going to depend on the specifics of each arena. TD Garden is much more accessible by rail than Philips Arena, even though both are located in a similar urban district. Philips, therefore, has a smaller "reach".

Maybe you can use Google Maps to generate estimated commutes from each arena to nearby population centers, and draw the map relative to those results. I'm sure we could help you refine the results if you posted it here in draft form.

Good luck... this is a great project for those of us who love to see this data visualized!

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04-22-2010, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Unfortunately, I think you're in for quite a bit of work if you want this to be accurate.

People measure their commutes in time, not space. But maps are drawn in space, not time. So you're going to have to figure out a reliable way to adjust your map to reflect distance-in-terms-of-time, if you want to have accurate results.
Well again, not to harp on a point, but those "times", that some of you have been posting, wouldn't normally just come out of the air, they are based, I would assume, on commute times from specific locations to the arena. So, if you guys could give me your info in the same way that kdb209 did above, even with only the place names from where fans would most likely be willing to commute from to go to games, then with that data I can establish relative distance.

The idea relates to the other thread currently active, in which one poster questions the validity of metro population sizes and their accuracy to measuring potential fanbases. Certain metropolitan areas incorporate an area that's possibly larger than is reasonable to expect the average fan to come from in order to attend games; while other metro areas are delineated perhaps too small and in fact could incorporate a wider area from which potential fans would come to attend games. I'm looking to establish some sort of average-sized perimeter within which to calculated possibly more accurately the potential fanbase of each team. And yes, it may in fact turn out to be a larger task than I'm prepared to do, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel just yet.

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04-22-2010, 11:58 AM
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4 hours to Canucks games for me. You'll usually have a few hundred (500-2000) from the Island make it for every Canucks/Olympic/World Juniors game.

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04-22-2010, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoreOrr View Post
Well again, not to harp on a point, but those "times", that some of you have been posting, wouldn't normally just come out of the air, they are based, I would assume, on commute times from specific locations to the arena. So, if you guys could give me your info in the same way that kdb209 did above, even with only the place names from where fans would most likely be willing to commute from to go to games, then with that data I can establish relative distance.
Ok, here's what I would speculate for the RBC Center:

Anyone in the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Apex, Garner, etc.) is within that first concentric ring, where the commute is under 30 minutes. Easy access.

I think the support starts to dwindle when you get to Burlington in the west, 1 hour from the arena. That's not exactly "Canes Country" anymore. Similarly, Sanford NC is only 41 minutes by car, but they're outside the area of intense support. On the north and east, Franklinton and Zebulon seem to be the hinterlands, and I would be surprised if many people there attended Canes games in person. In researching this, I discovered that the "ring" of support is more of an "egg", slanted more heavily toward the arena in SW Raleigh. Few people are going to drive all the way to the opposite side of Raleigh to attend games regularly.


When it comes to whether a person would attend once or twice per year, you could draw rough boundaries at Greensboro, Fayetteville, and Rocky Mt... I guess you could include the Outer Banks but there's not a specific town to measure from. And, on occasion, hockey fans will come all the way up from Charlotte (3 hours) to see a game. Once you get to Asheville... no. I don't think people there realize that the Hurricanes exist.

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04-22-2010, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
When it comes to whether a person would attend once or twice per year, you could draw rough boundaries at Greensboro, Fayetteville, and Rocky Mt... I guess you could include the Outer Banks but there's not a specific town to measure from. And, on occasion, hockey fans will come all the way up from Charlotte (3 hours) to see a game. Once you get to Asheville... no. I don't think people there realize that the Hurricanes exist.
As I said in the OP, I'd want to consider as an absolute minimum at least attending 2 Regular Season games a year; I said at least between 2 to 4 times, so that could even be interpretted as 3 times a year. In fact, therein is a whole separate question: How would one define an "average fan", in that how many games in a Regular Season might an "average fan" attend (and I'd be talking "average" taking into consideration all teams League-wide)?

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04-22-2010, 02:09 PM
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OT:
While doing a search for something related to this thread, I came across this which is OT for this thread. I didn't quickly locate another thread to post it in, and in doing a search of the site, I didn't find any mention of it being posted elsewhere:

Who Are The NHL Fans?
http://theviewfrom111.blogspot.com/2...-nhl-fans.html
Quote:
Unlike other professional sports, such as the NFL or Major League Baseball, the NHL does not enjoy the luxury of a large television contract to augment revenues. . . . .
It appears to be a site with a Predators focus.

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04-22-2010, 02:28 PM
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As I said in the OP, I'd want to consider as an absolute minimum at least attending 2 Regular Season games a year; I said at least between 2 to 4 times, so that could even be interpretted as 3 times a year.
In that case, I think the G'boro, Fayetteville, Rocky Mount boundary will work. I'm certain that people come from those areas for 2 games or more if they're interested enough to bother with the ~90 minute drive.

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04-22-2010, 02:33 PM
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In that case, I think the G'boro, Fayetteville, Rocky Mount boundary will work. I'm certain that people come from those areas for 2 games or more if they're interested enough to bother with the ~90 minute drive.
Well I live in Rocky Mount and went to 3 games this year (2 weeknight, 1 weekend). I've been going to 2-4 games a year for a few years now.

A couple that own a restaurant in my hometown of Havelock I know have season tickets and go to every Hurricanes home game. Havelock is between New Bern and Morehead City down on the coast, it's around a two-and-a-half hour drive.

You mention Greensboro. I wonder if there's any kind of "pocket fanbase" there larger than other flung off cities from when the Canes played at the Coliseum for a couple years.


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04-22-2010, 02:38 PM
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Well I live in Rocky Mount and went to 3 games this year (2 weeknight, 1 weekend).

A couple that own a restaurant in my hometown of Havelock I know have season tickets and go to every Hurricanes home game. Havelock is between New Bern and Morehead City down on the coast, it's around a two-and-a-half hour drive.
Then it comes down to question as to whether you would consider yourself an "average fan" or something more than average.

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04-22-2010, 02:43 PM
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Then it comes down to question as to whether you would consider yourself an "average fan" or something more than average.
I wouldn't call myself diehard hardcore. I'll sometimes watch football and basketball or whatever. But I pay attention to what the team's doing, catch maybe half the games on FSN or listen to it on the radio. Of the people that pay attention to the hockey team on at least a semi-regular basis I'd consider myself average, I'd consider myself above casual.

Now how many there are of me in Rocky Mount and the surrounding area? Probably not many. I know a friend of a friend in Wilson (a nearby city) has a partial season ticket plan and that's about it.

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04-22-2010, 03:20 PM
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A couple that own a restaurant in my hometown of Havelock I know have season tickets and go to every Hurricanes home game. Havelock is between New Bern and Morehead City down on the coast, it's around a two-and-a-half hour drive.
Holee smokes, that's a long drive 41 times per year! And not a quick jaunt down the interstate, either.

Quote:
You mention Greensboro. I wonder if there's any kind of "pocket fanbase" there larger than other flung off cities from when the Canes played at the Coliseum for a couple years.
I have a sneaking suspicion that there is. Greensboro is big enough, with no big-time sports in town, that they spill interest into Raleigh and Charlotte. I think an average hockey fan there would make the effort to see at least a game or two in Raleigh per year. Plus I would think that there are people in G'boro who think of themselves as the "original" Hurricanes fans.

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04-22-2010, 03:25 PM
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50 miles is about the max. You have to be a pretty serious hockey fan to want to drive any farther than that on a regular basis.
Thats partly why Ive never been to an NHL game. The closest one is Chicago, which is about 100 miles away. Who wants to go to a Blackhawks game when I could walk 5 or 6 blocks and watch the Badgers, drive to Milwaukee and watch the Admirals or drive to Rockford and watch the Ice Hogs.
I dont feel that the quality of hockey in the NHL is so much better that its worth the trip.

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