Saturday, November 3, 2007

Captain's Corner Drill

The NHL has a big problem on its hands.......

Keep in mind - you are looking at stats with ANNOUNCED attendance -
which is lies and fiction wrapped together.....

On Thursday - we would be lucky to say 7,500 people were in the Isles building. Maybe less. All I know is that it took 13 seconds to leave the parking lot and the concourse bathroom had a VERY VERY SHORT line in between the 2nd/3rd periods.....
which are leading indicators of the true attendance.

Agree that we get hammered a lot - But the Ranger$ lie about their attendance - or the "18,200" might mean tickets sold - but routinely there are a couple of thousand empty seats on any given night.

The fact that Colorado and Detroit no longer sell every game out is telling too. Detroit ( as per the article I posted) has a serious economic crisis due to the MASSIVE layoffs in the auto sector.

People losing jobs = no hockey tix sold.

Also, teams are pricing out the regular fans.

Winning cures a lot of ills. Buffalo went from being a team that had a half empty building to a full shop now - with a re-invigorated team - and the city rallied behind it.

We sort of did the same thing in 2002/03 after that first year of Laviolette - we sold out about a dozen or so games....and just were not able to sustain that momentum.

Minnesota is the hottest ticket......and we all know that this was not the case when the team was in Bloomington. But I have been to Minnesota a few times this year - and they are the RAGE up there....

I don't care so much as to what the others do - but very concerned about us.

Most of my boyhood friends live in Maryland, Upstate, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A whole generation of Isles fans who cannot buy season tix.....they no longer live here.

WE have to cultivate the next generation. How do we do that ?

WIN !!!

I still think its funny how my kids cannot IMAGINE that this Isles team was ever any good. My son was 2 years old last time they won a playoff series. ( 17 yrs old now) sorry for repeating this for the 1940th time - but to me - its the most telling reason why we are what we are with his generation of potential Isles fans......

Walking out of Coliseum after game 6 vs. Toronto - with my then 13 year old son Kevin - the game where Cairns beat up Corson and waved his finger in a # 1 !! style

Kevin - "Gee Dad - I never knew it could be like this - so exciting!"

Pat - "Gee Kev - I remember when it was like this E V E R Y Night"

This is what Buffalo got back to in the past year or two.

This is where we need to be. We gotta both go deep in the playoffs and have the roster to be a threat to do it on a consistent basis.

THAT is what we have to get to. I will be patient and wait a short while ( i.e. more than 2 seasons) if we produce a DOMINANT team for the following 5 years.....

Winning will take care of our attendance problem.......

on a "macro" basis ----

A bad economy and poor pricing point decisions will temper that a bit. Here's hoping that the economy stays in halfway decent order and the team lowers prices a wee bit.

Pat "The Captain"

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