Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Attendance issues in Southern California

Gary says I shouldn’t be writing about this, so of course I will.

Home Game Announced Attendance Anaheim:
G1 vs. Los Angeles: 17,174 (100%) (Fri 7 pm)
G2 vs. St. Louis: 13,889 (81%) (Mon 7 pm)
G3 vs. NY Islanders: 12,394 (72%) (Wed 7 pm)
G4 vs. Dallas: 15,269 (89%) (Sun 5 pm)
G5 vs. Detroit: 14,767 (86%) (Wed 7 pm)
G6 vs. Minnesota: 13,430 (78%) (Fri 7 pm)

Home Game Announced Attendance Los Angeles:
G1 vs. St. Louis: 18,118 (100%) (Sat 7:30 pm)
G2 vs. NY Islanders: 14,394 (79%) (Tue 7:30 pm)
G3 vs. Dallas: 14,167 (78%) (Thu 7:30 pm)
G4 vs. Dallas: 17,052 (94%) (Sat 7:30 pm)
G5 vs. Detroit: 17,417 (96%) (Mon 7:30 pm)
G6 vs. Minnesota: 14,617 (81%) (Wed 7:30 pm)

One disclaimer, Anaheim’s moving its start times to 7 pm is traffic murder, especially for a sucker like me who decides to live and work in L.A. Plus I’m really fond of my couch and my DVR.

Two options for the comments:
(a) Are we a bad market for NHL hockey? (Screw you, SoCal!)
(b) Are we a savvy market for recognizing the declining entertainment value of attending an NHL game at today’s prices? (Screw you, Gary!)

Feel free to offer both, if you’re grumpy enough.


Tapeleg said...

Maybe it's the new uniforms? If it had a Buffaslug look to it, maybe people would come to the games. The Buffaduck, Or the Anaslug. I can see it now.

Maybe the attendence will pick up when the season gets going a little more. Everyone missed hockey in the offseason, but I wouldn't worry. What are ticket prices like right now?

Of course, everyone has been looking for fan backlash on the ticket price front for a while now, could this finally be it? Nah, probably not. It's just too nice outside in SoCal to go inside and watch some hockey.

Doogie said...

I still think Anaheim's jerseys are retarded. No two ways around that. Who puts a wordmark on the chest? At least the Rangers did it somewhat differently. That "D" would've made a perfectly good logo for those jerseys.

As for the main issue, I'd say both.

Bartcal said...

I think Anaheim's attendance may have something to do with the time change. While I hate getting there, it's nice to get home earlier. Of course, my trip there is against traffic on the 91. Hopefully, as people adjust to the changes, and less things get in their way, attendence will improve.

(BTW, I was a bit disappointed with the turnout for the Detroit game - expected bigger numbers, but oh well. Ducks won anyway).

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that I think part of the problem is the time change. Moving the start time to 7pm makes it harder to get there. In fact, I notice more people showing up in the second period.

Additionally, I think the fact that we have had 6 home games in fourteen days accounts for part of the lack of attendance. There is not a huge amount of hockey fans in Southern California and it is a little expensive going to mutiple games in two weeks. Trust me, I've been to four and am going to the Edmonton game next week.

moneyp said...

I live in Atlanta now, so I couldn't really tell you, but that time change sounds brutal. I used to drive in from Los Angeles to attend Ducks games after work and usually got there with ten minutes to spare at best. Doubt I would have made as much an effort knowing I was going to miss a half an hour of action.

I think you're right on Option B as well. Since Center Ice came into existence, attending a game is basically just a treat I afford myself. Hardly a necessity any more.

Rick said...

It's October.

That's all.

beingbobbyorr said...

The OC market is too soft on hockey yet to get a full house in October. Getting to the WCF last spring was nice, but the Ducks really need to win it all before they jack up prices like they did. Personally, I got spoiled paying 'only' $75 to sit in the lower bowl. Imagine my sticker shock to see $96 (including the Ponda Center 'service charge') on the VISA slip to watch friggin' St. Louis!

The Los Angeles market grew during the Gretzky's era, and was solidified by the Staples Center opening in '99 followed by 3 playoff seasons. Considering they've been at 95-100% capacity for the last 3 years with non-playoff teams, and they demonstrated commitment with a housecleaning, I thought their price increase was expected and in line w/ supply-and-demand. I think they've dropped because of Earl's (b) the new no-touch NHL is just not exciting enough, and all the parking price increases + increased traffic congestion in/around Staples. Parking going from $5 to $10 may sound trivial, but you're not getting anything for parking; the ticket at least gets you entertained (or it used to).

50" Plasma HDTV arrives this week. Say goodbye to my wallet, Ducks and Kings!

Temujin said...

How much would a single game ticket in your seat cost you, Earl?

Earl Sleek said...

The Row B seats are part of a guy's season package, so I think they're cheaper than single-game prices, but still.

4 tickets each at US$ 74
1 parking pass at US$ 20

3 games each year costs me $948 face value.

It's a weird set-up, though, as we usually spread the 4 pre-season game cost among the 41 regular-season tickets, so I pay more than face value, but then I get a "free" preseason game set of tickets thrown in as well, as none of the other participants are as excited about attending preseason.

Andy Grabia said...

What about Option C, which is that both teams stink, and fans know it?

Anonymous said...

Anaheim is just a tough market. Californian's in general are not the same kind of devoted sports fans that exist back east, and the population density is not rich enough to support a team esp when there is one 45 minutes away. Move the Ducks to a place like Hartford, where grass roots hockey support is much deeper (metro region home to folks like Brian Leetch, Chris Drury, Chris Clark, Craig Janney), and they'd be selling out every game with even a moderately contending team. Hartford got the shaft, but people forget the Whale did nothing except lose for basically all of it's 20 years...and yet it still drew about as well as places like Anaheim, NJ, Long Island and New Jersey.

Blogdor! said...

why is this a problem?

Consider yourselves lucky to have entertaining teams in cities where you actually have the option of going to the box office and getting a ticket on game night

-pete from toronto