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Attendance down in Los Angeles, Chicago

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http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2629188

The Colorado Avalanche played before empty seats at home for the first time in nearly 11 years on Tuesday.

Last week, the Los Angeles Kings had their lowest attendance in five years. The Chicago Blackhawks had 8,008 fans in 20,500-seat United Center the same night.

Is hockey attendance in trouble? Commissioner Gary Bettman says it's too early to hit the panic button.

"It's a couple weeks into the season and any speculation would be premature," Bettman was quoted as saying in Tuesday's Los Angeles Times.

Bettman, the Times said, blamed the "schedule being a little different. It's a little premature two to three weeks into the season to be writing attendance stories."

According to the Times, the Kings have eight home games in October, compared to nine in 2005. Last year, they had one crowd of less than 17,000 during that span; this year, they've had only one capacity crowd.

Attendance in Colorado on Monday was 17,681 in the Pepsi Center -- 326 short of capacity. Previously, Colorado had played to 487 consecutive full houses.

Thus far this season, 14 teams are playing to capacity houses nightly -- Montreal, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Philadelphia, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Carolina, Buffalo, Vancouver, Dallas, Minnesota, the New York Rangers and San Jose.

Chicago, meanwhile, is playing to just 61 percent of capacity at the United Center. A year ago, the Blackhawks played to 65 percent of capacity for 41 home games, lowest in the NHL.

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I hope Wirtz gets the message. Chicago deserves a better hockey team. They also deserve the freaking games to be shown locally on television! :angry:

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how is 9,400 a surprise out on the Island? Early season Monday night against the Predators, especially after that embarrassing offseason, 9,400 is pretty decent. Even when the Isles were going good making the playoffs 3 years in a row, mid week usually meant 12,000-13,000, which doesn't look so terrible in a dark 16,000 seat arena, but pretty sparse in our 19,000 seat cavern the way it's distributed.

Even the Rangers/Penguins game last week didn't look anywhere near sold out, though they announced it that way.

Hockey isn't as hot this year, and seems to be even more dwarfed by baseball and football, last year you had some anticipation and curiosity as the league came back from the lockout, this year is more ho hum with higher ticket prices.

And there is absoloutely no way in hell Carolina has played to full houses, anybody who watched their silly 2nd home opener against the Devils saw thousands of empty seats.

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Well, like I said last season -- when you stop literally giving tickets away, you're going to see those artificially inflated opening month numbers from last season go down the drain.

<JESTER>

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Well, like I said last season -- when you stop literally giving tickets away, you're going to see those artificially inflated opening month numbers from last season go down the drain.

<JESTER>

How true how true.... :saddevil:

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And there is absoloutely no way in hell Carolina has played to full houses, anybody who watched their silly 2nd home opener against the Devils saw thousands of empty seats.

Thats weird. Its probably a paid sellout while people no-show the game.

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the saturday devs-flyers game seemed really empty. the upper tier was really full probably because of all of the ticket promotions, but the some of the lower tier sections were more than half empty.

i don't know if it was sold out and people did show up or what but thats weird for a game against the flyers to be that empty AND on a saturday night. :noclue:

Edited by Ally

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I think the NJD problem has always been the weird price structure, especially behind the nets at 90bucks. No one will ever pay that, those seats stink and should be really cheap.

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That game drew 14,177 Ally. I was at it and from looks, most of the upper tier was crowded. I could hear some bickering between a few Flyer fans and Devil fans. LOL

But the lower was pretty empty probably due to cost.

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That game drew 14,177 Ally. I was at it and from looks, most of the upper tier was crowded. I could hear some bickering between a few Flyer fans and Devil fans. LOL

But the lower was pretty empty probably due to cost.

I remember going to a Buffalo-Devils game in Buffalo like that a few years ago (like 99). The lower bowl was nearly completely empty and the upper deck was filled to capacity.

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That game drew 14,177 Ally. I was at it and from looks, most of the upper tier was crowded. I could hear some bickering between a few Flyer fans and Devil fans. LOL

But the lower was pretty empty probably due to cost.

aw i was there too! i know at least the sections behind the nets looked completely empty.

but yeah, 14,177 SUCKS for a saturday game against philly. i also noticed there were a LOT less flyers fans than usual, maybe they're finally giving up. last i saw they were losing 9-1 to buffalo tonight. ha ha ha ha...

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If your team gave up 9, wouldn't you want to run away and hide? LOL

Man, maybe it's going to be a tough year for them. Haha

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People love to bash the NHL but honestly this thread is misleading, why the hell WOULD Chicago, the Isles, LA, or Colorado have any attendance this year? They all suck :P Using them as an example of hockey's declining attendance is like using the Royals, Devil Rays, Brewers and Giants to paint a bad picture of MLB attendance.

The Hawks have sucked for years, yeah they've had a few nice games so far but it's gonna take a helluva lot more than that to win back the fans, we all know what a joke offseason the Isles have had; no way they're gonna draw. LA's rebuilding and expected to be one of the worst teams in a tough Western Conference, and Colorado has also been declining and won one out of their first five games (all at home) - and has KEN KLEE playing 25 minutes a night. When you have Klee trying to replace Rob Blake, you have issues.

BTW just look at who wrote this article - an ESPN link. The messenger is a bit biased, no?

Edited by Hasan4978

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I've always said this and it will never happen: A 70 game regular season starting on November 1st. The season is too long. You can't even get a hockey highlight on the news in October. Our opening night miracle got a passing mention by Ranger Len Berman on channel 4.

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I've always said this and it will never happen: A 70 game regular season starting on November 1st. The season is too long. You can't even get a hockey highlight on the news in October. Our opening night miracle got a passing mention by Ranger Len Berman on channel 4.

Unless the players take 1/7th pay cuts, this is never going to happen.

Plus at this point it would severely alter the NHL record book.

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I've always said this and it will never happen: A 70 game regular season starting on November 1st. The season is too long. You can't even get a hockey highlight on the news in October. Our opening night miracle got a passing mention by Ranger Len Berman on channel 4.

That would be the same Len Berman who is always at CAA whenever I go. What the heck for?

Unless the players take 1/7th pay cuts, this is never going to happen.

Plus at this point it would severely alter the NHL record book.

Eh. I've seen this argument before. They used to play 72 games. Sure. There were less teams. But do they really have to play more than that?

8 games vs division opponents= 32

4 games vs other two divisions= 40

That's 72 right there. Eliminate games against the other conference and it cuts out a lot of travel.

I know what the argument will be against this. That fans want to see some stars from the other conference. Isn't that what Center Ice is for?

I'd like to see 76 games. Here's hoping.

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82 games is staying - neither the league or players wants to give up that money unless both of them agree to - and it's not happening. And the 72 game has altered the records for a lot of players from that era.

Eliminate games vs. other conferences and it means no one west of Toronto gets to see Sidney Crosby. This would be a disaster. The league is not eliminating inter-conference play - in fact, where are the people who were arguing there should be MORE inter-conference play? They were around before.

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hmm, it's early yet -- but maybe the players won't get that escrow back this season.

And the cap will remain where it is, or even go down !

I agree that the NHL season starts early, but I'd rather have it that way then play into late June.

So October will always be slow, it was probably "less-slow" last year due to the curiosity factor.

But I gave up along time ago trying to figure out why hockey doesn't draw more. It is what it is. A regional sport, not a national one.

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Chicago, meanwhile, is playing to just 61 percent of capacity at the United Center. A year ago, the Blackhawks played to 65 percent of capacity for 41 home games, lowest in the NHL.

------

Yeahhh :clap:

We're not the lowest!

You have to figure ESPN is going to enjoy writing articles about hockey's non-popularity. We already know their position on it.

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Thus far this season, 14 teams are playing to capacity houses nightly -- Montreal, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Philadelphia, Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Carolina, Buffalo, Vancouver, Dallas, Minnesota, the New York Rangers and San Jose.

I don't think it is regional. If so, what region do these cities fall into? Niche sport seems more appropriate.

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I will still NEVER understand the 8 games vs divisional opponents stuff or never admit it's a good thing... you overstautrate the rivalries and take away the meanings of the game with them.. and it hets boring to see week after week the same 4 teams on your schedule.... hell I can't even get annoyed about the Ranger loss cause we play them a zillion more times this season!!!!

I will never fault a single Hawks fan ever for not wanting to see that team live that owner is in the Stone Age!!

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People love to bash the NHL but honestly this thread is misleading, why the hell WOULD Chicago, the Isles, LA, or Colorado have any attendance this year? They all suck :P

Thats EXACTLY what I said to myself while reading the article!

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I don't think it is regional. If so, what region do these cities fall into? Niche sport seems more appropriate.

That little region known as Canada is doing fairly well on that list. I'm pretty sure Edmonton, who isn't on there, is doing fine attendance-wise after a cup run.

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