Monday, October 11, 2010

One for the Attendance Police

The day after the win. The first WIN of the season over the Rangers is always so sweet. It's great to quiet the crowd of Ranger fans that flood the building by sending them home with a loss. Post about the positive aspects of yesterday's matinee win over at HockeyBuzz. Thoughts about the attendance woes here.

Before I forget, (because I would) I’d like to say something about today’s reported attendance of 11,748 on a Monday afternoon in early October for a NY Rivalry game. The crowd was so sparse that even Gary Bettman was asked about it during his little impromptu press conference. Sitting on a desk as the crowd descended on him, he answered "When you schedule a weekday afternoon, a lot of people are working. You’re going to have disruption of some schedules. So I’m sure there are some season ticket holders that are not here. It’s a decent crowd."

According to one of the NHL reporters, it had to be the lowest attended Ranger vs Islander game ever. (One that could not be explained without the footnote of mild blizzard, Nor'easter, blackout or bubonic plague.)

However, in my opinion there are many factors that caused such a low attendance besides the standard ones you read all the time: The building is horrible, the team isn’t a winner, the fan base is non-existent.

First of all, Columbus day is not a non-working holiday for many on Long Island. Also, the college crowd still had classes. It was also a beautiful fall day and many travel sport teams decided to take advantage of the day and have practices and clinics for the kids.

Okay, enough excuses for you? How about this one; the one my family falls into. We can’t afford it.

My daughter was home from high school and would have loved to go to the game with her dad. We are ex-season ticket holders who for years spent almost $7,000 a year for three seats in the 200s. They would have loved to go to today’s game but that sort of investment wasn’t in the budget this month -- or any other month for that matter.

With the ticket prices increased to what they are (2 tickets in 201 would run $323.90 through Ticketmaster), parking at $10 and food prices increased to prohibitive prices, they just couldn’t do it. The tickets alone are a car payment for a month.

My fellow Blog Boxer Rob McGowan and I even talked about the fact that we couldn’t eat lunch at the Coliseum today because neither one of us could afford. Some nights the choice is gas in the car or a pretzel and a soda. Gas wins so that at least I can get there.

If anyone hasn’t noticed, the economy on Long Island hasn’t gotten much better, NO matter what the politicians want us to believe. Not by a long shot. An evening of hockey entertainment at the barn is just too expensive for this lower middle class, working two jobs each with a teen who seems to be the black hole of cash, family.

So while “winning cures everything” is the mantra, unless the economy improves or NHL hockey becomes a more reasonably priced entertainment venue, I seriously doubt there will be a waiting list for tickets here on Long Island.
I’m just sayin’!


Anonymous said...

I think the real reason is just that its a weekday...the economy stinks...nobody has any money to go to games...

Islander Fans will show if they see that the team is a contender. Its not Hockey season yet for a lot of people you know....if the Yanks had been eliminated from the playoffs and/or the Jets were not playing tonight the game would have been very close to a sell-out.


TheMetalChick said...

Great article, Dee.



The Devils have Parise, Kovalchuk, a brand new building, did not sell out it's home opener and had only 12,000 for Crosby and the Pens Monday.

New York is not market where the public is interested in hockey anymore, the major sports, baseball/NJ football own the town and more importantly the coverage that gets/keeps people interested.

If the game was at Msg there would have been 13,000 announced as a sellout with both teams fans. The Msg telecast was doing constant ads for individual ticket sales, more than ever.

The lack of print/television coverage in baseball's largest market, the LI slapped on a New York team and the overt negative coverage they do receive all does a lot of damage to drive away fans with the price of tickets.

The people who write about this team hammer far more often and then when the fallout is a bunch of people respond they are giving up tickets they wonder why people are not at games?

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more! My wife and I make good money, but we would NEVER spend that kind of cash... Oh and we wanted to go to both games so far...... Reason we didn't....$$$$$!

Anonymous said...

When someone mentioned the sparse attendance at both the opening night and the Rangers game, I checked ticketmaster to see the price of tickets. It's crazy how much they want for a ticket (and of course you then add in the Ticketmaster fees if you get it from them). The same tickets seem to be overflowing stubhub and listed for half the price of face value. They need to get some of the upper bowl back down to 20 bucks or so.

feralcatsspayneuter said...

thank you thank you thank you thankyou...

Anonymous said...

Big deal about them not having a sellout. There are SO many factors going against them. I'm not surprised there were so few fans.

What I AM surprised about is YET ANOTHER LAME GOAL SONG!

Zenon and the rest of the players that signed that petition to have THAT MESS made into our goal song should all BE TRADED!!! I mean, it's bad enough they took OUR SONG away and replaced it with that Bro Hymn tune, but just as we were "getting used to it", they drop that piece of garbage on us like a nuke. The Isles fans were all looking around wondering what was going on while the Rags fans were all LAUGHING at that ABOMINATION! Whoever is in charge, LISTEN UP! Either bring back Rock and Roll Part 2 or put in a song with BALLS and one that actually SOUNDS GOOD. Might I suggest Panteras song, "Walk"? Play the chorus, "RE-SPECT.......WALK!" a few times. Done. Anything would be better than that AWFUL opus.

-Big Van Vader