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Thread: Attendance & Women's Hockey

  1. #61
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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by pgb-ohio View Post

    Better Instructional Models
    For a recreational hockey player trying to pick up hockey pointers, Women's D-1 may well be a better choice than the Men. In many cases, the Men are simply elite athletes, and they're doing things at a speed the average athlete simply isn't capable of. Women's D-1, on the other hand, is only a couple of levels above top adult recreational players. Watching a well coached Women's team play may mean picking up some things us mere mortals might actually use on the ice.
    Good point about watching and learning. However, the JWHL, PWHL and Tier 1 Elite leagues are a QUANTUM leap up from adult rec players. Hell, Mass high school hockey, which is pretty weak outside of a handful of teams, is better than adult rec.

    Division One hockey involves a great deal of skill and knowledge and what separates it from the men's game, aside from checking, is speed and strength. In fact, it is what separates it from the top DIII teams. The comparison with the Minny HS team is a good one. The women were, overall, smarter and better skilled. The boys were generally faster and shot harder. As we all know, speed kills. The faster teams usually win.
    Last edited by Hux; 03-24-2012 at 07:44 PM.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    So how many levels does it take to equal a quantum?

    FWIW, I deleted the offending sentence. For the most part, I'd rather avoid further attempts to rank order the various levels of our sport. My point is that Women's D-1 is good, watchable hockey. But trying to quantify that statement is proving to be a distraction...

    The biggest problem with my original remark is that adult rec hockey encompasses such a wide range of abilities. D League to A League is a quantum leap. So comparing rec league hockey as a whole to any other hockey grouping quickly becomes meaningless.
    Last edited by pgb-ohio; 03-25-2012 at 03:00 PM.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Having spent some time in the South, which is on the border of hockey all together, I pondered why one city (Dallas) had such a hockey base while another larger city (Houston) had not. Clearly it was in the best interests of a professional franchise the Stars to develop and grow a fan base.

    The product was entertaining and competitive, as we can all agree is D1 Women's Hockey. Use of media and campaigns definitely assisted with fan awareness, but they also grew the fan base from the ground up. I have been told Dallas has more indoor ice sheets than Chicago. High school teams number over 80, and the kid's leagues are thriving. Every year includes a heavy discount to kid's teams to get them out to a game. What parent is going to deny their kid's request to a sports outing related to their team, particularly when the price is right?

    One cannot pick up a newspaper without reading an article on the Stars during hockey season and the same goes for a nightly sportscast on the local news.

    Attendance can be grown by including and growing the fan base through local girls’ minor hockey. Invite them to games through special events.

    Promote. No-one thinks of going to the games unless the word it out there.

    These are great athletes playing great games. They should be seen more.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by backcheck View Post
    Attendance can be grown by including and growing the fan base through local girls’ minor hockey. Invite them to games through special events.

    Promote. No-one thinks of going to the games unless the word it out there.

    These are great athletes playing great games. They should be seen more.
    While I completely agree with the sentiment, NCAA regulations put a serious crimp on promoting to girls teams. There were limitations to where advertising could be posted if high school-aged players played or practiced there.

    I'm not saying these restrictions are good or bad... they just are. I can understand the reason behind them, but they really are a pain when trying to drum up support for the sport.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyDave View Post
    While I completely agree with the sentiment, NCAA regulations put a serious crimp on promoting to girls teams. There were limitations to where advertising could be posted if high school-aged players played or practiced there.I'm not saying these restrictions are good or bad... they just are. I can understand the reason behind them, but they really are a pain when trying to drum up support for the sport.
    I don't think you need to advertise in that situation. What needs to be done is make a phone call. It's not rocket science it's leg work.

  6. #66
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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by binnyrus View Post
    I think there's a much deeper reason that people don't attend most women's sporting events. There's a whole cultural aspect. One that our society seems not (yet) ready to face and it is: Girls should cheer for boys . . . and boys should cheer for boys. Rarely (unless you're a good friend or family member) is it "okay" for anyone to cheer for girls en masse. The only common change to this group behavior is the Olympics. I don't know why it is . . . maybe the puritanical roots of our society . . . but right now it would seem that no matter how good a woman's sport is - not matter how fast or physical, no matter how great the level of competition there's just some taboo about going all out in support of "the girls".
    I definitely see this from my 5 years at Northeastern. As a guy going to the women's games ( I got to both), I got a lot of dirty looks and some weird questions. At NU they are the most successful team historically and in recent history but no support.

    And I like PGB's point about getting in on the ground level. I'm hoping that support for NU women's hockey will grow after I leave and I can look back fondly, but I was unable to find my replacement for my alumni days and I feel like it is just going to go back to the old status quo.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    I really believe the attendance at the womens college hockey games will improve if more marketing is targeted at the girls high school and club hockey teams .. without violating the NCAA recruiting guidelines..Watching the womens Boston Beancup final at Boston University this year was one of the best attended women's college games by students (especially the group wearing the hockey jerseys) I have seen in Boston. The students were rowdy but really into the exciting game that ended in overtime. Contrasted to the attendance at the NCAA quarterfinal at Boston College v. St. Lawrence, there seemed to be almost as many St. Lawrence family/fans than locals. And this was a Saturday afternoon game that could have been attended by lots of high school girls teams (since their season was over) and some club teams. Literally, hundreds of empty seats could have been filled with girls wearing their respective team jerseys - to add to the enjoyment of the game.
    There must be some way to market attendance without violating the NCAA recruiting guidelines... does it have to originate with the high school or travel team coaches who could initiate interest as a "team bonding" event?? If there are youth hockey teams in attendance, chances are some parents have to drive them there as well..plus introduce them to a cheap family night out. If the college coaches do not have any contact with the individual high school players or their parents, how is this a NCAA recruiting violation?? It seems silly not to encourage high school players to attend local college games as "recruiting" violations when it should be important to encourage public support for it.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Give the minor league teams' coaches a call, give a discount for kids in team jerseys, and send a few college players to help out at girl's practices to develop relationships, strengthen the game and generate interest. Nothing is a greater promoter or more personal ad than seeing a higher level player helping out at your practice.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    I thought kids already got in for free at most places. If they don't they should. It will always be a tough sell, trying to convince someone who understands the so called "real game" to enjoy the women's game for what it is. It's like being converted: never easy. Family...friends...tough to go beyond that unfortunately.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    If you're saying that Women's D-1 will never draw like the NHL or Men's D-1, I agree. Men's D-1 Hockey programs should aspire to be revenue producers, or at least break even. For the forseeable future, that's not realistic for Women's D-1.

    But some games already go beyond family and friends. Trouble is, it's currently only a few hundred beyond. And yes, getting people to come to the rink is a challenge. But once there, the "conversion" isn't nearly as hard as you suggest, provided the newbie comes to the rink with an open mind. Women's D-1 Hockey should be strive to be an attendance leader among the so-called Olympic sports. It can and should happen.

    So to the extent you're saying there's no upside potential, I dissent.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by backcheck View Post
    Give the minor league teams' coaches a call, give a discount for kids in team jerseys, and send a few college players to help out at girl's practices to develop relationships, strengthen the game and generate interest. Nothing is a greater promoter or more personal ad than seeing a higher level player helping out at your practice.
    EXACTLY!! This is how to increase attendance, get community involvement, by getting the kids interested, you can get the parents involved in a family night out. It will catch on but it has to start somewhere. I know the coaching staff at most college programs feels over burdened by their off-site recruiting, aand should be excluded from any ncaa recruiting violations, but how about the Sports Information people, AD Assistant administrative types = can't there be more community outreach with local youth programs to encourage attendance?? "Giving back to the community" Involving more "free skates" with the teams ...etc. Promoting these kind of events seems to be a win-win all the way.
    Last edited by sheba; 03-27-2012 at 08:59 AM.

  12. #72
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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by sheba View Post
    EXACTLY!! This is how to increase attendance, get community involvement, by getting the kids interested, you can get the parents involved in a family night out. It will catch on but it has to start somewhere. I know the coaching staff at most college programs feels over burdened by their off-site recruiting, aand should be excluded from any ncaa recruiting violations, but how about the Sports Information people, AD Assistant administrative types = can't there be more community outreach with local youth programs to encourage attendance?? "Giving back to the community" Involving more "free skates" with the teams ...etc. Promoting these kind of events seems to be a win-win all the way.
    Trust me, there is plenty of outreach from the various programs. But when your target audience also tends to be playing at the same time as your games, or has spent an afternoon running around to games (or one of several on the weekend) it is difficult to then get them to a college game. Studies done by USA Hockey and Hockey Canada have shown that the biggest deterrent to continued participation in youth hockey is the time commitment. Add on that many parents seem determined to have their kids involved in multiple activities and on time alone they are stretched thin. Add in the fact that even with free admission you are likely to incur parking charges on a college campus...then add in food, and merchandise and it can become cost prohibitive as well.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by sheba View Post
    I really believe the attendance at the womens college hockey games will improve if more marketing is targeted at the girls high school and club hockey teams .. without violating the NCAA recruiting guidelines..
    Yeah, well that's the rub. It isn't just the coaching staff that can't contact high school teams or similar aged club teams. It's any university representative. That includes the marketing people, the sports information people, the booster club and the band. No one can contact them. You can't offer any special deals to a high school team like you can to those junior high or younger. The NCAA basically makes it impossible to market to them.

    As for the promotions to younger players, I question exactly how much value that's going to have in the long term. My section is usually filled with them and a lot of the girls are barely paying attention to the game at all. They're running around from seat to eat, talking with their friends, bugging their parents about getting something to eat, going and getting something to eat, goofing around with Goldy, and all sorts of other things that don't involve watching hockey. I wonder if any sort of fandom for women's hockey specifically is being built at all, as opposed to giving them a fun night out that is largely indistinguishable from other fun nights out that they might have. I just don't see this translating into increased attendance down the road.

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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    The Dallas Stars family pack was $100; 4 tickets in the nose bleeds, 4 drinks, 4 hot dogs and 4 chips. The last couple of D1 women's games I went to were $5 and free respectively.

    Pitch it out to your college's MBA program as a project and see what they can come up with for class credit!

  15. #75
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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    As for the promotions to younger players, I question exactly how much value that's going to have in the long term. My section is usually filled with them and a lot of the girls are barely paying attention to the game at all. They're running around from seat to eat, talking with their friends, bugging their parents about getting something to eat, going and getting something to eat, goofing around with Goldy, and all sorts of other things that don't involve watching hockey. I wonder if any sort of fandom for women's hockey specifically is being built at all, as opposed to giving them a fun night out that is largely indistinguishable from other fun nights out that they might have. I just don't see this translating into increased attendance down the road.
    They won't always be adolescents. They will grow up, and remember having a good time at a college hockey game. That's not a bad thing in the long term. What I love about the kids, is that they actually make some noise and add some atmosphere. Too many of even the regular fans sit on their hands until the team scores, and then they cheer. I hear the kids; I don't hear much from a lot of the adults.
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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    As for the promotions to younger players, I question exactly how much value that's going to have in the long term. My section is usually filled with them and a lot of the girls are barely paying attention to the game at all. They're running around from seat to eat, talking with their friends, bugging their parents about getting something to eat, going and getting something to eat, goofing around with Goldy, and all sorts of other things that don't involve watching hockey. I wonder if any sort of fandom for women's hockey specifically is being built at all, as opposed to giving them a fun night out that is largely indistinguishable from other fun nights out that they might have. I just don't see this translating into increased attendance down the road.
    Well, I would have agreed with you four or five years ago, but I have seen several youth players go from running up and down the aisles chasing a mascot as 10 year olds to high schoolers sitting in an upper corner of a rink watching and discussing the play on the ice before them. No doubt there will be a percentage of those youth players that won't follow the college game (though I doubt that is likely in Gopher, Bulldog, Sioux, or Badger land) as they grow older, but I think the larger portion will. As such it is worth trying to get them into the arena at some point in their formative years.

  17. #77
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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
    As for the promotions to younger players, I question exactly how much value that's going to have in the long term. My section is usually filled with them and a lot of the girls are barely paying attention to the game at all. They're running around from seat to eat, talking with their friends, bugging their parents about getting something to eat, going and getting something to eat, goofing around with Goldy, and all sorts of other things that don't involve watching hockey. I wonder if any sort of fandom for women's hockey specifically is being built at all, as opposed to giving them a fun night out that is largely indistinguishable from other fun nights out that they might have. I just don't see this translating into increased attendance down the road.
    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    They won't always be adolescents. They will grow up, and remember having a good time at a college hockey game. That's not a bad thing in the long term. What I love about the kids, is that they actually make some noise and add some atmosphere. Too many of even the regular fans sit on their hands until the team scores, and then they cheer. I hear the kids; I don't hear much from a lot of the adults.
    I 100 percent support the concept of building the fan base by bringing in at reduced and/or free admission as many youth hockey teams as are willing to bring themselves to the games. I agree with ARM.

    But I feel Eeyore's pain. There are at least a couple of games every season during which watching hockey is reduced to irrelevancy by non-hockey activities in the seats and aisles between me and the ice surface.

    Perhaps what could be done is that a specific section or sections could be set aside for the reduced admission teams. The teams could be seated in those sections and Goldy could hang out there to do his business. Maybe something along the lines of reserved seating and general admission.

    Oh, wait, ooops, they already have that.

    OK, I'm looking at you University of Minnesota. You already have a large number of paid staff in the building during the games. Maybe, just maybe, you could instruct those people who look but never act like ushers to actually DO SOMETHING during the game.

    Like, direct people who have been admitted on reduced price general admission tickets to sit in the general admission seats. And while I am on a rant they could also instruct people to wait in the concourse until a stoppage in play before casually meandering down to select some seat or another that THEY HAVE NOT PAID FOR before sitting down and allowing me to see the game again.

    And ARM, all due respect, your view from the press box is of no significance to this argument. You can see just fine. Season ticket holders just want to be able to do the same.
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  18. #78
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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by ManBehindTheCurtain View Post
    And ARM, all due respect, your view from the press box is of no significance to this argument. You can see just fine. Season ticket holders just want to be able to do the same.
    I'll grant you that. And in all seriousness, if you want to be able to watch the game and don't want to have to hassle with Goldy's oversized melon or this throngs of ardent admirers, I would recommend looking into club-level season tickets. For the price above what you pay for the ice-level season tickets, it may be worth it to you if you value being able to watch the game without distractions. If I ever go back to getting season tickets, I think I'll do that (and probably spend part of the game sitting near CrazyDave and the band and experience the two ends of the spectrum ).
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    Re: Attendance & Women's Hockey

    Quote Originally Posted by ARM View Post
    I'll grant you that. And in all seriousness, if you want to be able to watch the game and don't want to have to hassle with Goldy's oversized melon or this throngs of ardent admirers, I would recommend looking into club-level season tickets. For the price above what you pay for the ice-level season tickets, it may be worth it to you if you value being able to watch the game without distractions. If I ever go back to getting season tickets, I think I'll do that (and probably spend part of the game sitting near CrazyDave and the band and experience the two ends of the spectrum ).
    I shouldn't have to pay extra for tickets where I can see the game. That should be a part of the basic package.

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