PDA

View Full Version : Why does playoff turnout everwhere seem so low?



Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7

snively
03-22-2014, 10:49 AM
I watched the Hockey East semis on MSNBC yesterday, and it seemed as though the Garden was nowhere near full. The crowd size in the clips they were showing from the ECAC tournament in Lake Placid looked appalling -- as if were a team's intra-squad practice session.

From what I was able to see on TV, turnout in the other conference tourneys also looked to be pretty meager. Am I wrong on that?

Has broader interest in college hockey fallen so that large arenas are no longer because of poor turnout by the general public? Is it because more of these can be seen on TV these days, or is this now the norm?

Thoughts?

I'll cut Hockey a bit of slack because for the first time ever none of the three Boston teams made it to its Final Four.

Skate79
03-22-2014, 10:56 AM
I was noticing the same thing going back and forth between the HE semis and the Big Ten tournament. One would have thought that since Minnesota was playing in their home state, the rink would have been sold out. No such luck. And attendance at TD Garden, while better for the second game, wasn't even close to a sellout. Not having BC or BU involved definitely hurt but that can't be the only reason because Providence, UML and UNH are not far away and usually bring good crowds. Maybe it's the economy? Spring break? Don't think it has to do with TV although I could be wrong there.

unh1982
03-22-2014, 10:57 AM
Snive, you said it best, case in point, Hockey east was on NBC and nesn. Fans can stay in the confines of their homes and watch numerous college games.

Snively65
03-22-2014, 10:57 AM
I watched the Hockey East semis on MSNBC yesterday, and it seemed as though the Garden was nowhere near full. The crowd size in the clips they were showing from the ECAC tournament in Lake Placid looked appalling -- as if were a team's intra-squad practice session.

From what I was able to see on TV, turnout in the other conference tourneys also looked to be pretty meager. Am I wrong on that?

Has broader interest in college hockey declined so that large arenas are no longer because of poor turnout by the general public? Is it because more of these can be seen on TV these days?

Thoughts? I'll cut Hockey East a bit of slack because for the first time ever none of the three Boston teams made it to its Final Four.

JFYP, adding words declined and East. :-)

Good thread topic.

Snively65
03-22-2014, 11:02 AM
I was noticing the same thing going back and forth between the HE semis and the Big Ten tournament. One would have thought that since Minnesota was playing in their home state, the rink would have been sold out. No such luck. And attendance at TD Garden, while better for the second game, wasn't even close to a sellout. Not having BC or BU involved definitely hurt but that can't be the only reason because Providence, UML and UNH are not far away and usually bring good crowds. Maybe it's the economy? Spring break? Don't think it has to do with TV although I could be wrong there.

USCHO listed total attendance at the Garden as 11,112, so guessing maybe 8000 for each game? Many PC fans were away along with their band or in bars watching their squeakball team. Not as many local ND fans there, without their über rival BC?

goblue78
03-22-2014, 11:03 AM
Part of it is that conference tournaments just aren't that important, except for teams going for autobids, and they're all long shots to win it all anyway. If your team is getting in anyway, and it's on TV, a lot of people will wait a week for the tournament, when they will have to travel farther, generally. Plus the fact that nobody knew who was going to be in these tournaments until a week before wreaks havoc with scheduling. Why book a trip to Lake Placid when there's a reasonable chance, a week before, that you'll suddenly discover your team won't be there? Another issue is that fans show up to see just their team and then leave, leaving empty, but sold, seats. I don't think the conference basketball tournaments do that well either, by and large.

Patman
03-22-2014, 11:04 AM
Snive, you said it best, case in point, Hockey east was on NBC and nesn. Fans can stay in the confines of their homes and watch numerous college games.

i disagree, we've been able to do that for quite awhile. No boston schools, no maine, it makes a difference.

hockeykrazy
03-22-2014, 11:06 AM
I think it's a combination of being free on TV vs shelling out a minimum of $70-80 for 2 upper bowl seats ($140-200 for two lower bowl seats, plus add parking, refreshments, travel) if you actually go. If I go I try to find free parking and try to find tickets for a fraction of the price. Big Ten and NCHC prices.

snively
03-22-2014, 11:07 AM
USCHO listed total attendance at the Garden as 11,112Was that the sum for that two games combined? ;)

I've never put much stock in self-reported turnout numbers. Remember when the Red Sox front office finally admitted that its consecutive games sellout number was bogus?

Freddie
03-22-2014, 11:09 AM
1. HD TV on a 50+inch screen is nearly as good as being there in person.
2. With a decent cable/satellite service you can keep up with action at several games at once.
3. Conference realignment disrupted traditional rivalries.
4. Conference realignment (at least in the west) forces fans to travel too far for tournament.
5. Ticket prices are outrageous.

Other than that, I can't think of ANY reason why attendance is so bad.

J.D.
03-22-2014, 11:12 AM
if the regional ticket prices weren't so outlandish, i think you'd see more people at these conference tourney games (just one factor).

with hockey east, back in the day there was the big four. seemed bc, bu, unh and maine were always at the garden. those were pretty good crowds.

snively
03-22-2014, 11:13 AM
Part of it is that conference tournaments just aren't that important, except for teams going for autobids

Excellent point (actually all good/valid points in your post).

I think that way, way back when -- showing my age here -- the national championship was just a four team tourney. Granted there were far few Division One teams then, but even so...

J.D.
03-22-2014, 11:18 AM
and from my personal perspective, things changed for me ever since i started getting all conference championships on tv like 10 years ago. i enjoy this weekend, watching all the available games.

snively
03-22-2014, 11:21 AM
1. HD TV on a 50+inch screen is nearly as good as being there in person.
2. With a decent cable/satellite service you can keep up with action at several games at once.
3. Conference realignment disrupted traditional rivalries.
4. Conference realignment (at least in the west) forces fans to travel too far for tournament.
5. Ticket prices are outrageous.

Other than that, I can't think of ANY reason why attendance is so bad.Really good stuff. I think you hit it on the head.

Snively65
03-22-2014, 11:27 AM
..... plus add parking, refreshments, travel) if you actually go. If I go I try to find free parking.......

For the Garden yesterday, I bought two excellent lower bowl seats through UNH ticket office for $37 each, plus $4 fee, so total of $78. We spent $25 for parking at the Government Center Garage, a five-minute walk away. So, not bad for 5+ hours of entertainment. Brought our own sandwiches and carrots; the $9 for a 14 oz Harpoon IPA was the most outrageous cost, in my book. But, at least beer is an option at Hockey East, which is not the case with NCAA regionals. Last March, a friend and I watched the UNH-UML regional at Manchvegas in a nearby bar, spending our ticket savings on good beer.

pgb-ohio
03-22-2014, 11:34 AM
In the case of the B1G tournament, it's going to take a while to establish a tradition. The WCHA Final Five evolved into the gold standard for conference tournaments, but those games had lots of empty seats in the early years. Hard to say at this point if the B1G has the potential to be comparable, but I do believe the crowds will grow. One advantage of the B1G format is that there's no risk of buying tickets and having your team fail to qualify.

Bigger picture, the first round of the NCAA Hoops tournament is always going to put something of a cap on attendance at our conference tournaments. Personally I haven't taken time to watch any of the basketball. But we have to face reality. Especially during the round of 64 teams, the casual fan is spoken for and won't be buying hockey tickets this weekend -- no matter how compelling our match-ups are. And note that a good percentage of those choosing hoops are watching at home, also avoiding the need to purchase expensive tickets.

Fishhawk
03-22-2014, 11:37 AM
USCHO listed total attendance at the Garden as 11,112, so guessing maybe 8000 for each game? Many PC fans were away along with their band or in bars watching their squeakball team. Not as many local ND fans there, without their über rival BC?

Yeah I was surprised at the lack of Notre Dame fans. Didn't expect a huge contingent from Indianna but was surprised they didn't send a busload or 2 besides their band. Also expected many more Notre Dame gearhead posers. There were more UNH fans watching the first period of UML-ND than ND fans. Not having a sngle "green line team"(BU, BC, NU) really hurt attendance I think.

hockeykrazy
03-22-2014, 11:38 AM
Yesterdays games:
Atlantic Hockey Tournament - Attendance 1385 listed on both games Capacity 11200 Blue Cross Arena Roch. NY
Big Ten - Attendance 1st game 7963 2nd game 9753 Capacity 17954 XCel Energy center St. Paul MN
ECAC - both games 4337 Capacity 7700 Lake Placid NY Herb Brooks arena
Hockey East - both games 11143 Capacity 18624 TD Garden Boston Mass
NCHC - both games 9113 Capacity 20500 Target Center Mpls
WCHA- First game 2700 second game 4494 Capacity 10834 Van Andel Arena GR, Michigan

MagnessMan
03-22-2014, 11:55 AM
Good thread. I agree with the points Freddie made and also pgp-ohio with the timing of the roundball chaos. I think one other factor is that the regular season is long (October-March) by the time Spring rolls around dedicated fans have spent a lot of A-S-S time at the rink. Adding the travel time and expenses into it, it makes this weekend inaccessible. The regional are even worse for fans in the west. I'm in Denver and the nearest host city is MSP (same as the conference tourney) which means airfare and hotels. My standard approach is to skip the conference and regionals and go to the FF.

Snively65
03-22-2014, 11:57 AM
Was that the sum for that two games combined? ;)

I've never put much stock in self-reported turnout numbers. Remember when the Red Sox front office finally admitted that its consecutive games sellout number was bogus?

Yes, as the tickets are sold for both games together. For comparison, USCHO lists 14.855 for the HE semi's last year, with BU-BC and UML-PC match ups, and 13,738 for the next night for the BC-BU championship.

But, I agree, ticket sales do not equal people in seats, whether at Fenway, the Garden, or Lake Whitt. Wish that those corporate ticket holders would donate their unused tickets to kids in need.