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J.D.
02-05-2019, 11:49 AM
Chickod is definitely right about college hockey though. The hockey east championship weekend seems to have dwindling attendance as well. The big 4 era produced some great crowds at the Garden late 90s to early 00s. Those days are long gone. I still love college hockey but aside from my season tix I don't even consider going to Beanpot or HE semis/title game anymore. I do still put in for FF when it's in Boston and I try to go to regionals in Providence/Worcester/Manchester. Maybe when my son is older I will start doing Beanpot/Hockey East again.

chickod
02-05-2019, 11:52 AM
Chickod is definitely right about college hockey though. The hockey east championship weekend seems to have dwindling attendance as well. The big 4 era produced some great crowds at the Garden late 90s to early 00s. Those days are long gone. I still love college hockey but aside from my season tix I don't even consider going to Beanpot or HE semis/title game anymore. I do still put in for FF when it's in Boston and I try to go to regionals in Providence/Worcester/Manchester. Maybe when my son is older I will start doing Beanpot/Hockey East again.

And to be fair, the absence of the big state school fan bases (UNH and Maine) hasnít helped either.

northeastern
02-05-2019, 12:02 PM
and let's not forget the cost of college 1980s (even early 90s) to now..
its the 800 lb gorilla in the room..

in state tuition at clemson, bama, x state.. not as much, but going up nevertheless.

the darn experience costs a fortune.. auto, oil, soda, dogs & all.

defkit
02-05-2019, 12:11 PM
Also, the problem just builds on itself. For those that do give it a try and go to a game like last night - with the place less than half full, the atmosphere isn't the same, so the chances that they will return are slim. Which I think brings things back to the smaller venue argument. Back when it was hard to get tickets, if you got one, that alone got you fired up. Then you walk into a sold-out building and you get even more excited.

Now in order for it to be memorable, the actual game has to really stand out - OT championship game or an amazing comeback.

I will say this - if yesterday's game was not on TV, I would more than likely have opted to go (and then I would have complained about the high prices :-))

buoldtimer
02-05-2019, 12:13 PM
Chickod is definitely right about college hockey though. The hockey east championship weekend seems to have dwindling attendance as well. The big 4 era produced some great crowds at the Garden late 90s to early 00s. Those days are long gone. I still love college hockey but aside from my season tix I don't even consider going to Beanpot or HE semis/title game anymore. I do still put in for FF when it's in Boston and I try to go to regionals in Providence/Worcester/Manchester. Maybe when my son is older I will start doing Beanpot/Hockey East again.

Itís a shame, too, because the game has never been better, save for the two seasons in the early 90ís.

Drew S.
02-05-2019, 12:58 PM
Also, the problem just builds on itself. For those that do give it a try and go to a game like last night - with the place less than half full, the atmosphere isn't the same, so the chances that they will return are slim. Which I think brings things back to the smaller venue argument. Back when it was hard to get tickets, if you got one, that alone got you fired up. Then you walk into a sold-out building and you get even more excited.

Now in order for it to be memorable, the actual game has to really stand out - OT championship game or an amazing comeback.

I will say this - if yesterday's game was not on TV, I would more than likely have opted to go (and then I would have complained about the high prices :-))

I couldnít agree more with this and think it gets overlooked by those in charge. It will be hard to ever get back to where they used to be. My suggestion would be to move beanpot to Conte and HEA to Manch(if they could price it appropriately.)

buoldtimer
02-05-2019, 01:14 PM
I donít know that I agree ALL college sports are losing popularity. Basketball and football are as popular as ever. I think the Long Tail Theory is at play here .

So, what is it about college hockey that causes it to be left behind? Isnít attendance at NHL games at an all-time high?

kdiff77
02-05-2019, 01:19 PM
So, what is it about college hockey that causes it to left behind? Isn’t attendance at NHL games at an all-time high?

It's not the sport itself, it's the hype built around it. College football and basketball have been "prestige" sports with massive TV contracts for decades; college hockey has always been region-specific and insular. The NHL has struggled mightily in expanding to a number of non-traditional markets, too. Tampa, Nashville, San Jose and a couple others have been great successes, but you can't say the same thing about Carolina, Florida, Arizona, and even Anaheim and Dallas have seen their attendance numbers trend downward over the last decade.

College hockey is still maintaining some of its market share in its traditional hotbeds, but it's losing ground to more high-profile sports and events. And it's not necessarily making up for it in any new areas, either, unless you count Pennsylvania a non-traditional hockey region. It's just how entertainment media has shaped the landscape today.

Carmine Scarpaglia
02-05-2019, 01:22 PM
BC mobbing their goalie and throwing sticks and gloves into the air for winning a non conference game was certainly....something.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It’s just one game, but you can tell this one was special to the players, to break the long streak of non-conference frustration. *Loved* the joy in this celebration. <a href="https://t.co/l4dJbUbW5u">pic.twitter.com/l4dJbUbW5u</a></p>&mdash; BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) <a href="https://twitter.com/bcinterruption/status/1092650008057446400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 5, 2019</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Gee ya know I don't see any sticks or gloves being removed at all.

Then a few hours later you got your boys doing diving snow angels on the ice. Good news, we all knew long before this that you aren't terribly bright.

Friend_of_BU_Hockey
02-05-2019, 01:56 PM
It didn't, until the NFL started having bye weeks which pushed the SB back to February.

2004 was when the Super Bowl (XXXVIII) became *permanently* scheduled for the 1st Sunday in February. In the 16 instances of SB Sunday / Beanpot Monday back-2-back, the Patriots have played in the Super Bowl 8X. One can argue that there's a correlation between the Patriots' success (in particular, the 4 SB appearances in last 5 years) and dwindling attendance at the Beanpot -- esp. on the 1st Monday.

IMO, other factors potentially impacting attendance -- esp. in recent years -- has been:

* Cost of attending (excluding ticket price)
* Aging "core" fan bases (esp. BU, BC) and inability to retain/grow younger fan base (among recent grads)
* Life gets in the way (work commitments - business travel; child care; parental care)
* BU/BC dominance in the tournament until the last 2 years
* Mother Nature (2015 - rescheduled 2x; 2016 - BU/BC final played in snowstorm)

I had an extra ticket for last night; nobody was interested despite me asking around for weeks. I went to Beer Works before BU/NU game and there was hardly anyone in there; same w/ Hurricane's when walking by.

northeastern
02-05-2019, 02:05 PM
Gee ya know I don't see any sticks or gloves being removed at all..

and who could blame them if they did show some emotion. first win outside of hockey east in 2+ yrs.. that is hard to fathom!
glad its behind you, was a real headscratcher. then again, took us 3 decades to break out of a certain funk, who's kidding who.. couple yrs is chump change.

then again i think of the Toronto Maple Leafs at times... well.. :)

buoldtimer
02-05-2019, 02:34 PM
* Cost of attending (excluding ticket price)
* Aging "core" fan bases (esp. BU, BC) and inability to retain/grow younger fan base (among recent grads)
* Life gets in the way (work commitments - business travel; child care; parental care)
* BU/BC dominance in the tournament until the last 2 years
* Mother Nature (2015 - rescheduled 2x; 2016 - BU/BC final played in snowstorm)

I had an extra ticket for last night; nobody was interested despite me asking around for weeks. I went to Beer Works before BU/NU game and there was hardly anyone in there; same w/ Hurricane's when walking by.

All valid factors. Donít discount the fact that there are far fewer local players on the rosters.

brassbonanza
02-05-2019, 02:59 PM
* Cost of attending (excluding ticket price)

I think this one is the biggest culprit of all, the extraneous cost of going. $7 for a soda, $4 for a water bottle - with no water fountains anywhere in the facility - $8 for a hot dog, etc. No wonder 5pm game fans leave after their game ends, and 8pm fans don't get there until 8, it's not possible to stay in the facility that long without spending $25+ on food and water. For an event that's attended by ~50% current college students and recent grads, it's not realistic for the Garden to expect them to stay for two games and afford outrageous food prices. This is all before we get to the cost for families to drive in, pay to park, then pay for all of that food.

The ticket prices are what they are, they're not outrageous considering you get admission to two games. The $35-50 ticket price isn't the main reason attendance is declining.

Friend_of_BU_Hockey
02-05-2019, 03:04 PM
All valid factors. Don’t discount the fact that there are far fewer local players on the rosters.

Some truth behind that. If "local" means one's hometown is from "inside 495", looking at current rosters:

NU - 9
BU - 6
BC - 4
HU - 4

23 total (only 10 total between BU/BC)

*** should be noted BU also has 2 players from the Cape plus 1 from Western MA. BC has 1 player from Southern NH.


Compared to the # of local players 5 years ago (2013-14 season):

BU - 13
BC - 8
HU - 6
NU - 4

31 total (21 alone between BU/BC)

buoldtimer
02-05-2019, 03:16 PM
Some truth behind that. If "local" means one's hometown is from "inside 495", looking at current rosters:

NU - 9
BU - 6
BC - 4
HU - 4

23 total (only 10 total between BU/BC)

*** should be noted BU also has 2 players from the Cape plus 1 from Western MA. BC has 1 player from Southern NH.


Compared to the # of local players 5 years ago (2013-14 season):

BU - 13
BC - 8
HU - 6
NU - 4

31 total (21 alone between BU/BC)

More to the point, I think you just donít see guys who played in the public and Catholic Leagueís anymore. The lure of seeing guys who live down the street, or played with my son in high school is gone.

Friend_of_BU_Hockey
02-05-2019, 03:19 PM
I think this one is the biggest culprit of all, the extraneous cost of going. $7 for a soda, $4 for a water bottle - with no water fountains anywhere in the facility - $8 for a hot dog, etc. No wonder 5pm game fans leave after their game ends, and 8pm fans don't get there until 8, it's not possible to stay in the facility that long without spending $25+ on food and water. For an event that's attended by ~50% current college students and recent grads, it's not realistic for the Garden to expect them to stay for two games and afford outrageous food prices. This is all before we get to the cost for families to drive in, pay to park, then pay for all of that food.

The ticket prices are what they are, they're not outrageous considering you get admission to two games. The $35-50 ticket price isn't the main reason attendance is declining.

The sentiments I heard yesterday from fellow BU fans were:

"I hope the 1st game doesn't go into OT"
"I hope our game doesn't go into OT"
"I'd much prefer BU playing the early game so I have option after 5pm game to dine out or go home"
"I can't meet up til close to game time" (from people whom in years past had minimal issues w/ meeting up early for 8pm game)


Many people I know try avoiding spending $ at concessions b/c of the $ spent dining out plus parking. Also know quite a few who coordinate transportation w/ one another on getting home to minimize # of cars and parking costs. And hardly know anyone who attends both games.

Friend_of_BU_Hockey
02-05-2019, 03:23 PM
More to the point, I think you just donít see guys who played in the public and Catholic Leagueís anymore. The lure of seeing guys who live down the street, or played with my son in high school is gone.

Right. Many local players spend time now developing in the USHL or BCHL. There's no more than handful of players from St. Sebs, Malden Catholic, SJP, BC High that play at of the Beanpot schools.

chickod
02-05-2019, 03:29 PM
All valid factors. Donít discount the fact that there are far fewer local players on the rosters.

...and far fewer local students.

buoldtimer
02-05-2019, 03:40 PM
...and far fewer local students.

The days of Super 8 players making an impact are long gone.

Friend_of_BU_Hockey
02-05-2019, 03:51 PM
Wouldn’t be popular with the Beanpot purists, but they should move the opening round to Thursday night. Day after the Super Bowl is terrible scheduling.

IMO Beanpot "purists" are diminishing in #s...



I think this would be a good move. Students and young alumni working in the city are more likely to go out on a Thursday than a Monday, IMO. At worst, you'd get the same crowds but with a few days of media hype after the SB to drum up some interest it might get a boost.

Another option might be to move it all to one weekend similar to conference championships. Semifinals on Friday, Consolation/Championship on Saturday. It compartmentalizes the tournament and fans might be more inclined committing to 2 games in one weekend versus 2 consecutive Monday nights. Weekend tournament is also a more family-friendly option compared to Monday nights.