by Patrick Hoffman on 12/15/09 at 03:17 PM ET
From friend of the blog Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
Writing about attendance woes this season is tricky. First, because NHL teams in many U.S. cities traditionally see a spike after the New Year, as tickets are gifted for the holidays and the games gain more vitality; but mostly because in the battle of putting food on the table in a horrible economy and paying $300 for a regular season hockey game, thwarting starvation wins.
That said, there are some points of concern and frustration when looking at current NHL attendance figures—those inflated, inequitable figures that tell us nothing of true turnstile count, of course. There are also a few mysteries, like the Colorado Avalanche’s 13,811 per game.
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post has written about the small crowds for the division leader, noting that the Avalanche and the Calgary Flames drew just 11,448 on Sunday for a “family night” discounted game. Dater has a theory:
One question I have is: has the advent of HDTV made it less imperative to go to the games? Is the picture so good on TV now that, in effect, teams are hurting themselves by looking so good on TV?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.