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Afternoon Line- Ken Campbell

added 3:10pm, Wayne Scanlan of Sportsnet has more on attendance in Ottawa...

Sitting in the stands of the Canadian Tire Centre over the weekend, but especially Thursday night with the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in town, fans couldn’t help but notice the extra elbow room. And empty seats. The official attendance for the St. Louis game was 9,204, the smallest crowd since the Senators moved into their current building in January 1996.

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Red Winger's avatar

I wonder how much of this is due to the fact attending sporting events might not be translating well to a younger generation.

I noticed NHL rinks look pretty bad in October in many places in the US, but it seems to be a whole different animal when you’re talking about Canadian teams.

Just thinking out loud here, but the stat should at the very least gain the notice of some in NHL offices in Toronto and NYC.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/16/19 at 04:47 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Lots of different things at play here. 
-Costs to attend games (parking, tickets, food, drinks….this stuff is getting more and more expensive)

-Overall entertainment value.  I get less out of games now than I did 10 years ago, personally.

-Ease of watching games at your own home or from anywhere

-Ease of going.  If I am going to go to an NHL game, it takes some work to get there, make your way through the crowds, up to your seat, up and down for concessions and breaks, standing in line, then back to your seat.  And eventually going back to your car or bus, sitting in traffic, and getting home (late, in most cases).  

It’s just a lot of hassle and money, honestly.  I used to do an NHL game a year, now…not so much.  I much prefer going to an AHL game just because it’s easier to get in and out.  

Posted by TreKronor on 10/16/19 at 05:03 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 10/16/19 at 05:03 PM ET

Good points. But haven’t most of them been points in the past, too?

Cost of attending a game has gone up, yes, but adjusting for inflation is it really that different from 25 years ago?

As for getting less out of a game than ten years ago, I’m in the same boat. But, again, back when I was in my mid-20s and enjoying the hell out of the live game experience weren’t there people my age now who were drifting away from the live experience a bit? I seem to remember way more people in the 25-45-year-old range at games in the early-90s than in the 50-70-year-old range.

And I don’t think an arena existed that was worse than The Joe when it came to getting to and from the bathrooms and concessions. In my experience, you had to miss at least half a period to do those things. And The Joe had been around since the late-70s.

Getting home late does suck, but games didn’t start any earlier in the 80s or 90s. So that’s always been a factor.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 10/16/19 at 05:25 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I think the at-home experience has made it easier for people to say, “nah, I’ll watch that game from home” instead of going. 

I look at my personal set up; I have a couple options:
1) I have a 60” HD TV with surround sound, a couple very comfortable chairs, a refrigerator full of homebrews, a cabinet stocked with bourbons, and a (mostly clean) bathroom…all in my basement. 

2) Some fall and spring days when I’m feeling fun I take a smaller tv outside and set it up on my patio - I’m watching hockey on my patio while smoking cigars, drinking bourbon, and enjoying nice weather. 

3) Hockey bars everywhere if I feel like watching games with other fans and using a trough. 

I’m just at a point where my at home experience is honestly more enjoyable than the arena one a lot of the time.  And I think some of that has to do with the way we watch games now vs. how we watched them 10, 15, 30 years ago.

Posted by TreKronor on 10/16/19 at 05:33 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 10/16/19 at 05:33 PM ET

You paint a picture of a great hockey-watching experience, TK. So, what was your address again?  grin

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 10/17/19 at 12:53 AM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Hahaha if anyone is ever in Chicago, you are free to stop by to watch a game!

Posted by TreKronor on 10/17/19 at 08:53 AM ET

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