Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/03/14 at 03:42 PM ET
from Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Register,
Their first playoff series, which starts Saturday, is expected to draw a high level of media interest, and if hockey is ever to (permanently) rise above the level of niche sport in this area, now is the time. Could this turn into the golden age of hockey in Southern California?
“You’d have to be under a rock not to hear about this series in some fashion,” said David Carter, the executive director of USC’s Sports Business Institute and a longtime local sports marketing analyst. “These teams have a unique opportunity now, because of the circumstances of the market.”
The climate seems right for the sport to bloom here. The Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007, followed by the Kings in 2012. The Olympics in 2010 and 2014 drew huge television ratings. More than 50,000 fans crammed into Dodger Stadium to watch the Ducks and Kings play an outdoor game in January.
Casual fans, and even non-fans, are being exposed to major hockey events at a more frequent rate than ever before. The question is, how much “stickiness” is there when it comes to these high-profile events?
Those people who catch five minutes of a Kings-Ducks game on TV, will they watch the rest of the series? Buy a jersey? Buy season tickets? Take their kids to a local rink for skating lessons? Or, as soon as football starts in the fall, will hockey return to being a passing fancy in their lives?
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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