Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 05/19/11 at 04:07 PM ET
From Chris Peters at the United States of Hockey:
Prior to the Thrashers coming to town in 1999-2000, a total of 911 people were playing ice hockey in Georgia (1998-99). The impact of a new NHL team was immediately felt in 1999-2000, when membership increased by 40.7%. There are now 2,142 hockey playing Georgians, which in 10 years for an area with no hockey tradition is pretty solid.
What makes Georgia’s numbers most encouraging, is that the vast majority of its membership is kids. New hockey players just learning to love the game. Of the 2,142 players in 2009-10, 1,808 (84.4%) are below the age of 18.
Additionally, a steady climb such as the one we’re seeing in Georgia cannot be accomplished without good retention. So not only are kids playing hockey, they’re sticking with it.
Are the numbers eye-popping in Georgia? No, they are not. However, 11 years is a short period of time when it comes to building a culture. This is a hockey culture being built from the ground up, essentially.
*Thanks to Mark Stepneski at Andrew’s Stars Page on ESPN for the link
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