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Rallying in Atlanta

From CBC.ca:

About 200 fans of the Atlanta Thrashers showed up for a rally Saturday in the face of expectations the team will move to Winnipeg.

“The people I talked to are passionate,” CBC News reporter Lyndsay Duncombe said from the parking area near Philips Arena, home of the NHL team.

“There is a sense of resigned disappointment here. I do think a lot of these folks believe this could be the last time they get together with these jerseys on in the hot Atlanta sun.”

Saturday was also select-a-seat day for season ticket holders.

continued…

Update 3:25pm ET: More from Jennifer Leslie at 11Alive, NBC:

“The hockey community is a huge hockey family,” said Lisa Lewis, president of the Thrashers Fan Club. “We all know each other, support each other, do what we can for each other. This is devastating for us.”

It’s also very personal for fans who have been around the longest.

“It’s kind of like the NHL saying the last 10 years of my life I’ve invested in something is not worth anything,” said another fan, who was moved to tears.

Update 6:30pm ET: Fair Weather Report provides the video below, a Thrashers’ fan reflecting on his experience of the team.

Thrashers hockey has clearly played a big role in this family’s life together. The father talked about his son schooling Vancouver Canucks fans on their own players, road-tripping to various NHL games around the country, getting to see his son present an award to Andrew Ladd and more. He’s doubly frustrated with the Atlanta Spirit Group, as he’s an Atlanta Hawks season-ticket holder as well, a burden no one fan should have to bear.

He says he’s bought 16 season tickets for this season, up from previous seasons, and that he hopes to be able to sell them cheap to get people into the building. I told him he should be put in charge of marketing if the team stays.

He also gently chastised me for writing that fans should boycott the select-a-seat event itself—can’t help but admire this guy’s hopefulness.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

MsRedWinger's avatar

“One woman said she was scared of a puck zooming on the ice and didn’t want to go to the arena because she thought it would be cold in there.”

Why hockey will never make it in the Sunbelt.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 05/21/11 at 04:31 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Ha!  Lordy, when I lived in Georgia, “cold in there” would’ve caused a stampede into ANY building. I would’ve hung out and watched indoor ice fishing if it got me out of the rank humidity and 120F temperature. smile

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 05/21/11 at 04:35 PM ET

Alan's avatar

The comments from the woman are not indicative of the collective ignorance of the population here. There’s a lot of derp that comes from a lot of people, with regards to the sport here.

Had there been better ownership, perhaps these dumb statements could have been dispelled before they were made.

Not everyone here is that stupid, is the point I’m trying to make. Atlanta is a city full of people from established hockey markets.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/21/11 at 05:02 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

I don’t disagree with you, Alan. Atlanta fans haven’t been well-served on a lot of levels, from ownership to the media around the league speculating on their fate.  I definitely feel badly for all the Atlanta fans who’ve supported their team in spite of all this nonsense going on in the background, for so long.

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 05/21/11 at 05:13 PM ET

Avatar

That comment about pucks flying/cold temps is a sensationalist use by CBC of an ignorant statement. Low blow.

And of course it’s cold, it’s an ice rink!

And of course pucks fly! Then you catch them!

Posted by cuckooforkovalchuk on 05/21/11 at 05:20 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

I like the pic!

Post updated, with some quotes and more through via Atlanta media.

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 05/21/11 at 05:26 PM ET

Avatar

At the risk of piling on… “About 200 fans”? That’s… um… not very many, really. They may be passionate, but if the turnout is an indication of Thrasher loyalty, then I can see why the team’s been losing money hand over fist.

Posted by jvwalt on 05/21/11 at 06:46 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I was thinking the same thing, jvwalt. 200 people show up out of all the people who live in that city?? Kinda lame.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 05/21/11 at 07:51 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Posted by jvwalt on 05/21/11 at 04:46 PM ET

To be fair, the Herman Cain rally was at around the same time this afternoon at Centennial Olympic Park.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/21/11 at 08:36 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

The Thrashers owners, known as Atlanta Spirit, claim $130 million in losses since 2005 and have made it clear they no longer want the NHL team, which has made the playoffs only once in 11 seasons and ranked 28th out of 30 teams in attendance this year.

I think that’s a big part of the problem, and reflects the 200 people that showed up.  That’s some pretty low attendance.  Living in Ohio, I understand the frustration of not making the playoffs regularly.  The Jackets also ended up 27th in attendance this year. 

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 05/21/11 at 08:39 PM ET

Avatar

I wonder how much Thursday’s story from the Globe and Mail affected turnout.

Posted by Susan on 05/21/11 at 09:39 PM ET

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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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