Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 11/26/08 at 05:55 PM ET
From Eric McErlain at The Sporting News:
But then the wheels came off the bus after the lockout. With the team crashing through the standings and dealing many of its most popular players at the trade deadline, the Blues dropped from sixth overall in league attendance (18,560) to 27th (14,213) before cratering in dead last (12,520) for the 2006-07 season.
With the arrival of new management under Team President John Davidson, the Blues rebounded last season to 13th overall (17,610) through the use of some innovative marketing—particularly free food nights and a nifty television spot where individual players made their pitch to woo back the thousands of fans who had suddenly disappeared. Toss in the signing of free agent winger Paul Kariya, and the Blues had given the locals a reason to care again.
The improvement has continued into this season, with the team now ranked eighth overall (18,961) and ahead of two Canadian franchises, Vancouver and Edmonton.
The comparison to the Canadian clubs might be inadvertently misleading, as Vancouver and Edmonton have attendance numbers at 101.1% capacity and 98.5% capacity respectively, whereas the Blues are at 90.3% capacity. (And if you look at it another way and resort the data to look at the capacity percentage, St. Louis falls to 20th in the league.)
But regardless, that doesn’t change the fact that St. Louis fans are returning to their rink in ever-increasing numbers after a few bad years, which is great news.
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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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