Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: arenas
Monday is voting day to decide the future of the NYI, but will the team really leave if citizens vote against a new arena? From Tom Van Riper at Forbes:
But is it necessarily a case of build it or they will leave? Despite owner Charles Wang’s insistence that his outdated Nassau Coliseum isn’t a viable option going forward, what else does he do? Everyone talks about the Kansas City Sprint Center, which is dying for a full time sports tenant, but sports business experts doubt that the Islanders could duplicate their $15 million in annual cable money in that market, despite their second class standing in New York. Canada could be a possibility – fans of the old Quebec Nordiques have been rallying for an NHL return- but any arena plan there is still a long way off.
“There just aren’t many markets that covet the NHL right now,” says Robert Boland, who teaches sports business at the Tisch Center at New York University.
Craig Custance of Sporting News also comments today on the stakes of Monday’s vote in this article.
From Transworld News:
Attorney John Morgan of the Orlando-based law firm Morgan & Morgan was approached recently by a Tampa advertising executive about a potential deal to purchase the naming rights to the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. Morgan & Morgan (ForThePeople.com) is one of the nation’s largest plaintiff’s law firms.
According to an article published on Tampa Bay Online, Morgan said, “I was asked if I have an interest in buying the name of the stadium, and I do ... Putting ‘Morgan & Morgan Forum’ on that building - that appeals to me.” Morgan said he was offered a price of $1.7 million per year by John McKay of McKay Advertising, an independent advertising firm in Tampa. This is almost a million dollars less than the St. Petersburg Times now pays for the naming rights to this arena, which is home to the NHL team Tampa Bay Lightning.
From the Canadian Press,
As a video on the Jumbotron before a recent game proclaimed, “Hockey never left Chicago, but it has definitely returned.”
“It’s great to see this many people here,” Brian Jack said, keeping a protective hand on the shoulder of his 8-year-old son, Kevin, as they made their way through the crowded concourse before Monday night’s win over the Colorado Avalanche.
“It’s nice to see energy in the building. There’s electricity in the air.”
A year after the season-ticket base dwindled to 3,400, it’s now a franchise-record 14,000. Every game so far has sold out, including a regular-season record 22,690 for the Oct. 25 game against the Red Wings. Merchandise sales are up a whopping 60 per cent from last year.
James Mirtle at From the Rink,
Colorado has been one of the league leaders in attendance ever since moving to Denver back in 1995-96, but with the team going through a bit of a rebuilding phase and the problems with the economy, the Avs are experiencing some issues at the gate.
Denver Post reporter Adrian Dater said yesterday that many believed last night’s game against Edmonton could “be their lowest crowd of all time” and looking at the finally tally that very well may be the case.
John Loomis is the manager of game presentation for the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center, and it’s his job to “entertain the fans between the whistles.” From Travis Brillowski of the Minnesota Wild (via NHL.com):
From pregame videos to between-periods entertainment, to anything that happens outside of the action on the ice, it falls on Loomis and his staff to keep things coordinated and organized, and most importantly, keep the building loud. Considering the Wild have sold out every game during their first seven seasons—and season No. 8 is tracking to be another full-season sell-out—he and his crew must be doing something right.
Here is what an average game day is like for Loomis, leading up to the drop of the puck at 7 p.m.
read on for ‘a day in the life’ of entertaining a hockey crowd
From Mark Zwolinski at the Toronto Star,
Toronto’s Air Canada Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year by unveiling a year-long $40-million renovation. The home of the Maple Leafs, Raptors and Rock, today unveiled an expansion to the west side of the building including a new multi-level concourse, retail space and more concessions.
The centrepiece of the ACC reno is an $8-million high-definition scoreboard and display system.
More on the snazzy new system can be seen on video at the Star website. The caption on the video probably says it all: “No one claims it will improve the Leafs—but it is a spectacular addition over centre ice.”
10 Columbus (Nationwide Arena) - Right about now, you’re probably thinking I’m being geographically challenged again, after all, how can an arena in Columbus make a top 10 list? Well, like I said earlier, it’s my list and my opinion and I like Columbus. I’ve only been there a couple of times, including the 2007 draft, but I just like the way it feels. It’s a bit different on the inside, which gives it a touch of uniqueness. [...]
Nationwide Arena might have ended up higher on my list had it not been for that ear piercing cannon used last year each time the Jackets scored a goal.
read on for a few unexpected choices
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is accusing Edmonton city officials of hiding some important facts in its review of a $450 million NHL hockey arena proposed for the downtown.
A city-funded report released in March recommended that Edmonton build a new arena to replace its aging Rexall Place and that the project be funded through a mix of private and tax dollars, a formula that has been used in many U.S. cities. The city would fund about 70 per cent of the project by borrowing against future downtown tax revenues.
But a draft copy of the report, obtained by CBC News and the CTF, says the NHL arenas in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto were built with private financing alone, a detail that was omitted in the final version of the study.
“I don’t think most Edmontonians know that most other NHL arenas in Canada were built with 100 per cent private financing and I don’t think the committee wanted them to know, either,” said Scott Hennig, CTF’s Alberta director.
From Childs Walker at the Baltimore Sun,
A new arena is a poor risk for Baltimore if the city is counting on attracting an NHL or NBA franchise, sports business experts say, but some agree with city leaders that a proposed 18,500-seat venue could be profitable without such an anchor tenant.
Neither the NBA nor the NHL offers many relocation or expansion prospects, analysts said, and the presence of basketball and hockey teams in Washington make the odds even longer for Baltimore. [...]
NHL spokesman Frank Brown said the league has no plans for expansion or relocation, though several cities have expressed interest. He said questions about the Capitals’ sharing a market with another team are “way too hypothetical for me to answer.
From David Bracken at the News & Observer,
The Carolina Hurricanes will continue playing home hockey games at the RBC Center until October 2024 under an extended lease agreement being announced today.
The five-year extension comes after nearly two years of negotiations between Gale Force Holdings, parent company of the Hurricanes, and the Centennial Authority, the public agency that owns the RBC Center.
“It makes a big statement on our belief in the continued growth of our sport and the Hurricanes and the market,” said Jim Rutherford, the Hurricanes’ general manager.
From Ken Campbell at The Hockey News,
Russian hero Ilya Kovalchuk said it best when he summed up his team’s ability to come back from a two-goal deficit to win the gold medal game of the World Championship against Canada in overtime Sunday afternoon.
“When you’re playing on the big rinks and you’re trailing by two goals, it’s always tough to come back,” Kovalchuk said.
There is a certain contingent of hockey snobs that look down their noses at the NHL product, all the while claiming the international game to be far superior, in large part because the players have so much room to display their creativity.
They are wrong, so wrong.
From Chris Kuc at the Chicago Tribune,
“I knew this day was coming—I think we all did,” said Eric Rabbers, a season ticket-holder in the 300 level of the United Center for three years who saw his tickets increase from $13.50 per game to $25. “We realized, especially in my section, the prices we were paying were pretty cheap.
“The problem I have is [accepting] an 85 percent increase for my tickets in one year. I think that’s out of line, especially seeing the team didn’t make the playoffs. I have a buddy who sits in the 100 level and his seats went up from $67.50 per to $115. I know the prices have been cheap for the past 10 years, but to try to make it up in one off-season is kind of ridiculous.”
From the Triangle Business Journal,
A $290 million arena that will serve as the new home to the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins got the go-ahead Tuesday from Pittsburgh’s Planning Commission. The 6-0 vote came about a month after the panel rejected a design by HOK Sport of Kansas City as being too “generic.”
HOK Sport unveiled updated designs at the meeting, including night-time renderings that show light the 18,500 seat-venue shining light from nearly every angle.
from Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press,
“Detroit’s Hockeytown crown has slipped,” wrote SI hockey writer Michael Farber.
Not so fast, says Mike Ilitch, owner of the Red Wings.
On Monday, Ilitch announced the hiring of Steve Violetta as senior vice president for business affairs, a new position reporting directly to Ilitch. Ken Holland, executive vice president and general manager, will continue to run the hockey operation.
Violetta’s mission is clear: Get more butts back in those seats. ASAP.
from the CP via the Hockey News,
The Montreal Canadiens commemorated their 81 year-old rivalry with the Detroit Red Wings before the two Original Six teams played their only game of the season Tuesday.
It is that disparity in the NHL’s current schedule that has Red Wings Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay believing that Detroit will never have a similar rivalry with another team ever again.
Lindsay said Tuesday that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is to blame if attendance numbers are down in Detroit because fans in Hockeytown are sick of seeing teams like Columbus and Nashville so often every year.
“We had it for a couple of years there with Colorado and Detroit, but Bettman has taken advantage of Detroit because of it being a great hockey city and it being a well managed hockey team,” Lindsay said.
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) has voted to play all upcoming international tournaments scheduled for North America between 2008-2012 – including the 2008 World Championship – on NHL-size rinks.
Generally, IIHF tournaments are played on international-size rinks, which measure 200 feet long by 100 feet wide. The NHL ice surface is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide.
To compensate for the loss in ice width, the IIHF Council, voting in Zurich, will use NHL ice markings. The blue line on an NHL rink is 64 feet from the end boards, while international-size rinks place the blue line just 58 feet out.
How about a road trip that hits every NHL, AHL and ECHL arena…
From Carter Gaddis at The Tampa Tribune,
It’s alive. The ice, that is. Not in the biological, breathing-in-and-out sense that defines much of the life on this planet.
But to Tim Friedenberger, it often seems as if the massive sheet of frozen water at the St. Pete Times Forum has a mind of its own. And if it can think…
“It is alive,” said Friedenberger, the Forum’s vice president of facility operations. “It’s a living thing. I’d say every facility, the ice has a personality.”
Like any living thing, a sheet of ice has its good days and bad. A unique facet of the NHL is how vulnerable the aesthetics of the game itself can be to the vagaries of the playing surface.
from Brad Holland at NHL.com,
Nashville’s Game Presentation: I had a chance to sit low in a very good seat last night, and watched the game with an ice-level view instead of a bird’s-eye. Outstanding! The Nashville fans were energetic, into the game, and right on top of the action. They were courteous, asking questions of me and even weren’t shy to give a few tips on how to make NHL.com better (I spent the third period sitting next to a young Predators fan and youth Nashville hockey player who knew as much about hockey-at-large as any Canadian kid…
more on Brad’s hockey weekend… and I think I may have to have a sit-down with young Bradley!
from Icing at the Chicago Tribune,
Judging by the amount of e-mails I received today, it seems many Blackhawks fans are upset with the team’s apparent decision to phase out long-time organist Frank Pelico.
Pelico has long been a fixture in front of the big pipe organ pounding away at the keys and leading Hawks fans in “Let’s Go Hawks!” chants.
The Hawks were off today so I didn’t get a chance to ask anyone in the organization what the deal is, but it appears from reports that Pelico has been replaced with recorded “popular” music.
continued & a suggestion for the Blackhawks, you should survey Wings fans about popular recorded music!
from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,
Attendance problems in Boston and Chicago are more troubling. These cities had passionate fans when Bettman was in knee-pants, bossing other kids around the playground. When Chicago Stadium opened in 1929, it was the largest indoor arena in the world. The Stadium sat 17, 317 for hockey, but standing-room boosted attendance to a record 20,069 for a 1982 playoff game against Minnesota. The legendary Boston ‘Gahden’ was smaller - about 16,000. Attendance Thursday night was an announced 15,183 - above the season average, but still disappointing.
From the AP,
ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose apologized Tuesday for negative remarks about the area around the New Jersey Devils’ new Prudential Center arena.
In a video segment posted on ESPN.com last week, Melrose described the recently opened arena as a “beautiful new building” but added, “Don’t go outside if you have a wallet or anything else, because the area around the arena is just horrible.”
Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and Municipal Council President Mildred Crump took exception to the remarks and called for Melrose to apologize.
“All of us make mistakes, but it’s a shame when it’s at the expense of 300,000 people,” Booker said, referring to Newark’s population.
from Mark Herrmann of Newsday,
It’s too trite to say “Give the Devils their due,” but kudos to owner Jeff Vanderbeek and the team that probably ranks last among New York-area franchises in Q rating. They’re finally first at something. With their home opener last night, they became the first in this generation to build a new house.
Last night was an occasion, the kind that makes you feel, “If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.”
It also made you think, if you happen to be from someplace, say, east of New York City, “How come we can’t pull off something like this?” As a member of the Islanders organization said the other day, “I’m jealous.”
from Fire & Ice,
Brent Sutter: “It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s first class and beyond. Obviously, it’s a beautiful facility and Mr. Vanderbeek has done a great job and Lou in doing what they needed to make it the way they wanted it to be.
Jay Pandolfo: “It’s really nice. Just the size of it, the facilities, the concourse, everything. We’re going to be spoiled down there.”
From Paul Ladewski at Daily Southtown,
At a time when live organ music has been drowned out by computer-programmed rock-‘n’-roll in most sports arenas, Blackhawks organist Frank Pellico is a survivor.
About half of the 30 NHL teams employ keyboard players, but Pellico is among the few who play an actual organ at the games.
What’s more, Pellico said, “to my knowledge, the Blackhawks are the only team that has an organ of this size and capacity. I mean, a real pipe organ.”
From The Tennessean,
If the Nashville Predators left town, they would leave behind a gaping hole in Sommet Center’s calendar that would be tough for the city to fill, some experts said.
But other observers said losing the Predators eventually could be turned into a positive for the arena and Metro taxpayers. [...]
By not having to block off at least 41 dates a year for hockey, Brown said, an arena might be able to draw concerts and other events that previously may not have stopped in the city because the arena was already booked.
from the Buffalo News,
Not even a game with their nearest rival could keep the Buffalo Sabres’ sellout streak alive.
The Sabres failed to fill HSBC Arena for the first time in more than a year and half Monday, drawing 18,217 for their game with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sabres had sold out 45 straight regular-season games dating to the finale of 2005-06. They had packed the 18,690-seat arena for 62 games in row including the playoffs.
from the Arizona Republic,
The Coyotes haven’t gotten much use lately out of their “White Out” tradition of filling their arena with white-clad fans for the playoffs.
But that doesn’t mean they’re going to stand by without a fight and let anybody else take it.
It seems that Penn State has developed a similar tradition, designating some important games as “White Outs.”
And last season, the school had a student contest to design an official “White Out” T-shirt to be sold for a game.
Trouble is, the Coyotes have trademark rights to the term “White Out.” The club registered the term even before moving from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Phoenix and has reapplied when necessary to keep it up to date.
From David Pollak at the SJ Mercury News,
A pregame power outage delayed the start of the Sharks home opener Saturday night by about 20 minutes.
Players were warming up on the ice when the arena bowl went totally dark about 7:05 p.m. Five seconds later, the HP Pavilion generators kicked in and there was enough light for the players to continue skating, but limited power elsewhere in the building.
Fans weren’t able to enter the building for a short period and the parking lot was also dark.
As efforts were being made to restore the power, Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson and Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli huddled to determine the best way to begin the game once conditions were ready.
via William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
As Hockey Night’s Elliotte Friedman reported last week, the NHL is beginning to install high-definition overhead cameras in the arenas as well as HDTV video recorders, which help clarify reviews of disputed goals.
The HDTV technology helped make possible the correct calls on two disputed, but difficult-to-see goals in the New Jersey Devils-Ottawa Senators game on Monday.
By the end of the week, 14 arenas will have the HDTV technology. By the end of the month, it will be in all the buildings.