Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blizzard Blues for St. Louis

The Toronto Star's Damien Cox does a nice job today explaining the reasons behind what was the smallest NHL crowd in years in St. Louis on Thursday night:
On Thursday night, the announced attendance for the Blues home game against the Nashville Predators was a stunning 5,410.

This was the NHL in 2006, not an old figure dug up from the WHA's Los Angeles Sharks or the Detroit Red Wings of the early 1980s or the Kansas City Scouts of the 1970s.

"Hey, I was surprised that many made it," said Blues president John Davidson yesterday.

How could Davidson possibly say such a thing? Well, the untold story, at least for those living outside the U.S. Midwest, is that St. Louis was smack in the middle of a nasty ice storm on Thursday night, part of a major weather disturbance that stretched all the way from Texas to Michigan.
The Blues are dead last in the NHL in attendance right now, averaging just more than 10,000 fans per game, so certainly there's cause for concern — especially since only three years ago, this was one of the league's rock solid markets. Still, given the situation, the 5,410 figure isn't an indication of anything more than a game that would have perhaps been better rescheduled.

PS. I should have added that a lot of the Blues' ticket woes can be traced back to an ill-advised ticket price increase with the new ownership group coming in. Here's hoping they smarten up in Missouri and lower what they're charging to watch an, admittedly, rebuilding team.


At 1:20 p.m., December 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rebuilding." Is that the euphemism for "hopelessly inept" these days?

At 2:49 p.m., December 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's embarassing enough that there are 6 markets averaging less then 14000 fans a game. Whilst not out of the range of historical norms it's still depressingly bad.

My local team Carolina has even had a few nights in which attendance was in the 14000 range... and their the defending cup champions.

At 3:56 p.m., December 02, 2006, Blogger Ayla said...

What? You mean the Devils aren't in last place for attendance? Rare moment in history.

I can tell you that at least in the Devils case a lot of it has to do with ticket prices. There's no way a family of four can afford to go to the games, especially when most of the seats go from $56 to $90 a pop, not to mention the outrageous parking and refreshment stand prices. My husband and I had to stop going because it would cost close to $200 for one night out. And with the way they've been playing, it's not worth it.

At 7:26 p.m., December 02, 2006, Anonymous Jeff C said...

I hope Jay McKee is enjoying all that money.


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