Friday, January 12, 2007

Pred problems

I'd written half of a somewhat lengthy post on the Nashville Predators' woes earlier this week, only to have it lost to history when my PC did what it does best and crashed.

Revisiting and rewriting a subject in its entirety is something I almost never have the patience (or time) for, so I was glad to see today that Tom Benjamin tackled the recent articles on the Preds — and pretty much made the same points I'd wanted to.

The team's sweetheart arena deal is about the only reason we haven't heard more about Nashville's problems to date, and as Benjamin notes, with though the team playing so well, attendance is terrible.

Music City was a bad market to begin with, given its hockey history (several failed franchises from the CHL to the ECHL), and — as strange as this may sound — I wouldn't be surprised to see the Predators exit the NHL long before the Penguins ever do.

The only real problem? The Predators are genuine Stanley Cup contenders this season, and any sniff of a championship may be enough to keep them afloat longer than they would be otherwise.


At 12:15 a.m., January 13, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

I'd hesitate to say that attendance in Nashville is "terrible". According to the Tennessean, attendance is up about 2% from last year's average, and with the playoff push coming, including 3 home games with Detroit (which always sell out), I'd be willing to bet that overall attendance will be up by a decent percentage by the end of the year.

That's not to say there aren't problems. College football is #1 and #1a down here, but that doesn't mean hockey can't work. What they need is a good, strong playoff run to get a bandwagon rolling. After all, this is really the first year that they've had more than a "little engine that could" type of team that merely aspired to qualify for the playoffs...

The relevant Tennessean article can be found at:

At 6:11 a.m., January 13, 2007, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Up 2% does not, in itself, mean that attendance isn't terrible. 1.02*terrible is rarely any better than really bad.

At 10:46 a.m., January 13, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

What I'm saying is, let's see how that number looks at the end of the year. That's not to say that the business community doesn't need to get more involved here, but I don't think the picture is as bad as what people around North America believe. Individual ticket sales are quite strong, and the upper bowl is well-stocked with rabid fans. It's the lower bowl (with the pricier tickets) that's lagging.


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