Sunday, November 06, 2005


Looking at Costs and Attendance

The flawed Fans Cost Index for the NHL was released the other day, but it does contain some useful information regarding ticket and concession prices.
I mean, who buys 2 caps every time to go to a game?

Anyway, I got into spreadsheet mode and decided to compare ticket prices, beer prices (the 2nd most important price to most), and attendance.

I don't know how the NHL comes up with over 100% capacity for attendance, but we'll add in that number anyway.

New Jersey seems to gouge fans who want to attend hockey in the middle of the swamp. Go figure that their attendance is pretty low.

I was astonished to see that the Maple Leafs tickets are not in the Top 3. This team could sell out each and every game without trying. If there a fanbase that can be gouged, it would be Toronto. I was also surprised that the Rangers weren't higher...and yet I am not surprised the Canucks are way up there...lots of snobby yuppies with disposable income and Canucks games are the hot trend. >:(

The other New York team also charges relatively high prices and gets (not surprisingly) bad attendance. People talk about the 'Souther' franches as failures, but the Isles have had attendance problems for years and troubles getting a good facility in an area that doesn't suck.

Tampa Bay really rakes in the dough with their beer sales. $.50 an ounce and over 20,000 fans per game this year...and they were the team that once proposed a promotion for free beer. Hmmm..

San Jose - I am also surprised by the relatively cheap price of Sharks tickets as the neighbourhood is full of very rich young people (even after the tech crash).

Anaheim - Burkie, you may want to try lowing beer prices (like the Anaheim Angels baseball team did) to attract some more fans to come to the games.

Buffalo - It's hard to be a fan of any of Buffalo's team, but it must be easy when the ticket and beer prices are relatively cheap.

Carolina - Low prices and low attedance :(. Pick up the slack!

I think that the Maple Leafs "gouge" their fans in other ways, by forcing season ticket holders to also pay for tickets to other games/events in Toronto.

I'm not completely sure, it's just something that I've heard. Maybe a Toronto fan or (someone else who knows) can post a comment and tell what the real deal is.
I don't know how the NHL comes up with over 100% capacity for attendance, but we'll add in that number anyway.

Seems like an excellent question, I remember attending Olympia, and Joe Louis arena. I believe the capacity was set by the city fire dept.
they were the team that once proposed a promotion for free beer.

Far be it for me to defend a division rival (because lord only knows that their fans won't do the same for us), but I wish people would stop harping on that stupid-ass beer promotion. All the prospective STH got was 40 ounces of beer, and it was dispensed in little dink-ass dixie cups, and it was good only on one night during one game--and only what, 50 people cared about the beer?

Jes, I don't know how you guys do it in Vancouver, but every time I go to a hockey game, I purchase the following for myself:

four sodas
two beer
two game programs
two hats
four hot dogs
cotton candy
two t-shirts
two pennants
one large foam "we're #1" finger

As you might imagine, being a season ticket holder and all, my basement is packed from wall to wall with all of the foam fingers and hats I've amassed over the years. Those damn fingers take up a lot of space. Luckily, we get to throw one of our hats on the ice once in a while, but we've never had a two hat-trick night.

On a serious note, some of the venues are at over 100% capacity because they sell some standing room tickets. I guess. Also, four of the six teams with attendance of 101% capacity or more are Canadian teams. By the time you convert from metric to standard and from Canadian to US currency, that 112.4% in Calgary is probably more like 99%.

Frankly, I think you ought to cut us a break over here in Carolina. After seven games, our average is 14,707. That's a 20.83% increase over our horrible average of 12,171 in 2003-04. And our beer ain't cheap. That attendance increase has got to be amongst the best in the league.

How bout doing one of your famous breakdowns for team-by-team attendance numbers this season versus 2002-03 and 2003-04?
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oh, and about the Islanders.... I thought you would have known about this by now, but Charles "moneybags" Wang has some really big plans for Nassau Coliseum. It's going to be completely renovated, improved, expanded, made shiny and modern, etc.

You can see the whole elaborate plan they have here

Well, let's give some more time before we do a detailed analysis. I realize it is early in the season still and attendance figures could improve/decline for various teams.

Perhaps the 100% capacity is set by a fire marshall. If so, the NHL is breakin' the law ;-)

Isles - a Nice looking complex, and also looks like a money trap for the taxpayers of the region...if the Isles are going that route.
a) seating capacity is different than ticket sales. places that have a large season ticket base will often sell a lot of "standing room" since everyone knos there will be some vacant seats around.

b) a we are #1 finger? i'm looking for a we are number 30 middle foam finger..
Over 100% would equate to standing room only tickets. Many NHL teams, the Canadian teams in particular tend to do that.

With respect to the Leafs, I've never heard of season ticket holders being forced to buy tickets to other events.
I haven't lived in Canada for the last two yrs however, so it could be a new initiative I'm unaware of.

They've had people on the waiting list for season tickets backed up almost 15yrs or so now... anyone willing to wait that long for season tickets has been punished enough :)

Carolina... god how I love their ticket prices. You can get excellent tickets near the middle of the arena a few rows back from the glass for about a third what I'd pay in Toronto, and comparatively little price gouging for parking.
The games seldom sell out as well, so good tickets are always available for any games.
yeah... I heard that in Calgary, they make all of the concessions workers buy a ticket to the game, even if they're scheduled to work the event. That's how they get their numbers way up.

By the way, I made that up.
Calgary has two sections that, a few years ago, used to be closed, but have been reopened this year with general admission seating.

The stadium roof is supposed to be saddle shaped (although some argue that the Saddledome looks more like a giant maxi pad), and these sections extend up under the high sections of the roof on either side of the ice.

Calgary sold out all reserved seating for games for the year within a couple of days and since have opened up this general admission seating, so I reckon that is why they're so high above 100%.
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