When the NHL opens play on Saturday night, anything but sold-out crowds in cities where hockey has an established fan base would be shocking. It’s confusing when the only people who say hockey crowds will dwindle are those who swipe an entry card into arenas across the country. The media put pressure on the NHL using scare tactics.
The fans are gone.
Another day, another lost fan.
Report: Hockey fans now turn attention to tennis
Now let’s just land the damn plane. Hockey fans don’t just abandon their favorite sport because of a work stoppage. Hell, Schlafly Beer only sells their Winter ESB for a few months each year, and you don’t think I’d drink it in the Summer? And let’s not use Phoenix as a prime example, who couldn’t sell out a playoff game last year. Kids who grew up playing hockey don’t turn in their skates for volleyballs.
No. This is hockey, where nothing comes close to the art of skating paired with glass rattling hits, and dangles you have to watch again because you couldn’t see it the first time.
There’s an ongoing debate, which I would call uninformed discussion, about how to win the fans back. The answer is simple: PLAY.
The lunatics, who think otherwise, need to re-examine the hockey fan. For example, in St. Louis people say, ‘there’s fans, and then there’s Blues fans’. There’s no doubt about it. In fact, I remember a broadcast outside the Scottrade Center a year ago for the home opener. The band playing tried to rev up the fans outside 14th and Clark saying ‘HOW ABOUT THOSE CARDINALS’ (one day after the epic 1-0 shutout win in Philadelphia to clinch NLDS) … The Blues fans gave a settle cheer, and then immediately started the ‘LET’S GO BLUES’ chant.
This isn’t your casual baseball fan sitting in the front row going nuts over a shallow fly ball to center field.
These are hockey fans, blue-collar, die-hearts for speed, thrill, and finesse.
Quite frankly, you might have a lot more than 19,500 at Scottrade if you told folks they could sit in the rafters on Saturday night. #HockeyIsBack