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-   -   The Great Canadian Sports Attendance, Marketing and TV Ratings Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=228928)

Innsertnamehere Oct 6, 2022 11:24 AM

I’ve gone to a leafs game in Buffalo before - it was like 80% leafs fans and the peace bridge border line afterwards was hilariously terrible, backing out onto I190.

JHikka Oct 6, 2022 1:18 PM

Canadians make up 10-20% of Buffalo's season ticket holders.

Acajack Oct 6, 2022 1:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 9752890)
How does that help? So they can buy US college hockey cheaply and build a market for it among the American wannabees?

I think an over-arching Canadian governing body for hockey is essential, but I have a hard time imagining the current Hockey Canada organization surviving this.

I suspect they will soon be disbanded and then something else will be started up under a new name.

Acajack Oct 6, 2022 1:46 PM

Not exactly the same thing as the Red Cross survived as an emergency assistance provider, but their mismanagement of the blood supply system, which was as a result taken away from them, comes to mind.

esquire Oct 6, 2022 2:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elly63 (Post 9752890)
How does that help? So they can buy US college hockey cheaply and build a market for it among the American wannabees?

It's actually kind of surprising that this hasn't been done. There is very little NCAA hockey coverage in Canada and it's the sort of thing I'd imagine Canadian networks could buy pretty cheaply as filler content. Speaking for myself, I'd sooner watch NCAA hockey than all the other NCAA sports on TV.

I think the only NCAA hockey currently on my cable package apart from the Frozen Four (NCAA finals) are the occasional local broadcasts on channels from North Dakota and Minnesota, but it's pretty rare.

Incidentally, one of my neighbours has a brother that is a former pro player who now coaches a NCAA team... he graciously gave my kids a bunch of team swag back in the summer so I guess now we're big fans :haha:

JHikka Oct 6, 2022 2:59 PM

TSN typically shows a few weekly NCAA hockey games in the leadup to the Frozen Four. It's really entertaining hockey and pretty good viewing - definitely better than CHL depending on the matchup.

I should add that NCAA hockey continues to expand, adding more and more programs each year. There are new D1 programs this season at Lindenwood (St. Louis) and Stonehill (Massachusetts) as well as Alaska-Anchorage returning from hiatus. I think there's now more NCAA programs than CHL teams, and if not then it's equivalent. One is growing and the other is not... :cowboy:

thurmas Oct 6, 2022 3:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9753108)
It's actually kind of surprising that this hasn't been done. There is very little NCAA hockey coverage in Canada and it's the sort of thing I'd imagine Canadian networks could buy pretty cheaply as filler content. Speaking for myself, I'd sooner watch NCAA hockey than all the other NCAA sports on TV.

I think the only NCAA hockey currently on my cable package apart from the Frozen Four (NCAA finals) are the occasional local broadcasts on channels from North Dakota and Minnesota, but it's pretty rare.

Incidentally, one of my neighbours has a brother that is a former pro player who now coaches a NCAA team... he graciously gave my kids a bunch of team swag back in the summer so I guess now we're big fans :haha:

Does WDAZ in grand forks still air UND games? I get the weekend NDSU football games from them in fargo.

Airboy Oct 6, 2022 3:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 9753002)
I think an over-arching Canadian governing body for hockey is essential, but I have a hard time imagining the current Hockey Canada organization surviving this.

I suspect they will soon be disbanded and then something else will be started up under a new name.

The organization as it stands may not survive at least in the current configuration, and I suspect there will be wholesale house cleaning in the next few weeks.

Quite a number of other sports have had major changes to their governance after some serious reviews. Hockey Canada was just too big and too powerful financially. It will be interesting to see what the new governing body will be after this. There will definitely be more outside monitoring and auditing.

I have been reading a scathing review from another sport after athlete complaints. It will be interesting to see how that plays out for a staff driven organization.

VANRIDERFAN Oct 6, 2022 3:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9753130)
TSN typically shows a few weekly NCAA hockey games in the leadup to the Frozen Four. It's really entertaining hockey and pretty good viewing - definitely better than CHL depending on the matchup.

I should add that NCAA hockey continues to expand, adding more and more programs each year. There are new D1 programs this season at Lindenwood (St. Louis) and Stonehill (Massachusetts) as well as Alaska-Anchorage returning from hiatus. I think there's now more NCAA programs than CHL teams, and if not then it's equivalent. One is growing and the other is not... :cowboy:

Huzzah for "BRANCH PLANT CANADA" :slob:

esquire Oct 6, 2022 3:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9753130)
TSN typically shows a few weekly NCAA hockey games in the leadup to the Frozen Four. It's really entertaining hockey and pretty good viewing - definitely better than CHL depending on the matchup.

I should add that NCAA hockey continues to expand, adding more and more programs each year. There are new D1 programs this season at Lindenwood (St. Louis) and Stonehill (Massachusetts) as well as Alaska-Anchorage returning from hiatus. I think there's now more NCAA programs than CHL teams, and if not then it's equivalent. One is growing and the other is not... :cowboy:

Or one could say that the CHL grew to fill viable markets decades ago and the NCAA is just getting around to that now.

Quote:

Originally Posted by thurmas (Post 9753139)
Does WDAZ in grand forks still air UND games? I get the weekend NDSU football games from them in fargo.

I vaguely recall seeing ND hockey in the channel guide but I can't remember exactly when. Their games are normally on some US cable channel.

JHikka Oct 6, 2022 3:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9753183)
Or one could say that the CHL grew to fill viable markets decades ago and the NCAA is just getting around to that now.

I think a lot of it ties in to the current issues revolving around HC. Not only have they been negligent on items such as SA and other internal matters but they've also been stagnant in attempting to grow the game or build the game in any meaningful fashion, or even attempting to maintain the game in a way to ensure its future. When was the last time the CHL net-added a new team that wasn't a relocation? 15 years ago? They have nearly no presence in some of this country's largest cities and show no signs of returning there. A lack of proper leadership at HC is one root cause of this. At this point there's no reason to believe that hockey isn't moving in the same direction as other sports in this country - university in the US proving a more viable option than that of junior in Canada. The more schools the US adds the more spots there'll be, whether they're in Minnesota, Missouri, or Arizona.

At this point I think it's safe to say that the CHL could probably cut a few teams and not really see any immediate downside, but that's another discussion.

esquire Oct 6, 2022 4:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9753194)
I think a lot of it ties in to the current issues revolving around HC. Not only have they been negligent on items such as SA and other internal matters but they've also been stagnant in attempting to grow the game or build the game in any meaningful fashion, or even attempting to maintain the game in a way to ensure its future. When was the last time the CHL net-added a new team that wasn't a relocation? 15 years ago? They have nearly no presence in some of this country's largest cities and show no signs of returning there. A lack of proper leadership at HC is one root cause of this. At this point there's no reason to believe that hockey isn't moving in the same direction as other sports in this country - university in the US proving a more viable option than that of junior in Canada. The more schools the US adds the more spots there'll be, whether they're in Minnesota, Missouri, or Arizona.

At this point I think it's safe to say that the CHL could probably cut a few teams and not really see any immediate downside, but that's another discussion.

In some respects, NCAA hockey is not that different from the CHL in terms of where it does best. It tends to thrive in places without NHL teams. There are certain exceptions in both cases, but by and large this is true. The big advantage that the NCAA has is that there are way more population centres in the US without NHL teams.

The CHL is already in all the large Canadian markets, St. John's is the only top-20 metro without a team and that's just because of the travel costs associated with their isolation. On the whole, the large market western teams (including Vancouver) do reasonably well in terms of attendance, team profile, etc., especially considering the pros have centre stage. Ottawa-Gatineau is similar. It's really just Toronto and Montreal where you have CHL teams being afterthoughts in the market, and I don't know how you can really pin that on the CHL.

Ultimately I think junior hockey is about places like Sherbrooke and Lethbridge. That's their bread and butter, much like how the NCAA's hockey strongholds are places like Grand Forks and Madison.

manny_santos Oct 6, 2022 4:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9749909)
Do fans travel in great numbers for anything in Canada, though? The distances are so vast that not all that many people are going to go from, say, Edmonton to Vancouver or whatever to watch their home team play on the road. It's not like going from Chicago to Milwaukee or what have you.

Any well supported local sports team is generally supported by locals, not by away fans in any significant numbers. So in that sense U Sports teams have large population bases to potentially draw from... they don't necessarily need visitors.

Because the Jays fan base is all across Canada, and some MLB cities in the US are within driving distance of the border, a number of US cities get decent attendance from Jays fans.

Several mentioned Seattle already; I made the trip in early July, and actually made a one-week vacation out of it. I went to two of the Jays games at T-Mobile Park, and easily over half of the fans in attendance were Canadian. I was on the Link train on the way to one of the games, I spoke with people visiting from Maple Ridge, Langley, and even one guy who came all the way from Lethbridge. In the stands I was sitting next to some people visiting from Abbotsford.

I recall earlier in the season when the Jays played a rare interleague series in Pittsburgh; there were a sizable number of Jays fans in the stands. This also happened when the Jays played a series against Minnesota (though they're in the AL). Detroit is an obvious location for Jays fans crossing the border, and I would imagine Cleveland gets a decent number of Jays fans.

Myself, I have plans for next year to take a vacation in April doing a two-week tour of the Southwest, see the Jays in Anaheim, and then in Houston. I have my doubts there will be many Jays fans at those games, but I'm sure I won't be the only one. Especially if the Jays go far in the upcoming playoffs.

On the hockey side, with border restrictions now gone, I would expect that some Vancouver Canucks fans will travel to Seattle for Kraken games this season. It likely won't be like Jays fans going to Seattle as Canucks fans can just see home games in Vancouver, but I'd expect there would be some.

manny_santos Oct 6, 2022 4:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Airboy (Post 9753165)
The organization as it stands may not survive at least in the current configuration, and I suspect there will be wholesale house cleaning in the next few weeks.

Quite a number of other sports have had major changes to their governance after some serious reviews. Hockey Canada was just too big and too powerful financially. It will be interesting to see what the new governing body will be after this. There will definitely be more outside monitoring and auditing.

I have been reading a scathing review from another sport after athlete complaints. It will be interesting to see how that plays out for a staff driven organization.

What was most shocking to me was interim Hockey Canada board chair Andrea Skinner's attitude in this week's hearings. It is disappointing enough to see an old boys' club defending their organization's deficiencies, but to see a woman defending the organization against allegations of gang rape by male hockey players against women is especially disappointing. It's a huge disservice to all women, especially those who have been victimized by rape.

What little respect I'd had for Hockey Canada before this week was wiped out by Skinner. Fortunately, Telus, Tim Hortons and Canadian Tire are making moves that should hopefully financially cripple Hockey Canada and leave them with no choice but to either shut down or completely change for the better.

I want to commend my MP, Peter Julien who has been a big part of these hearings grilling them.

JHikka Oct 6, 2022 4:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9753219)
In some respects, NCAA hockey is not that different from the CHL in terms of where it does best. It tends to thrive in places without NHL teams. There are certain exceptions in both cases, but by and large this is true. The big advantage that the NCAA has is that there are way more population centres in the US without NHL teams.

The CHL is already in all the large Canadian markets, St. John's is the only top-20 metro without a team and that's just because of the travel costs associated with their isolation. On the whole, the large market western teams (including Vancouver) do reasonably well in terms of attendance, team profile, etc., especially considering the pros have centre stage. Ottawa-Gatineau is similar. It's really just Toronto and Montreal where you have CHL teams being afterthoughts in the market, and I don't know how you can really pin that on the CHL.

Ultimately I think junior hockey is about places like Sherbrooke and Lethbridge. That's their bread and butter, much like how the NCAA's hockey strongholds are places like Grand Forks and Madison.

These are all fair points. I think it's worth mentioning that places like Boston have a number of successful NCAA programs whilst simultaneously being in an NHL market. Obviously there's a different culture surrounding NCAA programs and CHL teams, and different revenue levers, but it's worth mentioning that the NCAA can exist in this shared-NHL environment more than the CHL, at least in terms of this one specific example. I guess Minnesota and Michigan might be the only other two reasonable examples given the sheer number of NCAA programs in those states. Maybe Buffalo.

The CHL is definitely more about these mid-sized markets. I'm actually curious to see how a market like Halifax reacts, mostly regarding the CHL, as more professional teams move into the market and soak up potential sales. The CHL has been struggling more these days in smaller markets (at least in Eastern Canada) so presumably that same sort of struggle may reach upwards given enough time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire
It's really just Toronto and Montreal where you have CHL teams being afterthoughts in the market, and I don't know how you can really pin that on the CHL.

I guess i'm splitting hairs a bit but the Giants left Vancouver for Langley a few years ago. I guess we can argue about whether or not we consider that the city - i'm not really considering Mississauga, Oshawa, or Blainville within Toronto or Montreal, so Langley would fall into that category as well. I don't know. It makes me wonder if the Hitmen or Oil Kings would survive in those cities if they're weren't owned by NHL groups - the 67s will be downgrading their arena scope in the coming years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by manny_santos (Post 9753220)
I recall earlier in the season when the Jays played a rare interleague series in Pittsburgh; there were a sizable number of Jays fans in the stands. This also happened when the Jays played a series against Minnesota (though they're in the AL). Detroit is an obvious location for Jays fans crossing the border, and I would imagine Cleveland gets a decent number of Jays fans.

It's not difficult to find Jays fans at games in New York or Boston, either, but those are less surprising.

manny_santos Oct 6, 2022 4:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9753219)
It's really just Toronto and Montreal where you have CHL teams being afterthoughts in the market, and I don't know how you can really pin that on the CHL.

How do the Vancouver Giants do for attendance? I've never been to one of their games, which are played out in Langley.

manny_santos Oct 6, 2022 4:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9753235)
I guess i'm splitting hairs a bit but the Giants left Vancouver for Langley a few years ago. I guess we can argue about whether or not we consider that the city - i'm not really considering Mississauga, Oshawa, or Blainville within Toronto or Montreal, so Langley would fall into that category as well. I don't know. It makes me wonder if the Hitmen or Oil Kings would survive in those cities if they're weren't owned by NHL groups - the 67s will be downgrading their arena scope in the coming years.

It's like calling the baseball Angels team the LA Angels. They don't play in LA, or even in LA County; they moved to Anaheim in 1966 and have been there ever since. But it's still in the Los Angeles metro area.

JHikka Oct 6, 2022 4:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by manny_santos (Post 9753239)
How do the Vancouver Giants do for attendance? I've never been to one of their games, which are played out in Langley.

Pacific Coliseum (16,281)
2008-2009: 8,470
2009-2010: 7,117
2010-2011: 7,450
2011-2012: 6,944
2012-2013: 7,205
2013-2014: 6,266
2014-2015: 5,815
2015-2016: 5,169

Langley Events Centre (5,276)
2016-2017: 3,848
2017-2018: 3,383
2018-2019: 3,826
2019-2020: 3,920
2021-2022: 2,843
2022-2023: 3,166

Worth pointing out that the Canucks purchased the NLL Vancouver Warriors in 2018, moving them from Langley to Rogers Arena shortly after the Giants moved in the opposite direction. The CPL will be starting up in Langley in the spring.

esquire Oct 6, 2022 4:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 9753235)
These are all fair points. I think it's worth mentioning that places like Boston have a number of successful NCAA programs whilst simultaneously being in an NHL market. Obviously there's a different culture surrounding NCAA programs and CHL teams, and different revenue levers, but it's worth mentioning that the NCAA can exist in this shared-NHL environment more than the CHL, at least in terms of this one specific example. I guess Minnesota and Michigan might be the only other two reasonable examples given the sheer number of NCAA programs in those states. Maybe Buffalo.

Yes, Boston is the most obvious exception to that rule. New England is kind of the heartland of NCAA hockey, so it makes sense. Minnesota, Michigan and Colorado would be the other places where both are doing well. But that is not that dissimilar from how the Oil Kings, Hitmen, 67s, Olympiques and Giants do reasonably well for themselves in NHL markets.

Quote:

The CHL is definitely more about these mid-sized markets. I'm actually curious to see how a market like Halifax reacts, mostly regarding the CHL, as more professional teams move into the market and soak up potential sales. The CHL has been struggling more these days in smaller markets (at least in Eastern Canada) so presumably that same sort of struggle may reach upwards given enough time.

I guess i'm splitting hairs a bit but the Giants left Vancouver for Langley a few years ago. I guess we can argue about whether or not we consider that the city - i'm not really considering Mississauga, Oshawa, or Blainville within Toronto or Montreal, so Langley would fall into that category as well. I don't know. It makes me wonder if the Hitmen or Oil Kings would survive in those cities if they're weren't owned by NHL groups - the 67s will be downgrading their arena scope in the coming years.
The Giants play in Langley but they are the Vancouver team and the local media covers them as such. I mean, would you say the Sens aren't Ottawa's team because they're in Kanata? The Steelheads, Giants and Armada may not be downtown, but they are still located in those markets even if it is the suburbs.

Anyway, this is to say that the CHL of today looks pretty much like the CHL of 10, 20, 30 years ago... it occupies more or less the same place in the Canadian hockey firmament that it did back then so I can't accept the narrative that it is declining or dying just because it isn't adding two teams every season.

JHikka Oct 6, 2022 4:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9753262)
Yes, Boston is the most obvious exception to that rule. New England is kind of the heartland of NCAA hockey, so it makes sense. Minnesota, Michigan and Colorado would be the other places where both are doing well. But that is not that dissimilar from how the Oil Kings, Hitmen, 67s, Olympiques and Giants do reasonably well for themselves in NHL markets.

Of course. My point was more that half of your examples of CHL teams in those NHL markets are directly owned by the NHL teams themselves. One of the two that aren't are in the process of moving to a smaller arena (67s) and the other (Olympiques) moved further away from the NHL team to get into a better market for their own team. I don't think a CHL team can exist in the same space as an NHL team and expect to continue on as usual unless they're owned and operated by the NHL teams they're competing against for eyeballs.

If the CHL does well in its 'traditional' markets is it because it's a compelling product or because there's no competition? Halifax will lead us to some sort of answer in the coming years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9753262)
The Giants play in Langley but they are the Vancouver team and the local media covers them as such. I mean, would you say the Sens aren't Ottawa's team because they're in Kanata?

I mean, being located outside of Ottawa is one reason as to why the Senators at times struggle. :haha:

An NHL team being located out in the suburbs is a different kettle of fish than a local junior team in the same area given the scope and relevance of those teams and leagues. How'd the 67s do in Kanata when Lansdowne was being renovated? Not very well. And they've struggled to recover since.

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9753262)
The Steelheads, Giants and Armada may not be downtown, but they are still located in those markets even if it is the suburbs.

I guess we'll agree to disagree. I don't see those teams as having any impact on the urban centres in terms of being in the market and having any sort of impact, and many of these suburbs take on different characters than the urban centres at times. The Steelheads have always been one of the weakest OHL markets and Blainville are usually pretty middling. I suppose that's a better fate than the Rocket, Montreal Junior, or St. Mike's.

Quote:

Originally Posted by esquire (Post 9753262)
Anyway, this is to say that the CHL of today looks pretty much like the CHL of 10, 20, 30 years ago... it occupies more or less the same place in the Canadian hockey firmament that it did back then so I can't accept the narrative that it is declining or dying just because it isn't adding two teams every season.

I think it's moreso that it's not moving into new markets or doing anything new whilst struggling to gain traction to do anything different than what they've been doing over the past 30 years. The Q successfully branched in the Maritimes in the 90s but since then have mostly been static - AFAIK both Baie-Comeau and Acadie-Bathurst are directly supported by their local municipalities in order to remain in those (declining) markets. I don't think it would hurt the league to cut four teams, honestly, given the level of play, but that's more of a discussion of quality and number of players available than business case. The OHL could probably lose two teams and not really bat an eye quality-of-play wise.


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