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

JHikka May 23, 2018 9:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8197351)
How has the Memorial Cup been doing attendance-wise in recent years? National media coverage seems lower than it used to be, aside from the networks that actually own the broadcast rights.

Anyone know?

2017 - Windsor - 44,663 total (5,583 average / 6,484 capacity)
2016 - Red Deer - 58,750 total (7,344 average / 7,111 capacity)
2015 - Quebec - 79,930 total (8,881 average / 15,176 capacity)
2014 - London - 70,593 total (8,824 average / 9,046 capacity)
2013 - Saskatoon - 82,503 total (9,167 average / 15,100 capacity)

Capacity Utilization:
2017 - Windsor - 86.10%
2016 - Red Deer - 103.28%
2015 - Quebec - 58.52%
2014 - London - 97.55%
2013 - Saskatoon - 60.71%

In the last decade only two Memorial Cups have completely sold out - Brandon in 2010 and Red Deer in 2016. Mississauga came close in 2011 as did London in 2014.

Halifax will be hosting next year and will likely put up a good attendance number.

HomeInMyShoes May 23, 2018 9:58 PM

They are moaning about attendance here in the papers, but looking at the paid attendance it has been reasonable.

Currently averaging 5,927 per game with a capacity of 6,484 (91% of capacity). But I can say that it didn't look that good from an open seats standpoint on Monday night, but then it has been beautiful out and the weather has been ridiculously nice and it was the May long weekend. All of that is a recipe for keeping people out at the lake or camping or just outside. Ticket prices are high, but that's a function of how much the CHL fees to host the tournament. No one under 10,000 seats is going to be able to afford the tournament anymore which isn't really a great thing to me.

I haven't seen much coverage anywhere though. There's absolutely nothing on the first page of TSN about it. Although I never read TSN for anything anymore. Sportsnet has a few stories on page one, near the bottom.

The hockey was great though. If you're here and can afford a ticket, it was worth the price of admission for the quality of play. Hamilton looked ridiculously good and the game tonight is going to be huge with everyone still in the hunt to make the semis or cause a three-way log jam at the top.

JHikka May 23, 2018 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 8197440)
Currently averaging 5,927 per game with a capacity of 6,484 (91% of capacity). But I can say that it didn't look that good from an open seats standpoint on Monday night,

It looks worse on TV than the physical numbers they've been putting out for paid attendance, definitely.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 8197440)
but then it has been beautiful out and the weather has been ridiculously nice and it was the May long weekend. All of that is a recipe for keeping people out at the lake or camping or just outside.

And the Jets were still playing which moved two games later into the evening. I know people on Atlantic Time were complaining about the game last night starting at 11 their time which is usually only a timeslot for pacific NHL games.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 8197440)
Ticket prices are high, but that's a function of how much the CHL fees to host the tournament. No one under 10,000 seats is going to be able to afford the tournament anymore which isn't really a great thing to me.

Ticket prices are high and it's something Halifax has already addressed for its hosting next year, although it has been mentioned that Halifax's arena seats nearly twice as many so the price per seat can be nearly half.

I don't really think the tournament is moving towards 10K+ requirement but it certainly seems like the CHL is very steadily moving the tournament to bigger and bigger markets. Red Deer is (I guess) a smaller market, but the last really small market to host the tournament was Shawinigan in 2012. We'll see where it goes on the next rotational cycle.

Looking at the 2016 CMA pops for the most recent hosts...

2008 - Kitchener - 523,894
2009 - Rimouski - 55,349
2010 - Brandon - 58,003
2011 - Mississauga - 5,928,040
2012 - Shawinigan - 54,141
2013 - Saskatoon - 295,095
2014 - London - 494,069
2015 - Quebec - 800,296
2016 - Red Deer - 100,418
2017 - Windsor - 329,144
2018 - Regina - 236,481
2019 - Halifax - 403,390

The hosts before 2008 seemed to be the same cycle of Regina-Halifax-Ottawa with a Guelph and Vancouver thrown in. Perhaps this is a result of the larger markets having better, more modern facilities.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 8197440)
I haven't seen much coverage anywhere though. There's absolutely nothing on the first page of TSN about it. Although I never read TSN for anything anymore. Sportsnet has a few stories on page one, near the bottom.

TSN doesn't have broadcast rights so of course they're going to ignore its existence. Sportsnet hasn't been as heavy as in recent years, it feels like.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 8197440)
The hockey was great though. If you're here and can afford a ticket, it was worth the price of admission for the quality of play. Hamilton looked ridiculously good and the game tonight is going to be huge with everyone still in the hunt to make the semis or cause a three-way log jam at the top.

Junior hockey is easily the best hockey you can watch for the price you're paying. I can't recommend supporting junior hockey enough.

HomeInMyShoes May 24, 2018 12:14 AM

Haha. I wouldn't call the Brandt Centre modern. But I will say that it has aged inside very well. Still a good place to see a game. Apparently Halifax is securing a better cost from the CHL. Something around 2 million instead of the 3.6 million I seemed to have heard Regina was paying. I could be totally wrong on those facts though. But if that is the case ticket prices should be down inti the 45 to start instead of 75.

Acajack May 24, 2018 2:13 AM

Why is it a given that TSN would ignore the Memorial Cup if they are not showing the games? It doesn't work that way anywhere else.

GlassCity May 24, 2018 3:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8197737)
Why is it a given that TSN would ignore the Memorial Cup if they are not showing the games? It doesn't work that way anywhere else.

With low attention products, you cover them in order to create demand, rather than to serve (low) existing demand. If you're gonna show them anyway, might as well build hype for them. If you're not showing them and most people are apathetic to them, might as well talk about something else

In an ideal world that is. If you're not covering the Memorial Cup but are covering Nascar, then yeah that's weird.

esquire May 24, 2018 3:29 AM

Apparently average priced tickets for Memorial Cup games this year cost in the $90-$100 range. That to me would explain the empty seats. I mean, it's junior hockey. Clearly they're hitting the ceiling for what the market will bear.

The funny thing is that the Pats had to cancel their planned outdoor game because of low ticket sales which was not surprising given the ludicrous ticket prices they were asking. So you'd think the host committee would have taken note. I don't really pay much attention to junior hockey but I certainly raised my eyebrow when I saw the home team playing in front of a bunch of empty seats last week... it must be a PR hit to some extent to have that going on.

esquire May 24, 2018 3:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8194162)
My main question for the CFL folks would be: What's the best outcome for the Manziel experiment in Hamilton?

How does the CFL look if he's able to step onto a team on Day 1 and completely dominate? If he doesn't do well and crashes out, does that say anything about the quality of the league? I'm assuming there needs to be some balance between the CFL being a good league and Manziel doing well in his own right. It wouldn't look good to fresh American eyes if he was able to step in and throw 4 TDs a game and make the league look weak by comparison, at least IMO. I'm guessing the CFL needs to balance providing a good environment for Manziel to do well in while also proving that it's a strong league comparatively to the NFL. Curious what the best case scenario is here from an exposure standpoint.

Late to the party here but I don't think there's a chance that Manziel will dominate, for two reasons. First, he is still very green at the pro level and for him to reach the level of a veteran like Jonathan Jennings will take thousands of hours of honing his craft. Second, this guy basically had the world handed to him on a silver platter a few years ago and he still couldn't really motivate himself to step up assume a leadership role on his team. As I've said before, if he couldn't be bothered to ball out for millions upon millions of dollars and the potential adoration of all of US sports fandom, I don't know why he's suddenly going to find it for a hundred grand and the enduring respect of the people of Hamilton.

But that said, the best case scenario for the CFL would be for Manziel to follow the Flutie model, to start off strong and to keep getting better, and to go back to the US five years down the line as the competitive force he was originally supposed to become, while singing the praises of the CFL and how it helped him raise his game.

I don't think that's going to happen, though. Flutie, like Warren Moon, was the consummate pro who had a point to prove. Manziel does not seem to be cut from the same cloth. To my mind his trajectory will be something along the lines of becoming a reasonably competent starter for a couple of years, realizing that the NFL door has closed, realizing he doesn't love the game enough to play for a CFL salary, and then go on to life on the ex-college star circuit. Even then I'm still half expecting him to walk out during training camp.

Acajack May 24, 2018 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlassCity (Post 8197786)
With low attention products, you cover them in order to create demand, rather than to serve (low) existing demand. If you're gonna show them anyway, might as well build hype for them. If you're not showing them and most people are apathetic to them, might as well talk about something else

In an ideal world that is. If you're not covering the Memorial Cup but are covering Nascar, then yeah that's weird.

I hate to bring this up again but NCAA March Madness in Canada is (or at least was) a low attention product and yet gets lots of coverage now from both the broadcaster (which is TSN?) but also all of the non-broadcasting entities.

CHL BTW is probably the number one spectator sport in Canada by total annual attendance.

It's not intrinsically a low attention product, but there seems to be an effort to turn it into one.

How many Canadians actually go out (in the cold!) and spend money to attend an NCAA basketball game in a given year?

I betcha it's not even close to 7 million (the approximate CHL attendance).

JHikka May 24, 2018 3:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 8197618)
Apparently Halifax is securing a better cost from the CHL. Something around 2 million instead of the 3.6 million I seemed to have heard Regina was paying. I could be totally wrong on those facts though. But if that is the case ticket prices should be down inti the 45 to start instead of 75.

I think this is a case of Regina paying way too much for the 100th Anniversary of the Memorial Cup more than it is Halifax getting a better deal. They shifted the rotation of the Memorial Cup hosting league to account for it.

Halifax has already said that tickets will be half the cost they are in Regina this year.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomeInMyShoes (Post 8197618)
Haha. I wouldn't call the Brandt Centre modern. But I will say that it has aged inside very well. Still a good place to see a game.

Trust me...there are some bad CHL rinks to see games in. They've been doing a good job of replacing a lot of the weaker buildings, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8198009)
I hate to bring this up again but NCAA March Madness in Canada is (or at least was) a low attention product and yet gets lots of coverage now from both the broadcaster (which is TSN?) but also all of the non-broadcasting entities.

It's one of the bigger sporting events of the year, IMO, due solely because of the brackets. Other sports leagues didn't do playoff bracket fantasy setups until March Madness was making ridiculous money off of theirs. It's peak America, watching a sport for the sake of your own bracket, but it works for a lot of people. Outside of the March Madness Tournament I assume most people don't care that much about NCAA basketball in Canada. :shrug:

Basically the same as most people not caring about horse racing outside of two minutes in May.

Acajack May 24, 2018 3:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8198164)

It's one of the bigger sporting events of the year, IMO, due solely because of the brackets. Other sports leagues didn't do playoff bracket fantasy setups until March Madness was making ridiculous money off of theirs. It's peak America, watching a sport for the sake of your own bracket, but it works for a lot of people. Outside of the March Madness Tournament I assume most people don't care that much about NCAA basketball in Canada. :shrug:

Basically the same as most people not caring about horse racing outside of two minutes in May.

So is polo at Palermo in Buenos Aires but no one seems as eager to ram it down my throat as something I must absolutely pay attention to.

JHikka May 24, 2018 4:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acajack (Post 8198208)
So is polo at Palermo in Buenos Aires but no one seems as eager to ram it down my throat as something I must absolutely pay attention to.

I was referring to sporting events in the US which are, by proxy, also essentially sporting events in Canada.

If there was money in broadcasting polo at Palermo for TSN you'd be sure they would shove it down your throat, just like how there was money in showing poker and how there is growing money in eSports. :shrug:

Acajack May 24, 2018 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8198322)
I was referring to sporting events in the US which are, by proxy, also essentially sporting events in Canada.

I'll grant you the Stanley Cup, the MLS Cup, the World Series and even the NBA because there are Canadian teams in those competitions, but there isn't anything Canadian whatsoever about NCAA March Madness. Nor the Super Bowl when you really think about.

Acajack May 24, 2018 5:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JHikka (Post 8198322)

If there was money in broadcasting polo at Palermo for TSN you'd be sure they would shove it down your throat, just like how there was money in showing poker and how there is growing money in eSports. :shrug:

Money is undoubtedly the key driver and is also related to the additional reasons I see as responsible for the phenomenon.

One of them is that the Canadian media (in this case the sports media) is the poster child for lazy, complacent corporate Canada. They'll pay XXXXX dollars to buy a feed of NCAA hockey from the U.S. rather than spend XXXX1 dollars to send a bare bones crew to film U Sport hockey just around the corner. You see the same thing at play in entertainment and variety TV and movies too of course.

Another factor is the obsession with not appearing as the lowly backward colonials, and a constant need for feeling like you're "with in" and in vogue. You can't go any higher in terms of sizzle that what comes out of the U.S., so image-conscious Canadians just lap it up.

And finally there is the fact that the people working in Canadian sports journalism and broadcasting (both hosts and management) are increasingly people who have grown up fascinated by NCAA March Madness, the NFL, Michael Jordan, Jim Rome, Chris Berman, etc. Since media is an ego-driven milieu, these people want you and everyone to like the same stuff that they like. (I know, I've been there.)

I admit to being extremely cynical on this topic. I happen to think that Canadians only really got interested in soccer when Americans started paying attention, and probably that if only they got into polo at Palermo, many of us would jump on board that bandwagon too.

(Most/many?) Canadians are incapable of deciding by themselves what they like or don't like, or should or shouldn't like.

Harsh, eh?

MolsonExport May 24, 2018 5:36 PM

I don't think I really understand rabid fans of professional sports. I really don't understand why people get so wrapped up into teams based in cities or countries with which they have absolutely no personal connection. I "get" rooting for the home team; I "get" supporting Canada in Olympics; I "get" supporting say, the Netherlands in Soccer because you have Dutch lineage, or maybe you spent some good times in Amsterdam, but going apeshit crazy rooting for some random team in some second-rate American city, like the University of Indianapolis Horse Fuckers Football team? Who gives a shit?

And what the fuck is the deal with tailgating parties? Sorry, sitting around in lawn chairs around some pickup truck with a bbq and coolers looks extremely trashy to me.

TSN has bit by bit, dampened enthusiasm for local/Canadian-based teams and sports leagues (excepting the Leafs, the Jays, and the Raptors), to the benefit of the American leagues.

wave46 May 24, 2018 6:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MolsonExport (Post 8198397)
And what the fuck is the deal with tailgating parties? Sorry, sitting around in lawn chairs around some pickup truck with a bbq and coolers looks extremely trashy to me.

The deal with tailgating parties is to get stinkin' blind drunk.

Some cynics might say it's a necessity, given the dullness of the sport you're about to watch.

Acajack May 24, 2018 6:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MolsonExport (Post 8198397)
I don't think I really understand rabid fans of professional sports. I really don't understand why people get so wrapped up into teams based in cities or countries with which they have absolutely no personal connection. I "get" rooting for the home team; I "get" supporting Canada in Olympics; I "get" supporting say, the Netherlands in Soccer because you have Dutch lineage, or maybe you spent some good times in Amsterdam, but going apeshit crazy rooting for some random team in some second-rate American city, like the University of Indianapolis Horse Fuckers Football team? Who gives a shit?
.

I am with you on this. The more I've thought about it, the more non-sensical it seems to be uber-passionate about any team other than one that your kids, your grandkids, your nephews or nieces, your siblings or friends, or the kids of your friends are on...

I mean, I am still a pro sports fan to some degree, but my allegiances are all either local or based on personal history (a foreign city I've lived in or spent lots of time in).

Even so, it's increasingly tough for me to justify the fandom.

megadude May 24, 2018 7:16 PM

I've been to several tailgates on several campuses. Both kinds. Where you tailgate with your friends in the lot you parked at and the "official" tailgate lot where the people show up in souped up RVs complete with TV screens and BBQs.

They are fun. I would say most are not trashy. The young people and students tend to be dressed in school gear, which gives a sense of uniformity. The older people you will often see wearing polos with team logo tucked into their khakis.

I've seen very few cases of people totally wasted out of their minds like at a Bills tailgate. Also went to two and yes, my friend got caught up in the moment and jumped into the back of the Bills branded pickup truck on display before security removed him. And ya, two white guys who were strangers to each other were calling each other "n*gger" in a tense exchange while passing by on the sidewalk. And yes, two of my friends wearing Jets gear to a Bills tailgate were shouted at with the very clever chant of "F-A-G-S, Fags, Fags, Fags" (variation of J-E-T-S chant).

But for the 20 or so other tailgates I've been to for college, NFL and racing, they were pretty damn civilized. And multiple times strangers invited us to join them in eating brats and drinking some brews. Couldn't be more welcoming and friendly.

Now I have passed through a tailgate for NASCAR once. That's a whole other thing.

megadude May 25, 2018 2:42 AM

Just remembered a story I should add regarding tailgating.

Was at Argos vs Ticats at Ivor Wynn. Tailgate was very civilized. If I remember it correctly, for you Hamilton guys, it took place here on this ball field:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.25037.../data=!3m1!1e3


My Argos season ticket holder friend was with me and right away noticed Argos and Lions owner David Braley was sitting on a folding chair with a few other people behind a van. My friend nodded and he nodded back. Rich people sit on lawn chairs just like us!

Later on, a few beers in, we were hanging by someone's possessions in the park. Some people were dropping off left over food and cake on his pile. Then the owner came along. He looked like a crackhead but happened to be sober at the time. He saw all the leftovers and said "What the hell. Do people think I come from Biafra?" What a phenomenal reference for a crackhead. Biafra is the region in Nigeria that suffered an infamous famine a long time ago.

After the game, my other friend, who was much younger and immature and much drunker, spotted a passed out Ticats fan on someone's lawn beside the sidewalk. He said yo, take a pic of me. He then proceeded to pretend to zip down his zipper and take a leak on him. Real classy.

elly63 May 25, 2018 7:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by megadude (Post 8199068)
My Argos season ticket holder friend was with me and right away noticed Argos and Lions owner David Braley was sitting on a folding chair with a few other people behind a van. My friend nodded and he nodded back. Rich people sit on lawn chairs just like us!

Later on, a few beers in, we were hanging by someone's possessions in the park. Some people were dropping off left over food and cake on his pile. Then the owner came along. He looked like a crackhead but happened to be sober at the time. He saw all the leftovers and said "What the hell. Do people think I come from Biafra?" What a phenomenal reference for a crackhead. Biafra is the region in Nigeria that suffered an infamous famine a long time ago.

I've met a lot of interesting people in my life but I've never had a beer with a billionaire before, a few millionaires but no one with the Braley bucks...yet :)

That crackhead dude must have been fairly old. Sadly, Biafara jokes were the thing in the early/mid 70s.


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