AHL Attendance

Amerks, AHL, Sabres, Hockey, Red Wings, Knighthawks, Bills, etc..
moose14609
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:05 am

Re: AHL Attendance

Post by moose14609 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:59 pm

Now you have 5. I remember sitting in the stands with my cousins and friends in the old upper section 26 watching the Amerks win on April 30, 1965. Imagine that - the playoffs ending in April. The thrill for me that year was meeting Andre Gill and Mike Mahoney of the Hershey Bears while we were sitting in our seats perusing the front page of the Times-Union. During the finals, they published the lineups and info about the game/series. As some of us remember, teams back then only dressed one goaltender, so Gill was sitting in the stands. We knew they were players, because they asked us to read the paper, and were mocking each other about their stats. When they introduced themselves, we gladly chatted about the series. Being 15, I was excited about meeting pro hockey players, and was more excited when they asked my cousin and I if we would like to come down the next day and watch practice, and then skate with them after their practice for awhile. What a thrill that was. I remember them winning the cup in Cleveland in 1966, and how they lost to Pittsburgh in 1967, when the last three games were all played on one weekend. I think the final game was on TV when they won in 1968, but I'm not sure. I wasn't in Maine for the win in 1983, (almost went - would have been there if they didn't win 4 straight - never forgave Val James), but I WAS in Sherbrooke in 1987 for 3 of the 4 games played there, including the winner, then after Claude Verret saw us, he got us into the locker room, and I sipped champagne from the cup, before Joe Crozier took it next. That was also a thrill. (I have that game on VCR). So, some of us HAVE been around, and remember everything. Sometimes it's also nice to look at all of those programs from '64 - '65 and beyond. Going to games for 54 years, I have a lot of memories.

insagt1
Posts: 7621
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:33 pm

Re: AHL Attendance

Post by insagt1 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:50 pm

Nice to see we still have history among the fans! What I recall in 1965 was that there was no play by play for the final game...WHAM cut it with about 3 or 4 minutes to go and I think maybe it was Pete Brown who sort of did a little play by play until the game ended. It was a school night so I couldn't go to see that one. Many of us went to Buffalo to see one of the finals against the Barons. We won 3-0 and I think Pappin got them all. I listened sadly to the Finals against Pittsburgh. I remember being on my parents car driving down University St in Montreal...trying to hear WHAM fading in and out.I kinda knew we had no chance in that series. The next year was that super game against Quebec where we came back late and won in OT. The only time I heard the building louder was game 7 of 1996. I don't think the Cup winner in 68 was on TV. It was in Quebec and we were all at the bowling alley with our transistor radios. The 83 win was on TV as was the 87.
What I remember most about all those Cup wins was the total excitement generated in the community...which is all gone now. For those who saw it, its unforgettable.
We once had a famously great hockey franchise with some of the best fans in the business.

moose14609
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:05 am

Re: AHL Attendance

Post by moose14609 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 pm

Sorry for the 3 posts - I got confused when trying to add a quote, and must have double or triple clicked.

adsfan
Posts: 603
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:04 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: AHL Attendance

Post by adsfan » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:39 pm

insagt1 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:38 pm
We know that the numbers reported each night don't necessarily reflect the actual number of people in the seats. Seems as though the league reports attendance as tickets sold. (maybe some venues do it differently, but I doubt it) So, we take the numbers with a grain of salt. However since this is all we have to use, the 'official' figures indicate the following interesting items:

Dave Andrews is in love with the 7 practice squads. So much so that he gives them unconscienable concessions that defy decades and decades of pro le

Its really sad to see that a team in Iowa draws more fans (or at least sells more tickets!) The Iowa Corncobs are 10th in the league with an average of over 6,300. Does that bother anyone here? Utica has a tiny arena (just under 4,000) but they sell out every game. Binghamton also has a very small arena and they draw well too.
Milwaukee has been disappointing. Manitoba's crowds are small but they share Winnipeg with the NHL Jets. Hartford draws poorly. Belleville is the worst with just over 3,000. Don't know the size of their arena but it doesn't appear that AHL hockey is a real hot ticket there unless 3,000 is the capacity.

As for Amerks, usually attendance spikes in the last month...at least that was how it was for many years. I can't see us getting to an average of 6,000 this year unless suddenly hockey becomes the thing to do on the weekend. If they can somehow make a playoff run, the crowds WILL return..especially if we could be one of the contenders instead of just a low seed hanger-on.
Milwaukee's attendance always goes up after the Packers season ends. At the moment, they are averaging 5000 fans a game. Two recent games had 8650 and 7000. Milwaukee is usually around 5500 +/- 1000 for the AHL. The current arena seats 9650 for hockey. At the moment, that puts the Ads at 51.8% of capacity, not great, but not unexpected.

The next home game is Tuesday, March 5. I expect 2500 for the attendance. Friday, March 8 will have 7500. Feel free to check theAHL.com!

insagt1
Posts: 7621
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:33 pm

Re: AHL Attendance

Post by insagt1 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:50 am

The AHL recognizes that mid week games are a very tough sell. But they also know that the old 3 in 3 weekends are also not a great idea either. Its pretty much unfixable. with so many sports options available today that weren't even in anyones imagination decades ago, minor league sports suffer greatly at the gate, relatively speaking.
Rochester is a wasteland on Wednesday nights. You could have Amerk staff handing out free tickets all over downtown and still no one would attend.

If our team wasn't in the throes of nearly 2 decades of decline, it might be a tad better, because everyone loves a winner...it would still be difficult to draw decent crowds mid-week...not impossible,but difficult. Last year they did hit 4-5K a few times mid-week, and those games were heavily subsidized in some way.

We all anxiously await the chance to test the attendance theory by finally returning a winning, contending team to Rochester. Will it ever happen? Hard to say. Hard core Amerk fans (dwindling in number every year) have never really been all that happy with the Sabres stewardship, and rightly so. However most everyone else here in town, just love the Sabres because they are NHL, and they are only an hour down the road. The Amerks don't even register a tick on the meter anymore. The local media ignores the team. Most hockey talk in town is all Buffalo.

I speak from that dwindling minority who still longs for a Calder Cup. Maybe someday it will happen again. And maybe then a few more fans will jump on the bandwagon.

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