Amerks, AHL, Sabres, Hockey, Red Wings, Knighthawks, Bills, etc..
- Posts: 603
- Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:04 pm
- Location: Milwaukee, WI
UncleBenny wrote: ↑
Thu Oct 24, 2019 12:08 pm
At the end of the day, I think we have an issue here with minor league sports taking a back seat in Rochester
. The thing is, there are still teams out there pulling in decent crowds on a regular basis in the AHL. I know some stuff has been looked at in the past, like ticket prices across the league, but it would be interested to dig deeper into say, the top 3-5 attendance teams from last year to try and figure out what makes their franchise "work" in their city. Maybe I'll take this up as a research project at some point, I feel like it could be pretty interesting.
For reference, from 2018-2019:
San Diego Gulls - 9021
Hershey Bears - 8907
Cleveland Monsters - 8901
Ontario Reign - 8352
Grand Rapids Griffins - 8206
It could really be anything. Ticket prices(or massive amounts of freebies), greater coverage in the local media, successful teams, lack of other entertainment options, better scheduling, wider advertising, social media, etc. What's making these franchises tick, and why can't we do the same?
Milwaukee has the same problem with the Bucks, who forced the Admirals out of an arena that the Admirals owners gave $91M to build.
The Brewers partner with the Admirals and sponsor their uniforms.
The Packers limit Sunday home games in Milwaukee, which draw well, along with the Friday night games.
Rochester has an advantage
over Milwaukee. The closest major league team is 75 miles away in Buffalo. The Bucks play a block away and Miller Park is 3.5 miles away, although baseball has little overlap in seasons with hockey.
- Posts: 7619
- Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:33 pm
They didn't play many Wednesdays back then at home. A few maybe and late in the season, crowds WERE very good. But I submit that was exceptional, with most the games on the weekend. The site I have 9Hockey DB.com) indicates the Amerks best average attendance in the late 80's was a few years of between 6,300 and 6,500 give or take. Amerks never averaged for a whole season over that until the BCA expanded. The higher average attendance figures in the first 9 years of the renovation ...don't know how they counted them...tickets sold, given away, actually in house???
I do know that there were a few of those seasons where the rink was actually quite full, and it was a lot of fun.
I'm sure somebody could waste a lot of time digging out attendance numbers for Wednesday games thru the years. But my best memories of the 60's thru 90's was that we didn't play that many (we had a lot of 3 in 3's) and generally they didn't draw well...until March in a playoff push.
But at the end of the day, nothing of that matters does it? What we have NOW is a city that totally does not embrace the team midweek. I don't know what they can do to change that anymore....short of an amazing season followed by an even more amazing playoff run plus some amazing marketing.
Ticket prices are reasonable. That should be no excuse.
- Posts: 7619
- Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 2:33 pm
I had submitted a fun post on this but somehow I guess I never hit send. What I did was to check a few of my old schedules to see when Amerks played home games. A sampling:
the great year 65-66 (where we did have to complete the schedule in Toronto) Amerks played 22 home games on Sunday; 11 on Friday, 2 on Saturday and 1 on Thursday. None on Wednesday
In 1970-71 (when we played games against the WHL) We played 24 on Sunday; 10 on Friday; and 1 each on Wed and Thurs
In 1999-00 we played 6 Wednedays and 7 Sundays
2004-05 we played 6 Wednesays
2008-09 We played 12 Sunday and 5 Wednesday
2011-12 we played 17 Friday, 7 Saturday, 5 Sunday, 4 Wednesday and 3 Thursday.
I have other schedules buried somewhere in boxes of memorabilia...but what interested me most is how the home game favorite day used to be Sunday, along with Friday. Wednesdays were never days we played very much...so those days rarely helped inflate our attendance numbers. It has never been a popular day in Rochester, whereas Sundays used to be. Should be noted that even in our Calder Cup years in the 60's, our attendance was never 'huge'..but in the playoffs it definitely was. BAck when Sundays were very popular, there were also several 3 in 3's. Its amazing how over the years, cable TV and the NFL really forced the Amerks off Sunday games...although even as recently as 10 years ago they still play 12 on Sundays.
What all this means to me: 1) the NHL doesn't care one bit about AHL attendance. They would rather schedule mid week games, which don't draw well in a majority of AHL cities, over having a few 3 in 3's over the weekend. As for the hockey being 'better' on Wednesdays over Sundays....there is no real qunatifiable evidence that is true. What we can quantify is that Amerks have done remarkably well on Sundays of 3 in 3's....when it comes to the most important stat of all....wins.