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Get it together Florida or Move!

InsideEdge

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The Instigator |Episode 24

Get it together Florida or Move!

 

It is professional hockey.  The best players in the world.  That means that arenas should be sold out.  Well not in Florida.  Most nights the empty seats far outweigh the ones with fans in them.  Brad Burud expresses his frustration why year after year the Florida Panthers continue to struggle with attendance.

 

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Florida and the Islanders both have attendance issues regardless of form (the Islanders is icing a fantastic team right now and the crowds haven't improved). I don't know much about Florida, but from what I gather the stadium is in a poor location in the suburbs. In Australia the Victorian teams *could* play in their (contractually) clean home stadiums in their home region but they end up playing in the more expensive MCG or Marvel Stadiums as they are in the city and people would actually turn up to them. However, it would take a lot of courage to try to push for a downtown arena for a team that has a lethargic fanbase (assuming there's the space for one; again I don't know much about Florida).

 

That said, if they do move (which is unlikely), I want them to stay in the East. With Seattle entering the comp we finally have balanced conferences and my obsession with patterns and symmetricity... well, yeah.

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I would assume this simple podcast was simply for the author to vent?

That's what it sounds like. 
I tuned in thinking he was going to drop some enlightenment on the situation.....what he would do if he were owner to try and improve attendance.

But no... all I got was grumping and griping about the empty seats.

Oh sure, I agree it looks bad. And I can't see a major network wanting to do a Florida home game national game because of it....but the author griped about revenue and paid attendance...well, if corporations ARE buying up seats and people are just not showing up, then the paid attendance revenue IS there...but in the optics part of it, sure, it does look bad when there is hardly no one in the stands.

Author then goes on to "wonder" about why the NHL and other league owners "put up" with this. He doesn't understand.
I believe that. That he doesn't understand. 
Because a lot more goes on behind the scenes than just people sitting or not sitting in seats.

 

IMO, a bad decision was already made on arena location. I can't stress this enough, because it seems no matter what sport, if the arena is located in a poor location, it works against fans wanting to go games. Plain n simple.
Location and what else is there to do around the arena come into play.
Obviously, a winning team is a given to help things along as well.

 

In lieu of a new arena in a new location (this bed has already been made), then perhaps ownership should look into better marketing.
Look at the Carolina Hurricanes...those "bunch of jerks".
Traditionally poor attendance as well....but they at least try to come up with creative ways to keep fans engaged and going to games.

So this is just a simple matter of "move to Quebec or Hartford" eh?
Not that simple, apparently.
Both those cities had their shots with a team. What happened? I thought those fanbases wanted hockey? I guess not.
Or maybe things would be different if they had a team now? Who knows.

Ultimately, the Florida Panthers may get moved.
But I think the NHL as a whole is trying to find ways to make things work....and if Florida ownership really does want to put the team over the top, again, I suggest marketing gimmicks, create a culture in South Florida that hockey DOES belong there, and give something to the fans that DO show up to games something to be proud of (develop and KEEP NHL caliber players for one), and make having a hockey team "a thing" that bandwagon fans then want to jump on.

This in turn could attract other businesses to Sunrise, FL (the suburb in question here) and things can grow from there.

Maybe this would work, maybe it won't.
I do know this.... teams in Tampa Bay, Raleigh NC, and Nashville certainly are not "die hard" hockey fanbases.....yet ownership in each of those places has gone out of their way to market the team, its players, and keep high profile players, which leads to winning teams, which leads to more fans, which leads to more marketing and gimmicks (no matter how silly outsiders may view it) in order to keep fans engaged.

Florida needs to do the same as long as they are where they are.
I give this podcast episode a C+ grade...not awful, but hardly insightful, and just seems to exist as a way for the author to express discontent, with no real insights of any sort or even fantasy solutions.

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