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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2007, 02:36 Thread Starter
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The best U.S. hockey town is...

Buffalo - 19%
Detroit - 47%
Philadelphia - 14%
Saint Paul - 21%

from:
http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2007, 02:37 Thread Starter
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If Detroit isn't Hockeytown anymore, then what is?

First off, let's make this perfectly clear: We're talking south of the Canadian border. The six most passionate NHL hockey markets include in no particular order Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

Hockey is a religion and then some in the Great White North, and there's nothing wrong with that in our book. We just wish there were more NHL outposts in Canada. If you've never taken in a game there, put it on your to-do list. All six markets are different, and a trip to any of them is worth every cent.

But back to the task at hand: Choosing a new destination we can call Hockeytown, USA. Taking into consideration attendance, fan loyalty, a cozy relationship between the team and its region, a city that's just right for the NHL, and our choice is pretty clear. Saint Paul, Minn., home of the Minnesota Wild, fits the bill.

Buffalo, Long Island, Denver, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have all had their moments both recently and long ago, but the rejuvenated market in Minnesota gets our vote.

Since opening the doors of the well-appointed Xcel Energy Center (more on that later) in downtown Saint Paul on Sept. 29, 2000, the Wild have attracted 282 consecutive sellouts that's every exhibition (21), regular-season (251) and playoff (10) match.

Every single game, through Tuesday night, has sold out for all of their six-plus seasons. Amazing.

Total attendance during that span is 5,214,206 for an average of 18,490 per game in a building that lists capacity at 18,064. The Wild have announced the attendance for their first six regular-season dates this year at 18,568 each.

Minnesota is a great example of getting a second chance and making the most of it.

As recently as 1993, the Minnesota North Stars played in Bloomington, which neighbors Minneapolis of the Twin Cities region bordered by the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers. Part of the 1967 expansion that doubled the league in size from the Original 6 to 12 teams, Minnesota struggled to carve a niche while competing for passionate fans of college, high school and youth hockey in the region.

Just four years after the franchise relocated to Dallas, the league made the wise choice in 1997 to grant St. Paul an expansion franchise that would begin play in 2000. The State of Hockey is once again complete, from youth through the pros.

The lodge-like feel of the Wild's home rink combines everything that is important to Minnesota hockey. Hockey sweaters of approximately 200 high school teams hang from the interior concourse that rings the building all of the boys' programs and about one-third of the girls'.

The aura inside is pure hockey, with appropriate references to the history of the game during pre-game festivities. One never gets tired of the game presentation, which often feels forced or over-the-top at many of the other newer U.S. venues.

Fans know they can often find players from visiting teams making the short walk from the arena to the stately Saint Paul Hotel just across the street. Fourteen of 19 teams that visit the Wild this season plan at least one stay there, including all but one of the 14 opponents in the Western Conference.

Many of the downtown shops, restaurants and bars in St. Paul recognize the Wild with strong support, and two newspapers travel with the team during a time in which print outlets are cutting costs.

St. Paul is the best, and here's the rest:

Runner-up: Buffalo. Unfortunate timing for Buffalo, which had a 45-game regular-season sellout streak snapped Oct. 15 when 18,217 (475 under capacity) turned out for rival Toronto's appearance. Ravenous Sabres fans came as a group of 18,690 for 62 straight games including the playoffs. The recent streak fell well short of Buffalo's franchise mark of 358 straight sellouts (including playoffs) from Oct. 15, 1972-Nov. 12, 1980 at the Memorial Auditorium. When there's not enough seating during the playoffs, large video screens are erected outdoors where thousands of fans watch in front of the 11-year-old, state-of-the-art HSBC Arena in downtown Buffalo.

Dethroned champ: Detroit. A revived economy, new marketing strategies and a schedule that features more Eastern Conference visits will turn things around.

Will always have our respect: Colorado, Long Island, Philadelphia. Knowledgeable fans who care and good surroundings. We don't care that the building is old on The Island, it has a certain charm and character lost with all the newer ones.

Pretty darn good, in their own way: Boston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose. Good support from fans and media when things are going good, but have to compete for attention with popular nearby pro sports franchises (i.e. football, baseball) much of the time.

Jury is still out: Anaheim, Chicago, Nashville. One is on top, one is on the outs and the other might be movin' on. And there doesn't seem to be much of a fuss with any of the three scenarios.

They are what they are: Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York City, Washington. All big metro centers where there's strong competition for disposable income. Hard to carve out a niche and claim to be No. 1 compared to everything else that's going on.

Nice try, but this doesn't really work: Florida, Phoenix, Tampa Bay. Non-traditional markets that might join the endangered list after attention is diverted from Nashville.

Why, exactly?: Atlanta, Carolina, Columbus. NASCAR and college athletics dominate. Not sure the NHL really fits long-term.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2007, 02:51
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Originally Posted by Ambis
[U]Will always have our respect: Colorado, Long Island, Philadelphia. Knowledgeable fans who care and good surroundings. We don't care that the building is old on The Island, it has a certain charm and character lost with all the newer ones.
Islanders can very easily sell out all their games, in fact it wasn't long ago you couldn't find a ticket for a Islanders game, now they practically give them away. The problem is 1) the way the organization is run and 2) the fans are too nostalgic, isn't it funny they they can sell out any game when they commemorate the teams of the early 80's but for a regular season game 13,000 is a good number?

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Originally Posted by Ambis
Pretty darn good, in their own way: Boston, Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose. Good support from fans and media when things are going good, but have to compete for attention with popular nearby pro sports franchises (i.e. football, baseball) much of the time.
Boston used to be good, not as much, I still consider it one of the few places hockey is popular in America but with the Red Sox, Pats, Celtics and BC all doing well, the Bruins are kind of forgotten. St. Louis has actually been a disaster lately, Pittsburgh is good and San Jose is good for "non-hockey places" markets

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Originally Posted by Ambis
They are what they are: Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York City, Washington. All big metro centers where there's strong competition for disposable income. Hard to carve out a niche and claim to be No. 1 compared to everything else that's going on.
New York City shouldn't be this low on the list, Rangers fans could be the most passionate hockey fans in America, but like it Boston, they are overshadowed by the other sports. Washington is a disaster like St. Louis. Los Angeles, well I don't think they even like hockey, New Jersey is becoming a joke, even with their new arena they can't sell out games, and don't forget it's in Newark, not's somewhere I really want to go to watch a hockey game no matter what the mayor says.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambis
Nice try, but this doesn't really work: Florida, Phoenix, Tampa Bay. Non-traditional markets that might join the endangered list after attention is diverted from Nashville.

Why, exactly?: Atlanta, Carolina, Columbus. NASCAR and college athletics dominate. Not sure the NHL really fits long-term.
I agree with all except Tampa Bay. Tampa actually gets good crowds, it helps they are the only respectable sports team in the city. Florida, Phoenix, Atlanta, Colubmus, Carolina can all cease to exist for all I care, especially Florida and Phoenix
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2007, 03:20 Thread Starter
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Interesting article but i totally disagree... sure the Wild have sold out every game in St Paul but they lost their team in the past plus it's easy to sell out when you have a new team and play at the Xcel Energy Center which was voted among the best in the league. Also if he's gonna bring up college, high school and youth hockey in the region then we have them beat hands down plus don't forget the championships:

Red Wings - 10 Stanley Cups
Michigan - 9 National Tittles
MSU - 3 National Tittles
Lake Superior State - 3 National Tittles
Michigan Tech - 3 National Tittles
Northern Mich. - 1 National Tittle
Other teams:
Western Michigan
Ferris State
OHL:
Plymouth Whalers (2007 champs)
Saginaw Spirit
AHL:
Grand Rapids Griffins

Name me a place in the US that has this much hockey tradition. :smileani:


Anyways the Hockeytown gimmick was just a thing made up during the late 90's for marketing purposes... but the true hockey town's are in Canada aka Montreal and Toronto since thats their undisputed #1 sport, while in major US cities like Boston and New York it's basically in last place behind football, baseball and basketball. Even in Detroit or Buffalo for example i bet you any money there are a lot more football fans then hockey fans because everyone knows Football is King in this country. Also the thing i've noticed here is that people have been spoiled after the runs we had in the 90's (sold out the Joe for like 15 straight years) that now only the hardcore fans go and watch a game in October against the Columbus Blue Jackets. People know the team will make the playoffs so unless its a big game against a rival or an original 6 team people just are not willing to spend $150+ for lower bowl seats in an arena thats one of the oldest in the league. The economy is another factor as well because right now with all the jobs people have lost in this area (last i checked we are still the worst state in the country) we even had hard time selling out the first few Lions games which almost never happened in the past.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old November 7th, 2007, 03:37 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HajdukSplit
Boston used to be good, not as much, I still consider it one of the few places hockey is popular in America but with the Red Sox, Pats, Celtics and BC all doing well, the Bruins are kind of forgotten. St. Louis has actually been a disaster lately, Pittsburgh is good and San Jose is good for "non-hockey places" markets

New York City shouldn't be this low on the list, Rangers fans could be the most passionate hockey fans in America, but like it Boston, they are overshadowed by the other sports. Washington is a disaster like St. Louis. Los Angeles, well I don't think they even like hockey, New Jersey is becoming a joke, even with their new arena they can't sell out games, and don't forget it's in Newark, not's somewhere I really want to go to watch a hockey game no matter what the mayor says.
Yeah i agree especially about Boston and not only for the Bruins but they also have some good college teams in BC and BU. But again like i said in my previous post the Bruins will never be above the Red Sox, Patriots and now even the Celtics who have become relevant once again... Hopefully Pittsburgh with Crosby & the great young team they have will turn it around and be a great hockey city like they were in the early 90's. The Rangers will sellout every game just like the Knicks no matter what because they play at the most famous arena in the world but they do deserve to be higher because its an original 6 team with a lot of tradition and true hardcore fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HajdukSplit
Islanders can very easily sell out all their games, in fact it wasn't long ago you couldn't find a ticket for a Islanders game, now they practically give them away. The problem is 1) the way the organization is run and 2) the fans are too nostalgic, isn't it funny they they can sell out any game when they commemorate the teams of the early 80's but for a regular season game 13,000 is a good number?
Kind of reminds me of Leafs who every year have those nostalgic nights to honor the 67 team. But honestly the Islanders like the Red Wings need a brand new arena or if they want to keep the old barn they need to lower ticket prices because no way in hell i'm paying $100+ to watch a regular season game against Columbus, Nashville or St Louis four times a year. At least you guys are lucky that the Isles are in a rival division where you play the Rangers 8 times.

Quote:
Jury is still out: Anaheim, Chicago, Nashville. One is on top, one is on the outs and the other might be movin' on. And there doesn't seem to be much of a fuss with any of the three scenarios.
Anaheim needs to be in the "nice try" section because last year during the Stanley Cup Finals people said that there was more talk about the Angels even after the Ducks had won the Cup, hell i remember they had a late arriving crowd in the decisive game 5 against Ottawa. Chicago Blackhawks are a sad case because they are an original 6 team and their owner has ruined the team over the past decade plus he refused to show their home games on TV. I remember a time when the Wings had a bitter rivalry against them while they were a very good team in the mid 90's and even today the United Center always sells out when we play each other but with all the success the Bulls had in the 90's it seems like the Blackhawks have faded into oblivion... they have a great young player in Patrick Kane right now so hopefully they turn it around because Chicago is a big market city and needs to have a good team.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old November 9th, 2007, 02:34
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I think Boston is they have a deep tradition with the Bruins plus the beapnpot is a huge thing up there.


I agree with HS. Tampa bay has been a success they get huge crowds and my baba lives down there and when I visit i always see people with Lighting flags and jersey's they are a well supported team.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old November 9th, 2007, 16:47 Thread Starter
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Mailbag: Hockeytown tussle
Ross McKeon November 8, 2007

Detroit fans acknowledge a drop in attendance, but won't let poor management rob them of a source of civic pride... Read More

There are a lot of things to knock about the NHL, but never question the passion of hockey fans. A recent story detailing the travails of Hockeytown in Detroit prompted enough email to stop a Zamboni in its tracks.

Here’s the deal: Red Wings fans have spoken and management better listen. Ticket prices are too high. We thought that was a given, but the point was driven home email after email.

Team management has to realize that fans won’t pay when a salary-cap system cuts payroll nearly in half yet ticket prices remain the same or are increased, ridiculously during the postseason. It’s insulting and unfair, especially considering the plight of Michigan's struggling economy.

And to everyone who asked if I’ve been to Detroit, Tampa, Columbus, etc., yes, I’ve covered multiple games in every existing NHL arena, and 16 other barns that hosted NHL games over the years.

But enough of my words, here’s a sample of what readers had to say, along with reaction from stories about Mike Modano becoming the top American scorer, power rankings and other odds and ends:

HOCKEYTOWN’S STRUGGLE IN DETROIT


You know why Hockeytown is dying? First, the commissioner (Gary Bettman) single-handedly ruined hockey. Tickets are too expensive. Hockey is not on TV to attract new fans. And, at the Joe (Louis Arena), all the good seats (lower bowl) are taken by crackberry toting executives who don't even watch the game. Real fans have to sit in the nosebleeds.

Jamie Smith
Austin, Texas



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Take a look at the Yahoo! Sports poll. Let the fans speak and say who is and always will be Hockeytown.

Shawn Armiak
Detroit

(Editor's note: More than 73,000 readers responded to a Yahoo! Sports poll than ran with Ross McKeon's Hockeytown column. Forty-seven percent of them believed that Detroit is still worthy of the Hockeytown USA honor. St. Paul was second with 21 percent, while 18 percent of readers chose Buffalo. Philadelphia, the only other city to choose from in the poll, received 14 percent of the votes.)



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


You missed the most obvious reason the Wings are not drawing. For years they have normally drawn 5-6,000 Canadians per game. Do you know how hard it is to get across the border today?

Richard Ian Madiarmid
Windsor, Ontario



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Minnesota? Sorry, but any team that has lost a team should never be considered "hockeytown." Sure, Detroit might not be selling out, but that's a reflection of the worst unemployment rate in the nation, not of the passion for hockey!

Dennis Clark
Charlotte, N.C.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Red Wing ticket prices are prohibitive! I can't afford them, but would love to go to the games. Somewhere, somehow, tickets have to be made a reasonable price! This is shameful.

Mary Jackson
Eastpointe, Mich.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The biggest reason the Red Wings aren't selling out is because the new NHL sucks. I've been a die-hard hockey fan for nearly 40 years and I can't stand to watch the game anymore. I still play hockey and it is a great game to play, but impossible to watch. Everything I learned as a player is now a penalty. … The problem is Gary Bettman doesn't understand the game. The new NHL is a joke and that’s why people aren't coming to the games.

Dave Bernard
Toledo, Ohio



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Who wants to fight the traffic, try to find a place to park, pay as much for as good a dinner at Applebee's when in turn I sit at home, watch a big-screen TV with free beer, food and a bathroom 10 steps away. The Red Wings need a new arena with good parking and easy access like Comerica Park and Ford Field.

Jim Suchodolski
Bay City, Mich.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Joe Louis Arena really has not seen a full house since Round 4 of the playoffs in 2002, although the Wings have claimed more than 400 sellouts since. The stadium has been 40 percent empty for years. We can see all the empty seats on TV. And the Red Wings don't allow the cameras to pan the stadium of empty seats either. Who are they trying to kid?

Tom D
Houston Lake, Mich.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Until Buffalo and Minnesota win a Stanley Cup or two, Detroit will remain Hockeytown. Keep in mind that Hockeytown does not only apply to the Red Wings but the other hockey teams that occupy within the Detroit area. The University of Michigan and Michigan State are part of the Hockeytown realm. NCAA championships start at the Joe with the GLI (Great Lakes Invitational) games and the CCHA tournament. Junior hockey league teams in Plymouth and Windsor are part of that realm also. Minnesota can claim the title when and if it wins a Stanley Cup championship.

Mike
Bolingbrook, Ill.



http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old November 29th, 2007, 17:43
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minnesota hands down is hockeytown usa, always has been, always will be.
detriot..second best. then buffalo. wish and hoping for chicago to get back there as well.
is it just me or do we all miss chaicago stadium?
the NYI are on life support and no new arena will bring them back. too bad too, cuz i hate to see a Stanley Cup champ move away.
TB?.... ( the exception to my rule) it wont be long, the novelty of winning a cup has worn off and crowds are getting less and less, throw in the bungled sale and well, ..i dont need to tell you.
ATL, PHX, FLD,NSH should never have been here to begin with.
Columbus....now that is a team that i can see doing well, but like michigan, ohio is going through some rough economic times and fan support shouldnt be judged because of that. i think they will be fine.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old November 29th, 2007, 18:58 Thread Starter
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minnesota hands down is hockeytown usa, always has been, always will be.
Care to explain why? sorry but i can't call a place Hockeytown just because of youth hockey... plus they have never won the Cup, lost their NHL team and didn't even have a team until 67. Also i hate how people talk so much about their youth hockey when infect they can't even touch MI when it comes to producing NHL players. Modano, Hatcher, Rafalski, Vanbiesbrouck, Rolston, Grier, Brent Johnson, Weight, Mike York, Ryan Miller, Kesler etc... and I will say it again when it comes to tittles only the Gophers can hold their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lions67
Columbus....now that is a team that i can see doing well, but like michigan, ohio is going through some rough economic times and fan support shouldnt be judged because of that. i think they will be fine.
Columbus is a small market town (plus they don't care about Pro sports aka southern college football mentality) and every time we play them more then half the people in the arena are wearing a Wings jersey.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old December 1st, 2007, 20:04
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Boston was a hockey town until the 80's, they also have along with Minnesota the best college and high school programmes in the nation.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old December 1st, 2007, 20:06
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Detroit, duh.

WE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER GIACINTO FACCHETTI, LEGEND OF THE INTERNAZIONALE AND ITALIAN GAME
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old December 1st, 2007, 20:08
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Originally Posted by Ambis
Care to explain why? sorry but i can't call a place Hockeytown just because of youth hockey... plus they have never won the Cup, lost their NHL team and didn't even have a team until 67. Also i hate how people talk so much about their youth hockey when infect they can't even touch MI when it comes to producing NHL players. Modano, Hatcher, Rafalski, Vanbiesbrouck, Rolston, Grier, Brent Johnson, Weight, Mike York, Ryan Miller, Kesler etc... and I will say it again when it comes to tittles only the Gophers can hold their own.


Columbus is a small market town (plus they don't care about Pro sports aka southern college football mentality) and every time we play them more then half the people in the arena are wearing a Wings jersey.
Hey, like 75% of our away games are like that, don't be so hard on Columbus.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old December 2nd, 2007, 17:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lions67
minnesota hands down is hockeytown usa, always has been, always will be.
detriot..second best. then buffalo. wish and hoping for chicago to get back there as well.
is it just me or do we all miss chaicago stadium?
the NYI are on life support and no new arena will bring them back. too bad too, cuz i hate to see a Stanley Cup champ move away.
TB?.... ( the exception to my rule) it wont be long, the novelty of winning a cup has worn off and crowds are getting less and less, throw in the bungled sale and well, ..i dont need to tell you.
ATL, PHX, FLD,NSH should never have been here to begin with.
Columbus....now that is a team that i can see doing well, but like michigan, ohio is going through some rough economic times and fan support shouldnt be judged because of that. i think they will be fine.
Why does everyone bash TB?

I've seen games at MSG, Meadowlands, Coliseum, ACC, Boston, Philly, Washington. I'm serious when I say this TB and the St. Pete Times forum is one of the more pleasant experiences I've had watching hockey.

First they actually market the team and they have a nice feel to the place. They shoot out snow from the top of the building, they have a band outside playing they give away things for free left and right. People are actually enjoying themselves. Families, no cursing, no cussing. The Arena itself is the nicest place I've ever been too. Giveaways everywhere. I mean this wholeheartedly, I had a better time at that game then I did in Toronto. Pleasant is the best word for it.

And one more thing. People have to remember one thing about TB/St. Petersburg and Miami. Half the people that live there are transplanted Northeasterns, Midwesterners and yes Canadians. Granted they're older but they still come. I talked to the security guy and he said usually the biggest crowds they get are for division rivals and Toronto, Montreal, NYR/NYI, Boston it's not a coincidence.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old December 31st, 2007, 08:39
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Minnesota and Colorado imo.

Anyone remember the longest sell-out streak in NHL history ? 487 games in Colorado between 1995-2006.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old December 31st, 2007, 17:40
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Anyone remember the longest sell-out streak in NHL history ? 487 games in Colorado between 1995-2006.
I think there sellout streak was BS ..I went to Denver in 05 and had no problems buying tickets at the window on game day..many organizations say they have sellouts and do not... now if only every franchise could win the Cup the first year in a new city... lol
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old December 31st, 2007, 17:43
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habsfan, alot of teams count season ticket holders as part of their attendance, that might explaine why it was easy for you to get tickets.

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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old December 31st, 2007, 22:54
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ummm...a sellout means just that, a sellout.
if he can buy a ticket at the window on gameday, then it isnt a sellout, regardless of STH's. now, if he went back to the window and asked for a ticket and they had none to give.... then that is a sellout.
i could care less anyway, the NHL bullshits all the time about attendance, and they will always have people that will believe the drivel they say. ususally, its the people from non-traditional markets that buy into what bettman says.
take a good look at the coyotes...NO ONE goes toa a game there, but announced attendance is always around 15-16 thousand, a joke!
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