View Full Version : Pats Attendance

10-18-2005, 12:12 PM
Last year the Pats were terrible, and attendance was up over the year before. This year they're playing great and I believe they've only broken 4,000 once. Where are all the people??? I can understand attendance being low on Thanksgiving Day, or days when there is a Riders game or even a Rams or Thunder game, but the rest of the time I can't see any good reason why attendance is down so much. I completely understand why season ticket sales are down from last year and Parker has absolutely no right to question that. Anyone who knows me at all knows that I have very little respect for this man...last year when his team was absolutely horrible and attendance was up, he whined it wasn't enough. No "thanks for supporting us, even through a LARGE rough patch." Instead we get "not good enough" He was harder on the teams fans than he was on his players (with the exception of a couple of guys who seemed to catch ALL the blame). Still, though, that was last year. This year we have a team worth supporting and we aren't. I understand people have other commitments (I was only able to make it to the home opener, myself) but what makes this year different than any other? Surely EVERYONE can't be more busy, can they? EVERYONE is talking about the Pats and still, no one is going to the games, so it's not that people don't care. And with all the hype surrounding Colten Teubert, I would have thought more people would have wanted to check out his debut! Unless when Parker said that he would resign if things didn't turn around, people thought he meant attendance as well and they're just doing their part to help out??? In any case, you have to feel bad for the players...

Here's the article that was in the Leader Post last week...

Parker looking for fan presence

Greg Harder

October 14, 2005

The Regina Pats aren't having any trouble lifting fans out of their seats this season.

The challenge is getting them to sit at all.

The WHL club has averaged just 3,746 WHL spectators after five games at the Brandt Centre, a number that is slightly skewed by the 4,798 who showed up for the team's home-opener.

In four subsequent games, the average attendance was 3,495.

"I'd be less than honest if I said I was OK with where the crowds are at," said Pats GM Brent Parker, whose team returns to home ice this weekend for games Saturday (7 p.m.) against the Prince Albert Raiders and Sunday (6 p.m.) versus the Calgary Hitmen.

"I can't tell people how to spend their entertainment dollar. It's their prerogative, but I think we've put a good product on the ice. I'm disappointed for the (players) because there's nothing better than coming out in front of a full house."

Parker acknowledged that ticket sales are typically slow until after the snow flies -- and the Saskatchewan Roughriders begin their annual pre-Grey Cup hibernation.

However, there's a greater sense of urgency this season for the Pats, who will be evicted from their home building for three major events: The annual Canadian Western Agribition in late November, the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge during the Christmas holidays, and the Brier national men's curling championship in mid-March.

"After this weekend we'll have played 20 per cent of our home schedule," noted Parker, whose team concludes the regular season with eight straight road contests. "There are other franchises in this league in cities that are smaller than ours, in years where their teams haven't been competitive either, and they continue to put people through the door.

"We understand that it's an important time of year for the Roughriders and for the Rams going down their playoff stretches," he added. "They're getting great support and that's excellent. But we need to survive too. There's no reason on a Friday night in Regina -- and I don't care if it's September or if it's March -- that there shouldn't be 5,000 people there."

The Pats had hoped the novelty of the new-look WHL -- complete with a host of rule changes -- would pique the curiosity of the masses. Even the first visit in two years by the Kelowna Rockets, the closest thing to a WHL dynasty since the Kamloops Blazers of the early '90s, failed to draw more than 3,900 fans.

"We need the support of the media, we need the support of the fans, we need the support of everybody to come out and watch," said Parker, whose team has sold approximately 2,450 season tickets -- 400 fewer than last season.

"We spend our money and a fairly substantial amount on advertising. We have our players out and doing things, trying to be an active presence in the community and trying to be a good partner so we are visible. It's disappointing when you don't see that coming back."

Perhaps the single greatest hurdle for the Pats is fan apathy. After three straight losing seasons, the ticket-buying public is apparently taking a wait-and-see attitude about the 2005-06 campaign.

Although the team has exceeded early season expectations -- sitting first in the East Division with a 5-3 record -- that success hasn't translated into a winning formula at the turnstiles.

"I certainly understand people's apprehension," said Parker. "I don't sit here saying right now that we're Memorial Cup contenders or we're world-beaters by any stretch, but I certainly think when people come to the Brandt Centre right now, they are well-entertained. Are we going to win 30 games? Are we going to win 40 games? Are we going to win 20 games? I don't know at this point. But I do know it's an entertaining brand of hockey and the kids are competing hard every night.

"If people don't come, I guess they're missing out."

EXTRAS: Defenceman Colten Teubert, whom the Pats picked first overall in the 2005 bantam draft, is to make his WHL regular-season debut this weekend. The Pats are to visit the Brandon Wheat Kings tonight before facing Prince Albert and Calgary. Teubert, 15, is eligible to play up to five games with the Pats until his regular team -- the midget Southwest Vancouver Hawks -- concludes its season ... The Pats assigned forward Ryan McDonald, 17, to the SJHL's Melville Millionaires on Thursday.