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Thread: Ideas Anyone?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Anytown SK

    Question Ideas Anyone?

    It’s ‘think tank’ time
    By Hartley Miller - Prince George Free Press - October 19, 2007 | | |

    The Prince George Cougars and Spruce Kings have started their respective hockey seasons with more losses than wins. Although both organizations are concerned with their records, a more alarming statistic is the lack of attendance.

    One doesn’t need a Harvard Commerce Degree to realize that a business can’t succeed, unless they garner community support. General consensus seems to indicate that PG is a hockey town with a solid fan base. So, two natural questions circulating coffee shops in and around Prince George are: Where have all the fans gone and do they really care about these two teams?

    The following is a summary of attendance figures for both clubs:

    Prince George Cougars:


    Sept. 21st Spokane 3,330

    Sept. 22nd Spokane 2,682

    Oct. 2nd Tri-City 2,482

    Oct. 3rd Tri-City 2,385 (all-time low) Oct. 6th Swift Current 2,799

    Oct. 7th Calgary 2,454

    The average is 2,688, approximately 200 less than last year, the lowest since the team started playing at the CN Centre. Furthermore, there have been as many as 500 no shows for some of these games (they are the ones who have purchased a ticket, but elected not to use it).

    Prince George Spruce Kings:


    Sept. 14th Trail 676

    Sept.15th Penticton 702

    Sept. 20th Westside 586

    Sept. 21st Merritt 612

    Sept. 22nd Westside 600

    Oct. 6th Penticton 1,065

    Oct. 7th Salmon Arm 713

    Oct. 10th Alberni 763

    The average of 714 is comparable to last year, but 400 less than the 2005-06 season. Similar to the Cougars, the actual bums in the seats is substantially less because bought tickets have gone to waste.

    Marketers are probably pondering strategies, and asking themselves if there is much hope in restoring a significant crowd base.

    In an effort to lure support, the Cougars have addressed the situation by offering discounts on numerous tickets. This tactic was unheard of during the team’s “heydays”, in the late 1990s. Unfortunately, this promotional scheme hasn’t paid any huge dividends.

    Meanwhile, the Spruce Kings have taken this gimmick a step further and offered promotional or free tickets. Nevertheless, the public has chosen to stay away from the Coliseum as if it is a condemned building hit by the plague.

    Although the teams have not disclosed exact numbers, general consensus indicates that the Cougars have approximately 2,000 season ticket holders with the Spruce Kings a paltry 200. The bigger concern is the low number of “walk up” fans. These numbers are disenchanting.

    So, why are the fans choosing to stay home? What are the reasons? Is it a money issue? I hardly think so because the ticket prices are reasonable. Is it a lack of winning? Well, that may be just a part of the reason. Have some personality clashes played a part? This may seem petty, but who knows? It’s obviously much more deep rooted, and only the fans know the rationale as to why they are not attending. We can all take our best guesses but nobody really has any solid concrete answers as to why the fans are apathetic.

    On a positive note, the public continues to purchase Spruce Kings show home tickets. This indicates that fans want to support the home team.

    Perhaps, it’s time for the Cougars and Spruce Kings to organize a “think tank” with the hockey community and the general public.

    One can only hope the situation is salvageable because the long term future of both teams is at stake.

    Yogi Berra once said something like “if fans don’t want to go to the game then nobody’s going to stop them.” It’s up to the Cougars and Spruce Kings to make sure it doesn’t get to this stage, if its not there already.

    Hartley Miller is the sports director for radio stations 94X and the Wolf@97fm. He also writes for Opinion250.
    Maybe with the COUGARS successful road trip, fan interest will peak once again. It really isn't that expensive for a ticket is it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Morin Lake, SK


    The Cougar vs Raider game was definately worth the price of admission.
    For What It's Worth

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