Take My Hockey Ticket, Please!

There’s a great article in the Chicago Tribune’s Business Section today that talks about how the Chicago Blackhawks can’t even give their tickets away. This year’s team may wind up with the worst record in the Western Conference and fans are staying away by the thousands. The lack of playoff appearances over the last decade-plus surely is making fans think twice whether or not they want to give their hard-earned money to a team that is obviously far behind the times, hardly competing with other teams in the league.

They last made the playoffs in 2002 and before that in 1997 (the last year that I had season tickets). This certainly is sad news when you are in a league which more than half of the teams make the post-season.

They’ve tried all sorts of promotions for heavily discounted tickets and free tickets but on average these deals are only bringing in a handful of extra fans. Some nights the United Center appears empty with only 6,000 to 8,000 fans in the seats. Their average attendance, second worse in the NHL, is 12,610 per game in an arena that seats 20,500 for hockey.

It’s obvious to me that even in the team’s more successful years that ownership has had a lack of vision, where they’ve continuously tried to compete with mediocre players, never working to get more than one superstar on the team. Hey Blackhawks, we’re not dumb! There are other things to do in this city of ours. Even with a turnaround in philosophy (is there even a possibility of that?) I can’t imagine the fans turning out in large numbers for at least a few years, probably many more. What it will probably take, and I’m not saying anything new here, is new team ownership and management from top to bottom. We’re still holding our breath on that one.

That’s very sad for a team that was one of the original six NHL franchises and owned this city for the decades of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I have not showed up all season, have you?

1 Comment so far

  1. Dan Telfer (unregistered) on April 2nd, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

    Yea, I went to a game back in 1998 (I think?) versus the Dallas Stars for $7, and even then it was so deserted that we just walked up to the glass and took some front row seats. Nobody cared. There were probably more staff than spectators, easy.

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