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Sabres' attendance slipping

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8 hours ago, John Tucker said:

The problem I see is the type of product the NHL wants to put out in order to attract the non-hockey market fans.  They want "old-time" hockey out of the game at all costs.  In markets like Buffalo, it's hard to get that mentality out of the fans.  Generally.  Yeah, the fans are younger, but that mentality is still there.  Back when we sucked in the mid 80's and parts of the 90's, they were at least entertaining.  A good scrap and angst throughout the game will get the fans out of their seats just as quick as any goal.  That animosity built up in the fans and made you want to go to the games to be a part of it.  That has been completely eliminated.  A 5-2 loss to whoever back then at least made you want to come back to see the rematch.  Fans in the non-traditional hockey markets have generally only seen the NHL as a glorified Friday night men's hockey league.  So what's boring most Sabres fans (me) is the norm for them.  And unfortunately, they will continue to outdraw us at the gate, get excited about boring hockey, and be a destination for would be free agents.  The only way we will get bodies back in the seats is to start consistently winning.  And with the ***** show in upper management, who knows if that will ever happen again.  

I think that your opinion of what is entertaining/boring hockey is in the minority, probably even in Buffalo, though I’m not there, so I can’t be sure.

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50 minutes ago, Curt said:

I think that your opinion of what is entertaining/boring hockey is in the minority, probably even in Buffalo, though I’m not there, so I can’t be sure.

I understand @John Tucker‘s point about the product.  The NHL used to sell a Passion Play inside a hockey game.  It now sells a Skills Competition as a hockey game.  The league’s been transparent.  I understand medical realities.  I still buy, but I recognize the product is different.  Frankly, I liked the old stuff better.   I also liked booze, saturated fats, refined sugar and fried stuff.  The 1980s were the ne plus ultra of NHL hockey.

I look at attendance and fandom through two lenses.  You've heard them from me, before.  First, you could put on a Passion Play every night, regardless of relative skill.  Two, competition for our attention was a tiny fraction of today’s competition. We were ALL Sabres fans.  It was a Tuesday night in Buffalo during January; you watched the Sabres.  You looked forward to watching the Sabres.  What the hell else were you going to do?  The shared community was large and powerful.

Today?  The Sabres have to win the skill competition more often than not and hope the next season of Better Call Saul isn't available for binge watching on Netflix, or Amazon Prime, or HBO Go, or A&E, and that potential fans would rather not stream any song ever recorded, update MyFaceSnapGram, check email, IMs, DMs, leave the house for a $5.00 coffee and a leather sofa seat, walk the mall looking at phones and assembling near Pókemen ....

I go to a beautiful little theater in Sarasota seven times a year and see shows.  Musicals, dramas, classics, etc.  I’m 58 and about a decade short of the average age.  Maybe more than a decade.  Where there were once 100 towering institutions, there are now 10,000 lesser institutions.  All of this connectivity has, quite ironically, disconnect the world.  Everyone will have their own view of “progress, or not”.  The differences, and the consequences, aren't debatable.

Hockey and The Sabres no longer tower.  They vie ...

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1 hour ago, Neo said:

I also liked booze, saturated fats, refined sugar and fried stuff.  The 1980s were the ne plus ultra of NHL hockey.

...

It was a Tuesday night in Buffalo during January; you watched the Sabres.  You looked forward to watching the Sabres.  What the hell else were you going to do?  The shared community was large and powerful.

Today?  The Sabres have to win the skill competition more often than not and hope the next season of Better Call Saul isn't available for binge watching on Netflix, or Amazon Prime, or HBO Go, or A&E, and that potential fans would rather not stream any song ever recorded, update MyFaceSnapGram, check email, IMs, DMs, leave the house for a $5.00 coffee and a leather sofa seat, walk the mall looking at phones and assembling near Pókemen ....

I go to a beautiful little theater in Sarasota seven times a year and see shows.  Musicals, dramas, classics, etc.  I’m 58 and about a decade short of the average age.  Maybe more than a decade.  Where there were once 100 towering institutions, there are now 10,000 lesser institutions.  All of this connectivity has, quite ironically, disconnect the world.  Everyone will have their own view of “progress, or not”.  The differences, and the consequences, aren't debatable.

Great post - the above excerpted stuff especially. I did appreciate the shoutout to "walking the mall" -- it's nice to consider that another dying form of consumer entertainment might nonetheless be drawing eyes and butts away from the local NHL hockey game.

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news flash, people don't like being crammed in like sardines if they don't have to.  I hope they renovate every rink with larger, more spread out seats and every 200 section is just tiered bar stools with a bartender in each one.

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13 hours ago, Brawndo said:

They do have tickets available in the LECOM Student Section for 25.00 a piece. 
 

And free tickets if you are a LECOM Student apparently. 

Each time I hear the name of that place, it sounds like they should have a sister school that teaches bird law.

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17 minutes ago, triumph_communes said:

news flash, people don't like being crammed in like sardines if they don't have to.  I hope they renovate every rink with larger, more spread out seats 

I agree with this part whole heartedly. I only take an isle seat so I have some room on the side, but even then you have joe jerkoff wanting to get a soda every 6.4 seconds making you get up. 

The best seat I ever took was in philly. they have luxury box seats where you have a private bar, private bathroom and there is bar seats facing the ice. If you can get in the stadium when it opens up, you can get a bar seat. (They are not assigned seats)

Oh and the price of the ticket is 140 dollars, which is what, 200 level in buffalo. 

When I said I was surprised how expensive it was for tickets, I really meant it. Pegula should be ashamed with how much they charge compared to other stadiums 

Edited by miles

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There was a long time when Sabres Tickets were are rare as hens teeth.

 

The Aud => 16,433 every game. 

 

Lets start winning again and put an exciting team out there.

 

 

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It’s not even winning any more, the team’s two most recent hot streaks have proven that.

It’s belief, the idea that something memorable is going to happen and we have a chance to be a part of it.

@PASabreFan posted in the last game day thread “it’s going to be a great season, we’re not going back.” The sentiment stuck out like a sore thumb in the usual sea of “we suck;” unabashed enthusiasm and optimism have been foreign to this fan base for a long time. We’re followers, analysts and critics, but we very rarely allow ourselves to simply be fans.

The butts will return to the seats when we finally start trusting the franchise again.

****

@Neo outstanding post. The more connected we’ve become, the more rare our universally shared experience.

Edited by dudacek
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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

The butts will return to the seats when we finally start trusting the franchise again.

I really don't know what to make of this now that the Bills and Sabres are the same organization.  Does the current success of the Bills give the average fan more trust in the Sabres as well?  I would think that the average fan would at least think right now that Pegula is in fact capable of hiring the right guy.  I don't mean to suggest that this will translate to butts in the seats, but it should at least have some impact on the public opinion of the chances of the Botterill/Krueger regime.

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5 hours ago, triumph_communes said:

news flash, people don't like being crammed in like sardines if they don't have to.  I hope they renovate every rink with larger, more spread out seats and every 200 section is just tiered bar stools with a bartender in each one.

As I said, this is coming with people wagering on which player gets the first shot and whether the first goal will be a backhand or a forehand 

Edited by tom webster

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It's kind of funny reading some of this in that I'm presently in a city without hockey. I pay for my NHL-TV subscription and if I want to see a game live, the closest port is to drive up to Dallas once a year. Which is pretty easy to get advanced tickets for the games. As an example of just the total opposite of Buffalo season ticket holders who sell their seats to Leaf fans, or allow out of towners to purchase seats. Nashville will not sell any tickets via ticketmaster to anyone who doesn't have it imprinted on their birth certificates that they are Predator fans. You must live in the Predator TV area to be able to buy tickets. I'm wanting to go to the Sabres game next month on the 18th, and I'm presently having to use Stubhub to buy tickets which will be 2 here, 2 there and 2 in another place instead of being able to buy 6 in the same general area because my billing zip code isn't in Tennessee or Georgia. I've been researching for hours trying to get around this restriction put on by the Predators mainly to keep out Blackhawk fans and other out-of-towners. If anyone lives in the general area there and you have a better idea, let me know because I'm trying to get my grandkids to a game with me and they're making it near impossible to do so.

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Losing is a big part of it. Having the impression that the players on the ice arent giving 100% effort is another part. But for me, why i dont go to as many games anymore besides from the cost/benefit value part of it is that the arena is a mausoleum. Its just not that fun of an experience as it used to be. 

At the Aud it used to be rocking. During the early days of HSBC Arena, fans would be engaged & you could scream at the players & for your team & you were just another fan having a good time. But now if you do that everyone looks at you like youre crazy & that you should sit down & stop making noise. Like i seriously feel awkward chanting & making noise at the game. And as a result the arena is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. That is unless Toronto is in town & their fans take over the arena.

How does this all change? Winning sure would help. But its gonna take a long time & imo a concerted effort by the PR staff of the team to change the culture inside the arena. Because at the moment its just not that fun of an experience for the money it costs.... unless we win of course. Because you're happy we won. But the atmosphere is still the same. Its a mausoleum.

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22 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

fannies in the seats.

Lol, that has a way different meaning in Scotland!! 

Fanny: Scottish slang inslut. Close meanings include: stupid, idiot etc.

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49 minutes ago, jsb said:

anyone lives in the general area there and you have a better idea, let me know because I'm trying to get my grandkids to a game with me and they're making it near impossible to do so.

I don't even live I. The US, but could you use a mail forwarding service? 

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23 minutes ago, steveoath said:

Lol, that has a way different meaning in Scotland!! 

Fanny: Scottish slang inslut. Close meanings include: stupid, idiot etc.

I defer to Freddie.

43 minutes ago, MillerVaive said:

Losing is a big part of it. Having the impression that the players on the ice arent giving 100% effort is another part. But for me, why i dont go to as many games anymore besides from the cost/benefit value part of it is that the arena is a mausoleum. Its just not that fun of an experience as it used to be. 

At the Aud it used to be rocking. During the early days of HSBC Arena, fans would be engaged & you could scream at the players & for your team & you were just another fan having a good time. But now if you do that everyone looks at you like youre crazy & that you should sit down & stop making noise. Like i seriously feel awkward chanting & making noise at the game. And as a result the arena is so quiet you can hear a pin drop. That is unless Toronto is in town & their fans take over the arena.

How does this all change? Winning sure would help. But its gonna take a long time & imo a concerted effort by the PR staff of the team to change the culture inside the arena. Because at the moment its just not that fun of an experience for the money it costs.... unless we win of course. Because you're happy we won. But the atmosphere is still the same. Its a mausoleum.

Each section should have a fan captain and alternate captains.

Honestly there are a lot of things that could be done, but they would not serve the corporate masters, so...

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23 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

They're on pace for the lowest attendance since 03-04. Really, it's been a remarkable run. Last season was the first time since the Presidents' Trophy season that they dipped under 18,000.

http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/att_graph.php?tmi=5054

And remember these figures are tickets sold, not fannies in the seats. Last night looked like pretty sparse despite an announced crowd of 15k+

I'm surprised it's still that strong. I bet those $6 StubHub seats help. Families of less means can enjoy a game.

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1 hour ago, steveoath said:

I don't even live I. The US, but could you use a mail forwarding service? 

They get you off your billing zip code on your CCard and your area code on the phone you direct it to. 

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1 hour ago, PASabreFan said:

I defer to Freddie.

Fantastic!!

'she was such a naughty nanny' ...

Edited by New Scotland (NS)
I LOVE FREDDIE!!

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1 hour ago, PromoTheRobot said:

I'm surprised it's still that strong. I bet those $6 StubHub seats help. Families of less means can enjoy a game.

Doesn't Stubhub charge you $50+ per ticket to buy there though?? 

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Buffalo will never institute Buffalo metro only ticket purchasing.  Since the Rigas era they've worked hard to expand their market as far as possible to compete revenue-wise with the competing NHL cities.  No stinking way they go back to local ticket revenue only.  Too many tickets to be sold at higher prices to Canadian ticket purchasers especially.

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4 hours ago, jsb said:

It's kind of funny reading some of this in that I'm presently in a city without hockey. I pay for my NHL-TV subscription and if I want to see a game live, the closest port is to drive up to Dallas once a year. Which is pretty easy to get advanced tickets for the games. As an example of just the total opposite of Buffalo season ticket holders who sell their seats to Leaf fans, or allow out of towners to purchase seats. Nashville will not sell any tickets via ticketmaster to anyone who doesn't have it imprinted on their birth certificates that they are Predator fans. You must live in the Predator TV area to be able to buy tickets. I'm wanting to go to the Sabres game next month on the 18th, and I'm presently having to use Stubhub to buy tickets which will be 2 here, 2 there and 2 in another place instead of being able to buy 6 in the same general area because my billing zip code isn't in Tennessee or Georgia. I've been researching for hours trying to get around this restriction put on by the Predators mainly to keep out Blackhawk fans and other out-of-towners. If anyone lives in the general area there and you have a better idea, let me know because I'm trying to get my grandkids to a game with me and they're making it near impossible to do so.

Have you tried calling them?

46 minutes ago, Weave said:

Buffalo will never institute Buffalo metro only ticket purchasing.  Since the Rigas era they've worked hard to expand their market as far as possible to compete revenue-wise with the competing NHL cities.  No stinking way they go back to local ticket revenue only.  Too many tickets to be sold at higher prices to Canadian ticket purchasers especially.

Nor should it.  Teams that do this are weak.

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1 hour ago, jsb said:

Doesn't Stubhub charge you $50+ per ticket to buy there though?? 

Feels like that but no. A $6 ticket ends up costing you $10. (Still a fat markup.). I suppose if bought an expensive enough ticket you could pay as much as $50 in fees.

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3 hours ago, PASabreFan said:

I defer to Freddie.

Each section should have a fan captain and alternate captains.

Honestly there are a lot of things that could be done, but they would not serve the corporate masters, so...

Yeah that'd be cool. At this point i'd be supportive of just about anything to change the atmosphere in the arena. I'd really like us to do something that Vegas has been doing. With more elaborate pre game ceremonies. Start a new Buffalo themed Sabres tradition that gets everyone fired up.

Also a change of music in there would be appreciated by me. 20 years of Cotton Eyed Joe is too much imo. Seems like we have the worst music playing in the whole league. Its almost embarrassing compared to what i hear in other arenas. If the music is supposed to pump people up, it surely doesnt do that here. 

I hope winning can make the environment more exciting but i wonder if at this point, if only a new arena can promote a change like that. But its not like that's happening anytime soon.

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1 hour ago, Weave said:

Buffalo will never institute Buffalo metro only ticket purchasing.  Since the Rigas era they've worked hard to expand their market as far as possible to compete revenue-wise with the competing NHL cities.  No stinking way they go back to local ticket revenue only.  Too many tickets to be sold at higher prices to Canadian ticket purchasers especially.

 

1 hour ago, Eleven said:

Have you tried calling them?

Nor should it.  Teams that do this are weak.

Ticketmaster is it, I've been on the computer and phone for hours trying to find a way to get this done. The cheapest tickets I could find are around 175 bucks apiece before the markup unless you want to sit in the highest row in the arena and that's only if you live in their TV market. I checked Stubhub but at 175 bucks the markup with them is $50. I would prefer if I drive a thousand miles to go to a hockey game that I don't sit in the highest row in the arena but paying approximately $230 apiece for 6 tickets is pretty outrageous if you ask me plus going thru the Predators ticketmaster site, you have to buy a 6 game package with them to get tickets to the game even if you're in the market. Trust me there isn't any $6 tickets available either. 

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41 minutes ago, jsb said:

 

Ticketmaster is it, I've been on the computer and phone for hours trying to find a way to get this done. The cheapest tickets I could find are around 175 bucks apiece before the markup unless you want to sit in the highest row in the arena and that's only if you live in their TV market. I checked Stubhub but at 175 bucks the markup with them is $50. I would prefer if I drive a thousand miles to go to a hockey game that I don't sit in the highest row in the arena but paying approximately $230 apiece for 6 tickets is pretty outrageous if you ask me plus going thru the Predators ticketmaster site, you have to buy a 6 game package with them to get tickets to the game even if you're in the market. Trust me there isn't any $6 tickets available either. 

Get creative.  Call the marketing director or community relations manager and tell him/her that Mike Vrabel gave you their number or something.

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