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Mr Ricochet

Mallards mania of late '90s isn't ever coming back

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kwey24

Curious timing for such an article that states the obvious. I wish the article had the Colonial Hockey League abbreviated properly as the CoHL. The CHL was the Central Hockey League--an actual hockey league that did exist at the same time as the Colonial Hockey League.

 

At least interest in QC hasn't died as hard as in Albany, New York... Overall, for it's market size, QC draws reasonably well for ECHL hockey. Interest in the Mallards seems to be higher than it was in the QC Flames--from a glass half full standpoint.

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hydrogyrum

The '90s seem to be the golden highwater mark that people use to guage the off-ice success of a team--and maybe, then, the team's ultimate success, since a team not doing well at the ticket office isn't "successful," at least business-wise. This puts a lot of anxiety into people: will the team be around next year?

 

The Grand Rapids Griffins started up in the 1990s and were the hot ticket in town (arena seats around 12,000). Last I checked, it averages in the 8,000 range this season (AHL). Kalamazoo (ECHL) has seen its attendance drop remarkably.

 

Many things are different between now and the 1990s, whether it's the dotcom bubble in the middle years of that decade or its later years. We're currently in an economic re-building period that could take until the 2030s, according to one forecast I read a while back.

 

Then: People had discretionary income they could spend on live sports events. Even as the economy ticked down, they kept spending, never believing it would hit rock bottom as it had.

 

Now: People are much more careful with the money they can choose to spend. They remember the bad times and are much more cautious now.

 

Hockey is such an expensive sport. The on-ice "product" might be stellar, and people might agree that it's worth the ticket price, but that doesn't mean they'll buy tickets regularly. Teams need to give them an exceptional experience at the game for them to decide that they'll return for more games.

Edited by hydrogyrum

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minor life

Grand Rapids has been able to maintain a great attendance rate due to great marketing. Dollar dogs and beers every friday night, huge group sales, and a very active community outreach have gone a long way. This in part is what also hurts Muskegon and Kzoo.

 

Muskegon is roughly 25 minutes from GR, Kzoo about 45 minutes. If you are a fan, are you going to AHL, or ECHL or USHL when the ticket prices are pretty similar? If ticket prices dont determine your purchase and you have a family, does the concession cost influence you? Because GR also controls the arena, and concessions, its pretty hard to beat them on cost.

 

Throw in Western Michigan, all the HS hockey that is very popular, and you got very stiff competition in Western Mich. Thats before you account for some of the other economic indicators.

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Mr Ricochet

Grand Rapids has been able to maintain a great attendance rate due to great marketing. Dollar dogs and beers every friday night, huge group sales, and a very active community outreach have gone a long way. This in part is what also hurts Muskegon and Kzoo.

 

Muskegon is roughly 25 minutes from GR, Kzoo about 45 minutes. If you are a fan, are you going to AHL, or ECHL or USHL when the ticket prices are pretty similar? If ticket prices dont determine your purchase and you have a family, does the concession cost influence you? Because GR also controls the arena, and concessions, its pretty hard to beat them on cost.

 

Throw in Western Michigan, all the HS hockey that is very popular, and you got very stiff competition in Western Mich. Thats before you account for some of the other economic indicators.

 

 

Muskegon and Kzoo are 90 miles apart, but I get your point and your post is one of the examples that show just how great a state Michigan is for hockey. You can break down other regions of the state in much the same way.

 

Kwings own their arena too IIRRC.

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minor life

Rico, yes Kzoo controlls the arena. They do not market as agressively or creatively as GR does. Owning the arena is probably the biggest reason they still have the ECHL. Driving from GR to Musky takes me about 25 minutes depending on traffic. I make the drive often. Driving from GR to Kzoo takes about 45. Having GR in between both of those cities definitely effects those cities. The larger effect is on Musky though when you look at the local geography impact on the demographics of ticket purchasers.

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Mr Ricochet

Rico, yes Kzoo controlls the arena. They do not market as agressively or creatively as GR does. Owning the arena is probably the biggest reason they still have the ECHL. Driving from GR to Musky takes me about 25 minutes depending on traffic. I make the drive often. Driving from GR to Kzoo takes about 45. Having GR in between both of those cities definitely effects those cities. The larger effect is on Musky though when you look at the local geography impact on the demographics of ticket purchasers.

 

 

No doubt geographically Kzoo is better off than Muskegon...... I made a rare double header of hockey a couple years back. Took three people who had never seen the ECHL to Kzoo and we caught an afternoon game. Jumped right into the car afterwards and sped off to Muskegon for a night game and made puck drop (my guy Freddy Tiffells was a Jack). And I know it took over an hour IIRC even driving in Michigan with little traffic and high speed limits.

 

I asked the three people with me on the way back to Chicago which league they thought was faster and all immediately answered at the same time in unison, USHL.

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Mr Ricochet

Quad City Mallards @myqcmallards 16m16 minutes ago

NEWS: The Mallards and the iWireless Center have agreed to a one-year lease extension. https://www.facebook.com/qcmallards/photos/a.119095098184091.24314.105385316221736/1361844367242485/?type=3

C94h013XkAIUvu6.jpg
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