Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars
Friday, November 1st @ 6:00 p.m.
TV: FSSW+ (channel listing)
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM
ARE STARS FANS STILL FILLING THE BARN?
Tonight, the writers and readers of StarsInsider.com will gather at their hockey sanctum, the American Airlines Center, and watch some Dallas Stars hockey. It will be interesting to see what type of audience we get in the building to face the Colorado Avalanche. Several of us are hoping for the “Eddie’s better!” chants to break out, but everyone is hoping it’s loud and proud for our divisional game. Fridays and Saturdays are big nights for hockey, but after glancing at a few stats online and seeing what the arena looks like on TV, something appears a bit off lately.
Sure, packing the house hasn’t been easy the past few years. In the 2010 and 2011 seasons, the Stars set consecutive franchise records for low average game attendance, at 15,073 and 14,227 per game respectively. The previous franchise low was set in 1995-96 at 15,572 per game. This was the first complete season under then-new owner Tom Hicks. (pause for cursing fits) Contrasting with 2011’s spike up to 17,063, last year’s shortened season. Low ticket prices, promotions (i.e. College Rush and All You Can Eat Tickets), fewer home games, solidified ownership, J.A.G.R., and a fan base starved for hockey like zombies at the end of 28 Days Later could all be likely causes of this 18% jump in attendance.
Coming into the 2013-2014 season, the first full season under new management brought a major rebranding, general manager, coaching staff and superstar talent to offer hope for renewing enthusiasm for the Stars and attracting booties to seats. One month in…*sad trombone,* attendance is down 12.6%. Now, don’t freak out. It’s still early, there’s still time to drive some emotion into the fan base. But you can only keep saying that mantra to yourself for a little bit longer. I’m certainly aware of the diehard fans still out there fighting the good fight and living/dying with each game…
But the question remains: if the Dallas Stars continue to flirt with being a team headed towards another lackluster ~.500 season, what will happen to the attendance this year? And how will a struggling team react to a somewhat filled arena during a home stand such as Nov 26th – Dec 1st when teams like the Ducks, Blackhawks, and Oilers will come to town and test our “7th man”. The franchise is still rolling out ticket promotions, and has also brought back the $10 tickets, which may stifle the wound a bit. Will it be enough? In a winner’s town such as Dallas, we all know the quickest fix in the attendance game for the Stars is to capture the attention of bandwagoners and fair weather fans by winning.
It also starts with us, from the hardcore fans to the casual coach warmers. We, the Dallas Stars community, wield the power to rile this fanbase. Introduce people to this amazing sport, grab friends that went to game(s) in the past and bring them back, host watching parties, and (most of all) comment on and spread posts like these. I know that StarsInsider.com is working hard to provide fans with unique opportunities to come together online and in person. Stay tuned as upcoming Stars Insider watching parties could be planned around the metroplex and in your areas. Also, give us your feedback, via twitter or in the comments. We welcome your ideas and thoughts about bringing us together and spreading the love of Stars hockey.
As mentioned, StarsInsider.com writing staff will be on hand to give you our best assessment of the scene during this divisional tilt, and the crowd needs to get the acoustically stubborn AAC rockin’. On a lighter note, Jay Z, Chuck Norris, GTA V, robots and Ylvis will lend a hand during the 2nd intermissions with this “Let’s Get Weird!” video.
And if you haven’t stayed up to date on CO Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov’s arrest situation, find our thread here. If the much-hated J.S. Giguere (do I need to mention 2007) gets the start for the game it will supply fans with yet another reason to bring the noise! On a side note, our own Aaron Rome was on that Cup winning Ducks team, look it up.
Update: Varlamov is going to get the start tonight.
But until I commune with you tonight at the AAC, hear my call and spread these twitter instructions: #FillTheBarn #ItIsTime #EddiesBetterChant
Remember to tweet me: @BowTieNinja