a scene from Joe Louis Arena

The Canadian Press, 11/4/09, via The Hockey News:
The team asked fans at Tuesday’s game against the Bruins to stand to be filmed for a commercial holding signs that read: “Hockeytown - No Limits.” If the camera panned some sections, it would’ve filmed some empty seats. The announced attendance was 19,167 in the 20,066-seat arena.

“It’s not a bad crowd for a Tuesday night,” senior vice-president Steve Violetta said Tuesday night, standing in one of Joe Louis Arena’s empty suites. “Our season-ticket sales are down slightly, so we’ve had to be more aggressive with group sales and creative with nine-and 19-game plans that have flexible payment options that can be spread over six months. A few years ago, we were competing with other teams and entertainment options for discretionary money. Now, we’re competing with bread and milk.”

...okay, this was BEFORE the game and this section (where I sat) nearly filled up. the quote is still applicable; it was depressing to see 1000 empty seats at an Original Six matchup where tickets cost far less than at any matchup of those teams in another arena (i.e. I’m not sure I can afford to see the Bruins or Red Wings in Chicago)

1 comment:

Natalie said...

The reason the seats are empty is because of the economy. Michigan has suffered worse than any other state in the country; Detroit is the epicenter of the economic trouble in this country. There's no doubt that Detroit's fan base is as robust as any other team in the league, but when you factor in the state's unemployment rate, it makes sense that season ticket sales are down. Also, it makes sense that seats cost more in Chicago--in a city that isn't hurting nearly as much financially, they can afford to price seats higher. Likewise, tickets at the Verizon Center (the venue closest to where I live) are far more expensive than tickets at the Joe. As much as Wings fans care about their team, I'm sure if more people could still afford the luxury of going to a game, they would be there, no doubt about it.