Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kerrzy's Notebook: $1 Beer

It has been a while since the Edmonton Oilers played in front of a full house – in fact, it’ll be about five games after Friday’s tilt with the St. Louis Blues.

After that they’ll be back home for four games, though they may not recognize the winter wonderland our city has become – but hey, at least they’ll no longer be able to hear a pin drop while they play. Where am I going with this?

Well the NHL’s attendance struggles have been hard to miss this season. When you watch the Oilers on the road for example, more often than not you may find yourself becoming distracted by the blocks of open seats.

Case and point: Edmonton’s 3-2 shootout win over the Panthers on Monday, which had an announced crowd of 11,469 (though they must all have been sitting in the upper deck).

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Before that game, they played in front of “15,860” fans in Dallas and “18,018” at The Joe in Detroit. I put those numbers in quotations because there is literally no way there was anywhere near that many people at either of those games!

So teams are obviously finding ways to boost their numbers, which the NHL seems to be okay with. That’s probably because if the numbers are decent, it makes the overall product look good, on paper.

For anyone that watches hockey on a regular basis though – it’s a real eye opener…apparently hockey isn’t as popular in certain parts of the US as we thought. Wait, no…it wasn’t us that thought it’d be popular in places where they still have summer while we have winter…

Anyways – I have a solution. Are you listening “sun belt” states?

Here it is: the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, who have the second worst home attendance in the league, will be playing on national TV for the first time in a couple of years next Wednesday when they host the Washington Wizards. How do they plan to fill the stands at ARCO Arena?

Three words: “Dollar Beer Night.”

Well, it’s “dollar beer until half time, or soda or water all night, night” officially. Either way – if that doesn’t sell tickets, you might as well pack up and seek greener pastures.

The NHL is so adamant that hockey will work in Phoenix, so here’s an experiment they can try:

Offer $1 drinks at Jobing.com arena for one month, and if the Phoenix Coyotes can’t get their average up past 10,000 per game – that is proof positive that it’s time to move on!

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