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JMC-STL

SPHL Attendance

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Some stats from Dave Eminian of the Peoria Journal Star ...

Quote

... Attendance is up in the SPHL through 66 games played in the league this season. The league average is 3,024. It was 2,677 after the same number of games last season. ... The Rivermen are second in the SPHL in attendance, but the team is behind what it drew last season. Through seven home games this season, Peoria has a 3,669 per game. Through seven home games last season, Peoria averaged 4,289. A huge chunk of the difference is one game — the Saturday game after Black Friday. Peoria drew 6,981 last season on that date, but only 3,271 this season. That big crowd last season was there for special guest Cubs star Ben Zobrist, who ended up re-scheduling to a different night.

 

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I'm very disappointed with our attendance so far in Fayetteville.  I thought with the new front office and increased marketing that we'd be a lot higher at this point.  I know we traditionally draw much better after the holiday season but maybe it has a little to do with having a miserable team so far.  We're ahead of where we were last year so I guess improvement is still improvement so something is better than nothing.  Hopefully we get the numbers back up both in the W column and seats filled.

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My only concern is Evansville's attendance average is skewed by the season opener and "education day". The "education day" game buses in a lot of kids, and has much higher attendance than our normal games. If you remove it, our average drops ~475 people to 2371. It's worth noting we've not even had that many people in attendance since the first game.

I may be overly pessimistic though, as last season got off to a worse start. Just 2052 for the first 7 home games (Oct - Nov).

 

1 hour ago, MacGuy said:

In Knoxville, that should have happened as soon as UT lost to last-place Vanderbilt 2 weeks ago. :whistle:

There's only one way to guarantee you'll finish last, and that's by losing to everyone!

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Has anyone else notice Knoxville & Huntsville always seems to get the good weekend dates in January & February every year??? Just look at the home games they played so far (5 each) compared to the other teams in the league they have played 8 or 9. I don't want hear there arenas is not available. It know certain teams get special treatment on getting home dates first compared to other teams in the league.

Everyone will agree Saturday games in January & February is primates dates for attendance in this league. There is 4 Saturday dates in both months in 2018. Both Huntsville & Knoxville gets 6 games of the 8 games.

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It's not like the league has any control over the dates venues make available to each team. More likely, the teams have relationships with their respective venues that allow for what can be viewed as more favorable dates. Huntsville has been in the Von Braun Center almost uninterrupted since 1995. Knoxville in the Civic Coliseum since 2002.

Of course, Fayetteville has also been in the Crown since 2002, so there obviously are other factors involved. In Knoxville, for instance, the recent push for a new arena brought attention to the fact that a lot of entertainment events (read: competition for ideal dates) bypass the Coliseum because it's too old and too small for their needs.

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4 hours ago, Antz Fan said:

Has anyone else notice Knoxville & Huntsville always seems to get the good weekend dates in January & February every year??? Just look at the home games they played so far (5 each) compared to the other teams in the league they have played 8 or 9. I don't want hear there arenas is not available. It know certain teams get special treatment on getting home dates first compared to other teams in the league.

Everyone will agree Saturday games in January & February is primates dates for attendance in this league. There is 4 Saturday dates in both months in 2018. Both Huntsville & Knoxville gets 6 games of the 8 games.

You have to remember, these teams do not control their arenas. This is the problem with minor league sports. Knoxville's prime entertainment venue would be Thompson-Boling Arena (Jedi Master Mac can correct me if I am wrong) over the Knoxville Coliseum. Teams like Evansville share their venue with the Evansville Aces.

The Crown, the Centreplex, Landers, Peoria CC, Ford Center, Berglund, etc. are all entertainment venues for their cities and areas. Landers Center will have even less dates to work with during hockey season withe the new Memphis G-League franchise.

Those arenas are not built with just hockey in mind. They are built for the entertainment of the area. In order for the places to make any money, usually no profit whatsoever, they have to book dates for events. It does seem to be one-sided but the science behind it is the bigger the event, the more of a priority it becomes.

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Been lurking on here awhile, finally signed up.  Was looking at the attendance for this year and as a league we are averaging 3207 right now and last year was 2967.  Much of this increase seems to be due to the bottom teams in attendance last year such as Macon and Fayetteville making increases.  Macon in 16-17 averaged 1859 and are at 2372 this year.  Fayetteville in 16-17 averaged 1857 and are at a much improved 2978 this year.

 

I know we are past the peak and attendance will likely slump some now that Spring is here, but it seems that the numbers are still set to increase overall since last year.  For those of you who have been at this SPHL thing for awhile, what is the break-even point for most teams?  I know it varies on the agreement with the arena, corporate sponsors, etc, but there has to be an attendance marker that is a good indicator of a team's viability. 

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From my understanding when the league started out 14 years ago the break even point on most teams depending on like you say arena terms was 2500.  Now 14 years later I do not know as we all know prices increase year to year on many things, but I would be surprised it if is not much more than 2500 paid to break even.

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On 12/10/2017 at 2:40 PM, SJSharkies4ever said:

You have to remember, these teams do not control their arenas. This is the problem with minor league sports. Knoxville's prime entertainment venue would be Thompson-Boling Arena (Jedi Master Mac can correct me if I am wrong) over the Knoxville Coliseum. Teams like Evansville share their venue with the Evansville Aces.

The Crown, the Centreplex, Landers, Peoria CC, Ford Center, Berglund, etc. are all entertainment venues for their cities and areas. Landers Center will have even less dates to work with during hockey season withe the new Memphis G-League franchise.

Those arenas are not built with just hockey in mind. They are built for the entertainment of the area. In order for the places to make any money, usually no profit whatsoever, they have to book dates for events. It does seem to be one-sided but the science behind it is the bigger the event, the more of a priority it becomes.

Evansville is a bit of an oddity in this instance as Venuworks operates both the team and the Ford Center. This was done in large part because of the acrimonious breakup between Evansville and the Icemen where disputes between the two entities were cited as a prime reason for leaving.

You're right though that hockey isn't the revenue driver that some events are, and so it's discounted by the operators. The OVC basketball tourney and Disney on Ice were in town so the team hits the road. It's no different than the San Antonio Spurs playing a long road trip each year when the rodeo is in their venue.

That said I think many of these operators underestimate the value of a "regular" tenant when seeking the next big event. The ability to know that you'll put a few thousand people in the building to offset your costs lets those big attendance nights actually push you closer to breaking even.

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On 12/10/2017 at 9:48 AM, Antz Fan said:

Has anyone else notice Knoxville & Huntsville always seems to get the good weekend dates in January & February every year??? Just look at the home games they played so far (5 each) compared to the other teams in the league they have played 8 or 9. I don't want hear there arenas is not available. It know certain teams get special treatment on getting home dates first compared to other teams in the league.

Everyone will agree Saturday games in January & February is primates dates for attendance in this league. There is 4 Saturday dates in both months in 2018. Both Huntsville & Knoxville gets 6 games of the 8 games.

Both of those teams were in the top 3 of attendance well before January & February, so I'm not sure their good attendance numbers have anything to do with having home games in January and February.

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The Huntsville Havoc share the Von Braun Center ice with the UAH Chargers and have many conflicts during the season.  In February alone they wound up having home games on Thursday night, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon  Not exactly prime slots any of those.  Nor could they manage even a single Saturday game in the entire month of November when the fans were hungry for hockey to get started.  Yet Huntsville still lead in attendance.  To say, "Well, they got all the good dates in January and February" is not only untrue, it overestimates the value of a few good weekends.  We complain about teams that don't play the whole 60.  The same goes for an organization that can't promote the whole season.

Every team has quirks in their local schedule that ripple through the league.  But I think you have to look past that to how the different front offices handle their promotions and fan outreach to see what really drives attendance.

Granted it helps to ice a winning team, but it's not sufficient.  Fayetteville, for all the gloom and doom, remains squarely in the middle of the league for attendance.  In fact, you have to go back all the way to 2014-15 to find better average attendance than they're enjoying this season.  Win or lose, that front office has found a way to drive crowds.

 

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5 hours ago, Midgeorgiaman said:

Been lurking on here awhile, finally signed up. ...

See, and it didn't hurt a bit, did it?  :D

Welcome to SPHL Forums!

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So, I know we aren't at the end of the season yet, but I couldn't help but check out the attendance numbers again. Overall, the trend from earlier in the season hasn't changed, and average attendance is up about 243 people per game to 3210. 

Huntsville, Knoxville, Roanoke, Fayetteville, Macon, and Mississippi have all had gains. Peoria (148), Pensacola (66), and Evansville (2) have lost some. I expect the rescheduled games hurt Pensacola and Evansville's difference isn't statistically significant. One would also assume the final game will have decent attendance for each squad.

Huntsville's got quite a lead on everyone else at 4774. Peoria and Knoxville are both in the 3800s with Pensacola not far behind (3670). Evansville and Mississippi are on the opposite end in the high 2200s.

Take these numbers for what they are - unfiltered data. When it comes to small samples like these the folding/starting of teams can have significant impacts.

 

On 3/12/2018 at 1:23 PM, TwistedBrass said:

The Huntsville Havoc share the Von Braun Center ice with the UAH Chargers and have many conflicts during the season.  In February alone they wound up having home games on Thursday night, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon  Not exactly prime slots any of those.  Nor could they manage even a single Saturday game in the entire month of November when the fans were hungry for hockey to get started.  Yet Huntsville still lead in attendance.  To say, "Well, they got all the good dates in January and February" is not only untrue, it overestimates the value of a few good weekends.  We complain about teams that don't play the whole 60.  The same goes for an organization that can't promote the whole season.

Every team has quirks in their local schedule that ripple through the league.  But I think you have to look past that to how the different front offices handle their promotions and fan outreach to see what really drives attendance.

I would agree that often it seems people read a bit too much into individual nights and their impact. That said, I'm hesitant to get on board with the idea that organizations are simply failing to promote for different periods. There's always going to be a cost to marketing the team. If you can spend X to get 500 more people on a Saturday, but it costs 3X to get the same number on Friday that's a significant difference. I don't think we can come to any universal consensus on the subject of marketing and promos, so I'll steer this to a more digestible path.

I pulled the Evansville attendance numbers for this year and looked for some apparent trends. It'd be easy to fall into the trap of suggesting attendance is falling throughout the season when you look at their month-by-month ticket sales. I think it's a little more nuanced than that, and it's the days of the week that are the biggest driver.

In 10 Friday games the Bolts average 1754 people. In 11 Saturday games they averaged 2608. It's a difference of 850 people a night, and I expect this is the norm across the league. It's challenging for families to get out to the weeknight games. Either the team starts earlier like 6pm, and it's hard to wrangle the family down there with anything to eat, or they go later and youngsters can't stay until the end. Sure, the team could probably throw more targeted promotions to drive numbers up specifically for that night, but I expect the math says it'd be more effectively spent on a Saturday.

I'm not making any grand proclamations here, but at least for Evansville there's a huge difference in the crowds for Friday vs Saturday. A person with even more free time than me would probably begin to wonder how things look on a weekend with one game compares to multiple games. Maybe we can ask IBM Watson what it thinks...

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2 hours ago, ShaunS said:

So, I know we aren't at the end of the season yet, but I couldn't help but check out the attendance numbers again. Overall, the trend from earlier in the season hasn't changed, and average attendance is up about 243 people per game to 3210. 

Huntsville, Knoxville, Roanoke, Fayetteville, Macon, and Mississippi have all had gains. Peoria (148), Pensacola (66), and Evansville (2) have lost some. I expect the rescheduled games hurt Pensacola and Evansville's difference isn't statistically significant. One would also assume the final game will have decent attendance for each squad.

Huntsville's got quite a lead on everyone else at 4774. Peoria and Knoxville are both in the 3800s with Pensacola not far behind (3670). Evansville and Mississippi are on the opposite end in the high 2200s.

Take these numbers for what they are - unfiltered data. When it comes to small samples like these the folding/starting of teams can have significant impacts.

 

I would agree that often it seems people read a bit too much into individual nights and their impact. That said, I'm hesitant to get on board with the idea that organizations are simply failing to promote for different periods. There's always going to be a cost to marketing the team. If you can spend X to get 500 more people on a Saturday, but it costs 3X to get the same number on Friday that's a significant difference. I don't think we can come to any universal consensus on the subject of marketing and promos, so I'll steer this to a more digestible path.

I pulled the Evansville attendance numbers for this year and looked for some apparent trends. It'd be easy to fall into the trap of suggesting attendance is falling throughout the season when you look at their month-by-month ticket sales. I think it's a little more nuanced than that, and it's the days of the week that are the biggest driver.

In 10 Friday games the Bolts average 1754 people. In 11 Saturday games they averaged 2608. It's a difference of 850 people a night, and I expect this is the norm across the league. It's challenging for families to get out to the weeknight games. Either the team starts earlier like 6pm, and it's hard to wrangle the family down there with anything to eat, or they go later and youngsters can't stay until the end. Sure, the team could probably throw more targeted promotions to drive numbers up specifically for that night, but I expect the math says it'd be more effectively spent on a Saturday.

I'm not making any grand proclamations here, but at least for Evansville there's a huge difference in the crowds for Friday vs Saturday. A person with even more free time than me would probably begin to wonder how things look on a weekend with one game compares to multiple games. Maybe we can ask IBM Watson what it thinks...

Not sure how big college football is in other SPHL cities, but in Roanoke i'm sure it kills some attendance numbers on Friday night's before the football season ends.  I'm sure it does the same in other cities.

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