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From what I saw, those numbers are actually much higher than the actual number of butts in the seats. There are a lot of reasons this is happening ---ineffective marketing, lack of pocket schedules printed, less interaction between fans & players (team meet & greets), and most of all...alienation of loyal season ticket holders & other fans in the community.

Heads up...not gonna argue about this. Just the way that many, many people see it.

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Lack of physical style of play. I'm not saying there needs to be 3 fights in every game but at this level there needs to be some physical style play. I don't want to go to a minor league hockey game and watch teams skate around like figure skaters and to some degree it's coming to that. Minor league hockey can't get away with that like the NHL can. 

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7 hours ago, SouthernHockeyGirl said:

From what I saw, those numbers are actually much higher than the actual number of butts in the seats. There are a lot of reasons this is happening ---ineffective marketing, lack of pocket schedules printed, less interaction between fans & players (team meet & greets), and most of all...alienation of loyal season ticket holders & other fans in the community.

Heads up...not gonna argue about this. Just the way that many, many people see it.

Is that why this board is a lot quieter this year even the Marksmen are doing better than they were last season?

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This league is about to fool itself into believing it is a developmental league to the detriment of its survival.  The style that is coming along is not conducive to selling tickets to the casual fan.  It's essentially mediocre college hockey at this point, and that won't sell in smaller, less hockey crazy markets.

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I wondered where the pocket schedules are, I used to hand them out and got some people to start going to the games, attendance at these games worries me, how can you keep a big venue like the Crown open for sometimes so few fans, look at some of the teams that folded in the past, their attendance sometimes were better than where we are at this point. If it does not pick up hockey in Fayetteville will become a thing of the past. Admission prices are good, children under 12 should be 5 bucks like it used to be, free parking is a plus, food and drink prices are high, but they are in every arena. I stop by McDonalds or some other place before the game and save lots of money that way. I don't see many of the faces I used to see at the games no more. Sure hope it picks up soon. Hockey is such a great exciting sport and I sure don't want it to end any time soon.

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Another factor on Saturdays is the early 6:00 pm start time. Management mentioned in year one it was to try to help families get home at a more "reasonable hour" and leave time for post game skates, jersey auctions, etc. BUT....the start time means it doesn't give a family time to eat supper and THEN go to the games. A family of four can get in fairly reasonably, BUT they cannot EAT A MEAL reasonably at the Crown during play. Eating at 6 pm and then heading to a 7 pm game (where you might only need a snack) is a much more affordable option.

Also, not everyone participates in post game skates, so although it's nice for kids, their parents (the ones who control the family budget) often don't get to make connections with the players. Meet and greets at local restaurants with the whole team (like in the past) cannot be de-valued! These are where so many local fans became LOYAL fans, supporters, and season ticket holders. The coach's shows on Tuesday nights is good for PR, but does not involve the whole team.

Not having pocket schedules available for fans to share with friends, family, co-workers, etc. is a total shame. Dedicated fans used to flood the area distributing THOUSANDS of these little gold mines. Many times THIS is how local people learned there was a hockey team in town - not radio or media. Pocket schedules! You'd see them at restaurants, retail shops, grocery stores...almost anywhere. Mind you, these fans did all this promoting of the team & games for FREE. No cost to the organization! The actual cost to print the pocket schedules was paid by advertisers on the back so there was very little (if any at all) cost to the organization.

You'll also notice that recently, there have been "staff reports" as post-game write-ups in the Fayetteville Observer - basically just stating the stats from Pointstreak. Not personal articles and interviews with coach & players by sports writer Thomas Pope, like in the past. He used to attend every home game and did post-game analysis afterwards. He also live tweeted during the game. This isn't happening anymore.

All these things add up to lower and lower attendance - no matter the team's win/loss record. One can only hope attendance improves but you can't fix what you don't acknowledge is a problem.

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40 minutes ago, SouthernHockeyGirl said:

Another factor on Saturdays is the early 6:00 pm start time. Management mentioned in year one it was to try to help families get home at a more "reasonable hour" and leave time for post game skates, jersey auctions, etc. BUT....the start time means it doesn't give a family time to eat supper and THEN go to the games. A family of four can get in fairly reasonably, BUT they cannot EAT A MEAL reasonably at the Crown during play. Eating at 6 pm and then heading to a 7 pm game (where you might only need a snack) is a much more affordable option.

Also, not everyone participates in post game skates, so although it's nice for kids, their parents (the ones who control the family budget) often don't get to make connections with the players. Meet and greets at local restaurants with the whole team (like in the past) cannot be de-valued! These are where so many local fans became LOYAL fans, supporters, and season ticket holders. The coach's shows on Tuesday nights is good for PR, but does not involve the whole team.

Not having pocket schedules available for fans to share with friends, family, co-workers, etc. is a total shame. Dedicated fans used to flood the area distributing THOUSANDS of these little gold mines. Many times THIS is how local people learned there was hockey team in town - not radio or media. Pocket schedules! You'd see them at restaurants, retail shops, grocery stores...almost anywhere. Mind you, these fans did all this promoting of the team & games for FREE. No cost to the organization! The actual cost to print the pocket schedules was paid by advertisers on the back so there was very little (if any at all) cost to the organization.

You'll also notice that recently, there have been "staff reports" as post-game write-ups in the Fayetteville Observer - basically just stating the stats from Pointstreak. Not personal articles and interviews with coach & players by sports writer Thomas Pope, like in the past. He used to attend every home game and did post-game analysis afterwards. He also live tweeted during the game. This isn't happening anymore.

All these things add up to lower and lower attendance - no matter the team's win/loss record. One can only hope attendance improves but you can't fix what you don't acknowledge is a problem.

Hate to hear all that.  I am really surprised about the media.  You never know anyone’s story or goals, but you’d think for most SPHL cities (ie everyone except for Knoxville where Tennessee is going to always be the lead sports story in town), the local reporters would jump at the chance to cover a team like this.  I mean you’re in a small market but still getting to prove your chops as a team beat writer if you are trying to build a resume.

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2 hours ago, antman said:

I wondered where the pocket schedules are, I used to hand them out and got some people to start going to the games, attendance at these games worries me, how can you keep a big venue like the Crown open for sometimes so few fans, look at some of the teams that folded in the past, their attendance sometimes were better than where we are at this point. If it does not pick up hockey in Fayetteville will become a thing of the past. Admission prices are good, children under 12 should be 5 bucks like it used to be, free parking is a plus, food and drink prices are high, but they are in every arena. I stop by McDonalds or some other place before the game and save lots of money that way. I don't see many of the faces I used to see at the games no more. Sure hope it picks up soon. Hockey is such a great exciting sport and I sure don't want it to end any time soon.

There is a reason you don't see familiar faces at the Crown, some were there since the first season, some basically dedicated their lives to hockey and the fans, some postponed or missed family functions to attend games. Some even brought in their own personal stuff like golf carts to promote the team, some even waited til after games to go visit their premature babies at the hospital. Some interacted with the fans before, during, after and even during the off season,missing a lot of action on the ice during the games. Some helped out the ice team if needed, some used their connections in radio and television, even going live on air to promote the team. Some developed a persona and worked that to promote the team. Some missed work and spent their own money, climbed the stands with tired sore knees, laughed and joked with the fans, most times not slowing down to take a break. Some recruited friends and family to help out at the games. Some gave 20 years doing these things.

Now, some of those folks will never darken the door to the Crown for hockey, some miss the game, the fans and the fun. Some are at the point they don't care about hockey any longer, some go to Canes games and watch the pros on TV, some are spending cherished time with their not so premature twins now, some are going and doing other things that they didn't do during the season because of their dedication, some are building relationships outside the Crown and keeping alive those developed during their time there. Some appreciate all that has been afforded them by management  in the past just as some were appreciated by the management. Some were promised things and received those things plus much more, some have been promised things that they still have yet to receive. Some are done with it, some notice what changed......

 

Doubt you see me here much but you are all friends....no...family, I cherish the time, effort and memories...I was and always will be the ICEMAN

 

See you not on the ice.....

 

ICEMAN....OUT

Edited by FIREANTZICEMAN
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I agree with most of the above comments,but one thingthat was not mentioned was that we still have Friday night High School football to compete with.  Last Friday night was featuring one one of the premier game in the county with an undefeated team ( in their league) against the second place team.  That is a tough competition to overcome. 

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8 minutes ago, pitch01 said:

I agree with most of the above comments,but one thingthat was not mentioned was that we still have Friday night High School football to compete with.  Last Friday night was featuring one one of the premier game in the county with an undefeated team ( in their league) against the second place team.  That is a tough competition to overcome. 

Heard that for 20 years...now look at it this way....fo to every high school game and take an exit polls...ask how many skipped the hockey game to attend the football game....then ask every fan leaving the Crown for.hockey how many hockey games they have missed to attend a football game.....bet the results will amaze you.

 

I'd guess less than 100.....

 

But, we many never know...just watch attendance after football season....that will tell....

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1 hour ago, SouthernHockeyGirl said:

Another factor on Saturdays is the early 6:00 pm start time. Management mentioned in year one it was to try to help families get home at a more "reasonable hour" and leave time for post game skates, jersey auctions, etc. BUT....the start time means it doesn't give a family time to eat supper and THEN go to the games. A family of four can get in fairly reasonably, BUT they cannot EAT A MEAL reasonably at the Crown during play. Eating at 6 pm and then heading to a 7 pm game (where you might only need a snack) is a much more affordable option.

Also, not everyone participates in post game skates, so although it's nice for kids, their parents (the ones who control the family budget) often don't get to make connections with the players. Meet and greets at local restaurants with the whole team (like in the past) cannot be de-valued! These are where so many local fans became LOYAL fans, supporters, and season ticket holders. The coach's shows on Tuesday nights is good for PR, but does not involve the whole team.

Not having pocket schedules available for fans to share with friends, family, co-workers, etc. is a total shame. Dedicated fans used to flood the area distributing THOUSANDS of these little gold mines. Many times THIS is how local people learned there was hockey team in town - not radio or media. Pocket schedules! You'd see them at restaurants, retail shops, grocery stores...almost anywhere. Mind you, these fans did all this promoting of the team & games for FREE. No cost to the organization! The actual cost to print the pocket schedules was paid by advertisers on the back so there was very little (if any at all) cost to the organization.

You'll also notice that recently, there have been "staff reports" as post-game write-ups in the Fayetteville Observer - basically just stating the stats from Pointstreak. Not personal articles and interviews with coach & players by sports writer Thomas Pope, like in the past. He used to attend every home game and did post-game analysis afterwards. He also live tweeted during the game. This isn't happening anymore.

All these things add up to lower and lower attendance - no matter the team's win/loss record. One can only hope attendance improves but you can't fix what you don't acknowledge is a problem.

What happened to all of the promises from the new ownership?  They don't sound any better then the previous ownership.

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46 minutes ago, AuburnAL said:

Hate to hear all that.  I am really surprised about the media.  You never know anyone’s story or goals, but you’d think for most SPHL cities (ie everyone except for Knoxville where Tennessee is going to always be the lead sports story in town), the local reporters would jump at the chance to cover a team like this.  I mean you’re in a small market but still getting to prove your chops as a team beat writer if you are trying to build a resume.

Knoxville's newspaper has almost no local writers still employed. Their staff has been cut to nothing.  There is very, very little local information that is covered.  There is a local politics and crime beat and a couple beat writers for UT athletics.  They will be online only very soon, and being out of business is probably not far behind.  It's a sad condition in Knoxville for local news.

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I agree with everything said, especially Upper Deck Larry. Minor league hockey will survive if physical hockey is played and that’s not happening. I think call ups from the E is hurting our league too. I understand that our players want to improve and move up. But a lot of our players get called up and are put on reserve and don’t even play. You can’t take fighting out of hockey and expect it to succeed in our part of the country.

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8 hours ago, AuburnAL said:

Is that why this board is a lot quieter this year even the Marksmen are doing better than they were last season?

You have to ask that you must have missed the owner on here trying to dictate everyone's opinions about everything about the team and banning forum members from games for an opinion.  Rather alienate season ticket holders then build a fan base.  Imagine if top professional leagues did this?  Brown's and Knicks would have no one at games either.  No wonder no one wants to give their opinion anymore.  Scared to get the pink slip!

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2 hours ago, pitch01 said:

I agree with most of the above comments,but one thingthat was not mentioned was that we still have Friday night High School football to compete with.  Last Friday night was featuring one one of the premier game in the county with an undefeated team ( in their league) against the second place team.  That is a tough competition to overcome. 

For the MOST PART, these are two totally different crowds. Most families that come to hockey games (at least in Fayetteville) do not bring high school aged children. They are off doing other things. It's elementary and middle schoolers if at all. Yes, there may be the exception, but not often. It's the adults that make decisions about how to spend their hard-earned money. Those are the ones you have to market to and treat properly in order to keep them attending.

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33 minutes ago, maconwinger said:

I agree with everything said, especially Upper Deck Larry. Minor league hockey will survive if physical hockey is played and that’s not happening. I think call ups from the E is hurting our league too. I understand that our players want to improve and move up. But a lot of our players get called up and are put on reserve and don’t even play. You can’t take fighting out of hockey and expect it to succeed in our part of the country.

I agree people don't like seeing their players leave, but if their was no ECHL or way to move up most guys would never come play in the SPHL.  I do agree this league needs physicality.  No way it's going to get by on just skill alone with average fans.  More the league gets away from being physical the harder it's going to be for teams to bring the fans.  

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