Article from College Hockey News (CHN) on declining attendance at college hockey games. UNO and Mike Kemp get a paragraph here. Ticket prices and morphing conferences are listed as 2 of the reasons, plus lack of ESPN involvement in regular season play.
An interesting article.
I've always felt that a "fandom" is oftentimes passed down from generation to generation — in similar fashion to the way that lifetime activities like church-going is.
When you keep prices reasonable and realistic, it allows families to attend sporting events like UNO Hockey games. It also allows for families to attend things like movies, concerts, plays, etc.
Price hikes might increase profits in the near term, but what happens — over the course of a couple generations — is that it can have a stifling effect.
College hockey is unique in the fact that it features Friday/Saturday night games for 5 to 6 months each season.
The NCHC, WCHA, and Big 10 Hockey conferences all feature weekend "double headers."
Entertainment is discretionary. As such, the notion that you should automatically make periodic price increases can be problematic.
It's one thing when a utility company raises rates. In most cases, those entities have "your head over a barrel" and can charge whatever they want. The same thing is basically true for service providers like cable companies (many areas have a single service provider available).
But sports isn't that way.
If the bulk of attendees at collegiate hockey games are childless couples like Bridget and me — or older, empty nesters — then attendance will wither over time.
The only "vaccination" against that is a team that is a perennial Frozen Four contender. The changing face of the game and issues of parity make that possibility unrealistic for most programs.
There also seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding around the nation about doing things that enhance the experience of season ticket holders.
Gone are the days when you can simply sell tickets and hope people renew every year. Consumer habits have changed.
Yeah good article. Ticket prices I think are the big thing. Upper deck seats at UNO are pretty reasonable, but I can't go to every game and while I don't necessarily mind taking a loss of a couple bucks in reselling them, I can't take a loss every game. I won't be renewing those seats after this year, as I end up splitting tickets with a guys in the lower level now but I can't even use half a season's worth of tickets and up selling those. All told, I'm selling too much and they cost too much for me in the beginning to want to stress out about getting rid of them. And I'm no Warren Buffet, I can't lose all the time. So I won't be renewing those upper deck seats. And am even thinking about what to do about my lower level seats.
For us, and I think this holds true for many families, the article points out other activities people can choose to do, but for us, it's not the movies we're choosing to go to or whatever other activity, it's just that families these are busier than they were back in the day. I played hockey in winter and baseball in summer and that was about it. Nowadays, kids are in sooooo many activities. We have an activity for one if not both of our kids every single day of the week. So to then top off the week by feeling obligated to go to the game because we have tickets is difficult.
On top of paying for season tickets, to then see the school minimize the value of the season tickets I paid for by having deals for certain games or for the last half of the season is a bit of a slap in the face and only makes it more difficult for me to sell mine, at the minimum without taking a loss. I don't blame them however, they gotta get theirs too. But now, they won't have my money. I got 4 people to pay for, and it's not worth it when the rest of the family doesn't like the obligation of having to go to the game. I don't mind it of course, I love hockey but not everybody is me.