Just in case anyone was still feeling all warm and fuzzy over Sunday's win, I thought I'd share this Puck Money article about all the fans coming to Avalanche games dressed as empty seats lately.
A couple of key points:
In the promotions department, the Avalanche are somewhat lacking. At the same time, the demand for Avalanche tickets are usually high, but offering little deals as the team attendance dips below 16,000 for the first time in the history of the Avalanche being in Denver doesn't exactly seem logical to me.
The Avalanche have been criticized heavily this year for failing to recognize publicly that the on-ice product is a tad sub-par. It looks like this would extend to the plummeting attendance as well. The team is working on retaining season ticket holders, but are they doing enough to get asses into seats (both on and off the ice)?
As you can tell, the attendance trend directly follows the placement in the standings. My question to Avs die-hards would be why didn't the attendance jump back a little after their two-round playoff appearance last season? Hopefully someone can answer that for me because I have no idea why it wouldn't flatten or bounce back a bit.
This is a great point. Even though the front office didn't wow us this offseason, there was still a lot of optomism about the upcoming season back in October. And yet, just seven games in, the 3-3 Avalanche drew under 14,898 for a Thursday game against a division opponent (Edmonton). This leads me to believe that the on ice product is not the only factor, and possibly not even the biggest factor.
So what is the biggest factor? I'm not from the area, so I have to admit I don't have a finger on the pulse of the community. Is it the economy? Is it just a normal downturn in interest after a tremendous 10-year run? Is it the lack of star power? Are Avalanche fans spoiled?
The cure? Fix the on-ice issues as soon as possible, but in the mean time the Avalanche marketing department has to get going with good ticket deals and expanding the fan base. The great rivalry days with Detroit are over for now, as the two teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum and the though of going to a Red Wings - Avalanche game in the late '90's is an opportunity any hockey fan would have killed for. The Avs can turn it around in the next three seasons, but at the same time I do not see an immediate bottom for this club.
I'm not much of a fan for the sake of change and overall I think the team is in better shape (on the ice) than many people think. However, I'm in the minority; a lot of fans are losing patience with the laissez-fair attitude the team is fostering lately. If the Avalanche want to re-ignite interest in the team, I believe they will need to make some big changes this summer, both in the front office and on the ice. If not, I agree with Rob when he says "I do not see an immediate bottom for this club."