Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fronts: Announced attendance 'just a hair' over cutoff

"Despite the new rink, there's no denying the gaping fact on almost every fan's mind: The number of empty seats at every home game so far this year. After averaging over 4,200 fans per game in the eight games at the K-Rock Centre last year, average attendance is just a hair over 3,500 -- and that's counting tickets sold, not average attendance." -- our own Tyler King, Cogeco 13, Kingston
Sounds like something that was stated previously.

(Update uno: Attendance was just 2,585 for Sunday's 4-2 home loss to the Sarnia Sting. Update dos: There is a very supportive thread from the heroes over at The New OHL Open Forum.)

"It will also probably not take too long before the right people start asking questions about the team's announced attendance figures, which seem divorced from all reality.

"Fire Larry Mavety noted in February that the City of Kingston, which has a $1.50 surcharge on each ticket, is budgeted for 3,500 fans per game. It has also, if memory serves, projected revenues based on the Frontenacs having at least four home playoff dates. That means having home-ice advantage for a first-round series that goes the full seven games, as per (owner Duog) Springer's opening-night vow, or reaching the second round. Of course, that hasn't been heard of in Kingston since before Springer owned the team." -- Oct. 6 (emphasis mine)
Here's Tyler's report from Friday's broadcast:

Here's a best-of from the NOOF:
"We are pulling for you Kingston fans hoping this is the day Mav gets thrown overboard."

"Attendance looks dismal. Appears to be whole sections that are empty. When the camera pans back it really looks bad."

"We all know Mavety won't be fired. Springer has proven time and again that he doesn't give a damn about icing a winning product.

"I don't think the seats will be filled until a few things happen.
  1. Mav has to go. I know alot of people that (used) to go but will not return as long as he is part of the team.
  2. The Springers need to either sell the team or bring in someone new GM/head coach that knows what they are doing."
"Really, Mavety deserves no more chances. I don't care if the team goes on a 10-game winning streak, Mavety still needs to be canned as both coach AND general manager.

"One playoff round win in 13 seasons in Kingston. His track record says it all.

"Those empty seats will remain that way as long as Doug Springer is the owner of this hockey club."

"... Sunday afternoon in brand new joint, 2,500 ????? Ouch."

"I'd be very surprised if there were 1,500 there today. Very, very sparse."


Robert C. said...

I haven't been to one Frontenac game since the move. Mostly because they're not that good, but it was much easier for me to get to the Memorial Centre too.

There was always a walk-up crowd at the old arena, mostly made up of older fans which I'm sure has been reduced.

If all that adds up to them putting a better team on the ice then I'm glad.

kinger said...

During the story we got to talk to Jeff Stillwell and basically, the announced attendance is for tickets sold, including giveaways, but for each of those, the city *does* get its 1.50 surcharge. So basically even if only 5 people show up, as long as the announced attendance is 3,500, the city will break even.

But something I've noticed from inside the Cogeco truck is our exterior shots. At the M Centre they'd intro the broadcast with an exterior shot of the front doors of the M Centre with fans filing in. At the K-Rock Centre they've started doing the exterior shot from the east entrance on Ontario St. rather than the front doors on Barrack St.

That's because the only crowd you ever see is the slowly moving line of season ticket holders - the walkup crowds are almost nonexistent.

kinger said...

To clarify - season ticket holders enter at that other entrance.

sager said...

So basically even if only 5 people show up, as long as the announced attendance is 3,500, the city will break even.

That is still no way to a run a business on the Frontenacs' end ... and hopefully they are held to account in Kingston. The Frontenacs make less revenue than they would if people were showing up, that means they pay less in various sundry taxes, wouldn't it?

kinger said...

Yep - 3,500 is the break even point that would mean the city wouldn't need to raise taxes. More than that would, logically, mean they could in fact cut taxes. (This ignores the fact they're going to have to raise taxes anyway, but that's a broader budgetary problem - here I'm talking just about the KRC situation).

On the plus side, the Cogeco broadcasts have been stellar :P