First, the news of today...
TSN's Darren Dreger reports that the New York Islanders will be playing an Exhibition game next September at Kansas City's Sprint Center, a beautiful 18,500 seat arena in the heart of KC, against the Los Angeles Kings.
What does this mean? Well, a little bit of nothing. Dreger rightly speculates that this is supposed to be somewhat of a scare tactic by the NHL to Charles Wang, who refuses to threaten to move the franchise in order to accelerate his Lighthouse Plan. The plan is to ultimately renovate the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and to develop the 100 acres around it with plenty of consumer attractions.
Other than that, the Islanders are no where near moving. I'm sure this game will be close if not a complete sellout as the Kansas City area doesn't get to see much hockey. But only time will tell on that.
As promised from yesterday, the Western Conference Attendance update from Sports Business Daily.
The notable gainers are the Blackhawks, who are up 49%, and the Blues, who despite being in last place (as I took a look at previously here), are up 8.1%. The Red Wings are also up by 6.6%, who are joined by none other than the Phoenix Coyotes, who are acutally up 4.7% this season from last. The only teams to really decline are the Avalanche (down only 4%) and the Kings (only down 2.4%.
The verdict? Great stuff. I would venture a bet to say that, in general, the Eastern Conference typically outdraws the Western Conference, seeing as Hockey is just generally more popular in the northeast (I think I'm going to look into this somehow). Why is this great stuff though? Well as I showed yesterday, 12 out of 15 teams in the East are either breaking even or declining in attendance thus far. As for the West, only 8 out of 15 teams are breaking even or declining this season. And as a whole, the Western Conference is up 3.5% this season, averaging 17,387 this season as opposed to under 17K last season at this point. So props to the West.
Finally, just some house-keeping on what I plan to do while at school here, where I don't have as much time to post than as if I'm on break when I started this.
I plan on doing something original (Playing Below Capacity series, or something else) probably once a week. I will try to report news like this as much as possible, but I understand I'm not breaking the news, so its not as interesting. I am spending my class time trying to think of interesting things to write about, I can promise you that.
So thats all I have for now, have a good day. I wouldn't expect much until Sunday.