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... The Florida Panthers.

Crypticshock

Registered Member
It is no secret that this franchise is in dire trouble. Yes, they have a new owner and a very minor local TV deal but that can not patch the holes in making a profit. There are a few games here and there where they actually have +80% capacity but that is mostly due to visiting fans. One of the main reason they put Florida in the same division with Montreal, Toronto, Boston and Detroit. Those fans travel well...

If they keep up their current PR scheme they are doomed, I tell you, DOOMED! Last night Florida played host to Montreal. It was their second biggest attendance of the season. If your brain could compute colours and extrapolate numbers easily you could see +50% of the attendance were Canadiens fans. Florida had a ticket drive earlier in the year, they were selling season tickets at $7 a game average, with that season ticket package you get a jersey, free parking and four free concerts. It took well over 3 months to sell all 500 of them. In that promotion they were very happy to show that their division has FOUR original 6 teams. So... how do they turn that favour to one of those teams?

In the last few minutes of the game, they were using pretty much all of the music that the Canadiens typically use. The Ole and the Na Na Na Na. Too bad none of their fans, all 45% of them, were intelligent enough to sing along. That's fine, a little rubbing it in...

Then their Twitter account decided to chirp with a "Hab and Hab Not" line after that horrible disallowed goal where Galchenyuk got called for goaltender interference (It was a horseshit call that no one who actually has an IQ in hockey liked).

The complete sticker in all of this... before the puck dropped, as they were playing a team from Canada where half of the fans in their arena are Canadian and most of their team is from Canada... They play Canadian Idiot by Weird Al.

They are trying way to hard to create a rivalry when there is none. You want to create a rivalry? Try it by actually being a good team that competes in the standings... not by alienating the people who actually pay for half of your teams salary and half of the players on your team.

Can we just move this team already?
 

TORHABSFAN

New Member
It is a complete crime that Sunrise Floridia has a hockey team and Quebec City and Seattle don't. Or that the GTA doesn't have a 2nd team.
 

willge87

Registered Member
I have attended at least one Panther game since 2003-2004 against either the Canadiens or Maple Leafs. For some reason, the Leafs only are scheduled against Florida in late December once every 3-4 years while the Canadiens are here every year. Anyways, yes, the crowd at these games invariably favors the visitors. I assume they sellout the home opener and then get good crowds against Boston, Montreal, Toronto, New York Rangers, Detroit and perhaps Philadelphia teams that would have a lot of snowbirds down here. But, the catch is that a large percentage of those crowds would be cheering for the visitors. The crowd yesterday was certainly partisan to the Canadiens, but not at as ridiculous of a percentage as I remember it being a few years ago.

The Panthers after years of free parking are now charging $20.00 for parking, which is pretty ridiculous considering your struggling to put butts in the seats most of the time. The arena is actually very nice though, it is out of the way on literally the western fringe of Ft. Lauderdale. The Sawgrass Expressway runs on the western side of the arena and then after that it is the everglades. It is a relatively painless drive from my parents condo in Deerfield Beach.

Yesterday wasn't the first time they played Canadian Idiot before the start of the game. I remember it being played in previous games against either the Maple Leafs or Canadiens that I've gone to in years past. I'll attempt to rationalize only by saying that I can tell you that their fans (however little of them there are) get super annoyed by the droves of visiting fans that come into their arena. It helps keep their team afloat, but they don't have to like it I suppose.

They are heavily emphasizing the original six bit too. There is a store separate from the main Panther store that sells merchandise from the original six teams! Little or no Panther stuff in there. I was able to buy a nice long sleeve Leafs t-shirt while my dad got himself a nice Habs sweater. The guy who works there says that it would be stupid for them not to take advantage of that opportunity to sell merchandise. But, your basically saying that our Panther stuff isn't going to sell so we gotta start selling other teams' merchandise.
 

Crypticshock

Registered Member
...by alienating the visiting fans and players on your own team by playing stupid songs, you are not gaining any home town fans. Certainly when many of those "home town fans" are probably Canadian or related to one. They need to put their focus somewhere else, not in that area. I was completely turned off from Florida two years ago when they made the playoffs. Their first playoff game in a decade against the New Jersey Devils and the lower bowl was half empty. Apparently it was because Lebron and the boys were playing (In a different city, in a different arena) at the same time.

Cool... You take priority over a Playoff Game to watch a regular season game.

The fact that they have an Original 6 store but yet act poorly towards them is a little bit ironic, no?

There's a reason they are charging for parking... The Phoenix Coyotes are too. They have no other choice. With the salary basement going up by a nice margin next season, they have to suck any revenue they can so they can almost make the NHL believe the experiment can still be saved.
 

Millz

Better Call Saul
Staff member
V.I.P.
I remember the game the Blues played there this year...it seemed like half of the arena was empty, if not more.

I think its time to move them outta there. Its not working.
 

Crypticshock

Registered Member
Yes...

I was totally for moving them when they could not sell out during their first playoff game in a decade.

There's one major problem I can see with moving Florida. If you move Florida, you have to move Tampa. I do not see Tampa staying if there is no Florida. If you play Tampa, you play Florida right after or vise versa. It would be a huge travel conflict if there was just Tampa down there. If Florida did move, Tampa can not stay in the Atlantic.
 

Millz

Better Call Saul
Staff member
V.I.P.
Ya see now that's not something I would have considered when discussing a potential move for the Panthers but you're right, that makes sense.

Is Tampa doing okay attendance wise? I don't have #'s in front of me. I don't see them moving though. I'm sure Bettman likes the idea of teams in Florida.
 

Crypticshock

Registered Member
Tampa Bay is 11th in average attendance. 18,367 "fans" with a 95.6% arena capacity.
Florida is 25th in average attendance. 14,586 "fans" with a 85.6% arena capacity.

In comparison, Winnipeg is 24th in average attendance. 15,004 "fans" with a 100% arena capacity.

Phoenix Coyotes are, once again, 30th in average attendance even after having 3-4 "sell-outs". 12,941 "fans" with a 75.6% arena capacity.

Arena capacity is a bigger number than average. A 75% filled arena looks ugly on TV and sounds ugly too. You want an arena filled to make the sound more attractive. Look at Winnipeg. Small arena, 100% capacity and their arena sounds like 20,000 fans.

2013-14 NHL Average Attendance (You can see all pass years too): http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

Florida has an average ticket price of $40.85 which is a 26.7% DECREASE from last season.
Tampa Bay has an average ticket price of $42.23 which is a 10.8% INCREASE from last season.

For comparison, Ottawa has an average ticket price of $43.51 which is a 3.4% INCREASE from last season.

The league average is $61.62 which is a 2.3% increase from last season.

I am not sure how reliable these average prices are, since I have seen many different numbers. I can only assume these numbers are just box office tickets and the other numbers I have seen were "third party" or "secondary market" numbers. I just can not see how Florida would have a $110 "box office" average ;)

2013-14 Average NHL Ticket Prices: http://www.hookedonhockeymagazine.com/a ... 14-season/

The biggest number behind Average Ticket prices which do not take in to account luxury seats and premium tickets is the fan cost index. Tampa and Florida are well behind the average here. (So is Ottawa, one of the lowest. Ottawa went agressive after the lockout by reducing everything by 16%)

2013-14 Fan Cost Index: http://fancostexperience.com/pages/fcx/ ... pdf000.pdf
 

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
I never understood why there's two teams in the Florida area. I've been saying that the Panthers should move out of Florida for a real long time. It's unbelievable how some nights there are barely any fans there - and the product on the ice will not bring new fans.

Tampa Bay have a good record when it comes to attendance as Cryp pointed out, so I don't mind that they're still in existence. And, with Drouin and Stamkos there for a number of years, attendance should stay that way.

I don't know why Bettman let's teams like the Coyotes and Panthers stay in existence. They have more attendance, and it's not like they have a rich history. Losing the team would not hurt a lot of fans like it hurt Winnipeg and Quebec for example.
 

Crypticshock

Registered Member
There's a lot of things happening in the Arizona area regarding hockey. Western side of the USA with teams in LA, Anaheim and Phoenix have started a small surge of young players from that side of the country. Soon there will be more players drafted in the first round from California than Quebec. You can take that to the bank. There's more rinks and youth programs sprouting up in Arizona every year... but will that come in time to save the team? I don't know. Will the new money from the new revenue share split in the new CBA and the Canadian TV deal be enough to cover the hole of money leaking from the Coyotes? It's possible. They certainly have to improve on that attendance. Do not let their current attendance fool you, their current numbers for this time of year is an improvement. January - March is when they get their highest numbers. Will it be enough? It's possible. The new RS and TV deal will add about 15-20 extra million that they never had. The salary cap floor will only increase 4-8 million and they are currently spending near or at next seasons floor.

Florida on the other hand. No one cares about hockey down there. 3+ months to sell 500 tickets at $7 a game where you get free parking, 4 concerts and a jersey... come on! Problem is... if Florida goes, the NHL leaves open some rough scheduling. Teams have to travel far south... for one game. It would only make sense to have Florida/Tampa in the Metropolitan for traveling and if Florida goes kaput, Tampa has to go to the Metropolitan to alleviate teams in the Atlantic making a far south trip 2-3 times a year for just one game.

Bettman lets the Coyotes stay in existence for a few reasons. The Phoenix area is a large population base, one of the biggest TV markets in the USA. (Not as big as Atlanta thou ;)) That's not the biggest reason. The reason Bettman fought so hard for this "5 year deal" to keep the Coyotes in Arizona, unless circumstances are not met, is because the city of Glendale came to the plate and played ball. The city have pretty much put themselves on the brink of bankruptcy to allow the NHL to operate in their city. They gave the NHL 50 million (25 million still in escrow - and with the new deal they have more time to pay it) to run the team until a new owner is found. Bettman found it very hard to walk away from a city that would do that. I agree with him on it. Extend them a 5 year period to "ship up or ship out".
 
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