Tag Archives: Hockey Business

This Blog

OK, we had a healthy discussion about my blog and I really appreciate ALL of the comments, even those that said I was an idiot.

I won’t make the game tonight because of hockey work, but I’ll watch it when I return, probably Monday.  Things are positive at the moment, but we’ll all know more when we play St. Louis, Nashville, and Detroit.  If the Jackets can at least split those series’, we have something worth getting excited about.

Returning to this blog.  Do I pick on The Dispatch?  Yes, I do.  I would pick on our local TV stations too, but they don’t really cover hockey.  Unless Jim Tressel goes to a game.  (And really, do we want Mindy Drayer involved with hockey?)  Is there a second local print media covering the team?  No, we have the benefit of living in a one paper town.  And I give a professional courtesy to all local bloggers, no matter how much bullshit they write.  Because without them, there would be no coverage or discussion of hockey in this town.

Every time I hear someone tell me about all the hockey fans in this area, I look at OSU hockey to say, no, there really aren’t that many fans here.  Last night, with no CBJ game scheduled, no OSU football this weekend, the hockey Buckeyes had their home opener.  There could not have been more than 1,000 fans in the building, counting the band.  All the boys scouts helped swell the numbers, but really, where were the hockey fans?  Parking is FREE and the you can get a seat for a fraction of what it costs at Nationwide.  You can’t have a beer, but I hear that students can help you get around that.

So I will continue to blog about hockey and at the same time rant against The Dispatch whenever I feel it is warranted.  I wish nothing but success for the team and the best sports journalism that The Dispatch can offer.

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“Nothing to see here, move along!”

I ain’t blogging what can’t be blogged.  It’s been two weeks since my last post, but the team is about as interesting as … you tell me.  I’ve been to the Anaheim game and the Philadelphia game and even though both were victories, I couldn’t wait to get home to turn on the television and watch a real hockey game.

I’m not alone, either.  Puck-Rakers has gone to posting every other day, too.  Yesterday, they even borrowed a Bob Hunter piece about U. of Minnesota football and ran with that.  By the way, Bob, nice thoughts, but you know what?  Maybe the ticket prices for CBJ hockey (and Wild hockey) are too damn high!  Maybe people who love hockey like yours truly can’t justify spending the money that our local team is asking for what they put on the ice. Sure, winning would solve a lot of the problems, but in the meantime, how about a reasonable price for your product?  You charge the right price, you could solve a number of issues, including the gauntlet of scalpers that attack everyone who heads to Nationwide.

CBJ Tickets Sales

A follow-up here to my earlier post and a few comments to other bloggers.

Yes, the CBJ sent players to baseball games in Cincinnati and Cleveland, but that had more to do with FSN Ohio in the case of Cincinnati.  You see, if you’re Fox Sports, you have two marquis attractions, the Cavaliers and the Blue Jackets.  The Cavs without LeBron are going to draw a few hundred viewers on a good night while in Cincinnati and Cleveland, the Blue Jackets will draw about the same.  FSN has a lot invested in these two teams and they are going to have a very hard time selling commercials.

As for Cleveland, it makes sense to promote the CBJ in that market because it is a large hockey market.  Sorry Columbus, but the road to youth hockey success does go through Cleveland after it winds through Toledo.  If I were the Jackets, I would put together a unique ticket promotion for Cleveland (and Toledo) area fans.  Tie it to something local, like a Cleveland area restaurant.

Regarding the local economy, it no doubt has hurt ticket sales for Columbus.  But I don’t see the Jackets doing any marketing to overcome a bad economy.  Most restaurants changed their pricing to convince people to eat out.  I know the Jackets will probably do something with Pepsi and Giant Eagle again, but the trouble is they wait until November before they act.  If I was Mike Priest, I would make damn sure that opening night was sold out, a positive experience for the fans and the team.  But I don’t have his background in accounting or lease negotiations.

Finally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to trash attendance at Reds games.  The unemployment rate is nearly a full percentage point higher in Cincinnati compared to Columbus.  And we know how tough things are in Cleveland.  Nobody came to Clippers’ games this season, either.  So be nice and remember that the Jackets are Ohio’s team.

CBJ Business Prospects

I will be posting more on this in the upcoming weeks, but my immediate thoughts are not good.  Seven thousand season tickets? And you know, only half of those are full season packages.  The rest are half season packs and other specials, combined to forty game counts to come up with the 7,000 number.

Maybe the team should have lowered the price of tickets this year, just a bit, to show the fans that the team would put some skin in the game and tell the fans that yes, things were bad last season, but we are so confident that they will improve in 2010 that we lowered our prices to get you into Nationwide to see for yourself.

Or maybe they should hire a local blogger or two, have them post on the official team site, comparing and contrasting our team to the others in the Western Conference.  You know, get out the story that hey, Nashville did not improve this year, so we should be able to compete with them, and you know what, our team is probably better than Dallas and Minnesota and maybe Anaheim.  Other teams do that.  So we should have better odds to make the playoffs right out of the gate.

The Jackets tell me that they’re working on this, but the truth is the team is surrendering to reality.  We’re small market, so what do you expect?  And we can’t get anybody excited about us because of Ohio State, so why bother to make noise?  Hey, we have one real all-star, Rick Nash, but that’s it.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.  I wish the McConnell family would sell the team to someone in Columbus who will try or do things differently.  Someone who can focus on hockey instead of treating the team as part of their portfolio.  Our local university churns out lots of sports business majors every year and I’ll bet that a few of them, with their fresh ideas and youth and enthusiasm and desire to stay in Columbus, would work for pennies compared to some big-time hockey consultant group.

It all comes down to money.  The team will make more money by selling more tickets, and you sell more tickets when you give people a reason to buy them.  It won’t be much fun for the players hitting the ice at Nationwide in front of only 10,000 people.

So if I could run the team, I would clean out a lot of the non-hockey business people and try some new things.  After I call Nationwide up and say get me a new lease or we’re out of here.

Typo’s and iPads

Sorry about all of the typo’s that have appeared in this blog lately.  I bought an iPad this summer and have had trouble using the keyboard.  I’m not casting aspersions on the iPad, but just letting you know that my fat fingers are not an easy fit for the soft keypad that comes with it.  I thoroughly enjoy it and think it is one of the best gadgets I’ve ever purchased.

It would be nice if WordPress had a native iPad application, hint hint.  But since this blog is a web app, I can live with it.

Now about those season ticket sales at Nationwide.  I was thinking of taking my iPad to a few games this season, but with all the open seats that are going to be available, I’ll take my desktop computer instead and just set up a normal workspace.

Not A Viral Video

Got my video from John McConnell yesterday and I don’t think it will go viral.  In fact, I doubt if it did much to settle the nerves of the locals.  To summarize, hey, the team tried but did not live up to expectations, the slump made us stronger, it’s not fair that we have a bad lease, it’s taking way too long to fix my problems because I’ve had to lawyer up, I want to stay in Columbus, and wait until you see our third jersey.

Pascal Leclaire, that was great last night and we in Columbus knew you could play like a champion.  Congratulations.

I’m just so glad Tim Tebow is gone now and I won’t have to worry about the Blue Jackets drafting him.

Has Kevin Dineen been hired yet?  Because we need a no nonsense coach in place, someone like Ken Hitchcock.  I need more time on this one.

Filatov said he will come to camp.  Won’t it be great if Hitch is still with the organization at that time and he is doing some consultin’ then?  If I’m Filatov, I better start to work on chipping the puck off the glass right now!

Is Nationwide still on our side?

Warmer? It’s Roasting!

Just think how great it will be here in Columbus when The Dispatch gets Kevin, a Third Jersey, and some new cannon tricks.

Search Getting Warmer

The Blue Jackets won’t have to wait to speak with Kevin Dineen much longer.

snip

It would not make much sense for the Blue Jackets to wait. Atlanta and Tampa Bay are also seeking head coaches, though Tampa Bay needs to hire a general manager first.