Showing posts with label Kohl Center. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kohl Center. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Satisfaction waning for ticket buyers in two of Badgers' biggest sports

English: Big Ten Conference logo since 2010.
s/t Sioux Volley... There was an interesting article that was posted in the Madison Newspaper on June 11, 2013, that was written by Todd Milewski.

I think that you will find some of the points of the article to be very interesting to why Wisconsin Badgers "might" have experienced a drop off in attendance and ticket sales last season.
That comes after a season in which the Badgers did not lead the nation in men's hockey attendance for the first time since 1998.
"I think hockey's in a little bit of what will ultimately be a positive transitional phase in the scheduling in that you're going to have all the games against the Big Ten schools plus the games against nonconference opponents that people are familiar with," Doherty said.
Athletics officials received no shortage of comments from hockey fans. Among them:
• "Take steps to improve game-day atmosphere such as increased marketing to increase attendance, allow signs, etc., in student section."
• "Allow signs, noisemakers, other items to enhance the environment."
• "Allow beer sales at the Kohl Center."
• "The value is severely diminished when you do not get Minnesota and/or North Dakota at home."
Last season, the Badgers sold one of their home games against archrival Minnesota to a company that staged it outdoors at Chicago's Soldier Field.
"Sending your premier rivalry game to Chicago shows disrespect to your fan base," one comment read.
Despite the dip in game-day satisfaction with men's basketball, the report indicates that the athletic department should not expect a decline in renewal rate next season.

Read more: 
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Thursday, February 28, 2013

EDIT... This weekend’s NCAA Division one television schedule (3/01 -3/03)

English: Logo for DirecTV
English: Logo for DirecTV (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is this weekend’s National College Hockey television schedule. There is a full slate of college hockey on television
again this weekend. Check your television guide for times in your local area. As with any schedules, channels will change and have in the past.
Even with the NHL ending it’s lockout and making it back to our television dials, there has is still been a lot of watchable college hockey on television.  Last Sunday alone, there were two games.  Boston College beat Merrimack College in overtime, to wrestle first in place in Hockey East away from the Warriors.
In the night cap, the Wisconsin Badgers beat  the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Kohl Center 5-0 as the Badgers continued their torrid pace going 13-4-5 since they started the season 1-7-3.   So you’re kind of getting college hockey version of March Madness.
This weekend, there will also be three college hockey games that will be available in Canada, so, for college hockey fans north of the border, you should check your local television guides as well.
Fri.Mar. 1Wisconsin at Nebraska-OmahaNBC Sports Net.6:30 p.m.220 / 159
Fri.Mar. 1Ferris State at MichiganCBS Sports Net.6:30 p.m.613 / 158 (C)
Fri.Mar. 1Bemidji State at UNDFCS/Midco7:37pm626
Fri.Mar. 1Denver at MinnesotaBTN7:00 p.m.610 / 439 (C)
Sat.Mar. 2Providence at Boston CollegeNESN3:00 p.m.628 / 434
Sat.Mar. 2Mass. at New HampshireFCS6:00 p.m.TBD
Sat.Mar. 2Ferris State at MichiganFS Detroit7:30 p.m.663 / 430
Sat.Mar. 2Denver at MinnesotaFS North7:00 p.m.668 / 436
Sun.Mar. 3UMass Lowell at MerrimackCBS Sports Net.3:00 p.m.613 / 158 (C)
*NESN = New England Sports Network, FCS = Fox College Sports, FSN+ = Fox Sports North-Plus, NBCSN = NBC Sports Network, DirecTV requires the “Sports Pack” to view the Regional sports Networks, (C) Denotes games available in Canada. All times are Central Standard Time.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wisconsin Badgers falling on tough times at the gate

English: Wisconsin Badgers men's ice hockey pr...
English: Wisconsin Badgers men's ice hockey pregame huddle in a game against Boston University on October 8, 2010 at the 2010 Warrior Ice Breaker Tournament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In years past, the Wisconsin Badgers hockey team have been the pace setter for attendance numbers in division I college hockey and in the WCHA.
They have the biggest building and they’ve packed it to the roof with rabid screaming fans. The Kohl Center used to be one of the most intimidating places to play in all of college hockey.
Now the Kohl center has become friendlier for the opposition teams.
This season, the Kohl season has been known more for the dwindling crowds and unimpressive showings by the home team. Currently, the Badgers have a 7-7-3 record on home ice.
The Badgers didn’t win a game at home until the December 13, 2012, when they beat lowly Huntsville 5-0.
On the road the Badgers have an impressive 6-2-4 record.
That reign as the national attendance leaders will come to an end this season, North Dakota leads the nation in attendance with 187,397 through 16 dates for an average of 11,712 per game.
If you have noticed, the Wisconsin Badgers hockey team is experiencing a decline in attendance numbers for couple of years now.  Andy Johnson from Bucky’s Fifth Quarter wrote an article about this recently.
If you watched the Badgers last two games on television, you would have noticed a lot of fans posing as empty red seats.  The Badgers aren’t packing them in like they used to.
Each year, since the 2009-10 season, the Wisconsin Badgers have been the leaders in attendance for Division I college hockey.  Since the 2010-11 season, those numbers have been in decline. There are some in the Wisconsin fan base that are already starting to point the finger. Some of the blame is landing on the shoulders of head coach Mike Eaves.
There could be some factors that are playing into this? You have to wonder, if the Badgers last series being on Sunday-Monday also figured into the poor showing, at least for this past week.  There was also a series against Huntsville earlier this season that only drew 17,011 for two games when the arena seats 15,209 for a hockey game according to the Kohl Center web site.
According to Andy Baggot of the, there are going to be more of these odd ball non-traditional series on Sunday-Monday, but they’re certainly not going to be the norm.
Who is to blame for not the Badgers not filling the Kohl Center?
I suppose you “could” blame the economy, let’s face facts we are in an economic decline as a nation. People don’t have as much disposable income as they used to.
Barring a heroic late season run through the WCHA playoffs, culminating with a Broadmoor Trophy, the Wisconsin Badgers are probably going to miss the NCAA playoffs for the third season in a row and the fifth time in the last seven seasons. The Badgers put themselves in a tough spot starting the season off going 1-7-3 before going on an amazing run of 13-4-4.
Then there is the elephant sitting it the room. Maybe it’s the fact that no one really wants to watch the product on the ice. Not with that style of play.
But let’s be frank, who really wants to watch the Wisconsin Badgers hockey team play hockey? The casual hockey fan might not.
While I am not a fan of the team per-see, I am hardly a casual hockey fan, I tried to watch the Badgers play the other night and I found the product on the ice to be unwatchable. Honestly, I couldn’t watch them play; it was an absolutely brutal hockey game. I literally turned the game off and rented the movie Skyfall on DirecTV instead of watching college hockey. I have to admit, that doesn’t happen very often at my house. Hockey is on from the first week in October to the last face off of the Stanley Cup Finals.
I know some in Badger nation are going to be mad at me, but I am going to call it like it is.
If you want to watch a hockey team that is sound defensively, that is bookended by two great goaltenders the Wisconsin Badgers are your team.
Don’t count on the Badgers to score a lot of goals. This isn’t the 2005-06 team that won the National Championship that had two forwards with 50 or more points and two players that scored 20 or more goals. This is a team that is starved for offense, that’s going to try to slow things down and clog up the neutral zone.
The Badgers are ranked 50 out of 59 teams for offense nationally. In their 11 loses they have scored 17 goals that’s an average of 1.54 goals per game. In my opinion, the best way to beat the Badgers is to get an early lead because they’re offensively challenged.
Mike Eaves has been the Badgers head coach since the 2000-03 season and he has compiled a respectable record of 223-167-51 (.563) in eleven seasons at Wisconsin. But after eleven seasons, there are some in the Wisconsin fan base that would like to see Eaves shown the door.
During Eave’s tenure, Wisconsin hasn’t won a Broadmoor Trophy (1997- 1998) or a McNaughton Cup (1999-2000).  However, Eaves’ teams have done well in the national tourney, when they have gotten there, as the Badgers won an NCAA title in 2005-06 and were the Runner up in 2009-10.
If the Badgers don’t win some game next year, make the NCAA tourney and start playing a more exciting brand of hockey they’re going to risk alienating their fan base. That being said, I am thankful that I am not their audience, because If I had to watch their on ice product on a regular basis I would be frustrated and bored with it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the future.
Here are the Badgers Attendance numbers for the last six seasons, incase you wanted to see the numbers.
17 games — 2012-13   171,966—10,116
20 games — 2011-12   235,458—11,773
22 games — 2010-11   290,970—13,226
21 games — 2009-10   316,014—15,048
22 games — 2008-09   303,261—13,785
18 games — 2007-08    242,184—13,455

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Monday, February 18, 2013

My Impressions of the Hockey City Classic

Sunday, I was able to take in both games of the Hockey City Classic that was played at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois from my living room.

I have to say that I was highly impressed and entertained by the event and thoroughly enjoyed both games. So, I am going to give the Hockey City Classic props.

In my opinion, the Hockey City Classic appears to have gone off without a hitch.

Obviously, I didn’t have any dog in the fight, as my favorite team was on a bye week, but it was a good way to pass the time.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon, watching college hockey from the comfort of my living room with my DVR Recorder at the ready.

Did I mention, the best way to watch an outdoor hockey game, is from the comfort of your living-room. There are no poor sight lines and you’re never very far from the action. You also have the benefit of a replay and you can re-watch whatever you want to watch.

Normally, I am not a big fan of the outdoor games, and I think that we have been over saturated with them the last four or five years. I also think that they’re a bit of a gimmick, but if both teams agree to them, I am all for it. Even if it's for league points during a championship run.

I think that maybe the outdoor games need to be played during the month of December and January and not during the month of February.

Outdoor games can also be very unpredictable, because we can’t control the weather, mother nature has us at her mercy. But like any good traffic accident or train wreck, we all have to take a look, even though we shouldn't.

I have seen where some have said, that they thought the ice was worse in Chicago, than it was in Omaha. I don’t think that is a very accurate statement, seriously, it was 28 degrees in Chicago and a balmy 40-plus all day long in Omaha. I don’t know if the temperature got below 40 degrees during the course of the game.

Let’s not forget that the start to the UND versus Nebraska-Omaha game had to be delayed for two-plus hours, so the ice could freeze back up and be hard enough to play on, after the sun had melted it, making the ice unacceptable to play hockey on.

Historically, I think that the Frozen Fenway games have been the best college hockey outdoor games, but I am partial to the city of Boston and Fenway Park is a historical gem.

That being said, I was genuinely impressed with what I saw yesterday.

While I have seen a lot of grumbling from Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey fans on Twitter and on the fan message boards, I think we can call the event a huge success as 52,051 people showed up to watch the two game event and many more probably watched it at home on their televisions as well. I am sure if the Minnesota Gophers had won their game, their fans would've had a different view of the Hockey City Classic.

Obviously, Soldier Field is much better for a football game but I think yesterday’s event turned into a pretty good made for TV event.

If I had one complaint, it would be the team’s uniforms; I was not a fan of any of them.

Let's give credit where credit is due

There are a couple of things that I have seen that I find troublesome. First off, Gopher fans should give the Wisconsin Badgers a little credit; I see their fans blaming the ice surface for the reason their team lost the game yesterday.

The reason, the Minnesota Gophers lost the hockey game was that the Wisconsin Badgers scored one more goal than the Gophers. Both teams played on the same ice surface. I have seen moronic comments along the lines on how if the Gophers had played in the Kohl Center they would have been guaranteed a victory. We don't know that.

I mean seriously, you have to give credit where credit is due, the Badgers are well coached hockey team and Mike Eaves is a very good hockey coach and his teams always play a solid team defensive scheme and yesterday they cashed in on the Gophers mistakes. That’s hockey, and the best team doesn’t always win. Just ask Brendan Morrison. You need to give your opponent some respect.

I also think that the Golden Gophers beat writer Roman Augustoviz said it best.
Those knuckleheads ripping Don Lucia for agreeing to play outdoors have their head buried in the sand. It was not the Gophers giving up a home game, it was Wisconsin.
So the Gophers lost. What do you expect? They have swept ONE series in the WCHA all season. And that was against last-place Alaska-Anchorage. As Lucia said recently, it is amazing his team is in the conference race at all.
Cross Posted at the Hockey Writers Combine 
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Monday, March 05, 2012

Kyle Rau's hit on Joseph LaBate

First off as most of you know, I am not a Gopher fan or an apologist by any stretch of the imagination. I also have a lot of respect for MIke Eaves coach of the Badgers... That being said, check out this hit by Gopher forward Kyle Rau check (38 second mark) on the Badgers Joseph LaBate. This is a textbook clean shoulder to shoulder body check. Apparently, Badgers coach Mike Eaves was less than pleased with the hit. 

Things got testy late in the second when freshman Kyle Rau leveled UW freshman left winger Joseph LaBate at center ice. No penalty was called even though the sequence looked almost identical to an episode Feb. 4 at the Kohl Center when UW junior defenseman and captain John Ramage was assessed a 5-minute major for contact to the head.

“The young boy’s woozy on his feet and there’s no contact to the head?” Eaves asked rhetorically, referring to LaBate. “That doesn’t add up does it?” []
Feel free to chime in your thoughts on the hit. Editing Note: Chuck Schwartz of Bucky's Fifth Quarter tells me that Eaves made those comments right after the game and there is a very good chance that the Wisconsin head coach had probably "not" seen the hit in question on video, before he made those comments in the post game press conference.
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