NHL teams such as the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and other teams have reaped the benefits of the NHL’s Winter Classic games. Canadian teams most notably are gaining exposure in their own outdoor games, the Heritage Classic. And of course the most recent games have been a part of the NHL Stadium Series. These games are crucial to NHL teams in order to increase revenue and exposure. And for the teams that have participated in one, it’s done exactly that.
Teams such as the Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Phoenix Coyotes, and the Dallas Stars have not benefited from these games, however. A simple look at the average attendance on ESPN clearly illustrates the point. Those four teams have the worst average attendance in all of the NHL.
The Dallas Stars currently have the worst at-home attendance percentage in the whole league, filling up an average of 76.7% of their seats. It’s understandable that a team that is in the middle of the pack and is in Texas won’t have the best attendance, but this is where the NHL should be looking to generate more hockey fans.
The Dallas Stars could host an unbelievable hockey game at the Dallas Cowboys AT&T Stadium.
What would be better than watching a hockey game on a screen that would nearly cover the entire length of the rink? Not much would beat that. In a stadium where there isn’t a bad seat, that may encourage more locals to become fans of a Dallas Stars team that has the potential to be dominant in a couple of years.
Could they sell enough tickets to make it worthwhile? Possibly not, but that didn’t stop the NBA from hosting an All-Star Game which resulted in the highest attendance for any sporting event.
How could they market such a game? Similar to the game at Dodger Stadium this year, they could have a concert at the game as well. Perhaps Texas bands such as ZZ Top, or Pantera (who plays the Stars’ goal celebration song).
Although this may not be a possibility in the next couple years, it is worth some discussion and consideration by the league. Comment your thoughts or concerns in the comment section below.
Follow me on Twitter @JordanWalkerAKL