How to deal with away fans has been a hot topic in NHL circles recently with the news out of Nashville. The Predators did everything they could to keep Chicago Blackhawks fans out of their building.
For Tuesday’s contest against the Blackhawks, only fans with credit-card billing addresses in Tennessee and the television-viewing area will be permitted to purchase tickets. – Chris Emma, CBS Chicago
The Predators have also done things such as sing God Bless America rather than the National Anthem, to offset to Chicago tradition of yelling during the anthem. They’ve even forced fans to buy two-game packs in an effort to keep Chicago fans away.
Many love the creativity, and applaud the organizations commitment to winning. Others, including the Nashville Tourism Agency aren’t as keen to the idea.
“Any time it’s made hard for anybody to visit, it’s not a good thing,” Butch Spyridon, Nashville Tourism Agency President said. “I can put my Predator hat on and understand what we’re tyring to do, but we need to get to a better way to accomplish a better goal to ensure they have a home-ice advantage — I’d like that, but I’d love visitors a shade more. We have to figure it out.”
Away fans will certainly be a topic of conversation for a team in Las Vegas. As the tourism hub of the world, people from cities of every team will flock to Vegas to cheer on their squad.
How will everyone deal with this phenomenon though? Will we welcome out of town fans? Are the team and the league counting on these seats to be sold by visitors? Will it hinder the home team’s chances to win?
I say bring em on. One of the concerns about the viability of hockey in Vegas is home support. Many believe that if the team struggles, locals will be less likely to attend games. Out of town fans solve this issue for The Creator and the league.
I’m sure once we have a team and we need a big playoff win my tune will change, but at this stage, away fans should be seen as a great advantage few cities can match. Even in the down years, Las Vegas ticket sales won’t be an issue, because people from around the world will suck up all the extra seats.
It’s obviously not the best case scenario, and it’s not something we even see as being a necessity. Here at SinBin.vegas we firmly believe, if you build it (and Bettman hurries up and makes up his damn mind) they will come. Las Vegans will adore their first real home team and hockey will become the biggest thing since the Bellagio Fountains.
But, if we are wrong, it’s a nice little insurance policy to fall back on.
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