Sunday, February 13, 2011

Is Nashville Turning Into A Hockey Town?

It seems to me that Nashville Predators fans are more passionate about the Preds this year than they've ever been before. New blogs are popping up, attendance is high, and people have a genuine excitement around town that I haven't seen since the Preds have been here.

Attendance wise, the Preds are in really good condition. According to ESPN.com, the Predators have an average of 15,956 people per game through 24 home games so far this season. That means, on average, the building is filled to a 93.2% capacity level. The fans have been doing their part this year, and it doesn't hurt that the team has been playing good hockey.

It's well known that the Predators don't get adequate coverage from local media outlets. It's very rare for the mainstream media to put forth a respectable amount of effort into covering our hockey team, but luckily we have some of the best hockey bloggers in the nation. As a blogger, I'm lucky to have several dedicated bloggers in PredNation to learn from.

There is a vibe around this team and this season that is different from any other year that I can recall. Sure, in the past we've been excited to go to games and excited about the team, but something just feels different about this year. It's definitely a good thing.

PredNation has been an extremely passionate fan base this year. So is Nashville turning into a hockey town? I think we're defintely on the path to becoming one. Hockey is appreciated and followed in Nashville more than it has ever been before. The problem continues to be with the mainstream local media in Nashville. The lack of coverage is something that I don't understand. I get that every single media outlet in Nashville is completely and totally obsessed with the Titans. The thing is, we have another professional sports team in Nashville that is actually winning! The people of Nashville seem to be making note of this, and it's reflecting in the attendance numbers. Personally, I've taken 4 people to their first hockey game this year, and now they love it! That seems to be a common theme with people. It is the responsibility of the media in Nashville to adequately report on a professional hockey franchise in Nashville, and it is the responsibility of the bloggers to continue to keep up the work that we are doing.

It's also the responsibility of the fans to continue their dedication towards the team. Fans are more passionate, knowledgable, and excited about hockey than they've ever been before in Nashville. Let's keep this train moving right on into the playoffs!

7 comments:

  1. What is really interesting is that as you mention, there is so little media coverage of this team, it's almost a complete surprise that attendance numbers have been what they are. I would easily say we're better off in the stands than in 05-06, when we brought in Kariya, or 06-07, when we signed Arnott, two well established superstars in this league. How they have done it is amazing, and with little name recognition, other than from loyal fans, it proves that fans seem to be showing up more for the game, rather than the players. That might speak volumes about our place as a true hockey market. It's great to see the people coming out night after night to see these guys play what has been fantastic hockey, and with the addition of Mike Fisher, (a.k.a. Mr. Underwood) I would say those numbers might increase even more as the regular season wraps up.

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  2. Well said Brian, and something else that does probably help is the fact that the Titans have been doing HORRIBLE, with the mix up of the coaches not helping one bit.

    Personally, I would LOVE to see more national media on it, and that's one reason why I'm hoping they make the playoffs. I want to see more of Nashville in CT.

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  3. Good point Geoff. Even more attention would be paid to the Preds, and hockey in general, if there is an NFL lockout next year..........something to keep your eye on

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  4. I can't stand watching the local news in this town. The only time I do is to make sure a tornado isn't headed my way. Aside from the weather, I don't watch any local news broadcast and I definitely don't read the Tennessean unless I find one at a restaurant and only then I glance at the sudoku/crossword. The biggest sports radio channel also barely touches on Preds coverage except for the occasional blurb here and there, and two of their broadcasters are part of the Preds' radio/TV broadcast!
    The fans are on board, and if the media jumped on board too, the capacity could push much closer to that 100% mark. But what would it take? Would a deep run into the playoffs finally draw the coverage, or would it take Lord Stanley himself coming to the Bridge? Maybe (but hopefully never) it would take a stupid VY/Fisher saga to get more airtime. Let's hope for that deep run/Stanley Cup scenario, because, frankly, Trotzy/Poile deserve it!

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  5. Agreed! Sad to say, but I think it would take us getting to the Cup Finals before any serious local media coverage happened. All we can do is to do our part. If the Preds win, local media will eventually catch on.

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