Kansas City and hockey
- I received this from SportsBusinessNews.com
Kansas City and hockey
Kemper Arena has never seen as many hockey fans as had
for Saturday night's NHL exhibition game between the
St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks. That and
this report from The Kansas City Star's Marcus R.
Fuller The game might be a sellout as spectators from
Tulsa to Overland Park will help pack the 17,285-seat
arena to the brim.
In the first NHL game ever played at Kemper in 1974,
the Kansas City Scouts played the Blackhawks in front
of a crowd of nearly 15,000, which was the arena's
previous record attendance for an NHL game.
"Kansas City has gone two-plus years without hockey.
People's appetites had to be filled," said Tom Rieger,
general manager of NHL 21, a local organization formed
last year with hopes of bringing the NHL back to
"I can't think of two better teams for this part of
the country. We've been working hard advertising this
game. We cut no corners in trying to get the message
out and obviously the interest in the product is
Former Blades general manager and coach Doug Soetaert
said he believes the turnout for this year's NHL
exhibition game means that Kansas City is ready to
support its own NHL franchise. The Blades folded in
June 2001 when the International Hockey League ceased
The Blades' record attendance was 14,759 for a game in
1992. But it was a stretch for them to reach
five-digit figures in attendance after the mid-1990s.
The Blades' top average attendance was 7,285 in the
1991-92 season, and they never averaged more than
6,943 after the 1994-95 season.
"We had a lot of interest in the beginning. It faded,
but I've always felt like it was a good market for
hockey," said Soetaert, general manager for the
Western Hockey League's Everett Silver Tips.
"People support the Royals and the Chiefs. They just
want to see top-line sports entertainment."
Dan Smith, owner of Line Creek Community Center Ice
Arena, 5940 N.W. Waukomis Drive in Kansas City, North,
has witnessed first hand the growth in popularity of
hockey in Kansas City.
His rink is host to 27 youth and adult league teams,
and there are at least 500 people in skating school
each winter. Smith said his numbers don't truly tell
the tale, because of the existence of other ice
"From a rink owner's perspective hockey is a booming
business. Tons of people are playing," he said. "It's
a non-traditional market, but I think pro hockey would
definitely fly here. I drove a Zamboni for the Blades
for eight years, and I heard a lot people say that if
it was a top-level team then they would support it
Smith believes the most logical step for bringing pro
hockey back to town would be first to lure an American
Hockey League team.
AHL commissioner David Andrews agrees that Kansas City
would be a good place for a relocating franchise.
There have been a few interested parties even before
today's NHL exhibition game, but he said they haven't
taken the issue any further. That and this report from
The Kansas City Star's Marcus R. Fuller
"The level of interest is there. This game was just a
measuring stick for a successful franchise in this
market," Andrews said. "Hopefully it will encourage
those who have interest."
A 15,500-seat arena is under construction in Des
Moines, Iowa, which hopes to secure an AHL team.
Kemper Arena would be an adequate facility for an AHL
team, Andrews said, but he said the city must first
find an ownership group with a franchise and then
develop an affiliation with an NHL team.
"Those are very important pieces in the puzzle," he
Barely 9,000 fans showed up at Kemper to see a 6-5
Blues win against the Nashville Predators on Sept. 26,
NHL 21 president Paul McGannon said the poor
attendance for that game was the result of bad
marketing. His group began spreading word about the
area's first NHL exhibition game in five years on Oct.
1 of last year.
McGannon said he tried to make seats affordable with
the cost at $30 per ticket, including a deal with four
tickets for $100.
More than 13,000 tickets had been sold by July this
year. McGannon said people who decided to call at the
last minute were turned off after having to pick from
the remaining handful of single non-lower level seats.
"These last couple months, most of the people wanted
to get close to the ice, but there just weren't any of
those seats left," he said. "If Kemper had a larger
lower level like most arenas, we could have sold more
than 20,000 tickets."
The numbers might be impressive, but some believe one
exhibition game isn't enough to gauge whether fans
would support an NHL team for a whole season.
NHL vice president of media relations Frank Brown said
the possibility of having a NHL team here in the near
future is highly unlikely.
"It's no secret Kansas City has a passionate fan base.
I'm sure they will be entertained by exhibition
games," he said. "But at this moment, the NHL is not
considering any further expansion nor is any
consideration being given to move any franchises."
McGannon, a Rockhurst High graduate, said he will
continue to bring NHL exhibition games to Kansas City
until his dream of having a team is realized.
"We've already got Kemper reserved for the same time
next year," he said. "It's not fair when people say
this is not a hockey town. I rolled out an idea to see
how it would do, and it's done well. After this
sellout I think you'll have teams awestruck at the
attendance figures, then we just have to show them the
way." That and this report from The Kansas City Star's
Marcus R. Fuller.
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> In the first NHL game ever played at Kemper in 1974,Interesting fact about the Scouts 1st game in the NHL...it wasn't
> the Kansas City Scouts played the Blackhawks in front
> of a crowd of nearly 15,000, which was the arena's
> previous record attendance for an NHL game.
played until November 2nd as the Scouts had to endure a grueling
eight game road trip to start off their first season. Welcome to the
Oct 9 @ Toronto L 2-6
12 @ NYI L 2-6
13 @ Philadelphia L 2-3
18 @ Atlanta L 2-4
19 @ LA L 0-3 (Atlanta to LA the next day?!? Insane!)
23 @ California T 4-4
25 @ Vancouver L 3-5
27 @ Boston L 2-8
Nov 2 Chicago @ KC L 3-4
The exact attendance for their 1st game was 14,758 not too bad
considering that Kemper Arena's capacity at that time was 16,994
(includes 1000 standees)
- On 10/2/03 11:26 PM, "Gene" <meangene83647@...> wrote:
>> In the first NHL game ever played at Kemper in 1974,Kemper was slow to be completed, and barely made it in time. There were
>> the Kansas City Scouts played the Blackhawks in front
>> of a crowd of nearly 15,000, which was the arena's
>> previous record attendance for an NHL game.
> Interesting fact about the Scouts 1st game in the NHL...it wasn't
> played until November 2nd as the Scouts had to endure a grueling
> eight game road trip to start off their first season. Welcome to the
> NHL guys.
strikes and other assorted labor issues at work.
As a hypothetical, I always wondered what would happen had the Scouts still
been around when the roof fell in. I guess the could have gone to the
American Royal for awhile, but it would have been a bigger drop in capacity
than the Kings faced switching back to Municipal Auditorium. Maybe they
could have split between American Royal and Omaha's AkSarBen Arena. I don't
think Wichita's Kansa Coliseum was completed when the accident occurred, but
it's late and my mind is too fried to try looking it up.
- Perhaps a stint in the home rink of their minor-pro affiliate, as the Flyers
did when the roof got peeled off?
June 1979 -- hmmm, perhaps a move to one of the displaced WHA cities,
Cincinnati or Birmingham?
Or maybe just a later move to Denver, with different owners...
on 10/3/03 12:38 AM, Marc Foster at mfoster@... wrote:
> As a hypothetical, I always wondered what would happen had the Scouts still--
> been around when the roof fell in.
Lloyd Davis Publishing Services
304-115 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON M4K 1N2
416 465 6999 /// 416 462 0230 (fax)
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Lloyd Davis <lloyddavis@s...> wrote:
> Perhaps a stint in the home rink of their minor-pro affiliate, asthe Flyers
> did when the roof got peeled off?Didn't the Flyers play some home games at Madison Square Garden ?
I was a kid back then - but I remember going to a game. So I looked
it up. it was real hard to get tix to the Garden for the Ranger$ -
and I remember my dad taking us to a game there for the Flyers. It
was only one - but at least I was partially RIGHT :)
The games in 92/93 were the "neutral site" games....in a planned
Neutral Site game region.
3-Mar-68 California Golden Seals 1 @ Flyers 1 T @New York
7-Mar-68 Boston Bruins 2 @ Flyers 1 L @Toronto
10-Mar-68 Minnesota North Stars 0 @ Flyers 2 W @Quebec City
14-Mar-68 Los Angeles Kings 0 @ Flyers 0 T @Quebec City
17-Mar-68 Toronto Maple Leafs 4 @ Flyers 7 W @Quebec City
28-Mar-68 St.Louis Blues 0 @ Flyers 2 W @Quebec City
30-Mar-68 Pittsburgh Penguins 2 @ Flyers 0 L @Quebec City
16-Feb-93 Flyers 4 @ Calgary Flames 4 T @Cincinnati, OH
22-Feb-93 Detroit Red Wings 5 @ Flyers 5 T @Cleveland, OH
31-Dec-93 Flyers 4 @ Boston Bruins 3 W @Minneapolis, MIN
2-Feb-94 Washington Capitals 5 @ Flyers 2 L @Cleveland, OH
Credit to the link I got this info from:
Have a great day
- On 10/3/03 7:50 AM, "Lloyd Davis" <lloyddavis@...> wrote:
> Perhaps a stint in the home rink of their minor-pro affiliate, as the FlyersNeither of the Scouts affiliates (Springfield and Port Huron) were regional
> did when the roof got peeled off?
> June 1979 -- hmmm, perhaps a move to one of the displaced WHA cities,
> Cincinnati or Birmingham?
while the Scouts actually played (though Albuquerque was in the CHL as a
Scouts team in 1973-74), but that's not to say that wouldn't have changed
affiliations down the road. Omaha became available in 1975-76 but went dark
rather than become a Scouts affiliate. Oklahoma City was an indy team in
1976-77 and suspended ops the next season before returning as a North Stars
affiliate. Wichita's arena would indeed have been ready in time to cover
the roof collapse.
I'd be hesitant to use the same arena as my affiliate, however, because that
effective doubles the dates at the facility. If, for example, the Scouts
had switched to Wichita for 1979, I think I would rather have played the NHL
games in Omaha, where there'd been no hockey for several years at this
point. If we're talking a handful of games then yeah I'd go to Wichita, but
when Kemper cratered it became unavailable for most of that season.
> Or maybe just a later move to Denver, with different owners...Who knows... But it's been a fun mental exercise...