Hockey’s Back, But Does Anybody Really Give A Shit?

nhl arena empty seats

by Tommy Gimler

NHL training camps finally opened yesterday across the country, and that’s great news for everybody who’s sick and tired of watching reruns of Bill Dance Outdoors on the NBC Sports Network. But outside of executives at one of the least watched television networks in the country, degenerate gamblers, and extremely bored Canadians, does anybody else really care that hockey is back?

In Buffalo, Sabres fans used their welfare checks to help set a club record for single-day ticket sales, meaning at the same time, casinos across the border should expect their worst month in years. 31,213 tickets have now been sold for this season’s 24 games at The First Niagara Center in Buffalo. But while that might sound like a Melissa McCarthy-large amount, it represents less than 7% of possible ticket sales for their home games.

In Columbus, Blue Jackets management was thrilled with the 1,200 enthusiastic fans who came out to watch the team’s first practice. Sure, we’re talking about practice. Not a game. Not a game, but practice. But 1,200 is less than 6.5% of Nationwide Arena’s capacity for one game, and let’s say those fans were enthusiastic enough to buy tickets to half of the team’s home games, it would still mean just 3.2% of their possible ticket sales.

On ESPN Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings are mentioned twice, with one of those posts listed below stories dealing with a Raiders’ front office vacancy, the Chargers’ head coaching vacancy, and Lance Armstrong disclosing what everybody else already knows. Here you have a city home to the defending Stanley Cup Champions, and the head coaching/front office vacancies for two sub-.500 teams, neither of which calls Los Angeles home, and the importance level of those two stories outweighs that of the local professional hockey team. It’s sad shit, but then again, so are most things related to ESPN.

The crew over at BuzzFeed took this to another level last summer, listing 66 television shows that had higher ratings than the Stanley Cup Finals on NBC. Last year’s first two Finals games drew ratings of 2.90 and 2.54 respectively, and here is a short list of some of the shows that had no problem topping those numbers:

A rerun of America’s Funniest Home Videos - ABC

Rookie Blue - ABC

American Ninja Warrior - NBC

Pawn Stars - History

Mountain Men - History

The NBA Draft Lottery – ESPN

A rerun of The Big Bang Theory - TBS

Dogs In The City - CBS

A rerun of Dogs In The City - CBS

Click here for the full list.

The NHL’s shortened regular season begins this Saturday, but from the looks of it, most Americans will be doing something other than watching it, like walking their dogs in the city, watching a television show about dogs in the city, cleaning up dog shit that was just created by their dog who lives with them in the city, or conceiving dog shit shows about people who own dogs, walk dogs, and clean up after dogs while living in the city. And that’s because most Americans don’t give a shit about hockey…

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