« on: March 16, 2004, 09:22 PM »
I would not say that the Southern US is the hotbed of hockey for "Adults", my point was mostly that it is now catching on in the kids/rec leagues, it will take time, but I think in my lifetime we will see a Hockey star that was born not only South of the US-Canadian border, but the Mason-Dixon line as well.
Besides, the main problem for those empty seats is that they are all "Corporate" seats. They are not for Fans they are for those that want to See and be Seen (or the Cocaine and Boob job crowd as the local radio calls them). Kids don't work for corporations, they don't get to see the game up close. It is a patience thing. It will happen, maybe not in all the new franchises, but enough that it will take hold.
If it is all said and done, I PREFER teams to be in Canada, it is part of the Sports Heritage. I by no means think that the US (and it's Dollar) is the savior of NHL Hockey, more like it is a vast new market that is just barely being tapped by the NHL marketing and farming machine.
Teams in the NASCAR belt (Carolinas, Georgia, Florida) just have demographics issues. The sport doesn't appeal to fans there. You would think that after their run for the Cup just a few years into their existence that the Panthers would have enjoyed a loyal fan base for years.
And to add to our discussion of "sociology". There is a reason that Soccer is so big in Latin America. You can play by yourself, you can play on a field for free(like Morgbug mentioned) and out of 22 people, only one person has to own or have access to a ball. The same goes for Basketball in the Cities (I live in the Suburbs so most of the B-Ball is played in driveways, not at a local court with a bunch of people).
But this all takes away from the excitement that is on its way. We are only a few weeks away from the PLAYOFFS.
It will be Hockey on 3-4 channels every night. All the games count. They start at 5:30 or 6pm local time and the last one is over at 11pm. I'll watch teams I haven't seen play all season. Once the seeds are set, I usually pick my teams in this configuration: Dallas Stars, then I pick an Eastern Conference Team (usually the Devils), then I pick my Team from Canada to watch and root for, then I root for whoever is playing against the team with Eric Lindros on it or on it's Injured list(because I wish nothing but failure for him).