So, tonight is going to be the record-breaking single-game atttendance revenue for the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale. As the previous record was $825.41 (Marci and Wade splashed out and bought the jumbo fries instead of regular: it was their anniversary, after all) this wasn’t so hard to do. Obviously the conveniently-located Jobing.com Arena is going to be full of brand new Hockey fans from the excellent work that new owners IceArizona are doing in growing the game in the desert, further showing their long-term commitment, right?

Moon job

Lots of parking available in the Sea of Tranquility, only $25

Or maybe not: from the mouth of Chairman George Gosbee, in a Q&A with azcentral.com . Italics are mine.

 

Q: What do you make of the team’s attendance so far? (30th in the League, averaging at 73% Capacity, or 12,493 a night)

A: I think it’s been great.

 

Really? That’s down from 81.3%/13,923 last year. And the team is actually good this season.

We’ve been having more walk-up traffic.

12.5 miles from downtown Phoenix.. that’s one hell of a walk.

There isn’t the same complimentary tickets that are being handed out like in years past.

Uhh-huh

 

So our revenue per game is actually up 50 percent, which is the number we look at. So we’re really encouraged with everything that’s going on, and I think for the Chicago game (Saturday night) I think we’ve sold out every luxury box and it’ll be the first time since the franchise is here that all 87 boxes are going to be full.

Awesome: because everyone know that the luxury boxes are where you find the hard-core, dedicated fans who will contribute to the future growth of Hockey in the region.

It is exciting, and that will be a sellout. So we’re starting to see more people come out to the games, and we’re getting more snowbirds down so they’re starting to come to the games.

Yes, the “Snowbird” model, because that’s worked so well in Florida. How about actually trying to develop new fans, like they’ve done in Nashville, so that you’re not relying on former Chicago, Detroit and New York residents to artificially boost your numbers? 

So it’s exciting.

Sure, if you’ve bet the ‘Under’ on how long it takes you to lose that magic $50 Million that will see you fold your tents and vanish ,leaving behind a broke city that you’ve bled dry and broken-hearted fans who deserve better.

I give Phoenix fans a hard time, some of it justified, some of it just to get a rise out of their notorious thin-skinnedness. But damn if I wouldn’t be a bit twitchy in their position. I honestly hope it all works out in Arizona, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

Anyway, Hockey:

I picked the Coyotes to struggle in the Hellfire that is the Pacific. Wrong as usual. As of now they’re 4th but have games in hand on the Kings and Anaheim that could vault them up to 2nd. They’ve been beasts in Glendale with a 9-1-2 record. Strangely, they’re doing this without Mike Smith standing on his head: his numbers have been decidedly ordinary with a GAA of 3.02 and a SV% of .911.

Even odder for a Dave Tippett side, they are ranked 4th in the League in Goals For and 24th in Goals Against (3.08). Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal and, Hossa help us, Shane Doan are all 20+ points on the season. Outstanding young D-man Oliver Ekman-Larsson is also contributing, with 17 points, but his offensive tendencies are part of the problem on the blueline.

Basically, this is Bizarro-Yotes. Their PK is only marginally less-rancid than the Hawks, but their PP is 6th overall, so, once more with feeling: STAY OUTTA DA DAMN BOX!

smithscar

Just chillin’ with Ben and George and.. is that Jean Reno?

Of course, with known-flop-artist Mike Smith and his desire to have Andrew Shaw banned for life in net, that’s easier said than done. Captain Elbows will be lowering his game tonight too, after being inspired by David Backes‘ exploits against San Jose.

Phoenix would be one of the last teams I’d choose to face on the tail of a back-to-back, particularly with signs of road-fatigue showing in the Hawks’ game. But there it is. These games are always hard-fought afairs and I suspect tonight will be no different. The Hawks are going to have to pass the puck an awful lot better than they did last night in Dallas. No word yet on who gets the start, but I wouldn’t be averse to seeing Antti Raanta out there.

The Circus Trip is already a winning one.. taking a win out of Glendale tonight would be a fine achievement to end it.

Let’s Go Hawks!