The loss of Hockey Night in Canada could be a blessing to local hockey teams.
Rory Cava, president of the Lakehead Thunderwolves, on Monday said the NHL lockout could lead to more fans in the stands at Fort William Gardens this season.
Cava noted the Wolves saw about 200 more fans per game during the 2004-05 lockout, which cost NHL players and owners the entire season.
That said, Cava would rather have the league’s best, including locals like Eric, Jordan and Marc Staal, the Pyatt brothers and Patrick Sharp, doing what they do best.
“It’s not good news for hockey fans, and I think most of us are hockey fans,” Cava said. “It’s kind of sad to see it come to this. But I think history has shown the last time there was a lockout our attendance was up a bit, so we’re looking forward to increased attendance.”
It’s a huge opportunity for the independently owned, not-for-profit team, he added.
“We’re confident that if we can get some new fans, people that maybe haven’t given our game a chance, if we can get them out they’ll be impressed with our product,” Cava said, adding it could mean more ticket-buyers for Saturday games in particular, without the traditional Hockey Night in Canada to compete for the hockey audience.
The Wolves kick off their 12th season on Friday when the Ottawa Gee Gees invade Fort William Gardens for the start of non-conference play.
The Thunderwolves aren’t the only team hoping for a boost at the gate while the NHL players and owners try to work out their labour dispute.
Superior International Junior Hockey League president Ron Whitehead told Thunder Bay Television they hope to take advantage of the situation as well.
“Yeah, we hope to sell a few more tickets,” he said in a brief interview.
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.