With the NHL season still on hold, the question is, how will the virus affect the future of NHL attendance? In this post, we will examine three areas of concern the virus has on NHL attendance.
Loss of Profit Margin
With talk of possibly saving the season, the reality is how this will affect the future of NHL games. The interim solution is to have games with no fans. But, in the long run, many of the organizations will lose a lot of revenue.
Teams with high attendance figures every night may survive. Teams with low figures, such as Florida, Carolina, and the Islanders, will struggle to stay afloat. Signing high-priced free agents will also be a challenge. Clubs who do well, such as Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto, and Chicago, will have a better chance of surviving.
Safety Of The Players And Fans
If and when the league returns to normal, safety is the most important element. With social distancing as the new normal, arenas will have to come up with a viable plan to protect players and fans. Vendors may be reduced to a minimum, which would create a financial loss. Season ticket holders will have to decide between safety or risk getting sick.
When a vaccine does come out, this may reduce the fear that some fans have. It should be an interesting couple of years to see how clubs set their new policies. Playing games without fans will be a huge psychological test in itself. But, at this point, fans want their hockey.
Getting Back To Business
With signs pointing to a possible return, time is of the essence. Both owners and local officials are trying to resolve a date to return. For the passionate hockey fan, it’s been a long two months. Boring TV shows and news people do not want to hear. A return of any sport would be a boost emotionally.
At this point, the season is over. League officials and the players union need to act soon. No matter what the outcome is, fans miss their heroes, such as Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, John Tavares, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Seguin and more. A decision on when play will resume needs to be made ASAP, with safety as the main focus.
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Future Of NHL Attendance