Blogs > The Back Page

The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Effects of NHL lockout on Pistons could be hard to measure

The NHL lockout could be resolved any day, but probably won't be. We've seen players' and owners' reluctance to bargain as recently as 2005, when an entire NHL season was wiped out. The Pistons did very well for themselves attendance-wise that season, as noted by fellow Oakland alum Ryan Hegedus on Life On Dumars.
Coming off a championship season in 2004, the Pistons led the NBA in attendance in 2004-05, a feat they reached numerous times this past decade. But conditions are much different this time around.
"After seeing their attendance plummet to 28th (out of 30 teams) in the league last season, it would seem that the latest NHL lockout could only help the team. With a young, exciting core of players led by Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, the Pistons have a marketable team once again."
It will be difficult to measure just how many fans shed their Steve Yzerman jerseys for "Thunder Sticks" and Ben Wallace afros whatever Pistons fans wear these days, because they're a constantly improving team. And really, they can't do much worse than last season, despite countless pathetic attempts to lure fans with concerts featuring novelty acts and other has-beens.  
Hegedus notes the Pistons have already sold more season ticket packages than last season, but that figure was also likely stunted by the NBA's own lockout last season, which pushed the beginning of the season into late-December. 
An unheralded attraction could be the approximately $15 million Palace renovation undertaken this summer, which includes the conversion of more than a dozen suites into everyman standing-room only areas and the addition of "fan-friendly" (no word on the cost) Wi-Fi.
And, as usual, it will be the fans and all the employees who count on man-child millionaires to make a living, who pay the price.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home