VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Sure there was an exciting overtime win last night, but Vancouver Canucks fans haven’t had a whole lot to cheer about this season, and attendance at home games has certainly reflected that.
It has been a long time since the NHL club has seen consistent sell-outs and loud crowds every night at Rogers Arena. For Wednesday’s game against the equally dismal Arizona Coyotes, tickets are selling for as low as $25 on Craigslist, and $13 on StubHub. Despite the bargains, many seats are expected to remain empty.
Contrast that to the home-opener for the Vancouver Whitecaps last Sunday with a record crowd of nearly 28,000 Major League Soccer fans being ramped up by boisterous supporters groups like the Southsiders and Curva Collective.
“It’s a no-brainer. A Whitecaps game is way more entertaining than a Vancouver Canucks game,” says James Cybulski with the Starting Lineup on Sportsnet 650.
— Tim James (@_TimJames) March 6, 2018
“There’s an environment of affordability and a bit of soccer culture that fans bring to BC Place Stadium. You’re seeing it a little bit with Canucks fans — a group called the Larscheiders are trying create that sort of vibe — but it’s hard to sustain that sort of Southsiders experience at Rogers Arena.
In 2013, a group of about 75 Southsiders tried to inject some supporter-group enthusiasm into a Canucks game, only to be told to sit down by security. Two members were kicked out of the arena.
Response from team PR — We have been averaging 18,014 with 95.3% capacity and have 11 sellouts so far this season. Ticket sales have been pacing between 25-35% higher. We sold more single game tickets by Jan 31 this year than we did all of last year.
— Mike Lloyd (@llikemoyd) March 6, 2018
“It’s just really hard to rally a supporter group when you are one of the worst teams in the sport right now, and that’s exactly where the Canucks find themselves,” Cybulski tells NEWS 1130.
“It’s really hard to say, ‘Hey guys, let’s get a big group together and have a big party to celebrate the 28th place team in the league! Who’s with me?'”
The Canucks host the Coyotes at 7 p.m. PT tomorrow night.