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View Full Version : Ross Miner: "... the men's sold out in three minutes after they put up the tickets.."



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Cheylana
11-15-2011, 07:00 PM
3-year-old and up needed a ticket.
Younger than 3 were not allowed to attend.
:cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:
:shuffle:

siggy
11-15-2011, 07:04 PM
I don't think the problem is so much the size of the venue but the location. Why did the USFSA choose Ontario, when it doesn't seem to have been able to draw on a local audience? Why not an area that has more of a skating base, like someplace in the Mid West (Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit) or North East (NY Metro, Boston, Hartford).

Maybe because Ontario was the only city that bid on the event!!! I don't know that for sure, but in the past few years the cities that bid are few and far between. I also think USFSA is trying to place events in the smaller arenas.

Celine82
11-15-2011, 08:11 PM
What was the cost of tickets in Japan as compared to the cost in the US?
I don't know how much tickets usually cost in the US, but they aren't cheap in Japan, that's for sure. I paid 44000 yen for 4 days at Japanese Nationals last year (about 570 US$ at today's rate) and I didn't even have the most expensive tickets. They sold out in a few minutes, too - though quite a few people only showed up for the last group of men/ladies and didn't bother watching the pair and ice dancers.

overedge
11-15-2011, 08:33 PM
I also think USFSA is trying to place events in the smaller arenas.

That doesn't necessarily mean going to a small(er) city. There are quite a few large US cities/metro areas that have a big arena *and* smaller arena(s). So USFS could hold the event in a smaller arena while drawing on the population base and the amenities of a big city.

luenatic
11-15-2011, 08:53 PM
Why not an area that has more of a skating base, like someplace in the Mid West (Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit) or North East (NY Metro, Boston, Hartford).

Or ask Spokane to do it again. Spokane sold out compulsory dance at US Nationals. Let me re-type it again: COMPULSORY DANCE, for crying out loud.

ponta1
11-15-2011, 09:05 PM
I think it's great that Ross enjoyed his experience in Japan! I enjoyed seeing how happy he looked. :)

loopey
11-15-2011, 09:06 PM
Your post is a good argument NOT to hold an event in Ontario.

Or to know going in, that you need to allocate a large budget for advertising.

You can't expect people to show up at an event they don't know is taking place.

sk9tingfan
11-15-2011, 09:11 PM
That doesn't necessarily mean going to a small(er) city. There are quite a few large US cities/metro areas that have a big arena *and* smaller arena(s). So USFS could hold the event in a smaller arena while drawing on the population base and the amenities of a big city.

I wonder if the Agganis Arena in Boston would work? Over 6100 seats for ice skating-related events, readily accessible by the T and MBTA bus, and parking onsite. Would love to go to Boston!

http://www.bu.edu/agganis/about/arena/index.html

UMBS Go Blue
11-15-2011, 09:36 PM
As for specific Skate America venues, we've had this debate before:

* Lack of clubs/LOCs willing to put together an event. While it's great that so many people on here are passionate about having skating events in their area, no amount of Internet whining is going to change things in your individual favor unless you channel your energies towards constructive uses like working with your local FSCs, putting bid packages together, and volunteering to staff the event once it is awarded. This point also goes hand-in-hand with the next one in terms of getting people to volunteer and help with marketing and finding sponsors:

* Lack of professional marketing, let alone any marketing. Ontario is, on paper, a perfect location for SA since there is a large skating population in Southern California clubs, a large metropolitan area population, and airports/hotels/freeways right next to the arena. Apparently the event was poorly marketed to local clubs or local media; even non-official hotels in Ontario like the one I stayed at had no clue there was a skating event right next door. Moreover, the "marketing is expensive in California" argument doesn't cut it when there are inventive, cost-effective ways to market things these days, whether through targeted Internet campaigns, use of secondary/smaller newspapers and media outlets as opposed to the more expensive big ones, or blanketing major media outlets with PR opportunities/access (morning news shows and local daytime talk shows, for example).

As for the larger problem of the long-term decline in attendance, ratings, and interest in U.S. skating events, the areas to look at are obvious:

* Dated product. With so many choices for entertainment competing for lean pockets in the U.S. these days, going to a skating event to see cookie-cutter programs to stale elevator muzak probably isn't going to be appealing to most. U.S. skating is really missing the boat when it comes to tapping massive popular trends like the dance craze, and it's about time that judges, officials, coaches, and choreographers open up their conceptions of what is possible and reward skaters who are creative and push the envelope. This includes using modern music and allowing vocals.

* Dire demographics. This goes hand-in-hand with the last point. U.S. skating is going to have trouble attracting sponsors and media coverage if the product and target audience are dated and economically unattractive. U.S. skating therefore needs to revamp the product that's being sold in order to attract larger audiences and rebrand the product in order to appeal to economically attractive demographics.

* Or, redouble focus on existing demographics. Targeted marketing to target audiences, as mentioned above, is going to be more effective than an expensive mass-media blitz.

* Lack of U.S. stars to hold interest, no matter how good or broadly marketable the product is. A larger problem that needs to be addressed in tandem with the question of whether skating is still a viable sport for people to watch in the U.S. these days and, therefore, is a viable sport for youngsters to aspire to and commit themselves to.

smurfy
11-15-2011, 09:42 PM
2006 SA in Hartford was poorly attended. I live in the Hartford area, and had invited several friends to go with. Until the week of the event, no one seem to know about it. A multi day event is probably hard to market. Hartford CC holds about 14 or 15,000 and it seemed realy empty. Reminded me of my brothers high school graduation that was held there with about 500 grads, and maybe another few thousand attending.
I have not been to a SA since 2009 Lake Placid and feel SA, for the number of hours of entertainment is not a bad deal when about $200US.

sk9tingfan
11-15-2011, 09:46 PM
2006 SA in Hartford was poorly attended.

I live in the Hartford area as well and the XCEL Center was like a cavern. It also happens to be one of the most uncomfortable arenas with bad seating and steep stairs. Loved Lake Placid although it is in the middle of nowhere.

MacMadame
11-15-2011, 09:55 PM
Why did the USFSA choose Ontario, when it doesn't seem to have been able to draw on a local audience? Why not an area that has more of a skating base, like someplace in the Mid West (Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit) or North East (NY Metro, Boston, Hartford).
Ontario is outside of LA which has a great skating base.

I think the problem is that the event wasn't advertised. You can't bring in the skating base if no one knows it's there.

Also, SA has traditionally had abysmal attendance no matter where it's been held. (Judging by empty seats seen on tv.) That says to me the problem is more systematic than just picking a dud location this one year.

essence_of_soy
11-15-2011, 10:03 PM
Skate America's ticket prices were good for an GP (compared with NHK).

Even the JGP of Brisbane was better attended (for a tiny rink), and publicity was mostly through word of mouth and posters at rinks around Australia. I wonder if USFSA rinks are issued with publicity they can print off and post for themselves?

Let's hope Four Continents generates better audiences. The last time it was in Colorado Springs, there were more skaters attending the event than spectators!

Although having said that San Jose is hosting nationals, so ticket sales may be down on that consideration alone.

loopey
11-15-2011, 10:08 PM
Whole Post...

I agree with your whole post. I do think that Ontario Citizen Bank Arena does present a "different" marketing challenge because it's a relatively new venue in the area. It's not like it's been a neighborhood landmark in the community for a long time. You don't just drive by the location and wonder what's the next event going to be. My point is that you have to market this location because many of the local people don't even know it's there! Yes, I agree there are many less expensive and less traditional ways to market, but my point is that you have to spend the money to do it! Maybe this does not mean tv, radio, or the more expensive avenues, but I can't say Skate America was advertised at all. I shop at Ontario Mall, they didn't hand out flyers, post banners or do anything there. I subscribe to the Daily Bulletin which is inexpensive compared to the LA Times. They didn't do full page advertising there. I watch cable tv, which is less expensive than network tv. They didn't advertise there. They didn't ask local businesses to help get the word out.

I'm just saying you have to know going in, that you want to advertise an event in order to make people aware that it's there. I don't think this was done at all for Skate America. I would hate to see Ontario lose a chance to host future events because of the attendance of SA. But on the other hand, come on, let somebody know there is an event going on if you want someone to show up! You don't host an event, spend no relevant dollars on effective advertising and expect the attendance to be good. LA advertising is expensive, so plan for it and find the most cost effective ways to get the word out.

I think your other point is also excellent in that we don't have great "names" in US Figure Skating anymore. If you pay expensive air-time for television, you can't advertise "Denney/Coughlin compete in pairs". You need a name that at least someone recognizes, and that is sadly lacking in today's US lineup. Maybe USFSA should have some of our more popular names in skating do exhibition numbers at the events so at least they can use their names! If weren't a skating fan, I probably would ignore a Denney/Coughlin advertisement, (which I still ignore even as a skating fan), but perhaps not so much if Kristi or Brian were skating before, after, or in-between the events.

In any case, I think the USFSA needs to find a better way to keep figure skating relevant in this country. IMO, the decline began when they moved to NBC, thus voiding the deal with ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 which is much more watched than Universal Sports.

essence_of_soy
11-15-2011, 10:14 PM
Maybe the USFSA spent all of their SA publicity trying to secure appearance money for Lysacek.