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  1. #1
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    Attendance at Canadian nationals

    Did anyone else notice all the empty seats at Canadian Nationals? If they can't fill the seats in Canada, something is radically wrong. Could it be the incredible price gouging that is going on in figure skating today???

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    by patrick's skate, the seats filled in nicely.

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    I think the upper deck went unsold for the most part. Lower bowl filled for key finals.

    Moncton's not a large town...maybe 100K ish including outskirts? Closest major towns are over 2 hours away so no regional pop to draw from. Makes it tough.

    I always figure half the audience is related to the event: other skaters, friends, family, media, officials, etc. So the closer you are to larger training centers (BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec) the greater the likelihood you get more people attending...applies mostly to everything but Mens and Dance free programs.

    Moncton? Not so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iggie View Post
    by patrick's skate, the seats filled in nicely.
    by Patrick's skate??? I watched Virtue & Moir skate past a lot of empty seats and they are Canada's darlings. I expected them to skate in front of a full house!

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    The upper levels were completely closed down..

    I don't think the price tag for ticktets was that unreasonable.. $150 for a full pass for the week... and the individual ticket prices were reasonable.. from $25-$40 I think...

    I think the biggest problem is that the culture of today is very much geared to "other things". If you look at numbers, the viewership of all sports events is down... same with TV shows. Lots of people are spending time ont he 'net..not watching TV anymore; and therefore not following sports like they did before. Also - with the live streaming, a lot of people are just staying home to watch the events.

    The other problem with Moncton is - like someone else said - that it is not a huge centre... Halifax is about 2 hrs away, so the nearest "major centre" is still a fair distance, and people who work, would only be able to get there for Saturday...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarakimm View Post
    by Patrick's skate??? I watched Virtue & Moir skate past a lot of empty seats and they are Canada's darlings. I expected them to skate in front of a full house!
    i was too busy watching v/m dance to obsess about the crowds. i watched their fd and there was a nice crowd there too. the short dance was sparse. i went to nationals a few years back and i picked the free dance over the short

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarakimm View Post
    by Patrick's skate??? I watched Virtue & Moir skate past a lot of empty seats and they are Canada's darlings. I expected them to skate in front of a full house!
    I thought the crowd was pretty good for the FD. It was Friday's attendance that was pathetic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fsfann View Post
    I don't think the price tag for tickets was that unreasonable.. $150 for a full pass for the week... and the individual ticket prices were reasonable.. from $25-$40 I think...
    That could be too much money for people who are unemployed/underemployed. I understand that because of fixed costs the ticket prices can't be adjusted that much for the local market, but even those prices could be out of reach for a lot of people.

    The other problem with Moncton is - like someone else said - that it is not a huge centre... Halifax is about 2 hrs away, so the nearest "major centre" is still a fair distance, and people who work, would only be able to get there for Saturday...
    Agreed.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    The venue could only hold around 6000 according to what I read. It is hard to believe that there would be empty seats, but it was obvious there were. Is FS skating on its death bed? Maybe, the future is what Evan suggested.

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    Friday attendance was probably 50%? Even by Sat morning there were more people in the place than Friday night.

    Saturday was 92% sold, Sunday was 95% sold according to the paper. (Lower bowl only.) Upper level was blocked off on Friday or Saturday but the blinds were raised on Sunday and there were people sitting there.

    ETA - empty seats - people sometimes like to stand - I did for some of the men. Poeple sat up in the upper bowl. There's always people going to the refreshment stands/washrooms/ whatever. My mother-in-law had an all-event ticket but didn't go to all of it because she gets tired easily.
    Last edited by Dave of the North; 01-24-2012 at 09:25 PM.

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    Friday attendance was really, really sparse. Saturday was better than I expected, but still really bad. Saturday night for the ridiculous "tournament of champions" was full, but not the upper bowl. Sunday was reasonably well attended. The gala was more like Saturday during the day. The upper level was used mostly by athletes not competing but watching. There weren't a lot of fans there.

    There are a few factors I think:
    - $150 is a lot of money for most people. You have to be a really serious fan to spend that kind of money. To promote the sport to more casual fans, the prices have to be a whole lot lower - like going to a movie or something like that for the different events, and a relevant all event pass.

    - By putting the final flights on Saturday night, Skate Canada pretty much killed their attendance for the day sessions. Only the truly dedicated would pay extra to come to the day sessions. For the casual fan, Saturday night and Sunday were the "must have" tickets. If fans had tickets, they didn't have to really show up until the evening until the real show begins. Sorry, but Skate Canada created 2nd class citizens instead of promoting the development of the sport by their crazy schedule.

    - Moncton is not a big enough centre to hold a national event like this. Victoria was packed to the rafters last year for all Senior events, and half full for Junior. But Vancouver is a ferry ride away, and its a big city. I understand wanting to spread around Nationals to build the sport in regions, but until they can figure out how to get sponsorship, they should hold the event in main centres only. That means: Victoria/Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton, Southern Ontario (ie. London, Kitchener/Waterloo, Hamilton/Burlington, Mississauga/Toronto/Brampton, Ottawa), Montreal or Quebec City, and maybe Halifax.

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    Winnipeg was sold out as well. There's no reason why we can't bid for the event.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDancers View Post

    - By putting the final flights on Saturday night, Skate Canada pretty much killed their attendance for the day sessions. Only the truly dedicated would pay extra to come to the day sessions. For the casual fan, Saturday night and Sunday were the "must have" tickets.
    To me it seemed it was fuller on Sat afternoon than any other time (men's SP). I think Chan was the number one draw for this event.

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    I was really disappointed to see all those empty seats too. I wonder how it affects the skaters.
    Some strong arguments posted here as to why. I'd love to see a Nationals in Toronto but I don't believe it has ever happened. They probably couldn't get the Air Canada Centre (too big and booked with other things) but why not try for Ricoh or Hershey?

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    I suspect Toronto is usually out because Challenge was held in Mississauga for so many years. It's rumoured that Challenge will be returning to Mississauga next year btw.

    Nationals are awarded by bid so basically any city may submit a proposal if they wish to hold Nationals and then Skate Canada evaluates the bids and chooses the best one from those received.

    Here is a link to the bid process information:

    http://www.skatecanada.ca/en-us/even...nt/modela.aspx

    According to the above link, the winning bid for 2012 Nationals will be announced in May.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yfbg722 View Post
    I suspect Toronto is usually out because Challenge was held in Mississauga for so many years. It's rumoured that Challenge will be returning to Mississauga next year btw.

    Nationals are awarded by bid so basically any city may submit a proposal if they wish to hold Nationals and then Skate Canada evaluates the bids and chooses the best one from those received.

    Here is a link to the bid process information:

    http://www.skatecanada.ca/en-us/even...nt/modela.aspx

    According to the above link, the winning bid for 2012 Nationals will be announced in May.

    Interesting! That would be good news for many athletes, I'm sure. It's way cheaper and easier to fly through Toronto than other cities. And a large proportion of athletes will be able to drive. And Mississauga pulls in a pretty good fan base relatively speaking, even for Challenge.

    And Canadians? We haven't seen it in Quebec for a long time. And maybe Ottawa? I'm not against Winnipeg if there is enough support to actually put bottoms in the seats. Any possibility of Niagara Falls? There are lots of sights to see there for athletes and visitors, and lots of great hotels. Moncton was super friendly, and there were signs about the event everywhere, and the local paper had fantastic coverage, but they just don't have the population to support this event.

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    Yes, the coverage in the Moncton newspaper was the best I have ever seen. There can be no excuses about the event not being covered, because there were pages of photos and many articles on different aspects of the event. This went on every day, starting with Juniors AFAIK. I wasn't there to see any Novice coverage.

    Out of towners made sure the local media were aware that they had done an excellent job. In fact, the best I have ever seen in a Canadian city.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasperBoy View Post
    Yes, the coverage in the Moncton newspaper was the best I have ever seen. There can be no excuses about the event not being covered, because there were pages of photos and many articles on different aspects of the event. This went on every day, starting with Juniors AFAIK. I wasn't there to see any Novice coverage.

    Out of towners made sure the local media were aware that they had done an excellent job. In fact, the best I have ever seen in a Canadian city.
    I wish we had that kind of coverage in Edmonton, just little blips in one paper and ZERO coverage in the Sun. I was stunned. 7 Pages of NFL but not one of the biggest events on the Canadian Sporting Calendar. Far too much focus on the professional sports and not enough on the amateur level sports.
    Kyle

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    As with others, I don't think ticket prices are the issue - Canadians are still quite reasonably priced, esp for the amount and quality of skating you get to see. Major factors would be the location (not a major population centre, relatively hard and expensive to get to, weather risks to travel this time of year, not a tourist destination either, and the arena isn't convenient to hotels); GPF in QC this season - and in fact Skate Canada in central Canada as well, so people who would only go to one event a year already had 2 options (plus there's 4CC in NA this year as well, and only 3 weeks later).

    I had intended to go, but airfare would have been almost $1000, hotels are surprisingly expensive for a relatively small city, transportation to the rink was iffy, and 4CC is much closer to home and better timing in relation to work and other commitments - plus 2 vacation periods so close together would not go over well.

    I wish that someone could creatively market/raise awareness of the novice/junior competitions so that the kids skating would have more of an audience (and more locals could see skating without a major investment - it's so cheap, and the quality of a lot of the skating is very high. It would be nice if they would bring in some of the school groups on those days as well. The top skaters are those who will be on TV in a year or 2 in the last flight, or competing internationally.

    .

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    I was very happy that Moncton had the chance to host a national championship again -- I do believe that it is important to go to communities across the country such that not all events are held in southern Ontario. But, I was disappointed to see a poor attendance for the championship. And, ticket prices are very reasonable for nationals. I actually question the marketing for some of these events -- from past experience, it doesn't seem to me that Skate Canada does a particularly excellent job getting the message out to non-skating fans who may want to attend some events, but may not know that the event is occurring. Just my hunch...

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