Ricoh has a few long standing events that are held there in January, including a boat show where they build an indoor lake on the ice rink. The facility might not be available.
There's also the issue of who actually wants an event. As I understand it, SC relies heavily on local clubs to do a lot of groundwork and provide lots of volunteers, and given that sponsorship revenue appears to be down to near nothing, there might also be extra expense for the local clubs and the venue to take on themselves.
I appreciate that this amount is reasonable in terms of how much you get for it, but I think people are confusing that with the ability of potential ticket buyers to actually come up with the money to pay that amount. The unemployment rate in the Moncton area is around 8%, and although I haven't been able to find any figures on underemployment (e.g. working multiple part-time jobs because a full-time job isn't available), people in those sorts of financial circumstances might not have a lot of spare cash to spend on anything, much less figure skating tickets.
Stale pastry is hollow succour to a man who is bereft of ostrich. - Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
I live in NS and I think Moncton was counting on Halifax to travel over and fill seats. Problem is that there was almost no marketing here about the event. The only thing I saw was some ads during the GPF. Considering the GPF was a couple of weeks before Christmas, I'd really doubt anyone except the die-hard fans watched it and knew that Nationals were in Moncton.
99% of what I learned about how to get tickets etc for Moncton nationals was from FSU.
I'm not spoiled...I deserve all my stuff.
skategal, I too got all of my ticket info from FSU. Without the board, I probably wouldn't have even known that Canadians was going to be in Moncton until I saw the commercials during the GPF.
One thing I have to say is that the weather was not great Friday. I left for Moncton in the afternoon (I'm about an hour and a half away) and there was a lot of blowing snow and slippery (then again, I had to go over the marshes...). Apparently the drive between Halifax and New Brunswick was hellish and full of car accidents that day. I'm not surprised that very few people from Halifax made the trip on Friday.
I also think that splitting the was a big problem. As stated, many people didn't bother coming for the morning sessions because most people have never heard of the skaters who were skating and therefor didn't care enough to come. By the afternoon, the arena was pretty well full.
Where were the 1992 National Championships held? Moncton Coliseum as well? Wonder how the attendance compares to even 20 years ago in the same city
It's not the cost of the event tickets, so much as ease of travel issues -- getting time off right after XMAS holidays esp in height of an unpredictable CDN winter, and then the actual costs of travel plus hotel, meals, also the distance between hotel and rink etc., as even taxi costs to and from hotel/rink/restaurants can all start to add up. Air travel is no longer much fun, more something to be endured to get where you are going esp these post 9 11 days.
As an older single lady often travelling alone to a skating event (one with some mobility/health issues) even if one meets up with friends at the rink, oftentimes these friends are not staying at same hotel; thus safety may also become an issue; esp late at night after the event is over. That's why I love the gateway cities like Halifax where you can still get last minute airfare deals, plus bonus of ability to even walk inside sheltered from inclement weather, tween hotels and the rink or Bars/restaurants/shopping areas; it's all very convenient and a whole lot safer to do, esp when you are a women travelling alone or with a child or teen as a lot of skating fans do! Sometimes one's roomate, or FSU rink friends don't always keep the same schedules, or stay at same hotels, or friends come from different areas of the world so one does not travel with them you only meet them at the event. Such things are not so much an issue if one drives to event, but if one flies solo, or comes by other means these things can be an issue, so one prefers a decent hotel with a restaurant, hopefully close to the rink, or one that offers free or low cost transport to the rink... I looked into Moncton about a week before the event, but by then I could not book a room at the hotel where most of my friends were staying, and the price of last minute airfare was ridiculous and if there was a snow/ice storm I would not get the money back so I would have to hope that weather would co-operate. Alternatively a train ride would be over 16 hours each way, and likely cost more than airfare would not to mention the day I wanted to travel there was no train going to Moncton, so I and the friend I had willing to go with me at last minute just kinda gave up on the whole idea of going much as we both wanted to attend.
When one is older and not everyone in one's family is in great health, one can't always plan trips 6 months in advance, so gateway cities with plenty of hotel options are preferred by this skating fan, esp if one can then make a last minute decision and fate allows you to get all ducks in a row. While I am maybe willing to spend $2-3000 or more to go to Halifax, Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto, but spending big bucks and only getting to experience Moncton in January? No. don't think so...If I have to spend that much money then GP events were, or 4cc or Worlds this year are a much better bang for my loonie... So while I agree in principle it may be good to spread the weath and important to offer smaller or "off the beaten path communities" skating events once in awhile, one should then market the specific event to area locals (plus count on giving away large blocks of tickets to area schools and businesses to promote skating and try to attract new or more casual fans to the sport and if you DO want an audience esp in a place like Moncton that is not a hotbed for skating, then at least schedule the novice/junior events to happen when the work/school day is over during the week) or do not count on big or even normal level of attendance. Family/friends of competing athlete's and skating fans who normally opt to drive to Nationals esp when held in the Toronto/Montreal/Ottawa corridor, or even the Western corridor, most likely many of these types of fans won't actually attend a far away nationals that they must shell out big air travel dollars to get to, and certainly not in depressed economic times.
Know your audience skate Canada and plan the event accordingly. It's not a problem in a big urban centre, or a hotbed skating area, as people may be more willing to take a holiday or a few hours off from work in order to attend daily scheduled events, esp if they can save some money and drive/bus/taxi to them, but places like Moncton should be reserved for Oct-early December skating events, NOT mid January, unless they have a local skater the casual public can rally behind competing in the event and local publicity machine co-operates to drum up some interest in the weeks before the event.
I would have had the event ambassor - Shawn Sawyer out doing local radio/TV spots or doing shopping mall Autograph sessions or maybe doing appearances at high school assemblies with some local skater's, or even former area skater's who may still have some name recognition with the public - perhaps giving away a few tickets to pull in a crowd, or create some buzz for the event a few weeks before the scheduled competition, not just the week of, as it's too late by then to getting people into seats.
Certainly any skating schools in the area should also become involved with getting the word out -one way would be to have some if not all of these local skater's involved in the opening ceremonies somehow, so that their friends and families would come out to watch and support them and then those who show up would be given a free ticket to a novice or junior event and then perhaps be interested enough to come back and pay to watch some of the senior competition.
I would also create local buzz and interest by a kind of media stunt where a fan holding a ticket attending the event upon arrival at the rink is also given the option of "adopting" a specific competing athelete, or a team, say from the novice and junior ranks or even senior competitors but limited to those NOT on the national team yet - these in person fans are given an information package brochure (kind of like the ISU BIO page, but also with a color photo of the skater/team for say $2 fee to cover the printing costs and after the events ends, say for another $3 the fan gets say a 5 min meet and greet the opportunity perhaps to take a picture with your actual adoptee, or alternatively a button or event pin that you can wear to show that you are part of the "adopt a skater program" - this creates a personal or emotional link that can keep the fan interested in following the adopted skater's developing career and may contribute to keeping that fan interested in the sport of skating... ) I like the idea that the adoptee information package is a random choice the fan pulls from a hat, or a drum they spin or a roll of the dice etc, so the fan has no idea of who they are adopting till the brochure is opened and the lucky chosen skater or team is revealed! Having a vested interest in how your "adoptee" skates, also makes watching the whole event more interesting/exciting...A snail mail or even an E-mail pay pal version of this "adopt" a skater idea could also be considered to raise interest in the sport, or raise funds for atheletes trusts, training costs etc.. So much more should be done to get the word out, one can't simply depend on the sports stars like Chan or Virtue and Moir to draw in a crowd these days as unlike the hey day of skating when there were skating specials and pro/am competitions almost every week or several different skating tours operating to keep figure skating in people's minds, there are only a handful of skating events over an entire season these days.
Lots of great ideas Debrah. My fear is that SC operates on a small staff and knows little about how to work the local markets, and relies heavily on the local clubs to do the job. But they're all volunteers, likely lacking time and the marketing savvy to handle the job.
I don't know how much the venues can contribute to the mix, but I imagine they expect whoever uses the arena to do the job, whether it's a concert or sporting event. A local media partner can do a lot, but if you aren't feeding them interesting stories that mean something locally during the ticket buying period, then there's only so much they will do.
I think losing BMO as a sponsor has to have had a huge effect too - aside from less dollars to spend, they no longer have their network of branches and advertising to spread the word. I remember when my local branch would have posters about upcoming events, even when they were in another city altogether.
I mostly agree with you. But the prov skating associations (in conjunction with the local clubs) are the ones who apply for an event I believe. Winter in Canada isn't fun when you have to drive and compared to the prairies where driving is a way of life, the maritimes do, but not like the prairies. So if you had icy conditions, forget it, people are going to stay home. I don't know if it's the cost of the ticket so much as the cost of the travel and accommodation. I didn't go to Moncton because of the weather and price of accommodation plus probably a rent a car. I can go to 4C's for less money. Travelling west to east in Canada is more expensive than flying south. Sad but true.Originally Posted by Debrah
The Evraz centre in Regina was a test. The Hershey centre hasn't worked out so well for the skaters competing in the challenge. Airfare to Regina isn't a thrill, but the cost of the accommodation and the travel in the city is a lot more reasonable. The Evraz had I believe 4 rinks tied up under the same roof. Very easy for skaters and family to plan their days to be at.
From what we were told (again, by a reliable ), Skate Canada acted as though BMO should be honoured to be a title sponsor and didn't act or court them appropriately.
If they blew it with BMO, then SC is digging its own grave.
I hate to say, but I do feel that SC is somewhat out of touch with reality, and with fans. The tide really turned for me a few years back in Halifax when they were supposed to honour B&K. It was handled so amateurishly that it was embarrassing, and certainly not worthy of the achievements, popularity and contributions to the sport made the Shae and Victor.
Everyone used to complain about David Dore, and granted he was there when skating in general was riding a crest of popularity, but I do feel things have gone downhill since he left.
Well, here's the list of Skate Canada sponsors from their website:
I had heard some of the same things about the relationship between SC and BMO. But some other stuff happened too, at least at the start of the sponsorship. I don't know how accurate this story is, but what I was told that when BMO became a sponsor it expected that SC hand over the contact info of all SC members so that BMO could send their parents info on its financial programs, add their phone nos. to call centre lists to pitch its products via telemarketing, etc.
I don't know if SC promised this would be done, or if BMO demanded it after the deal was made, but allegedly some skaters' parents got wind of this plan and (quite rightly) told SC that they had not agreed when they joined SC to have their personal information given to third parties without their consent. And SC and/or BMO backed down.
Stale pastry is hollow succour to a man who is bereft of ostrich. - Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
The piece is seventy-five minutes long...[l]ong enough for an idea to be developed, but not so long that one starts to measure the number of seats to the exits with desperation if the thing doesn’t work" -- Marina Harss