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

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by nicecardshark, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. nicecardshark

    nicecardshark Active Member

    (Ross Miner, right after winning the bronze at NHK):

    "It's AMAZING to skate in Japan, with a sold-out stadium. I don't think there's a seat left. I heard that the men's sold out in three minutes after they put up the tickets. That's incredible.

    "It's so cool to come here and have fans that are so knowledgeable about skating, and also so polite. It's great to come to Japan."

    Well it's good to know that skating is thriving somewhere, especially after witnessing first-hand the dismal turnout in Ontario for Skate America.
    flutzilla1 and (deleted member) like this.
  2. johndockley92

    johndockley92 New Member

    I wish skating was as popular here :|
  3. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

    What was the cost of tickets in Japan as compared to the cost in the US?
  4. Aaron W

    Aaron W Well-Known Member

    Or compared to the cost in Canada considering the highway robbery that is the 2013 World Figure Skating Championships...
  5. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    How big should a venue be for an American skating event if you want to put people in seats? How big was the NHK venue?
  6. ChibiChibi

    ChibiChibi Active Member

    Here is what I found:

    NHK 2011

    Arena 12,000 yen ($156) $1= 77 yen
    SS 11,000 yen ($143)
    S 8,000 yen ($104)
    A 5,000 yen ($65)
    B 3,000 yen ($39)

    3-year-old and up needed a ticket.
    Younger than 3 were not allowed to attend.

    Skate America 2011

    Gold Ticket $30-$40
    Silver Ticket $20-$30
    12years and Under $15

    They also had "Buy 4 tickets and get 4 Free tickets for Men's FS" deal :lol:
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  7. yukky

    yukky New Member

    according to Wiki, venue holds about 11500.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  8. BittyBug

    BittyBug Living in a Kleptocracy

    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).
    Cheylana and (deleted member) like this.
  9. loopey

    loopey Well-Known Member

    Well in all fairness to Ontario California (my home town), the event was not advertised to the masses.

    And I totally understand why... The cost of advertising in California is ridiculous. Who could afford to advertise it? And from what I have heard, when events are held at Staples Center, AEG chips in with some advertising $$. I doubt Citizens Bank Arena would do the same, and certainly not on the same scale.
  10. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    Your post is a good argument NOT to hold an event in Ontario.
  11. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    I blame the dismal turnout in Ontario at Skate America on USFSA and abysmal judgment. You don't put two major skating events in the same state within a three month period and for that matter in a very expensive state. And, if you count Four Continents, that makes 3 US-based events in the west in less than a four month period. People who live on the East Coast get slammed three times in a row, if they would even think of attending more than one of those. People start to revolt at some point.

    Although it may be pure speculation on my part, I believe that they put Evan at the forefront of their marketing campaign, believing that featuring the reigning Olympic champion at the helm would pull in unprecedented crowds. Well, they guessed wrong. I also believe that in their financial arrangements with Evan, they guaranteed him a certain level of appearance fee. My further speculation was that given how the wind was blowing with SA ticket sales, they indicated that they couldn't compensate him at that level which caused him to pull out.

    There hasn't been anyone since Michelle Kwan and possibly Brian Boitano who was an automatic draw and US Figure Skating should learn that. If there is in the future, then that person would be as close to the Messiah. :(
  12. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    When I went to NHK in 2009, the cost for the entire package ran me about $500. Of course, some of the difference was due to the exchange rate because the yen was so strong. I have no idea how much NHK prices were this year.
  13. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

    Also, Japan has some true bona fide STARS right now.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  14. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    I think that's sad. :(
  15. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    Chicago would be a great place to hold an event: easy to get to, tons of fans from the area and a few hours beyond. But Chicago never gets events because, I'm assuming, no club or LOC wants to do it.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  16. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

    :cheer2: :cheer2: :cheer2:
  17. siggy

    siggy Member

    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.
  18. Celine82

    Celine82 Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  19. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    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.
  20. luenatic

    luenatic Well-Known Member

    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.
  21. ponta1

    ponta1 Active Member

    I think it's great that Ross enjoyed his experience in Japan! I enjoyed seeing how happy he looked. :)
    LadyNit and (deleted member) like this.
  22. loopey

    loopey Well-Known Member

    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.
  23. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    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!

  24. UMBS Go Blue


    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.
  25. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

    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.
  26. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

    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.
  27. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    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.
  28. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  29. loopey

    loopey Well-Known Member

    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.
  30. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    Maybe the USFSA spent all of their SA publicity trying to secure appearance money for Lysacek.