Why The Marlies Games Don’t Draw Fans

So I took little TSM to the Marlies game on Sunday. I refuse to take him to a Leaf game until he actually watches the game and not the mascot or the Zamboni. There was a decent crowd at the game, I guess. They announced over 3700, but that is a BIG stretch compared to reality. In any event, the reason the crowd is so small is that they folks running the show, at MLS&E, and I would assume this now includes Mr. Burke, simply are out to lunch when it comes to running this team from a pr standpoint. Here are a couple of free suggestions from proven past experience:

1. You can’t have such a small area for ticket pickup- Way too congested, people were saying screw it and leaving
2. I know it’s an easy comment, but lower ticket prices. $30 is too high for even the best seat in the house. Especially playoffs.
3. Pardon my french, but your concessions suck. No, really, they suck. I tried to get a bucket of popcorn and a bottle of water ($7.50) during the fist intermission, it took the entire intermission plus 5 minutes of the second period to get served and back to my seat. Way too long for pocorn that came out of a bag. One line for credit cards and debit??? Too much of a pain in the butt.
4. Kids, Kids, Kids, Kids. Before every game have 2 (or more) local area teams play before the pre-game warmup. It’s not rocket science. Make each team commit to buying 100 tickets, throw in some pizza and then you start to get your kids.
5. Way more promotions in between whistles and periods. People like giveaways, this isn’t the NHL, make it an event, fun for the whole family. You need way more entertainment.
6. Include the first round of the playoffs in your season ticket package. If you have good base, people won’t have to reach into their pockets again until it really matters
7. Give away 1 season ticket per game- the winner is more likely to come with someone else (a paid someone else!)
8 Corporate Suites are too expensive. They were nearly empty during the playoff game. We tried to buy one for both tonight’s and Thursday game at a reasonable discount and were told no! The guy didn’t ask us for a business card or a contact number to follow up- bad business.
9. Figure out the entrance and exit. It took almost 20 minutes to get out of the place- Brutal
10. If you are going to have a band (and I don’t know why you would at this event) at least make sure they can play decent music.
11. Only 2 of the outside meters worked at the game this weekend. Their were 50-60 people waiting to pay per machine. With 5 or security guards there to prevent fights. Maybe not under your control, but you have a say as to how things are being operated.

I spent a lot of time in the minor league hockey business. This is all about the sizzle and not so much about the steak. These games should be full every game without question. MLS&E can do so much better with this product. It won’t take much and it will lead to increased revenue. It’s a win win. I would have gone to the game tonight but no one called me back!

Feel free to add to the list…


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