NHL Owes Their Fans Nothing

By Harry Dole


Hockey Fans Lockout
Despite all the hot air vented during the lockout, NHL fans will once again flock back to arenas to support their favorite teams.  Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY SPORTS


It never fails. Every time there is a labor dispute in professional sports, the fans end up saying the same thing: nobody thinks about them. Excuse me, but why should anyone think about the fans? Aren’t these the same people who will go running back to pay for overpriced tickets and merchandise, as they have numerous times before?

With the NHL lockout being settled, of course, the wide scale butt-kissing of fans has already begun in earnest by the players and the league. As they did after the last lockout, the players and owners will express how important the fans are to the game with a disingenuous thank you. This is just a bunch of public relations hogwash that makes fans feel good for the privilege of overpaying for a degraded product.

The truth of the matter is, hockey fans (and most sports fans for that matter) are just as disposable as yesterday’s newspaper. If the NHL loses a few fans due to their latest work stoppage, they can easily be replaced. If the league was really concerned about losing customers, they would have bent over backwards to resolve this matter without a work stoppage. By once again failing to prevent a work interruption, it shows there is little concern for the fans.

Actually, most middle class fans cannot even afford to attend hockey games regularly due to high ticket prices and it has been that way for quite some time now. The same fans who get all worked up about nobody caring about them during an interrupted season obviously have no qualms about being taken for a ride at the box office.

Expect the same fans who hoot and holler about being disrespected to be the first ones to run back to the games once the pucks start being dropped again. And why should the league respect customers who will be more than satisfied with a hollow feel good thank you? When all it takes is some empty words to once again fill up the arenas, do the fans really deserve any respect? Nobody respects people who talk the talk, but do not walk the walk.

Professional sports is big business and customers are taken for granted, just like how any other big business after a while becomes less than grateful to their patrons. For some reason, many sports fans think they deserve special treatments that are not afforded to customers of other businesses–and they even expect this special treatment without having the strength to organize and send a strong message such as boycotting games.

So a big thank you to all the hockey fans out there who will once again leave the door open to being exploited as they have numerous times before. The fans have a fatal attraction to the game that will probably only result in increased prices to make up for all the lost revenue for this lockout.

Now, how is that for a real thank you?

You May Also Like