Yes, I know, all the Canadian guys are once again going to be pissed about it, but here are some facts for readers.
The NHL, yes, the National Hockey League has completed Social Distancing studies as they would relate to ticket sales. Not me, not some junior coach in Ontario, or some scout in British Columbia. The NHL came up with this model.
The NHL determined the in most arena’s if people are six feet apart in every direction, that 2000 to 2500 seats could be sold. Roughly 12% of the average arena capacity. One NHL source said it was discussed that they could push it with standing room in some areas and maybe get a few more people in.
The NHL determined that those numbers make seating at Social Distanced mandated increments make selling tickets not worth the expense of operating. It was also determined that once people were in the building there was no real way to control movement, concessions or any other items within the building.
Now, lets take that 12% number and apply it to a 3000 seat arena in Junior Hockey and you have the ability to seat 360 people. How many junior hockey teams that depend on ticket revenue will be able to take the ice if Social Distanced seating is made mandatory by their government?
Forget the cost of ice for a game that has to be paid anyway. The costs of security, disinfecting, concessions, and additional medical staff would make this model impossible to operate under.
Again, this isn’t me talking, its the NHL. Don’t shoot the messenger.
In the United States, it will be up to each state to determine when the arenas open, and under what conditions fans will be allowed in the buildings. It is highly likely given the political nature of COVID-19 that some states will make it very difficult if not impossible for fans to go to a game.
In Canada, the Provincial Premier’s will work with the Prime Minister to make these determinations. Given the very tight controls each Provincial Premier is requesting, it is likely that some teams wont be allowed fans. How many? Who knows, but some can not survive this seating mandate if it comes.
I am not looking at this COVID-19 situation with hopeful and wishful thoughts. I am looking at it through the eyes of science, politics, and a dose of common sense.
I am not emotional about these facts simply because I don’t own any team in the USA or Canada. My good friends do though, and those people are glad I have written these articles and done the research because they don’t have time to do it, and they cant distance themselves emotionally.
Planning for the worst makes life a lot easier rather than scrambling around when the shit hits the fan. Plan accordingly players and parents. Take some time, research everything.
Don’t believe me, don’t believe some coaches, and definitely don’t believe some league propaganda. Be smart and follow the money. If the money is gone, hockey likely will be too.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser