In Phoenix, Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming
Propaganda value aside, it was never about how many fans the Phoenix Coyotes could draw to its home opener.
With deeply discounted tickets and free t-shirts, that was easy.
It was about the second game and beyond, and last night's numbers against the St. Louis Blues at jobing.com arena illustrated where this bankrupt franchise is really at.
Just 6,899 customers gathered to watch the Yotes beat the Blues in OT, the smallest, non-weather related attendance for an NHL game in recent memory. Years ago, when Carolina was playing out of Greensboro before moving fulltime to Raligh, the Canes drew a few tiny crowds.
But at under 7,000, we now know how much destruction was done to the Phoenix hockey business over the summer months as the battle between the NHL and Jim Balsillie dragged on. The opening night sellout/whiteout really meant nothing.
Now, we'll see if they can gradually build with the threat of relocation still hanging over the franchise.