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View Full Version : Wisconsin Badgers 2012-2013 - The LaBahn Era Begins



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D2D
02-13-2013, 09:40 AM
While I agree 2,200 is too small I still think it's cool to have the games sell out. Most schools would love to have this "problem" for womens hockey where attendance for the majority of schools is typically less than 500. There is no denying that a sold out building creates a great atmosphere, especially compared to hosting the games in a much bigger arena and having lots of empty seats. There's also something to be said for the "buzz" that's created when it becomes a hard ticket to get. People who are truly interested in going to a game and possibly becoming regular fans will find a way to get in. If it ever gets to the point where there is lots of ticket scalping out front before each game then it's time to raise the price of admission! This would reduce the number of tickets that get bought up in advance for cheap but end up going to waste. They need to find that happy medium or come up with a creative way to ensure that the available seats are consistently occupied.

Badger Booster
02-13-2013, 10:28 AM
I also agree that it's a good thing that it's a sellout all things equal. However, it does highlight the capacity issues the UW had to know that would be an issue when building it. I'm hoping that this will, at the very least, kick a couple of games over to Kohl in the very near future.

I understand the economic theory behind it, but if the athletic department's solution to this is raising prices, this ticket holder is going to freak out. Don't financially punish us for building an arena that can't handle the demand.

ARM
02-13-2013, 10:50 AM
Raising prices is just pure supply and demand. If the athletic department cared 2 cents about what women's hockey fans think, there wouldn't be all of these Friday 2 p.m. games.

The solution to this problem may be in part a realization of those holding tickets that they now have value. In the past, the available tickets far exceeded the demand, so if you held a ticket that cost a few bucks, it may not have been worth the trouble to try to resell it or turn it back in to the ticket office. Now, maybe some resale market may become popular or a process may be set up at LaBahn to turn unused tickets back in and get some sort of credit if they can be resold. I'm sure that the team would rather have its fans seated in the arena and not driving back home while the game is in progress.

brookyone
02-13-2013, 11:43 AM
Personally think that sellouts via building a too small capacity arena are not the most favorable byproduct. More of a hindrance to an objective of building interest and increasing attendance in my view. A great atmosphere due to a packed house is...great. Not so much if fans are being turned away and potential fans begin deciding to forego any effort to attend due to potential for that effort to be futile.

Should have built accommodations for 3000-4000 minimum IMO. UW women's hockey deserved that much IMO. I'd question any positive economic angle if you're not selling as many seats as you likely could.

Timothy A
02-13-2013, 12:28 PM
http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/w-hockey/spec-rel/021213aac.html

Well, here we go again. Assuming there are no weather issues, I'm curious how many tickets will go unused. Optimistically, I'm going to say it will be virtually packed Saturday night with maybe a few more opens seats Sunday. Badger fans, if you have tickets and can't use them, please give/sell them to those who want to go!

CRAP! I didn't order the Saturday tickets yet. I had an inkling this might happen....

I agree they build the rink too small. They should have built it big enough or very close to the max attendance of the previous years, not counting fill the bowl events. This is bad to turn away fans in 3 games now. They are talking about thousands of people between the 3 games. And I got bumped for 2 of the 3 games (I have the Sunday tickets already). Hockey at the UW is such an afterthought, it really sucks.

Nowheresville
02-13-2013, 01:21 PM
I'm curious what UW thinks about the sell-outs, especially sell-outs with hundreds of empty seats. Will they take it as a sign to move some games to Kohl, will they raise prices - especially for season tickets, or do they think it is cool and thus do nothing at all.

I don't think women's hockey has anywhere near the support to build a secondary ticket market even if every game sold out, and fans who are turned away are just going to go do something else. The question to me is how many of those fans turned away this weekend never come back.

WiscDC
02-13-2013, 02:20 PM
http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/w-hockey/spec-rel/021213aac.html

Well, here we go again. Assuming there are no weather issues, I'm curious how many tickets will go unused. Optimistically, I'm going to say it will be virtually packed Saturday night with maybe a few more opens seats Sunday. Badger fans, if you have tickets and can't use them, please give/sell them to those who want to go!

Crap, my red card is rendered useless again!

D2D
02-13-2013, 03:49 PM
I was curious about the attendance numbers so I looked at the offical records as shown on the box scores. A few interesting facts:

1. Through 14 home games this year, all at LaBahn, average attendance is 1791.
2. Only the first (10/19/12 vs. Bemidji) and the most recent (1/27/13 vs. Minnesota) are shown as being sellouts (per official capacity of 2,273).
3. The lowest home attendance this season was 1,262 vs. Minnesota State on 11/2/12.
4. Last year's average attendance, all at Kohl, was 2,689 for 21 home games (including two WCHA playoff games and one NCAA tourney game).
5. Three games last season had attendance below 1,000 (vs. this season's low of 1,262). The lowest was 544 vs. Lindenwood on 9/25/11.
6. If you exclude the "fill the bowl" game on 1/28/12 vs. Bemidji, which drew 12,402, the average attendance was 2,203 for 20 games (including the two WCHA playoff games and one NCAA tourney game).
7. Ten of last year's 21 home games drew more than LaBahn's official capacity of 2,273. If you exclude the "fill the bowl" Bemidji game, a total of 5,499 fans would have turned away if the same numbers had shown up to see those games at LaBahn (an average of 611 too many for those 9 games).
8. Including concessions but excluding parking, that's roughly $30,000 in lost revenue based on an average ticket price of $5.

Considering it cost over $25 million to build a 2,273 capacity LaBahn, how much more would it have cost to build a 3,500 capacity LaBahn? No idea but I'm guessing it would take a long time to pay for that extra cost, if the $30,000 estimate is anywhere close to being accurate. Then again, you could argue that a bigger LaBahn would draw more fans, as it's possible that more people would show up if they knew they could always get a seat.

Bottom line IMO is that you can look at it from two perspectives. If your a big supporter of womens hockey and you want to get more fans interested and grow the game on campus, you would argue that they should have built it bigger. If you look at it from an accountant's point of view, you would say it's plenty big enough, as they don't fill all the seats now nor would they have filled them for half the games last year when they were played at Kohl. So it was "prudent" to build it as they did because the added revenue would have taken decades to pay for the extra construction cost.

I have a feeling which side most forum readers would say is the right one! ;)

WiscDC
02-13-2013, 04:42 PM
Eating tickets is an issue that, obviously, was never a problem before. Look at the UMD series last year. On Friday afternoon, 1924 was the official attendance. There was a ton of snow falling that day, so plenty of people didn't bother going. I can assure you, there weren't close to 1924 people there. The Saturday attendance of 3694 seemed about right. Of course, 1924 isn't a sellout at La Bahn Arena, but people didn't have a problem with eating their tickets.

From what I heard at the Sunday Minnesota game, a lot of Gophers fans here for women's hockey and men's basketball left the night before to avoid travelling in the weather, so that's a contributing factor.

What bugs me the most is how this affects Red Card usage. In all the other sports that you can use the pass for, there isn't the threat of a sellout. I don't want to buy a ticket separately if I don't have to, but I can only use the Red Card on game day (so starting an hour before the game). It makes everything more complicated.

Badger Booster
02-13-2013, 04:46 PM
Let's be honest, if you look at it from an accountant's standpoint, all sports but football, men's basketball and men's hockey would be eliminated.

In the 13 years of the program, attendence has grown from an average of 808 (mostly on the strength of the opening weekend against UMD) to over 2,600 (somewhat inflated due to Fill the Bowl). It has been a nice steady growth helped greatly by their on-ice performance. While there would eventually be a plateau, there is no reason to think that the number wouldn't have continued to grow. However, as it currently stands, they are essentially at capacity with no room for growth. Volleyball and women's basketball have the facilities to have the crowd sizes grow as they perform better. Not so for women's hockey. Not saying they should have built a 9,000+ arena, but they should have done a better job figuring out a way to fund the original 4,400 seat design which would have set the standard for women's arenas and probably would have been the nicest practice facility for men's hockey.

For grumps like me, moving a couple of games (especially ones against Minnesota, North Dakota and UMD) to the Kohl Center would go a long way showing that the adminstration is actually paying attention to the women's hockey program.

Nowheresville
02-13-2013, 05:36 PM
2. Only the first (10/19/12 vs. Bemidji) and the most recent (1/27/13 vs. Minnesota) are shown as being sellouts (per official capacity of 2,273).
Plus at least 2 more this weekend...



5. Three games last season had attendance below 1,000 (vs. this season's low of 1,262). The lowest was 544 vs. Lindenwood on 9/25/11.
All 3 of those games were also non-typical situations. The Lindenwood game was free, so the only tickets sold were season tickets, and I don't even remember them having the turnstiles out. It was still a small crowd, it was played in September afterall, but it skews the numbers. The other two, I assume, were the two WCHA playoff games, which were sell-outs, but at the Eagles Nest that seats less than 1000.

If you've still got the numbers out, I'd be curious to see what the average looks like with only the Kohl games, not the WCHA playoffs, and removing the two outliers of the Lindenwood and Fill the Bowl games.


Considering it cost over $25 million to build a 2,273 capacity LaBahn, how much more would it have cost to build a 3,500 capacity LaBahn?
I have no idea either, but the seating was a tiny fraction of the overall cost, which included not just the building and ice, but a bunch of other locker rooms and other things for the hockey and swimming programs. How much more could it have really cost to add an extra 5-6 rows of metal bleachers?

I was trying to find the cost estimates for the original arena plans, which would have been at least 4,000 seats, but I couldn't find any numbers.


If you look at it from an accountant's point of view, you would say it's plenty big enough, as they don't fill all the seats now nor would they have filled them for half the games last year when they were played at Kohl. So it was "prudent" to build it as they did because the added revenue would have taken decades to pay for the extra construction cost.
From a bean counters point of view, you send the women out to play in Verona every night in front of a sold-out crowd of 900 people, since it is a non-revenue sport. Of course, LaBahn wasn't built because of women's hockey, it was built because the men needed a place to practice, and having the women play their games there was basically an afterthought.

Nowheresville
02-13-2013, 05:45 PM
BTW, It looks like the always popular Friday afternoon games will never be going away.

While trying to find the original plans and cost for the 4,000 LaBahn, I discovered that as part of getting the permit from the City to build LaBahn, UW had to agree that they wouldn't hold events in both buildings at the same time.

So I feel at least a little better that the UW has a reason for the crappy scheduling.

Badger Booster
02-13-2013, 06:48 PM
BTW, It looks like the always popular Friday afternoon games will never be going away.

While trying to find the original plans and cost for the 4,000 LaBahn, I discovered that as part of getting the permit from the City to build LaBahn, UW had to agree that they wouldn't hold events in both buildings at the same time.

So I feel at least a little better that the UW has a reason for the crappy scheduling.

I would love to know why in the world the City of Madison would be opposed to having events at Kohl/LaBahn at the same time. Even with that, they could move the women's games to 4 which would be a little better.

D2D
02-13-2013, 11:47 PM
If you've still got the numbers out, I'd be curious to see what the average looks like with only the Kohl games, not the WCHA playoffs, and removing the two outliers of the Lindenwood and Fill the Bowl games.

Here you go - this all games last season:

2011-12 Season (all at Kohl)
09/23/2011 LU 1,417
09/25/2011 LU 544
10/08/2011 UND 2,136
10/09/2011 UND 1,971
10/14/2011 UM 2,379
10/16/2011 UM 2,603
10/28/2011 BU 2,046
10/29/2011 BU 2,243
11/25/2011 SCSU 2,758
11/27/2013 SCSU 2,615
01/20/2012 UMD 1,924
01/21/2012 UMD 3,694
01/27/2012 BSU 2,690
01/28/2012 BSU 12,402
02/03/2012 MSU 2,047
02/05/2012 MSU 2,695
02/17/2012 OSU 2,157
02/18/2012 OSU 3,576

WCHA Playoffs
02/24/2012 MSU 804
02/25/2012 MSU 824

NCAA Tourney
03/10/2012 MU 2,946

CrazyDave
02-14-2013, 01:06 PM
Here you go - this all games last season:

2011-12 Season (all at Kohl)

WCHA Playoffs
02/24/2012 MSU 804
02/25/2012 MSU 824
Those two were at the Eagles Nest in Verona (because of the state high school wresting tournament at Kohl Center).

NMH
02-14-2013, 08:30 PM
I'm not going to be able to use my season tickets this weekend, so both Saturday and Sunday are up for grabs. Free to a good home, though I do accept gifts :)

I'm in Milwaukee, but I'll be at the men's game tomorrow night if someone wanted to meet up there. Otherwise, I could find out if I could leave them at the Kohl for LaBahn will call pick up.

Message me and they're yours.

WiscDC
02-14-2013, 09:01 PM
I'm not going to be able to use my season tickets this weekend, so both Saturday and Sunday are up for grabs. Free to a good home, though I do accept gifts :)

I'm in Milwaukee, but I'll be at the men's game tomorrow night if someone wanted to meet up there. Otherwise, I could find out if I could leave them at the Kohl for LaBahn will call pick up.

Message me and they're yours.

Okay, I just made an account on this forum (though I've been lurking since the spring), and I can't figure out how to send a private message. I clicked some links in the FAQ search for "private message," (http://board.uscho.com/faq.php?s=&do=search&q=private+message&titleandtext=1&match=all) but I got a message that says, "Your administrator has disabled private messaging."

Edit/Addition: I'm interested in the Saturday game, and I'll be at the men's game Friday night.

D2D
02-14-2013, 09:03 PM
...but I'll be at the men's game tomorrow night if someone wanted to meet up there.

But wouldn't you rather see a Badgers' team win? :D

NMH
02-15-2013, 07:51 AM
Okay, I just made an account on this forum (though I've been lurking since the spring), and I can't figure out how to send a private message. I clicked some links in the FAQ search for "private message," (http://board.uscho.com/faq.php?s=&do=search&q=private+message&titleandtext=1&match=all) but I got a message that says, "Your administrator has disabled private messaging."

Edit/Addition: I'm interested in the Saturday game, and I'll be at the men's game Friday night.

Well maybe they did that and I didn't notice? I've been around awhile, but I lurk more than post. Anyway, email me nicole (dot) haase (at) g mail and we'll figure out a way to meet up tonight. The Saturday tickets are yours.

If anyone wants Sunday's women's tickets, let me know at the same email.

Badger Booster
02-15-2013, 10:45 PM
http://www.uwbadgers.com/sports/w-hockey/This-Week-in-W-Hockey.html

While a Badger sweep would clinch no worse than third in conference, even a split will probably get them there....not that I want to concede anything to UMD.