Panic on the streets of Sheffield

No, Morrissey hasn’t re-worked The Smith 80’s classic, although he may have a point with the chorus of ‘Hang the DJ’ (Think about it! Sorry Dave ;)) This is more about their average start to the season and their free-falling crowds.
Firstly their less than impressive start to the season. Only two wins so far, and only one out of three at home, Sunday night’s 6-3 win against the Devils. Two losses at home haven’t helped matters, but it was an overtime loss on Saturday night against the aforementioned Devils that really sent Steel blea… talk into a frothing, vitriolic meltdown. After losing Lehman, Munn, Titty-Lip Tait and that irritating shite Finnerty in the Summer, I expected them not to be the force they were. Consider that they also brought in Kevin Reiter (However good he is, he backstopped the bottom placed team last season), Ben Morgan (A developing Brit), amazingly moved career defenceman Rod Sarich to forward (because there obviously isn’t enough career forwards out there!) and brought in journeyman Jeff Hutchins to replace the previously mentioned irritating shite (but the heartbeat of the team). However, even at this early stage I expected them to compete, but so far they are looking a mere shadow of last season’s team.

Far more worrying for the Steelers is the dramatic drop in attendances, especially when you consider that they came into the season as Elite League Champions and Play-Off winners. After 3 home games their average attendance is a shocking 2,835. Compare this this to Panthers average of 4,382 after 3 games. Where have they gone? Don’t get me wrong, I know they can be fickle (as can fans of teams from all sports), but they are currently around 1,000 people down on their average from last season.
It was while I was reading this thread about the current crisis in Sheffield on THF earlier today that a thought suddenly struck me. Are the management deliberately holding back on marketing the team to engineer a move in to the smaller capacity and cheaper to rent Ice Sheffield? This may seem outrageous, but think about it for a second. There has been a distinct lack of marketing of the Steelers so far, why would this be for a team that won the two biggest competitions last season? Their management have had the perfect opportunity to promote a title winning team, but over the summer there was nothing, and it has shown in the crowds the have attracted so far. Maybe I’m way off, maybe I’m just stirring the pot as I have been known to do when it comes to the Steelers (it was suggested earlier today on The Cage that I wouldn’t piss on the Steelers if they were on fire. This is true, its a waste of good urine!) However, I’ll bet a few in South Yorkshire have also thought the same. As they say, watch this space…..


3 Responses to “Panic on the streets of Sheffield”

  1. 1 howeaboutthat September 21, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    An interesting piece with some equally interesting questions that I’m sure some Shuff faithful would like answered. I do hope the prospect of playing the old enemy brings a few out on Saturday though as my family and I are hoping for a decent atmosphere for our first visit to the rusty hole this weekend. BTW, sure you wouldn’t be interested in a whip around for a bit of sponsorship? 😉

  2. 2 grumpyminer September 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I wonder!
    If there is a possibility as you suggest of a downsizing at Sheffield. Would a move to Ice Sheffield also mean a move to the EPL following Manchester and Basingstoke. Then when (if?) the Rother Valley project is completed we then see a resurgent Steelers (of the non-Sheffield variety) promoting a new product at a new venue.
    And lots of questions!

    But it all seems very strange.

    The only thing I can put forward is the money issue. We know money is tight in hockey, we know Sheffield Arena ice pad has maore paint than Dulux. We know they have cut the seating capacity to cut costs on stewarding. Is the lack of marketing related to that? They cannot afford to steward areas tha are only one third full. Are the Steelers in such financial trouble that downsizing keeps the club in business. We can only speculate and add our own(conspiracy?)theories.


    • 3 saxton20 September 22, 2009 at 8:09 pm

      i’m a steeler and i have to agree the attendances are worrying!! But i think the point steve makes about closing the seating areas isnt down to us, it wasnt our choice the arena blocked them off. I may be wrong but thats just what i thought. I do hope the attendances pick up though because the atmosphere isnt that great these days ( i have only been to one home game so far this year so havnt got much to base this on). Anyway hopefully this weekend with you lot comeing it might drag a few extra people in.

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