Going the way of all flesh

Regular TCW contributor Paul Balm gives his own view on the situation in Sheffield

I really don’t get what is going on up the road, we’re in the middle of four games with them, OK the two league games aren’t hugely important in the grand scheme of things to them, but the two cup games are so where’s the hype? Where’s the stupid comments from their players? They need to get people in through the door so where’s the effort? OK, they’re shite but have our crowds dropped so precipitously when we’ve been less than impressive? Are their fans so used to winning stuff “with style” that if the scorer isn’t riding a dolphin doing a backflip whilst threading a camel through the eye of the needle it isn’t worth watching? This isn’t really a new thing, let’s not forget they had to give away a load of tickets to schools for the Challenge Cup Final against us a couple of years ago (that’s a final against their “biggest rivals”) and yet the Nottingham leg was a sell out (those back row seats definitely aren’t as comfortable as the rest)!

Where did it go wrong, and more or less importantly (it depends on how you think) where are the attempts to get people in through the door? Reading between the lines Mike Sgroi has been brought in as an attempt to bring back the crowds, so why aren’t they bigging his clash with Sean McMorrow up? If he has got an injury fair enough but at least get him talking a good game. OK, if people don’t want to come you can’t stop them but can anyone tell me are the Steelers doing anything to get people in? The old fans are disillusioned by the product (be it on ice or off ice) but new fans aren’t. Where are the free ticket giveaways of old? Where are the tins of beans for students with a voucher for a ticket wrapped around the outside? Steelers’ relationship with the arena isn’t as good as it could be (if what we’re told is true) but does the arena seriously want empty seats? Get some freebies out there and bring people back in. They won’t pay to get in but they’ll probably put their hand in their pocket while they’re inside. The great thing about new fans is they don’t know the difference between good and bad. I’ve taken newbies to games I was on the verge of nodding off in the middle of that they thought were great. If you cast your bread upon the water it’ll get eaten by ducks and some of them will come back, and then they’ll pay. You’ve got to give them something to want to come back and see but that’s a different story.

If Sheffield are going the way of all flesh then, frankly, I’m not that bothered. More teams need to appreciate that they have to cut their cloth accordingly and Sheffield going belly up would have an effect on crowds. Our average would drop (a bit) the same as everyone else’s. After all, Ice hockey existed in Britain before the Steelers and it would exist after.


1 Response to “Going the way of all flesh”

  1. 1 Aunntie B February 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Here, here,at article. Paul. Great article.

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