Dicey Sheffield

Paul Balm wonders why Steelers failed to sell out Ice Sheffield yet again.

Sheffield have still got big, big problems. Only 1,137 fans turned up for last night’s Challenge Cup game at Ice Sheffield against the Devils (A bit of a cracker by all accounts that finished 6-6). Is it because of this whole ‘I don’t like Ice Sheffield, we’re too good to play there’ attitude? If it is then the fans who stay away from the venue are leading them to a rapid path to bankruptcy in my opinion. An opinion of one Steelers fan I was talking to today was “I won’t go because I don’t think we should be playing there” Why? Do you want to your team to go bankrupt sooner rather than later because you’re not keen on the venue? What makes the Steelers so special? The playing of games at Ice Sheffield is a rare example of cloth cutting from the Steelers organisation. If there’s one thing Sheffield is synonymous with it’s steel but if there’s one thing Steelers are synonymous with it’s spending too much money, so any attempt by them to act responsibly has to be applauded!
I would guess they’re moving some games to Ice Sheffield because it’s cheaper, but why aren’t they selling out? Even Sheffield’s diminishing fanbase should struggle to fit in but 1,137 still leaves over 350 empty seats. Given the attendance Steelers move would appear to be vindicated but why? What is wrong with Ice Sheffield? Is it simply that it isn’t the arena? Surely not all their fans stay away because they don’t like the venue do they? I mean let’s compare Sheffield’s two venue’s (attendance aside). The arena is a cramped, filthy hole that stinks and has poor sight lines in at least two-thirds of the available seats (the best views in the place have been cordoned off for over a season!) In comparison Ice Sheffield has ample legroom, good sight lines and an excellent bar area. Another opinion I heard today was “I’m not going there, it’s £16” How much is it to watch at the Arena? Is sixteen of your English pounds worth a lot more 200 yards across the car park?  Yet another, “I’m not entirely sure it was promoted that well” The club want shooting then. ‘If you build it they will come’ only works for ghosts! If the club can’t market to fill 1,500 seats from a core fanbase of 3,000 then something is very, very wrong.
The Steelers fans don’t know they are born having the option of an alternative venue. I bet Whitl… sorry Newcastle would have bitten their hands off if they’d been in a similar position but of course Whitley Bay isn’t good enough for Sheffield either!


2 Responses to “Dicey Sheffield”

  1. 1 ggggranville September 23, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Excellent article.Have only been to Ice Sheffield just the once but found it more than adequate.

  2. 2 DomC September 24, 2010 at 9:16 am

    It was a Wednesday night, challenge cup game. Fans had already been asked to pay for the Dundee game earlier in the week as it was not a season ticket game. SO being a family sport and that being asked to pay for two games in the space of 5 days is pushing the budget of most families.

    Ice Sheffield is a lovely venue – one of the best rinks in country – but the math for most people in this climate just doesn’t make sense.

    I thought they did well to see a 1,000

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