When I started writing this article it was going to be a simple rant about how the fixture list isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on and the resultant messing about that Panthers fans get. It sort of still is: the fixture list is worthless and Panthers fans do get messed around but having been to a concert last week I can see why it happens.

There’s one reason and one reason alone that games are always going to get shifted about for concerts: 

BEER 

There, that surprised you didn’t it? You thought I was going to say money didn’t you. There’s no denying that the NIC will make more from a full concert than a full ice hockey game, but how much more? Are there differences in rent? How much does the NIC actually get from concert sales once the band, promoter etc has taken their share? We can’t answer these questions because we simply don’t know. What I can say is that there was a lot more beer being drunk per head last Thursday than at most Panthers matches. So revenue from tickets may not be that much greater but they’re raking it in at the concessions. 

Why is this happening though? If you watch GMTV you might think it’s a sad indictment of today’s society that these people need to drink so much to enjoy themselves, but I think it was likely to have been something different. Unless, you’re part of a very small minority you don’t go to concerts every week in the same way people go to the ice hockey or other sports. This means going to a concert is more of an “event” and as such people are likely to spend more money on a single one -off night out than they do every week. 

This leaves us Panthers fans with a problem but it also leaves the NIC with one too. There have been approximately 250 Panthers games at the NIC since the opener against London Knights in 2000. How many concerts have their been in that time? And how many will any particular individual have been to? As many as 250? That’s unlikely. All of this makes Panthers fans the NIC’s, or more correctly Nottingham Arena’s core audience. We may not spend as much per visit to the Arena but we spend money there more regularly. A concert goer would need to have been to somewhere between approximately 40 and 50 concerts to have spent as much as a Panthers fan who has been watching games week in week out at the NIC. Again, unlikely. 

All of this leaves the NIC with a balancing act. Or at least it should, but it doesn’t. The NIC have one fact on their side. They know that if the shift one of our matches to make way for Snoopy Dog Doggy (or whatever he’s called) then we’re still going to come to the re-arranged date so they win both ways. They’ve got us over a barrel and they know it. 

So, until the NIC show their core audience some loyalty we’ve got two choices. We either put up and shut up or we drink more beer!

Written by Paul Balm

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