Once upon a time (during the NHL Lockout), I remember a young Pittsburgh lad came to me and said that his Penguins would one day fill their arena full of fans… I of course pushed him over and said “That’s impossible,” after which I stole his ice cream. I also said that the Penguins should have moved to Kansas City and skated on a delicious vat of frozen bbq sauce. Never bringing hockey to Pittsburgh again…
Earlier this year, I remember a certain hockey team with a player that likes to “entertain.” Don Cherry hates this particular player, and the Pittsburgh fans would cry “bandwagoners!” when their arena would fill to capacity. The Pens fans screamed ““We are true fans, through and through, we don’t miss a beat!” in their brand new 24-hour overnighted jerseys.
I often look back and wonder if that little boy ever came to his senses…The fans that cried bandwagon have their own story of how they bandwagoned into the spotlight… let’s go to the stats (honest to goodness journalistic reporting on this one).
*Just a few notes: Mellon Arena is not the biggest arena in the NHL... that will be why I did not post their overall rank in attendance (so all the haters can not say that). Also there are mixed reports of the actual capacity of Mellon Arena.
Attendance (Mellon Arena)
2001- 16,277 (avg) Record 42-28-9
2002 -15,649 (average), Record 28-41-5
2003- 14,750 (average) Record 27-44-6
2004- 11,877 (average), (DEAD LAST IN NHL) Record 23-47-8
2006- 15,804 (avg) Record 22-46, this might have something to do with a #1 pick…
2007- 16,424 (avg), 47-24-0-11
2008- 17,076 (avg), Record 47-27-0-8
2009- 16,975 (avg) Record, 45-28
So in conclusion... when the team sucks, attendance goes down. So far down, however, that they had the worst attendance in the league!!! Then here comes a #1 pick, and attendance increases. There was a slight decrease in my findings for this past season (is the slow start is to blame!?). The response of the fans that cried bandwagon will be unruly... My response... Pittsburgh sucks.