A few weeks ago, we sent out a request to complete a fan survey. The response was humbling and overwhelming. Thank you to all who took the time to fill out the survey. Here are the results.
No major surprises in the basic demographic info other than it is amazing to see the reach of this community. There were people from 30 different states and 9 different countries that responded to the survey.
Current Hockey Fandom
Even though it is small, I love that 10% of respondents are “New to hockey”. Those are the folks that are starting to engage in hockey despite no actual NHL team yet. We should expect that number to grow as we get closer to puck drop in 2021. I also received some feedback that there should have been an option between die-hard and casual, as well as fandom regarding the WHL. That is noted.
A little surprised that despite no NHL hockey in the immediate area, roughly 80% of folks have seen an NHL game live.
It would be interesting to see where everyone is seeing games. Personally, I take a hockey vacation once or twice a year to attend games in different NHL arenas.
We received a lot of comments on affordability and pricing. I also noticed a lot of comments about people coming from outside the Puget Sound. Here are a few of the comments:
“I live in Alaska but will definitely attend 5 games maybe more.”
“I live in Boise Idaho so maybe 2-4 games.”
“Market the team better in Eastern Wa! Involve youth hockey over here too!”
“Hopefully 1 game if we can travel back to the states from Australia”
Over the years, a few WHL fans were concerned about how the NHL coming to town could impact the WHL teams in the area. Based on respondents, it appears to increase interest in the WHL.
It would appear hockey fans have the least amount of crossover with NBA and MLS fans. While the NFL ranks second and the MLB third among respondents across the professional sports leagues. Another way to look at this is that entertainment dollars and viewing could shift from the Mariners and Seahawks to the NHL. It is unlikely that either the Mariners or the Seahawks feel any material dollars shift, but I’ve had several folks over the years mention that they would dump their Seahawks season tickets to get NHL season tickets.
People seem to like the balance approach. Here are some of the comments:
“Start with a name.”
“balanced. Focus on the future with fun, young players but surround that core with an experienced, leadership driven veteran group.”
“Progressive improvements and hopefully playoff berth in first 4-5 seasons.”
“Don’t feel pressure to match what Vegas did, slow and steady.”
“Build a Dynasty like the Red Wings or Montreal.”
Keep in mind that Gallant, Babcock, Laviolette, and Boudreau were the only pre-determined selections which is why they have so many votes. “Not Mike Babcock” got a number of write-in votes, so maybe we should take 1% away from Mike Babcock.
Here are some of the other comments:
“Consider hiring a successful coach from the AHL.”
“I don’t know enough about all the possible coaches. I’m sure Ron Francis will make a good decision.”
“I don’t know any hockey coaches. I’m brand new to the sport.”
Good to see our fans with some reasonable expectations after Vegas far exceeded expectations in their first year.
This was a fun exercise for us to go through and I enjoyed reading though the comments that people provided. Thanks for participating.