In their review, it was noted that an AHL or OHL team may be able to
attract an average attendance of some 4,500 fans per game. It was further noted that the identified target attendance figure of 4,500 fans per game represents an average annual attendance figure based on a review of the Thunder Bay market against other Canadian AHL and OHL markets. Similar to these and other markets, it is probable that a team would periodically realize actual attendance at individual games in excess of this average attendance figure, particularly during its early years when most new facilities realize a “honeymoon” period where attendance is materially higher than its historic average. How long such a “honeymoon period” will last will be directly dependent upon a number of factors, including the on-ice success of the team, the cost versus perceived “value” of attending a game, the state of the local economy, the presence of competing sports and entertainment venues / teams / events, the level and nature of marketing and community outreach undertaken by team ownership / management, etc. – Market Potential page vi
So what are they saying here? You may get an average of 4,500 fans per game but maybe you will get less? People like winners and there other things to do in Thunder Bay other than watch hockey?
Are we spending $106 million so 4,500 people can watch a hockey game? That is what I see here.
As for hockey teams. AHL team? Can’t see it as the arena is too small to pay for all the travel involved. OHL team? Too much travel as well. USHL? Been here already.
Do we need a new arena? Sure. Does it have to cost $106 million? No. Is Water Street the best location in the city? Nope.
As for the so called honeymoon period? Just remember the Whiskey Jacks. Who you ask? Exactly.