Everyone is going to dunk on the Arizona Coyotes. Rightfully so, as this team has been a disaster since 2009 when Jerry Moyes first sold the team. Even more now playing in a college hockey arena with an unfinished visiting locker room for the opening weekend and no concrete plans for their own arena coming up.
But could this turn the corner for them?? Could playing in a sub-5,000 capacity building be the turning point for the Coyotes to get people to love them and not wish them to move elsewhere.
Short answer, no.
Long answer, no– but they’re going to give people and the league an experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
The one thing out of this whole situation is going to be what becomes of the “Student Section” portion of Mullett Arena. With the cost-effective student tickets in that section, it could very well create something akin to what European fans experience every game. It’s something that would be strictly unique to the Coyotes and Mullett Arena…but when it’s gone once the Coyotes leave, will that concept stay??
A part of me would like to think that if the Student Section is a success, especially being so close to the ice, would more teams think about doing the same kind of thing in their arenas to build a younger fan base and create a more jovial atmosphere for their rink??
Short answer, no.
Longer answer, no– but because they don’t want to give up those high-dollar seats for $25 tickets for a rowdy crowd because sports is corporate and the belief is that you can’t have a good fan experience when the rowdies are near the ice and not in the nosebleed– where some think they belong.
It all comes down to dollars. Regardless of if the Student Section at Mullett becomes one of the bigger stories out of this season. Regardless of if you can build a new, younger fan base from lowering ticket prices for a section to accommodate college students to build their own culture. Regardless of if it will make the sport grow because of how insane the crowds will become– owners don’t want to give up $100 a seat to make a better atmosphere.
Because sports aren’t about fun. Sports are a business. And businesses need money– not fun. My hope is that through this whole situation the Coyotes find themselves in (yet again), that the Student Section can bring some fun to the hockey-going experience and to the TV experience, as well. My hope is that enough Arizona State students show up to not only support the Coyotes, but to make their mark on hockey to let other colleges know that they are a hockey school now, too. Make the experience big, make it project through the TV broadcasts, and make it so that people actually start thinking of Arizona as a hockey destination.