Make your predictions, let’s just hope people will show up and watch the best teams in the country play for junior hockey supremacy.
Junior hockey has taken a massive hit over the past two and half years. The 2022 Memorial Cup won’t be the saviour of junior hockey, but it’s a great step in the right direction. It’s been near impossible for any junior hockey organization across the country to make any sort of profit in the last two years. I realize this may not be the time to talk about the bottom line, but the attention around Memorial Cup is a perfect time to discuss the efforts made by every organization across the CHL to drive their revenue up. Breaking even or close to even is the new goal of every franchise.
Hockey is hurting from a business perspective, everyone knows it. Keeping their heads above the water is nothing new for some organizations, but there has been a slight rebound with the removal of restrictions, but junior hockey was hurting well before the pandemic.
Obviously, everyone wants to make predictions about who they think will win the Memorial Cup, let’s just hope people go to the games. Attendance is critical for any junior team, let’s hope the Memorial Cup and the attention surrounding the event will draw the attention of those that have junior teams in their cities and communities.
Junior hockey connects communities like no other. It’s scary to think what this country would look like without the game at that level, but if we keep going in this direction, teams and communities will have no other choice but to close their operations for good.
The product on the ice should be the ultimate selling point, but in this generation, it’s not and that’s the problem. The definition of entertainment has changed. That change was evolving well before the pandemic and that’s the scariest part of all. Hockey people saw it coming, some couldn’t move quick enough to prevent it. Franchises are modifying every aspect of their game day experiences and the people are still not darkening the doors. Money is money, entertainment is entertainment and inflation is inflation. Season ticket holders and walk-up hockey fans are choosing to take a different approach to how they spend money and realistically can you blame them?
Something has to give or junior hockey at any level across this country will look drastically different in the years to come.
Local junior hockey matters, CHL hockey matters, but we need to make it matter to more people and that’s a challenge that every organization needs to take on and have been taking on for the past few seasons.
How do you make the game more entertaining?
How do you make the game more accessible and appealing?
How do you make the game more affordable?
How do you make coming to a junior hockey game matter?
Make your predictions all you want, but let’s hope the people come back to rinks, because the game needs it now more than ever.
To all the organizations and their marketing staff, keep up the amazing work, your efforts are extremely appreciated, your efforts have made a difference to your communities and teams, never stop the game and your communities need you more than ever!