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CANADIAN NHL TEAMS ADD NBA-STYLE GLITZ TO KEEP FANS HAPPY
Published May 16, 1995
Canadian NHL teams, many of whom "have generally been content to open the doors, play a little music and offer three periods of hockey" in the past, are adding "NBA-type" entertainment to their games in order to keep fans happy, according to this morning's Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. Neil Campbell reports that such elements as "a lights-out, laser-show, pregame introduction of players," mascots, female dancers, and contests and giveaways are "quietly" being brought to Canada's NHL arenas. Only two of the eight NHL teams in Canada filled their rinks to capacity last year, and Campbell writes that "many would-be fans obviously feel they are not receiving full entertainment for their hockey dollar." Tod Leiweke, Exec VP of Northwest Entertainment, which owns and operates the NHL Canucks and NBA Grizzlies: "Showmanship is an important part of sports now." The Flames, who will play in a refurbished Olympic Saddledome next season, have hired DCB Productions Inc., to "spice up" game nights for fans. DCB's Deb Belinsky says her company is planning to add new music and video clips along with interactive-fan promotions (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/16).