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CAPITALS HOME GAMES: LIGHTS ARE ON, BUT WHO'S HOME?
Published November 9, 1995
Capitals attendance has dipped steadily throughout the decade, from a team-high average of 17,251 in '89-90 to 14,159 in last year's lockout-delayed season, and Len Hochberg writes in the WASHINGTON POST, Tuesday's draw of 8,865 against the Bruins was the smallest home crowd this decade. Washington Sports President Susan O'Malley says the reasons cited for the decline are "wide and varied," including the loss of marquee players, the perception owner Abe Pollin cares more about the Bullets, and the location of the arena. O'Malley says the Capitals are undergoing a five-year plan to regain a fan base that will include the use of focus groups (WASHINGTON POST, 11/9). After Tuesday's game, Caps defenseman Sylvain Cote said, "We ask ourselves, 'What is it?' We look at ourselves as players and we ask that question, but management has got to look at itself too -- not to share the blame, but to figure out how to bring people into this building" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON TIMES, 11/9). SIMILAR SITUATION? In Vancouver, Niel McCrae compares attention paid to the Canucks and Grizzlies by Orca Bay, which owns both. McCrae writes the Grizzlies have "set a new standard for entertainment," while hockey is "slow in keeping up with the times and figuring out what sells and what does not" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 11/9). FINANCIAL POST headline: "Send in the Marketers: NHL Executives Have Seen the Future and It Is a Glitzy, Revenue-Spinning Machine Patterned After the Highly Successful NBA" (FINANCIAL POST, 11/9).