CANADIAN NHL TEAMS ADD NBA-STYLE GLITZ TO KEEP FANS HAPPY
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).