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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Time Crisis: Hockey Night Debate

Today, the New York Islanders announced that they will be moving the start times of weekday home games back to the traditional 7:05 PM face-off. Last season, the Islanders had changed the start time to 7:35 PM. Islanders fans from all around are divided in their opinions on the issue. Two fans that have varying opinions on the issue are HNLI hosts Alex and Steve.
Let Operation "Time Crisis" begin:

7:05 PM: Longer Games, Earlier Start (by Steve): Personally, I liked it when the games used to be at this time. As a fan that likes to watch the weekday games on television, it is very favorable. I agree with the Islanders opinion of that the games are getting longer with the possibility of Overtime and then a Shootout. Also, now the younger children can have an opportunity to watch a majority of the game. However, for the attendance factor, I don't see this improving the attendance at the games since it is hard for people to get to the games from work. Let's see what Alex has to say about 7:35 face-offs....

7:35 PM: (by Alex): One of the biggest problems that the Islanders had this season was filling the seats on weeknights. Changing the puck-drop time, however, is not the way to better attendance. By pushing the start time up 30 minutes, the Islanders are making it nearly impossible for their working fans to get to the game on time. I would not be at all surprised if the Islanders lose season ticket holders over this change. People aren't going to want to go to the game if they know they won't be able to show up until the end of the first period. In addition, the move from 7:35 to 7:05 takes away the pre-game experience. The diehards that go to the games can always be found hanging around the Coliseum at Doolin's and watching warmups before the game. As impossible as it will be for fans to even make the game's start, it will be even worse for the pre-game experience. While you may get a few more young fans at the game, the hockey season still runs right through the school year and very few parents are going to schlep their kids out to the Coliseum during the week. They may bring in a few more young fans, but that's not worth neglecting the diehard fans.

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