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October 28, 2017 5:07 am

Playoff Excitement Building for Cougars

Thursday, March 26, 2015 @ 10:44 AM

Prince George, B.C. – It’s hard to say who’s more excited about the Prince George Cougars making the playoffs this year, management or the fans.Color

“Last Friday when we clinched the playoff berth, I stood at the front door to say good bye to people as they left and I was close to tears with the amount of goodwill that was shown,” says vice-president of business Andy Beesley.

“Every single person that saw me was high-fiving me and saying congratulations to the team and how happy they were and how optimistic they were. It was literally overwhelming.”

He says management is equally excited.

“We have to stay disciplined in the business of running the hockey team but ultimately we stand up on our chairs and cheer just like everybody else and we’ve got the playoff fever from the fans.”

And if early indications mean anything, the CN Centre is going to be hopping when they host games three and four next Wednesday and Thursday.

“I don’t have the actual numbers but I can tell you that the box-office has been going crazy, they’ve had non-stop people at the box-office and non-stop people phoning,” says Beesley.

“Now there’s still a lot of great seats available but one of the concerns that we’ve got in Prince George is that it’s been so many years since we’ve had playoffs, they’ll wait until the last minute to get tickets, and they’re not going to be able to.”

He says the positive buzz surrounding the team has filtered down to the dressing room.

“We have a team that is unbelievably motivated and passionate about wanting to be better. And honestly, it’s because of the fan support that the boys are receiving they just want to perform for the crowd and perform for each other.”

If you’d like information regarding tickets for the Cougars playoff series versus the Victoria Royals, click here.


Way to go boys.. first year under new ownership and you have already done that the previous owner couldnt do in the last 3.. matter of fact they havent made it past the first round in 7 yrs… good luck guys… make PG proud :)

Action speaks louder than words. There is no doubt that this has been a much better year for the Cougars, both in ticket sales, and in getting into the playoffs. We should keep in mind that at the end of the day it all comes down to performance, and to how many actual fans there are in Prince George.

If you look at the stats for the games that had special events like free food, teddy bear toss, first game of the season, 50/50 draw, and free car give away you would see that average per game was 4457 fans. However if you look at the other 29 games this year you would see that the average was 2553 per game. A significant difference of approx. 2000 fans per game.

It seems people are more interested in the special events and free food, than they are in the actual games.

In any event Kudo’s to the Management and Team for this year, hopefully they will do well in the play offs and perhaps next year we can get higher numbers without putting out all the gimmicks.

Once again Palapu, you have the inate ability of taking a SILK PURSE and turning it into a SOWS EAR!
The reality is that even at the average of say 2553 per game they are still close to 1000 per game better than last year!
The team didn’t got to hell in a handbasket all at once, and you would nbot expect it to come come all the weay back all at once either!
I for one am confindent and looking forward to continous progress in the right direction from the new ownership and management group!

Nytehawwk. The correct statement is you cannot make a silk purse out of a sows ear. So I doubt if the reverse would apply.

I agree that the average attendance increase for none **special events** games is up about 500 per game. Seems to me the average was running around 2000 per game.

My main point here is that the number of fans who attend the actual games has to come up to approx. 3000. Can this be done?? Perhaps.

My position has always been that there are not enough boni vide hockey fans in Prince George to fill this arena. In fact if they get back to 3000 per game they will be doing good.

I base my position on a number of things.

1. After the first couple of years they have never reached an average excess of 3500.

2. Prince George contrary to all the hype is not a hockey town. Having said that there are a large number of people who are involved in hockey, ie; Cougars, Spruce Kings, CHL, Juniors, Seniors, etc; however they do not all attend Cougars games on a regular basis.

3. There are many other things for people to do on a given night in Prince George in addition to attending a hockey game, not the least of which is going to the Casino.

4. Expecting to get 3000 people to attend 36 home games in a year is a pretty tough job.

We now have a golden opportunity to see how this shakes out. New Management, rebuilt team, in the play offs, lots of gimmicks, etc; etc; so we can sit back and see what happens. How many years will it take to get to say an average of 3500 per game??

Actually – last year average overall attendance was approximately 1600 taking into account all of the “special nights” such as opening night, teddy bear toss and final game. The CHL has posted an overview of attendance right across the country and Prince George had a 68% increase in attendance from last year. This is the highest percentage increase for the entire CHL league. I hope it keeps improving for the new ownership. Go Cougars!

Reality is that those mysterious hockey people / fans were here in the past, and are here now!
It was only through year after year of neglect, indifference, apathy, nepotism, cronyism, and sheer contempt for Prince George and it’s hockey fans from the Brodsky family that the average attendance plummeted to just over 1600 per game last year.
Then and only then did Brodsky decide the time was right to get out of dodge before he was run off!
The fact that the new group through their marketing efforts have performed as well as they have in just one season leads me to believe that the fan base will return over time, and we will have in excess of 4000 people in the stands on a consistent basis.
Time and work commitments limited me to just 15 games this year, but the change of attitude and the buzz in the building has been palpable! Just wait till next year!
BTW. I’m one of those that was essentially driven away by Brodsky. I had not attended a Cougars game in 5 years, and I am not the only one that returned this year!

Just ignore Palopu on this subject. He’s never attended a great deal of Cougar games and he doesn’t seem willing to listen to people who did, when they tell him why they stopped going.

For the record, here are the average attendance figures going back to the 1998-99 season:

1998-99 5,824
1999-00 5,801
2000-01 5,707
2001-02 5,216
2002-03 4,386
2003-04 3,584
2004-05 3,150
2005-06 3,111
2006-07 2,968
2007-08 2,815
2008-09 2,525
2009-10 2,164
2010-11 2,207
2011-12 2,047
2012-13 1,840
2013-14 1,693

The bulk of those years were around 3,000 or greater, even with the issues that were ever present with the team. From 2009-10 to 2013-14, it was pretty clear that the customers were sending a the business a message, like they would with any business they didn’t think was providing them a good product or service. The rebound in attendance this year is an obvious indicator that things are improving.

As for relying on “gimmicks” to increase attendance, welcome to the world of ENTERTAINMENT. If you think the WHL is gimmicky, try going to an NHL, CFL, or NFL game. It’s all part of the package and people not only want it, they expect it. It’s not 1970 anymore.

Congrats Cougars on the great season and best of luck with the playoffs.

Oh and GO SENS!!!!!!

NMG. There are gimmicks and then there are gimmicks.

I gave you the average attendance for those nights when special ticket packages were in play, which included free food, etc; also the 1st game of the year, the teddy bear toss, 50/50 draw, and free car giveaway. The average was 4457 Fans.

The problem is with the exception of one game against Kelowna the attendance for games that did not have a **gimmick** dropped significantly so that for the other 29 games in 2014/15 year the average attendance was 2553. So that’s a huge difference.

I don’t know what these numbers tell you, but they tell me that unless I am getting some sort of a freebee to go to the game, then I am not going. That’s hardly the attitude you would expect from a real fan.

The newness of the team wore off a long time ago. People have grown up, moved on, died, lost interest, etc; etc;.

We just have to wait and see how it pans out. If your right then great. The more people that attend the more money the City makes to offset the cost of the CN Centre.

Palopu has to be a retired civil servant, or a disgruntled teacher, with his sense of reality.

Hard at work trying to paloop on the parade

I am neither of the above Ie; Civil Servant, or disgruntled teacher. Actually those are two groups that I feel are under worked and over paid.
Nor am I a member of the Rah; Rah; Group, that constantly tries to paint everything as a positive, even if the reality is staring them in the face.

Have you noticed that despite the continuous decline in attendance from 2000 to 2014,(14 years) that all the blame has been dumped on the previous owner, and no blame attached to

1. So called fans not showing up at the games and,
2. Piss poor hockey for many of the games.

The old owners are now GONE, and with them go all the excuses for people not attending the games. So we will have to see how long it takes for the so called fans to return.

Lets see what happens in the play offs, and what happens next year. That should give us some indication as to what direction this situation will go.

Having flashy gimmick games and free hot dogs is not hockey, its theatre.

We had seasons tickets for 10 years. The few times we couldn’t go to a game it took one phone call and the tickets were gone at least in the first few years. The last few years, we could ask people for weeks if they wanted tickets to a game and no takers. We finally called it quits as we had a problem with actually wanting to go to the games and missed as many as we could. Poor team performance wasn’t the only issue, being unappreciated by team management and owners was a huge factor in deciding to quit going.

We got into new interests over the last 4 years and were really excited when the news came out that the team had new ownership. We went to 3 games in the regular season this year and were very impressed with the team as well as the atmosphere. It will take a while for people like us to commit to seasons tickets again.

Congrats to the team for actually earning a playoff spot for the first time in years. They can only earn back the fans after the disrespect the previous owner had for us.

Go Cats Go!

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