When the Hawks were in the Stadium, the place was jammed for a number of years. They had some dark years way back in the day where it looked as though their franchise would leave, but otherwise tickets were scarce.
The Stadium was ultra-limited in bells and whistles. Yet, it had one of the liveliest crowds in all of sports. It was dark, cramped and had few artificial means to entertain the crowd.
However, the team played a hard nosed brand of hockey that they knew would get the crowd roaring.
When the team moved to the United Centre -- a cavernous and posh environment -- the team sold out for the first year. Novelty, is what that was.
The United Centre had all the shiny objects, a fantastic video board, NBA-like revenue generating promotions to keep the fans interested. (And, Harvey ultimately, was replaced with someone with more energy.)
Yet, before long, crowds dipped to under 12,000 -- they'd gone from prized hot commodities at the Stadium to things you couldn't give away. And, this accelerated as the sterile, sanitized environment made its way to the ice -- boring, gentle hockey replaced rough and robust.
So, despite the artificial circus atmosphere, why were fans so un-entertained (and turned off) that they ignored the team for years?
Shouldn't all of those families have been flocking to all this fun and excitement?
I'm not saying that we shouldn't entertain the fans. I'm just saying that we shouldn't forget why they're there in the first place. Compliment the game, don't compete with it.