Hamilton Bulldogs

The Ticats are able to attract 24 k to a football game.

Just wondering people's thoughts on why the Bulldogs can't have better attendance numbers. They average 3-4K a game. It's cheap and great hockey and very family affordable.

We have Kitchener Ranger season tickets and no matter what type of product is on the ice get 6500-7200 people at a game.

It would be interesting to here some thoughts on how they could improve attendance number or reasons why people from Hamilton don't enjoy the bulldog games

We go to a half dozen games a year.

Too many games for season tickets.

Costs are higher to go to a Bulldogs game then a TiCats game (transportation/parking)

Also, while I have far more friends who are hockey fans then football fans, not many seem to be interested in OHL.

its too bad they dont offer free parking, Kitchener is free but that would add a big cost to season tickets if they Charged $10 to park would add an extra $340 to season tickets probably wouldn't get them.

kitchener also allows to you to bring own food and drink if you wish which makes it very family affordable

Surprised as being A hockey fan, your friends dont follow the OHL get to see all the up and coming stars.

Easy. Too big arena built in a downtown core neighbourhood that is borderline ghetto, with restrictive access and parking. Parking is not free and is not concentrated around the event.

'If you build it, the will come" is a line from a fantasy movie, not a phrase that encapsulates sound civic planning. Folks want to drive to and from an event in their own vehicles, park as close to the event as possible and get home with as little delay as possible. The current location does not provide this.

Once city planners stop believing that they are social engineers trying to force behaviour and gentrification, get out of the way and let business and markets decide how and where events should occur, the better life will be for all.

Want to start your way toward this utopia? Stop electing consecutive city councils that are so inept. For the past 30 years the sitting councils have been so bad they could eff up a lawn watering. Keystone cops for the foreseeable future there at city hall.

I am a very big sports fan. I would enjoy following the Bulldogs. I can legitimately not tell you one players name or coaches name. Need to do a much better job promoting their product. I knew they had a Strome last season. No idea if he is still here.

Borderline ghetto? When was the last time you were downtown?

As a Bulldogs season ticket holder, I'll try to comment on this.

The first is there are substantially more home games. 9 + 1 postseason vs 34 + 2-16 postseason. Unless you live close by it is hard to go to every game. Now the Dogs do have a never wasted ticket policy last I checked (the Ti-Cats old good policy) so that blunts it a bit for a season ticket holder, but the jist of it is, that's a lot of games to be driving down from the mountain to watch.

As far as the cost of parking (which is usually around 5 bucks unless you park in on of the absurd lots, like underground in Jackson Square) is a tack on that a lot of people don't like getting dinged on. That said, having gone to more then a few other OHL markets, it is comparable to some arenas (Niagara, Oshawa, Kingston, Ottawa) but obviously isn't free like some others (Mississauga, Kitchener, Guelph) so I don't really treat it as a wholly valid excuse, it's just another tack onto the ticket price.

As far as the area, there are issues, but I'd say they pale in comparison to Tim Hortons Field. At least you are in walking distance to all the restaurants at James St. and the bars at Hess. Plus Jackson Square does have the decent Anchor bar. That said, moving the shelter across from First Ontario Centre couldn't hurt.

I think the real elephant is the arena itself. It's way too big. Even with the top curtained off, First Ontario is still larger then every other OHL arena except for London. When you have empty seats, it hurts the atmosphere (which is one of the biggest draws for sports) and it starts the "If they just lowered ticket prices and filled it up, they'd make the money back on beer" argument. The economics and marketing of a sports team, aren't that simple and half of the league has teams that lose money. Add to the fact that the facility itself needs some key, hockey specific face lifts that the city perpetually, doesn't have the budget to fix is another issue. The problem is that no one is going to step up to the plate about building a modern 5,000 seat facility because First Ontario allows the city to attract much larger events like the Junos, high end Concerts and the like, which a smaller facility simply can't accommodate.

The fact that the team hasn't yet had a long playoff run vs a local team to build that atmosphere also hurts things. One of the biggest issues the team has is very low away crowd attendance compared to other teams. This is because it plays out of the East division. When Kitchener, London, Niagara and sometimes Mississauga are in town usually the Dogs draw well. However, when you play most of your games vs Ottawa, Kingston, Peterborough and Oshawa, well that's harder to care a about and draw rival fans.

Anyways, I hope the Bulldogs can slowly keep growing their fanbase now that it's an OHL team and not the Habs farm. For all the issues the team has, we still look at lot better then Mississauga does.

If I needed crack or a gun (Hey, who doesn't need that every once in a while) I'm heading down to that 7-11 or the Sally Ann on York and Bay. Then, I'm going to one of the parks north of Cannon and West of Bay to pawn off half of the crack to pay for parking around FOP. Then, I'll walk over to the jungle/projects between Oxford and Queen, pre-sell the gun to someone who will pick it up from out of my car window at Dundurn Park on my way out of town cuz I'll need it for protection while I go to and from the game and get out of the area afterward.

That area can be described in 2 words... shite and hole.

Well, this is a debate that's not worth having. Enjoy suburbia :).

a lot of Great points

I like how the bulldogs do flex packs. and family day prices. Just hope they can get some nice crowds a lot of areas they can attract from Brantford Ancaster etc would love to see 6-10000 K crowds

If the Rangers get beat out of the Playoffs and the Bulldogs are still in will go down for some playoff games as I can have a team to cheer for in the other division.

going to head down to watch Rangers and Dogs when the play each other. I will wear my Ranger Jersey and Ticat hat!

I like how the bulldogs do the $ 4 beer before puck drop is that every game?

In Kitchener its $9.50 tall cans

Generally $4 beers before puck drop is a Friday thing if I recall. Usually they will post on their website about it.

[justify]I don't buy the parking argument....most people park 10+ minutes away from THF for ticats and walk, and they're paying $5-$10 to park. For $15 a ticket, and even $10 to park, its an affordable night out.[/justify]

[justify]Part of the reason I think is you have 10 football games a year, out doors in nice weather vs. 40 odd hockey games indoor during the winter months in a concrete mausoleum. Its something fun on the weekend, but most people aren't commuting downtown on say a Monday night.[/justify]

[justify]Other factors I think: the team shouldn't be so "family" heavy in their advertising. It kind of discourages your target audience of 18-35 year old males when they have screaming kids everywhere and when its advertised as a family outing. Think any other sports league, they are geared towards adults, not family outings.[/justify]

[justify]The arena needs a facelift to be sure, that'll go a long way.[/justify]

[justify]Also, I remember back to when Crosby was coming up with Rimoski and McDavid with Erie and the buzz for the year or two prior to their NHL draft. If the Bulldogs can get the next one of those guys, I think you'll see the crowds come out.[/justify]

[justify]A Memorial Cup or World Juniors tournament would certainly raise the profile. Matter of fact, I think the Memorial Cup bid was doomed to fail....and was known by the get go, but was more of a ruse to be able to point to the City and say "see, if only you spend some money upgrading Copps, we could have a Memorial Cup tournament.[/justify]

When I went to London to watch the Rangers play the parking near the arena was $20 and the place is packed was talking to a few Knight season ticket holders most people take the bus as it is free with there ticket. Do the Bulldogs offer a service like that

I think a superstar would help for sure Erie Otters get great crowds it was a mess before they started getting some winning teams. Last year the Bulldogs had the 7th best attendance in the OHL avg 4111
pretty decent.

I can see the weather part for sure when its freezing out i hate going out but when i get there. Im glad im at the game because it gets me out during the gloomy winter lol

Ranger Season tickets you get
34 games the Exhibition games
40 gift vouchers to be used at the store
first chance at playoff tickets for your seats.

what I dont understand in kitchener a lot of people buy season tickets but when it come to the playoffs dont buy the playoff package.

Bravo Billy Dee. Esp the amateurs at city hall.

Kinda sad both our primo sports facilities are in sketchy areas.

BillyDee87 nails it once again. Most people I know absolutely hate going downtown. I recently visited somebody at St. Joe's and I had to drive around in circles for half an hour trying to get a parking spot. Then as soon as I open the car door I'm harrassed by panhandlers.

The lack of parking, poorly designed traffic routes and shady characters will keep most people away.

I'm not an old, so I am not afraid of "downtown".

Often during the summer, on a Friday night, I would cab down to stonewalls. Start there. Grab a beer and make my way to James St North. Walk my way down to Barton, hitting up the small pubs and resteraunts along the way. On the way back I hit up King William St for stop at hmbrgr or fshnchps.

One of the side streets with the Acclamation project has a property where a great blues band played outdoors until 11pm.

Having lived in Hamilton my whole life, I remember what that area used to be like...so I can appreciate how it has turned around.

Hamilton is not scary nor a dangerous place....

[justify]100% right Hammertown, 100% wrong BillyDee.[/justify]

[justify]I'll agree the location of THF is wrong, but you can place the blame for that squarely on the shoulders of the Ticats. The City had a plan for an entire district by the harbour, AEG (which is basically the largest arena management company in the world) was interested in managing it. Their CEO also happened to be the chair of the NHL expansion / relocation committee, read into that what you will.[/justify]

[justify]I'm assuming the "primo" location for sports facilities would be in the suburbs, off a highway....like they used to do in the 70s and 80s? Funny how all the cities are now following Hamilton's lead, building downtown arenas and stadiums. [/justify]

[justify]If there is one thing downtown has, its parking. If you cant find a space its because you don't want to pay $3.00 or you simply don't come downtown often enough to be familiar.[/justify]

[justify]Sketchy characters yes, but most are harmless and every large city is going to have them, its not unique to Hamilton.[/justify]

Actually...BillyDee is right. But so is Hammertown!

It is all the things BillyDee says it is. His points about the location etc. is a bit off, but only because the Dogs moved in there way after the thing was built.

However, Hammertown is right and I find myself in his camp as far as loving this place and being proud of it, for what it is...warts and all.

I do know many people who hate coming here or going down there from other areas in this city.

So, the city has work to do in cleaning up...including the image. But the "leaders" we have here will never do it, so that's why I support term limits.

I'm not a big hockey fan, so I've only been to a game or two with a friend a couple years ago. But I listen to FM 96 in London all the time, and the Knights are truly their "Ticats" , probably even more so. Huge pump ups for playoff, know all the players, rivalries and chirps with other cities... Hamilton needs to get a bit of that going on. Being in a division with more southwestern Ontario teams would definitely help with that I think.

great points J24

The Bulldogs need to spark a rivalry like Kitchener has with London and Guelph definitely helps to draw large crowds