Fans May Not Be As Quick To Return To Hockey

DETROIT (WWJ) – University of Detroit-Mercy marketing professor Mike Bernacchi says the tentative NHL deal is more than just bringing revenue to the city of Detroit:

“The issue is, how is the TV revenue going to come, TV revenue for hockey always is very difficult in comparison, to the other sports leagues, even to the NBA, it really doesn’t stack up too well,” said Bernacchi.

Bernacchi says the Red Wings can parlay this hockey-town routine: “Do successful things by lowering prices, having special nights, they have some fine marketing minds,” he said.”They are beyond ‘Pizza-Pizza’ , they can do it but they have to get on it right away, right now and prepare the fans.”

“Is is all going to come back in a year? Absolutely, not,” said Bernacchi.

Bernacchi says with many still upset about the lockout, the Red Wings will have to find ways to win fans back.

One caller to the WWJ Newsradio 950 newsline said “I hope we who have lost all interest in hockey, out of disgust, starve them out, and send all those millionaires to the poor-peoples trash heap.”

But another caller was more concerned with the workers that have been affected by the lockout. “There are a lot of people who depend on hockey, not just the players and the owners. There are a lot of people who work – whether it’s in the bars in the area, or people who actually work in the arena,” he said.

Owner of Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub,  Tim Tharp, says business has been down 15-20 percent without the Red Wings playing.

“Well, it huge, every week, sometimes twice a week, we have so many people who come down to see the Wings,” said Tharp.”Then they experience downtown and its changes.”

He hopes that he’ll need to hire more people to handle the pre-Wings game dinner crowd.

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