Not even Alexander Ovechkin could help fill the Pepsi Center last season
Today I saw a car with an Avs flag flying at half-mast. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but it was rather fitting. Yes, many Avalanche fans are in mourning for our team.
Why, you might ask?
Well, while the rest of you were getting excited about prospect camp, taking pictures and watching the final scrimmage, us Avalanche fans were sitting quietly at home twiddling our thumbs. While you were anxiously watching the news wire for free agent signings by your team, we were napping. And while you were being wooed to renew or buy more season tickets, we were already making plans as to how we would spend the money that we used to spend on season tickets, our phones silent as no one from the organization even called to ask why we didn’t renew this year.
Yep. The Avalanche organization has simply stopped caring. How, you ask? Let me count the ways.
First, there’s the development camp. Apparently, according to the organization, the team had an “off-ice orientation” for the prospects. Excuse me, but has anyone ever heard of such an “orientation” before? An orientation where they ask all their prospects to interrupt their off-season training to come hang out for a few days and get “oriented” without stepping on the ice once? How stupid does the organization think we really are? If I were a betting woman, I’d say that we were being lied to, and that the Avs were having a development camp that is closed to the public and hence hush hush. Of course there is the slight possibility that they really were having just an off-ice orientation, in which case they really have thrown in the towel. Yes, while teams like the Caps, and even the God-awful Islanders were pulling in fans by the thousands we Avs fans could only read about other team’s camps with envy.
But wait! That’s not all! No, not only do you get a team who doesn’t take advantage of a great marketing opportunity, but you get a team that shows no interest in improving next year. That’s right, folks. No free agent signings, no help for a goalie who got the team to the playoffs almost completely on his own and no new, talented players for the fans to go watch. In fact, the Avs have done so little that they actually haven’t even reached the cap floor! The organization claims they’re “building from within” like the Red Wings, but let me tell you I’ve seen what’s coming up in the system and we have no Datsyuk or Zetterberg in our system to build around. Hmm. Maybe that’s why they didn’t have a camp. They didn’t want the fans to see what kind of talent we really did (or didn’t) have.
Unfriendly policies have discouraged fans from attending Avalanche games.
Finally, you’ve all heard me bitching about the treatment of season ticket holders but it begs repeating – those of us that have cancelled our season ticket haven’t gotten so much as a simple call asking us why or to reconsider. Perhaps it’s because it was seen as a waste of resources, or perhaps it’s because they just don’t care.
Of course, if this were Phoenix or another small-market, you might suspect that the organization was in financial trouble and just couldn’t afford the marketing, but alas, Kroenke Entertainment has more investments than you can shake a stick at, including the NFL Rams, Arsenal, Nuggets, a soccer stadium, a new ticket agency and whatever else I might be missing. Doesn’t look like struggling ownership to me.
Which leads me back to my original hypothesis: That the organization just doesn’t care. And if that’s the case, why should we fans?
I suppose it’s too early to say R.I.P., but I’ll say it anyway. Maybe the team will survive, or maybe it will be sold and shipped off to Winnipeg. Stranger things have happened.
Photos: Alexander Ovechkin and Pepsi Center by Goddess Sasha. 2009-2010. All rights reserved.