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Panthers president addresses lightly attended preseason game

Sep 16, 2013, 9:10 PM EDT

Florida Panthers executive Michael Yormark reached out to Puck Daddy to explain the widely mocked attendance for Monday afternoon’s preseason game against the Nashville Predators, which still requires this shot for context and a little shock value:

source:  Again, this photo comes via Erin Brown (Fox Sports Florida)

Like Brown said earlier, Yormark told Puck Daddy that the main function of the exhibition is for scouts to evaluate talent rather than for fans to fill the building. He admitted that “the day game attendance is not as high as we would like,” but described the doubleheader as a “unique opportunity for our fans.”

The most interesting tidbits came when the outspoken front office member said that ticket sales are generally looking up, at least compared to the abbreviated 2013 campaign.

“ … However, in no way does today’s attendance reflect our expectation for the upcoming season,” Yorkmark wrote. “In fact, we fully expect an opening night sellout, our new full season equivalent ticket sales are up 41-percent over last year and we also expect the 2013-14 season to be the fourth consecutive year in which we see an average home attendance increase at the BB&T Center.”

That 41-percent mark might be a little misleading because of the likely damage that came from the lockout, yet it still is a nice figure for Florida to point to.

Does any of this totally erase the embarrassment of such a scant crowd? Probably not, but it doesn’t seem like the Panthers were completely shocked by sparse attendance of an exhibition with little selling power, either.

  1. jimw81 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Congrats to the Florida Panther fan this afternoon that won $7 in the 50/50 draw

    • c9castine - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:57 PM

      hhahahahaha. pens sold 12 thousand tickets and monday night football is going on. panthers sold 12. unbelievable….im certainly no canadian hockey monger thinking some people dont deserve hockey and we should move them all north, but well….hope that situation gets better its a drain on an otherwise thriving league.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:48 AM

        hahaha unbelievable your comparing a game at 7:00 to a game at 2:30.

      • ryanrockzzz - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        Seriously……..maybe if this post was about the teams that finsihed BELOW The Panthers in attendence last year…..

    • rsmaggiemae - Sep 17, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      I cant see cities where you have to wear flip flops to a game to draw fans in the heat
      I dont really care for any city that does not have snow and cold weather for hockey
      not out west, south or southwest or in the northwest.
      I live in Minnesota and its great to go to a game when its 20 below with 48 inches of snow on the ground that hockey weather

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        Pretty narrow minded I’d say. I love the fact that I can wear flip flops and shorts to a Panthers game, not wearing a jacket, walking though snow banks up to my hips, slipping on ice in weather that is colder than goals scored from the home team. Oh, and I am a transplant from Minnesota.

  2. innovativethinking87 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    Portland is ready

    • imleftcoast - Sep 17, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Why move the team from one retirement community to another? Seattle is ready, and people work here. Portland does some things (food and babes), but Seattle should get the hockey team.

  3. eggserino - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    A non-hockey market that draws poorly for a pre-season game? Thanks for beating the drum…

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      The problem was that the advertisements for the game mistakenly said it would be played at “an undisclosed location” so their tens of thousands of fans were understandably confused.

  4. greatmiamisportsmind - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    I’m sorry not too many people are going to miss work/school for a meaningless preseason game.

  5. crazemastercraze - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    Can we please just admit defeat and move this team? Please????

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      lol they aren’t gonna move. in case you didn’t know, the panthers are owned under a larger investment that uses their losses as tax purposes to off set earnings they made. not to mention both co-owners reside in south florida year round.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:50 AM


  6. maria716 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Well, the next two preseason games start at 8:30pm so it will be interesting to see how that affects attendance. In addition, if Timmy plays in Wednesday’s preseason game & attendance is noticeably higher than expected the Panthers may have yet another reason to sign him.

  7. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    I don’t get why folks refer to these preseason games as meaningless. Yes, we already know the big names are going to make it to regular season (and often don’t even play preseason games), but if you’re really a fan of your team, you’d be excited to see your up-and-coming prospects battling for a chance to make it to the NHL. Some of those guys as playing as hard as they ever have. Frankly, I’m pretty jacked to see the Wild vs Jets game next weekend. If I had a prospect pool like the Panthers do, I’d try to make as many preseason games as I possibly could.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 16, 2013 at 11:37 PM

      You can go watch them in training camp for free

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      They are meaningless because it:

      1. Has no meaning to the team if they win or lose. The 2 (sometimes 3, but that’s a whole different debate) points they receive in the preseason standings has no implication on the regular season standings.

      2. Has no meaning if (insert random player here) scored 4 goals and has 2 assists, or (insert random goalie here) makes 33 saves and has a shutout. Those stats don’t count towards regular season stats.

      3. Why would someone miss work/school/whatever else to see 3 of 4 players who are going to be sent back to their junior team or be playing in the AHL in a month.

      Therefore, the game was meaningless.

      • dueman - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:35 AM

        lol – The fact that there were more players on the ice than fans in the stands is just an embarrassment period! You can try to paint it any way you like, but it is what it is.

      • greatmiamisportsmind - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:46 AM

        I could understand if the game was on a weekend or 7:00 PM, the fact that this game was at 2:30 when most adults are at work and children are at school, nobody should be surprised at the attendance.

    • dueman - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      @lostpuppysyndrome I totally agree with you. The fact that some people shot down your comment gives reason to a lot of the stupid comments we sometimes see on this site! To not “be excited to see your up-and-coming prospects” is to not be a fan.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Sep 17, 2013 at 12:50 AM

      Lostpuppy, of course you should be excited for the Jets/Wild game. The fact that those 2 teams are division rivals should only fuel the excitement.

      However, the Panthers/Predators don’t exactly have a rivalry at all, let a lone play in the same division.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:49 AM

        I understand the lack of rivalry between Florida and Nashville, but some folks look at preseason hockey as meaningless altogether. If that were the case, then there’d be no reason to hold preseason hockey. A near-empty arena on a Friday night during the regular season at the BB&T wouldn’t even really surprise me, let alone a preseason game at 2pm on a weekday. However, if the Heat were playing a preseason game at that same time, with or without Lebron, I’m sure that place would have far more people. The folks who say “it’s just preseason hockey, who cares” miss the point of preseason hockey. I can only hope that either the arena wasn’t open to the public or they didn’t advertise the game to anyone.

  8. drewzducks - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    There were more people in Tim Thomas’ bunker than there were in that arena.

  9. jimw81 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    nhl needs to start taking teams away from bad owners just like nba,mlb and nfl did and place them real hockey markets. this is getting so tiring.

  10. nj666 - Sep 16, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    how was the attendance tonight? they don’t mention that. There are many variables at play on why not many people showed up this afternoon.

  11. shanesander - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    lol cyber arguing

  12. blomfeld - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:51 AM


    If ever there was a time to shut down these ‘parasitic’ franchises and move them north where they belong, then that would be right now! The imagery from this opening Panther’s home game is positively ‘sickening’ and it does nothing but sully the good efforts of Gary & crew who are trying build our game for the better. Anyone here who calls themselves a Panther’s fan should hang their head in shame, as this is beyond a kick in the teeth to those of us who grew up playing and loving this wonderful game.

  13. hjworton46 - Sep 17, 2013 at 2:04 AM

    Hockey in Florida not so popular; who’d have predicted that :/ ?

  14. bullwinkle88 - Sep 17, 2013 at 5:21 AM

    The only reason Thomas wants to play in Florida is so he won’t have to visit Obama.

  15. girouxed - Sep 17, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Give Canada another team already sweet Jesus

  16. augsburg12 - Sep 17, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Remember when preseason games were free or cheap…

  17. 950003cups - Sep 17, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    A 2:30 game on a weekday for a non-hockey market shouldn’t draw much at all. But that was embarrassing. It shows that all the Panther “attendance stats” are fully inflated or out right lies. How can they average 18,000+ per game when the place is empty on TV.

    NOTE: you don’t count the seats as attendance. People have to be sitting in them first, then you can count them.

  18. h8rgnh8 - Sep 18, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    The game was @ 2:30….. I think attendance would be better if the Panthers still played in downtown Miami at the Miami Arena. It’s been years since they moved out to west Broward county. The place is not easily accessible by public transportation. Growing up in South FL the Panthers were my gateway team to the awesome sport that is Hockey so I have to cut them some slack.

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