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Patrick Roy impressed by ‘crazy’ Chicago fandom

Mar 13, 2014, 7:54 PM EDT

Patrick Roy AP

There’s a pretty good rivalry brewing in the Central Division between Chicago and Colorado but, according to Avs head coach Patrick Roy, it’s tough to compare the two fanbases right now.

Here’s more, from the Denver Post:

The subject of all those Blackhawk-red jerseys that were in the stands of the Pepsi Center Wednesday night came up in today’s press briefing with Patrick Roy. Hey, a sellout’s a sellout, but there is no doubt Roy and the Avs want to see more of their own jerseys in the stands from now on, especially if the Avs are to meet Chicago in the playoffs…

“Ten years ago or 12 years ago, there was nobody in Chicago at their games. I didn’t want to play those games because they were boring games,” Roy said. “It was 8,000 people and it was like ‘ughh.’ Even if they tried to be loud, at the national anthem, it was boring going in and playing there.

“Now, 10 years later I’m coming back and it’s crazy over there and they’re all over the place. Then, I think they’re a great example for us. I’m not saying the fans of Denver will follow our team like they do on the road, but I think it’s possible for us to create something close to that.”

There were 18,007 people in attendance for Colorao’s 3-2 win at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night, well above the Avs’ season average of 16,066.

Roy’s comment is just the latest example of a NHL city taking note of traveling Blackhawks fans. This past summer, the Blues announced four games on the 2013-14 schedule would not be available for single-game ticket purchases: Opening night Oct. 3 (Nashville), Oct. 9 (Chicago), Dec. 28 (Chicago) and Apr. 13 (Detroit).

Why those games?

Here’s more, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The Blues are one of the NHL teams this season, including Nashville, which are requiring fans to buy tickets to multiple games in order to acquire them for meetings against Chicago.

In recent years, the Blackhawks have attracted huge crowds to Scottrade Center, at times taking over the in-game atmosphere, and that could continue after the ‘Hawks won their second Stanley Cup in four years in 2012-13.

As mentioned, Nashville also had a similar ticket initiative, designed to “keep the red out” of Bridgestone Arena.

  1. phxyotes - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    Bandwagon fans…

    • tas750 - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      Hey there yote, My Chicago born father retired to Arizona and is one of many RED jersey’s in your arena, not all are bandwagon fans

      • pfhockey - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:53 PM

        Fair weather? I mean it seems all it takes is to have some sort of relation to a city and root for them whenever they play great. CHI was at the bottom of the barrel during their rebuild and now have what seems to be the biggest fanbase. A massive change in popularity a decade ago. It must be the unis.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:46 PM

      You can’t deny that they aren’t bandwagon fans because they only started turning up when their team started to win. Where were they during the rebuild, where were the Kings fans, the Pens fan ect. ? #bandwagon

      • blomfeld - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        been a King’s fan since ’73 pal … :)

      • enzod91 - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:19 AM

        when the owner blacks out the games on television and puts a horrible product on the ice how many people are going to show up?? the hawks have had a great fan base since the originial six days and due to the horrible management of Bill Wuertz the fans basically went on strike

      • gret9 - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:23 AM

        enzod91 – Agree 100%. I became a Blackhawks fan in the mid 80’s when I moved to northern Indiana and had a Murray Bannerman jersey made (that taught me to never have a goalie as my favorite player;) ) and the whole nine yards.

        But in the mid 90’s I got fed up with not being able to see home games on TV and just the general ineptness of ‘Dollar’ Bill Wirtz’ running of the organization. I swore off the Blackhawks until ‘Dollar’ Bill was no longer in control. I came back when Rocky took over the team and have no plans on leaving.

        BTW, check out Detroit’s attendance figures during the ‘Dead Wings’ days. Just about any team’s attendance suffers when they suck, that is just human nature.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:15 PM

        @ethan, that’s not a bandwagon fan.

        A bandwagon fan is someone who routinely changes his favorite team. Usually losers who think cheering for a winning team adds inches to their manhood.

        A fairweather fan is someone who goes missing while their team is losing. Which is what Hawks fans were doing before Toews, Kane et al. showed up.

        A Yotes fan calling out other fans for being bad? Are you serious? Team that routinely loses $10-20M a season because they have one of the worst attendance records over the last 10 years.

      • dontbeadope - Mar 16, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        only dopes use hashtags where they don’t mean anything

  2. phipfwe76 - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:16 PM

    It’s not really a surprise. There have been bandwagon fans as long as there has been hockey. Same reason Penguins games had thousands of people dressed as empty seats a decade ago (along with fans on road games). Everyone loves a winner.

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      The Cubs had been proof that losing itself doesn’t chase fans away. The Blackhawks actively chased fans away more effectively than Radiohead could ever dream of.

      Yes, of the 2 million that showed up at the rally in ’10, a good portion probably couldn’t have named five players on the team, but there’s more to it than simply “If you win it, they will come.”

      • thestillcity - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:02 PM

        Just interested in your analogy: in what way has Radiohead chased away fans? Their shows sell out in about 15 seconds all over the world. They’ve been the hottest ticket on the planet for decades.

        Unlike, say, Jay-Z or Kanye, who end up giving away 10,000+ seats to every show just to make them look full.

      • PhillySN - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:17 PM

        I love the fact that Radiohead reinvent their sound and continue to be inventive, unique and original. By doing so they’ve effectively made their audience love them more by excluding those that cannot comprehend what is not spoon fed to them. If that’s what constitutes “chasing away” more the merrier than

      • comeonnowguys - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        It could be senility kicking in, but I have memories if Thomas Yorke interviews in advance of Kid A where he lamented their popularity from the previous two albums and I swore he said part of Kid A’s departure was because of it.

      • comeonnowguys - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:35 PM

        Frigging auto correct. Type in t-h-o-m and it comes out Thomas.

      • fb96 - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        When I was growing up, Cubs attendance was so bad that they gave tickets away to kids for helping to push up the seats in the stands. Attendance went up when the Tribune Company sold Wrigley Field and the experience–not the team. And attendance has been down 200,000 – 300,000 per season for the last couple of years. The Blackhawks management under “Dollar Bill” Wirtz, traded away fan favorites, refused to televise games, alienated former players, and did just about everything they could do to destroy the fan base.

  3. pone27 - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    Pretty much, us Hawks fan dominate..

    In all seriousness though, I would bet a ton are bandwagoners. Being a life long Hawks fan born and raised in NY, I have noticed the trends:

    Early-mid 90’s (Roenick era) fan base was fairly high

    late 90’s-2000 (umm I guess Steve Sullivan/Eric Daze era??) fans were nowhere to be found

    past 3 years, rampant.

    What has also gone up in the past 3 years? FAKE JERSEYS. Any true/smart fan will at least buy a replica than a fake “authentic.”

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      I grew up listening to games on the radio because $$$ Bill wouldn’t put games on TV. I listen to games when WGN shows them now because I don’t live in Chicagoland.

      I watched as WWW traded the team of my childhood away, chased away Foley, and nickeled and dimed their way to the Worst Franchise in sports.

      …I’m not dropping hundreds of dollars just to please a bunch of hockey hipsters. Why stop there?Which would you have me buy for street cred? Goulet? Shantz? Probert? Graham? Daze? Thibault? …Orr?

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:18 PM

        So many people simply don’t know what we lifelong Blackhawk fans were put through for so many years.

        Old Man Wirtz refusing to televise home games (that’s only one example)….. I wonder how many fans on PHT would abandon their team if that policy were adopted.

        When the franchise was finally resurrected and fans were shown the appreciation they deserve, we came back.

        Does that make us bandwagon fans?


      • comeonnowguys - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:38 PM

        I remember that brief period after Rocky took over where it was unclear if he would be any different.

        And then he announced they would televise as many games as possible as soon as possible.

        (Choirs of angels sing)

    • nj666 - Mar 13, 2014 at 11:12 PM

      yeah you shell out 150 for a replica and I’ll spend 50 on my “fake ‘authentic'” and you’re the smart one?

  4. c9castine - Mar 13, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    Listen, cities like Chicago and Pittsburgh are great hockey cities. There is always going to be bandwagon fans for any team and sport but there are tons of fans that are always there. A lot of it is due to the 2005 lockout….the game is reaching a lot more people and is a much better game.

    Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh, rangers all travel really well.

    • kaptaanamerica - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      uh, you forgot the Bruins… also, Canuck nation represents in every bldg… and have been known to take over in better times, the duck pond, shark tank, and staples centre… not to mention the yotes arena or the arenas in alberta,..

      • ethanmacleod1685 - Mar 13, 2014 at 10:48 PM

        Canucks fans get beaten up when they come to the tank !

      • c9castine - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        Ok great this article is a about Chicago, and Pittsburgh was brought up about bandwagon fans. And Pittsburgh sells more away tickets than any other franchise

  5. phillyphannnn83 - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    So basically, Roy is saying what the rest of have known forever…that most Blackhawks fans are fake bandwagon fans who were nowhere to be found 10-15 yr ago when the team was horrible. Got it.

    • President Charles Logan - Mar 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      phillyphannn83 is still upset at Michael Leighton

  6. tfilarski - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Even if they are “bandwagon” fans, you really should not be getting upset over it. As a true fan of the sport and of the NHL, should be very happy that an original six team has an active fan base. It only means good things for the NHL.

  7. earpaniac - Mar 14, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    I’m sure some are bandwagon fans, but the large majority were chased away by Dollar Bill. The mans actual strategy was to be good enough to make the playoffs but lose in the first round, as he’d get playoff money but not have to pay the expense of more rounds and losing. And when he somehow blundered into being good, i.e. ’92, he traded everyone away. And of course being the only guy with no TV games in sports. And btw, I think Roy was exaggerating. I don’t think they drew 8,000 fans 10-12 yrs ago. Lol

    • dtownbeatdown - Mar 14, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      Chicago is a bandwagon city, plain and simple. But I mean when you have a crap product on the ice for so long I don’t blame them. Bandwagon or not, it is good for hockey the more fans there are. But in all honesty I have never witnessed a more obnoxious fan base. (Yes worse than Vancouver)

      I just miss the days when I could go to the United Center and it would be a Red Wings home game, and probably the only game Chicago would sell out all year. Before 2008 they were lucky to get over 5000 fans in the United Center. And not to mention tickets being dirt cheap. I am going to Chicago for the game on Sunday against the Wings, lets see how many try to fight me this time for wearing the red and white…

      • comeonnowguys - Mar 14, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        Yes, selling out home games, how obnoxious of them.

  8. darksidecowboy - Mar 14, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    There’s a lot to like about the Hawks, the speed, the margue players, and the cups. Being a Stars fan it’s no doubt that the amount of Hawks fans at Stars games exploded after the cup win. Fans like winners period, plus they have the second best jersey after the Stars new green ones. Hawks fans are loud and proud which is a good thing. Dallas fans need a winner to, so hopefully in a couple years Benn/Seguin and company will bring out the bandwagon Dallas fans. It’s all fun to me, watching hockey in a soldout arena can’t be beat.

  9. bluesdroogie - Mar 14, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    as a Blues fan since 86 (I was maybe 5or 6) or so lately I have seen Chicago fans coming to st Louis, I asked one and he said the cheapest seat at the madhouse was more expensive than the train ride and a seat in the nosebleeds at the scotttrade. but also the former owner of the blues used to sell sections to Chicago fans. they would be sitting glass level and have 2 or 3 sections to themselves, it was horrible. not saying its wrong, if you are a fan and want to travel and pay the money go for it.

    with that being said, I like the idea of certain games have to be bought in group ticket deals. I just purchased my 1 game ticket for Detroit through stubhub. I will be at the Blues last home game.

    For all the bandwagoner comments, everyteam has them when they are doing well. I was at the games in st Louis a few years ago when we sucked and 8-10,000 showed up. and now its near or at capacity every game. yes the blues have bandwagoners . EVERYTEAM DOES.

  10. mackattack29 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    I don’t get why “real” blackhawks fans are so offended by the undeniable statement that over 80 percent of today’s fans only know johnny “Toes” and “Kaner!” Lol just be happy that you aren’t one of the bandwagon fans that are spending tons of money and helping the sport of hockey that we all love stay relevant when most of the fans I’ve met at Chicago games start yelling every time there is an offsides because they don’t understand even the simplest of rules. Anyways. There are tons of bandwagon fans in hockey at the moment but I think the general consensus is that the hawks are by far the worst and it is bound to increase the amount they get $h!t on by other teams fans. I’ve been a fan of the avs since they were the nordiques and was lucky enough to experience Burnaby Joes entire career. I got to see foppa and the duke in their prime. Overall I think people on both sides of the bandwagon fan issue just need to accept that this is the way sports are and enjoy it if you are one of the few fans who are actually truly hockey fans rather than the scum of the sporting world that is the johnny toes and KANERS! lol sorry just have met one too many chicago fans who are just awful…

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