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Blackhawks nominated as Sports Team of the Year by SportsBusiness Journal

Mar 17, 2014, 4:04 PM EDT

Penguins Blackhawks Hockey AP

The Chicago Blackhawks are one of six nominees for Sports Team of the Year in the seventh annual Sports Business Awards.

The Stanley Cup champion ‘Hawks are up against the Boston Red Sox, Golden State Warriors, Portland Timbers, Seattle Seahawks and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Chicago leads the NHL in attendance, averaging 22,802 at the United Center (and one sold-out game at Soldier Field.) The ‘Hawks also led the league in attendance the previous five seasons.

That’s a far cry from where the Original Six club was for the first few seasons of the new millennium, bottoming out in 2006-07 when average attendance was just 12,727 (29th in the NHL) and hockey was an afterthought in the Windy City.

Another Original Six club that had struggled to maintain relevancy in a big sports city, the Boston Bruins, received the 2012 Sports Team of the Year Award after winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, its first championship since 1972.

PS — NBC Sports Group is nominated in three categories: Best in Sports Media, Best in Sports Television, and Best in Digital Sports Media.

  1. comeonnowguys - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    I’m putting the over/under on “Bandwagon” or “fair-weather” at 24.5.

    Now, where’s my popcorn…

    • blues1988 - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      lol yeah, went to school near there 07-11, saw the bandwagon out in full force.

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      Darn. I should have put 3-2 odds on a Blues fan being the first to jump on that.

      • hammerhead5573 - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        I would also go 3-2 that no one realizes what team you pull for until it’s too late such as exhibit A above.

  2. hammerhead5573 - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Comeonnow you beat me to it. This is going to be hysterical.

  3. stcrowe - Mar 17, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Amazing how far that franchise has come since Bill Wirtz died.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      Indeed. Good riddance to Dollar Bill Wirtz. Long Live Rocky!!!!

      • thebigwhitecat - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:48 PM

        Dollar Bill died on my birthday, September 26th. Best birthday present ever.

  4. sjsharks66 - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    Im sure a big piece is bandwagon fans. By big piece I would say about 2,000 in the 22k attendance. Boston had it’s bandwagon, as did LA. If the Sharks ever win the cup I expect a lot of bandwagon fans to jump on in the bay area. The Sharks have a strong following in the bay but you also have people who “like” the Sharks. I feel like most fan bases have those people in the city that like their home team but once they start winning championships they suddenly “love” their home team.

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      Bandwagon only being 1/11 of a fanbase? I’ll take that in a heartbeat!

    • bsaures - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      Considering their attendance was between 12-13K when they were not doing well I would say bandwagoners make up almost 10K of the 22K

  5. sjsharks66 - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Well, I was talking more about who is in attendance. Im sure there are more who are outside of the Chicago area. It reminds me of the game in Phoenix when Boston had just won the cup. About 90% of the people at the game were in Boston jerseys. Not sure if they travelled from Boston for the game. Because who wants to travel from Boston to show that much support in Phoenix? No offense Coyotes fans..

    • dadawg77 - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      One thing the Phoenix area has a lot of people (retirees) and families from Chicago. Hell even Phoenix’s football came from Chicago. But this boosts the Chicago fan base there.

  6. tas750 - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    After they let JR, Chelios, & Belfour go…..i became fans of other teams, there was nothing to cheer about being named worst sports franchise numerous times. Sadly as soon as $Bill Wirtz passed i once again adorned my Hawks attire. They have come a long way and I would say the majority of Hawks fans did the same as me. Does that make us bandwagon fans?

    • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:22 PM

      Nope.

      • bsaures - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        It is the exact definition of a bandwagoner. He didnt cheer when the team was bad but did again when they got good again.

      • flyerspsu - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        yes it is, its not like the attendance and interest in the team just went down, they fell off the face of the earth, the Chicago and Pittsburgh fanbases have gone from years at the bottom and dead last in attendance to the top in no time, that is the definition of bandwagon

      • hammerhead5573 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:05 PM

        Baureus – ok so by your definition, no matter the product that was thrown out there and I literally mean thrown out there, us BlackHawk fans should have just shut up and deal with it. The last time I checked, the best way to get the attention of the owners if you are a fan is stop showing up. If you keep showing up when the product was garbage you are telling ownership it doesn’t matter we will still pay.. Rocky Wirtz made it very clear they wanted their fans back. He got a better product, treated fans like they mattered and got the community involved in a lot. Now the fans that were always there, are back. I personally can care less if you or anyone thinks I am bandwagon. The fans spoke in droves and finally after the death of Bill Wirtz, we got a better product in Chicago. One of which has many teams building much like Chicago did.

      • bsaures - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:42 PM

        I never said you had to shut up and accept it but you also dont give up like a quitter. You work with the owners and try to support your franchise to get better. It is truly sad that a franchise as old as Chicago has fans that as soon as things get tough they bail in droves.

        How is a team supposed to get better, sign good players, retain talent when the fans don’t come and spend money. 13000 fans buying 10 dollar tickets doesnt create a lot of money to create competitive rosters when other teams get 18000 fans buying 50-100 dollar tickets. Chicago fans created their own spiral of failure by not supporting their team.

      • comeonnowguys - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:12 AM

        And with that comment, marked 9:42 p.m., you proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have absolutely no clue what you are talking about in regards to the subject of Dollar Bill Wirtz.

    • bsaures - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Yes

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        After reading your long reply above, it’s obvious that you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

        You hopefully will never have to go through the same treatment that we did. “Dollar” Bill Wirtz REFUSED to televise home games!!!!!! I could go on and on with examples of how awful that man was to us fans, but it really doesn’t matter. What’s done is done.

        We didn’t “bail” out on our team. We were basically told to f off. That included season ticket holders.

        Blackhawks fans returned in droves when we were finally shown some appreciation.

        I urge you to look up the definition of bandwagon and explain how it’s use is even relevant. (Hint: it’s not.)

      • bsaures - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:20 PM

        Your making alot of excuses typical of a weak fan base. The Fans didnt do anything about it the guy died before any changes were made. They just sat pouting in the corner. They put little to no effective pressure on ownership to make changes. If he was the owner of Montreal he would have been ousted and forced to sell after 5 years by the fans who wouldnt put up with that. But then again they actually care about the teams performance.

        And FYI there has never been a blackhawks dynasty they have never even won 2 years in a row.

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:02 AM

        Hawks fans stopped buying tickets and merchandise. How is that “not pressuring” ownership?

        That’s the best pressure one can put on ownership – stop giving them money in an attempt to force the owners to change things.

        Weak fan base my a$$ – did you not read the article?

        And FYI, I never said they are a dynasty. It’s just a name moron.

  7. blomfeld - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

    Kings are better.

    • hammerhead5573 - Mar 17, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Said no one ever

    • blomfeld - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      2011 Stanley Cup Champions.

      Blackhawks only ‘wish’ they had a ‘loyal’ fan base like the Kings.

      Jealousy does not look ‘good’ on you, ‘friend’!

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        The Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks would ‘never’ ‘wish’ to be an irrelevant ‘illusion’ like the LA ‘Queens’

        ‘Loyal’ fan base is ‘something’ ‘LA’ doesn’t ‘understand’

        Keep ‘dreaming’ ‘blom’

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        Why ‘troll’ the Hawks articles ‘blom’?

        Oh, you already ‘answered’ that.

        ‘Jealousy’

        Sucks to be ‘you’ and your beloved ‘queens’

      • thebigwhitecat - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:39 PM

        Blomfeld, let me post a famous quote by the beloved Jack Kent Cooke, original owner of the Kings:

        “Jack had been told that in 1967, there were 300,000 former Canadians living within driving range of his Forum. When attendance lagged in the early years he was known for his famous quote, “Now I know why they left Canada … They hate hockey!”

  8. csilojohnson - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    Yes tas. By definition that would make you a bandwagon fan.

    • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 17, 2014 at 6:38 PM

      Wrong.

      • flyerspsu - Mar 17, 2014 at 7:15 PM

        no its right, its understandable considering the circumstances but when you completely ignore your home team’s existence to that incredible extent and then come rushing back in #s when they get real good soon after, that is bandwagon

      • blackhawksdynasty - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:44 PM

        I never ignored my team’s existence. I cheered for them from my home. I refused to continue to pour my money into a horrible owner’s pockets. I have never cheered for another hockey team.

        I have always cheered for the Cubs and will continue to do so. When they get better, I’ll attend more games.

        It’s called being a fan. Not a “bandwagon fan”
        Looks like you idiots are just jealous trolls.

      • comeonnowguys - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:16 AM

        And here’s the best part: To cheer for them at home meant you had to listen to the radio, because he sure as hell wasn’t going to put those games on TV.

        IIRC, HawkVision was $72 per playoff series (early 1990s money). For the home games. This was when they were selling out. Think about that next time you think, “Oh hey, there’s a game on,” and flip on a TV by reflex.

  9. comeonnowguys - Mar 18, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    Fortunately and unfortunately, the fact that WWW’s death/Rocky’s takeover and their on-ice resurgence happened on top of each other means that we won’t truly know exactly how much of an impact each had on the attendance.

    Of course there are bandwagon fans. It’s a fact of life in all sports. But here’s the thing people seem to miss: With each new fan comes the opportunity to hook that person so that they’ll stick around through the next wave of rebuilding.

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