Skip to content

Blue Jackets might make playoffs, but work remains to attract fans

Mar 29, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 25: Columbus Blue Jackets fan Dustin Dulinksi waves an Ohio flag prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Red Wings on March 25, 2014 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Getty Images

With a 37-30-6 record, this is shaping up to be one of the best seasons in the history of the Columbus Blue Jackets. That’s a pretty sad statement, even after acknowledging the fact that the franchise only debuted in 2000-01.

Maybe that’s why fan interest in the Blue Jackets remains an area that’s lacking, even as the on-ice product seems to be moving in the right direction. Despite bolstering the number of season ticket holders they have compared to the shortened campaign, the Blue Jackets’ average home attendance has actually dropped this season and ranks 29th in the league at 13,959, per ESPN.com.

Only the Phoenix Coyotes have done worse and both teams are well behind the Dallas Stars, which rank 28th with an average of 14,477 fans. TV viewership for the Blue Jackets is similarly down and ranks 29th in the NHL.

“We’ve still got work to do with some folks, and we’ve not shied away from that,” Blue Jackets’ president of hockey operations John Davidson told the Columbus Dispatch. “People have been disappointed by their hockey team here through the years, and so we have a lot to prove to those people.”

This isn’t an issue the Blue Jackets can hope to completely solve by the summer, but they can certainly take some important steps in the right direction.

They are in the thick of the battle for an Eastern Conference Wild Card spot and if they get to the first round, that might spark renewed interest and excitement in the franchise. That would be especially true if they manage to at least make things interesting in the first round after they got swept in their only postseason series to date.

That’s the underlining theme as they prepare for tonight’s game against Carolina. They aren’t just fighting for a postseason spot. They are competing to win over a market that wants to start seeing results.

Latest Posts
  1. Blues re-sign Jaskin to one-year contract

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:00 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Scored 13 goals in 54 games last season.

  2. Sabres sign veteran d-man Colaiacovo

    Jul 3, 2015, 7:44 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    Buffalo also signed Cal O’Reilly, who played last season with the AHL Utica Comets.

  3. Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets

    Jul 3, 2015, 6:43 PM EDT

    AP

    He signed a six-year, $36 million deal with Columbus.

  4. Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal

    Jul 3, 2015, 5:44 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    “Joel is a quality veteran player who can score but also plays an extremely hard-nosed brand of hockey.”

  5. ‘Canes hire ex-Florida assistant Morris for AHL gig

    Jul 3, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    Brings a wealth of success, experience at AHL, collegiate levels.

  6. Locked in: Columbus signs Saad to six-year, $36M deal

    Jul 3, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT

    150611_Saad Getty Images

    “This long-term commitment that assures he will be an important part of our team for years to come.”

  7. Larkin, Mantha in tough to make Red Wings roster, says Holland

    Jul 3, 2015, 2:37 PM EDT

    AnthonyMantha

    “They gotta come in and knock somebody out of the box.”

  8. Flyers sign Colin McDonald

    Jul 3, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    A one-year, two-way deal for the ex-Islander.

  9. Jets re-sign Maurice’s coaching staff

    Jul 3, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Winnipeg Jets v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    Charlie Huddy, Pascal Vincent and Wade Flaherty all inked three-year extensions.

  10. Blues re-sign Allen for two years

    Jul 3, 2015, 12:46 PM EDT

    Jake Allen AP

    Expected to battle Brian Elliott for the starting role in St. Louis.

  11. Oilers sign McDavid to entry-level contract

    Jul 3, 2015, 12:23 PM EDT

    Connor McDavid AP

    “It’s an exciting time to be a part of this organization.”

  12. Quick hits: Caps give Bourque two-year, two-way deal

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:32 AM EDT

    Nashville Predators v Washington Capitals Getty Images

    Bobby Sanguinetti to Buffalo; Sharks grab Mark Cundari.

  13. Philly hires goalie coach Dillabaugh, formerly of Los Angeles

    Jul 3, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    Steve Mason AP

    Where he “contributed to the development of Jonathan Quick, Jonathan Bernier and Martin Jones.”

  14. Rangers sign ex-Sabres, Jackets forward Adam

    Jul 3, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT

    Luke Adam Getty Images

    The 44th overall pick at the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Richards (2589)
  2. P. Kessel (2123)
  3. Z. Kassian (2087)
  4. B. Saad (1877)
  5. S. Voynov (1836)
  1. A. Sekera (1751)
  2. R. O'Reilly (1707)
  3. D. Hamilton (1675)
  4. B. Richards (1647)
  5. S. Gagner (1616)