Reason #10: While it may be difficult being a Colorado Avalanche fan right now, support Avs Nation by attending games at the Pepsi Center.
It’s tough being a Colorado Avalanche fan these days. The team is in a full rebuild. As Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock once famously warned, there is pain coming. What makes it worse is the Avs don’t seem to be building too much — this offseason has seemed like one long coffee break for the front offices.
Well, don’t despair. Don’t dust off your second team’s fan gear in preparation of jumping ship. And don’t plan on eschewing attending Colorado Avalanche games. Your team needs you.
No, really, the team needs you. In the Pepsi Center. Rooting for them.
According to a recent MSN Sports article, the Colorado Avalanche are #9 among sports teams “losing” fans. Last season their average home game attendance was 14,835. That puts the Pepsi Center at 82.4% capacity for hockey games. That’s a -15.8% change from 10 years ago.
A couple things about that. For a while, the Avalanche had a long-running sell-out streak. We all know why — they were a stellar team. Through the 1990s and early 2000s, they were putting a star-studded team on the ice.
Well, as those stars starting retiring, we didn’t see adequate “replacements” coming into the roster. That 2006-07 roster still had Joe Sakic, so there was still some thought that the team could be good. But it was the beginning of a slump that’s lasted a decade, so it makes sense fan attendance has been down.
Here’s the second, more unfortunate, thing — spectators at Colorado Avalanche games aren’t necessarily Avs fans. Colorado is a destination state. And as much as I rail against it, transplants bring their external sports alliances with them.
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In the golden Why Not Us season, 2013-14, Avs fans still outnumbered opponent fans, and by a decent margin. Last year’s 48-point failure saw the ratio turn to 50-50 most nights.
It’s awful when you’re in your home arena and you see as many opponent jerseys as home jerseys. It’s demoralizing when the opponent scores and the cheers are as loud as when the Avs score.
It’s a horror story to watch bold opponent fans get up and try to rally fellow opponent fans as if they’re in their home arena. No, this is not United Center South, and it sure as hell isn’t Xcel Energy Center South!
I had a bold Washington Capitals fan actually mouth off to me that I was in “the wrong place” when I told him to sit down and stop rallying opponent fans. I’m pretty sure he meant because I was in the Caps attack twice section, but my whole row of fellow female Avs fans (Hockey in Heels night) lambasted the ill-advised fellow.
So, here’s my own rally cry, Avs fans. I know the Colorado Avalanche aren’t putting the best product out there right now. I know firsthand how hard it is to keep your head up when the team is awful and you’re surrounded by opponent fans.
That’s just it, Avs Nation. Are we fair-weather fans? No, we’re not. Maybe we owe it to the logo and the players to support them even when they’re down. Maybe we don’t.
But we owe it to each other, our Avs Fam, to support each other in the face of this pain. We’re a fractious bunch, but we love our team. So, show support to your fellow Colorado Avalanche fans by attending games at Pepsi Center this season and taking back home team advantage.