One of the sports topics I’ve become more aware of through Twitter is team attendance. Over the past few years, one team that has had its attendance numbers scrutinized is the Florida Panthers.
Game time #Sens #Panthers pic.twitter.com/WR0Vwb2l0H
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) October 13, 2014
It can be a sore subject for home fans…
…and open-season for media and other cities’ fans.
Hey @FlaPanthers there's an arena in Quebec that would welcome you with open arms. Just tell @strombone1 it's an "extended" vacation.
— Paul Cote (@Rottenplanet) October 14, 2014
Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshinski attempted to explain the reasoning behind the low attendance.
New Puck Daddy: In defense of Florida Panthers' epically embarrassing crowd vs. Ottawa http://t.co/16pWXCimX0
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) October 14, 2014
Wyshinski’s key point was how the Panthers no longer give away tickets (free) out to, well, just anyone. Teams have adopted this practice through the years for various reasons. Some do it as a connection to the community. Others do it in partnership with sponsors or at live remotes. Even contests. But, just freely giving away? That’s like giving money away.
Needless to say, the Panthers were the butt of jokes on Twitter. And questions. Question for Panthers beat writers:
not going anywhere anytime soon – @Marco_281284: if attendance keeps going like this or get worse are panthers in trouble and relocated?
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) October 14, 2014
Twitter has a way of spreading a story, true or not, like wildfire. While most won’t face a “crisis” on the Baltimore Ravens’-Ray Rice level, teams have to be prepared for any and all situations. The Florida Panthers’ Twitter response? The only way they could respond:
Loyalty is best earned on the back of virtue, honor and integrity. Together, we climb. Thanks to all who came. #FlaPanthers
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) October 14, 2014
Simple. Positive. Focused on the future.
With the NHL season just underway, it’s a story that is not likely to go away soon.
Yeah, not anytime soon: