Salmon Arm Silverbacks operations manager Brooks Christensen hopes to bring in more people from the community to watch the junior hockey team play. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks operations manager Brooks Christensen hopes to bring in more people from the community to watch the junior hockey team play. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm fans not filling seats at Silverbacks games

Silverbacks manager Brooks Christensen questions low game attendance.

Experiencing a slump in game attendance, Salmon Arm’s local junior hockey team is asking for the community’s support.

Silverbacks operations manager Brooks Christensen is concerned over the lack of attendance to the team’s home games.

Although September is considered to be a slow month in terms of ticket sales, Christensen said the year as a whole ticket sales are averaging lower than years previous.

Read more: Salmon Arm Silverbacks maintain winning streak

Read more: Salmon Arm Silverbacks remain undefeated

Before management changed hands six years ago, Christensen said the team would regularly put 1,500 to 2,000 fans in seats.

While that crowd size is now between 700 to 1,000, Christensen said his goal of a consistent 1,200 is attainable.

Christensen said the team has been putting in more of an effort than ever before to appeal to the community, with players regularly partaking in local events, an increased presence on social media and the Silverbacks website, and with Christensen himself making radio appearances twice a week.

“We had a 6-and-0 record and our last Friday-night game was one of our lowest attended games yet, so we’re wondering why?” Christensen said.

“Never has a team, in probably over 10 years, been 6-and-0 to start the season and we’re not even getting 900 fans in the building.”

When asked if ticket prices or a demographic shift may be the culprit, Christensen said he doesn’t think so.

A family pack for two adults and two kids runs for $50, about the same price it would cost to take a family to a movie for the evening, said Christensen.

“We have had a lot of senior fans for years and I think last year we noticed we started having younger families start coming to the games more,” he said.

“You can look at it on a game-by-game basis and know that we are not getting those big groups of people coming in anymore that we used to.”

Read more: Silverbacks pass rookie on to West Kelowna Warriors

Read more: Trail Smoke Eaters put out by Salmon Arm Silverbacks in away games

Even without the numbers, Christensen said the team’s ownership is dedicated to having the Silverbacks play in Salmon Arm if the community support is evident.

The team has two showcase games in Penticton on Oct. 5 and 6 and the following Friday, Oct. 11, is Pink the Rink night, when fans and players are encouraged to wear pink for breast cancer awareness.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

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