The Kansas City Star’s Randy Covitz has an article on the upcoming preseason game at the Sprint Center. There is a piece of good news in it: The game will “most likely (be) on Saturday, Sept. 26.” It’s going to be important to attendance for the game to be on a Friday or Saturday. Covitz also covers the speculation about the Islanders participation signalling a veiled threat to Long Island that they had better build a new arena if they want to keep the Islanders.
Paul McGannon, the head of NHL21, an organization (or just Paul McGannon?) dedicated to bringing the NHL back to Kansas City, makes some rather bold comments in the article. He cuts right to the quick: “New York has three teams. If they don’t want to build a new rink in Long Island, we’ll take their team.” Also: “I think it’s a big deal, that we’re having two teams on the coast meet in Kansas City for a game, and we better sell it out. I love the regional appeal of the Blues and the Blackhawks, but we better send a message and sell the game out.”
Hopefully the NHL doesn’t take the view that Kansas City “better sell it out,” because I just can’t see that happening. I’ll be glad if we can top last year’s crowd.
According to the Kansas City Hockey History website, here are the attendance figures for preseason games in Kansas City (all at Kemper except for 2008):
9,346 Blues vs. Predators 1998
17,285 Blues vs. Blackhawks 2003
12,686 Blues vs. Predators 2005
11,603 Blues vs. Kings 2008
(For an average of 12,730)