MEDICINE HAT, AB — It was not the ending that anyone who lives and breathes orange wanted, but it came after a hard fought Eastern Conference Semifinal series that went the distance.
“You always want to see the team go the full distance,” said Canalta Centre GM Peter Jelinski Thursday afternoon inside the building’s concourse. “The more games you have at home the better for everybody, including your franchise and your building. Those ticket sales are important for building for the future.”
Over three and a half weeks 27,069 fans came out for the Tigers six home playoff games according to the team’s posted attendance — 19,695 for the Lethbridge series alone.
“We were very pleased to see an increase in crowds as the games went on and the people that were in here we were very pleased to see were spending more money than a typical Tigers game,” said Jelinski.
Compared to the regular season where people were spending on average in the single-digit dollar range, Jelinksi says in the playoffs that rose to double-digits.
“We probably had a 25 per cent increase in the amount of dollars people were spending coming through the doors here, which was a real pleasant surprise.”
For the Tigers, who had their first playoffs inside the Canalta Centre this postseason, it was a good experience despite an earlier exit than they obviously would have liked.
“Canalta Centre is a great building and we proved that we could make it loud especially during the last series,” said the team’s communication manager Ryan Plysuik. “That’s the passion of our fans and they’ve always had it, it’s just a matter of bringing it out, and we needed some playoff hockey to do that.”
Both entities are also hoping to build upon this year’s success.
“Next season when hockey rolls around I hope this run and the excitement that we had here translates into even bigger attendance,” says Jelinksi.
“It’s a good playoff run that we had and I think moving forward hopefully the guys can continue that and start our own streak here in the Canalta Centre,” added Plysuik.
Final playoff revenue for the Canalta Centre won’t be known until the end of April says Jelinski, but he’s confident it will help their year-end figures a lot.
“The more events you have in here the more revenue you generate, so it’s in everybody’s best interest to have as many events as possible.”