As a longtime season ticket holder of the WHL Kelowna Rockets, I am dismayed at the poor attendance for their home games this year.
Currently, the attendance seems to be only 4,500 to 5,300 each game. In previous years, the games were always sold out. The poor attendance is possibly because the Rockets iced an inferior product the last two or three years. However, this year's team is a vastly improved edition.
Junior hockey by nature is cyclical and down years have to be expected. General manager Bruce Hamilton promised before this season started there would be an emphasis on size, speed and skills - and he has delivered.
The team is playing an exciting, fast-paced, hard-hitting brand of hockey. It is quite obvious the players have bought into the new direction, and the results certainly show this.
It is hard to understand why the stands are not full every night.
Possibly, disgust with the NHL owners and players has resulted in a apathy toward hockey in general. However, those who do not sample the Rockets brand of hockey are missing out. Junior hockey has to be the best bang for your sports entertainment dollar.
Tickets are reasonably priced (particularly season tickets), parking is cheap or free, you are close to the action and there are no interminable TV timeouts.
The action is fast paced, the hits are big, the fights few and far between, and the players show up every night, unlike their NHL counterparts.
Come on, Kelowna residents, get out and give these young men the support they deserve.