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Women's Hockey Championships In Michigan Drew Event's Second-Lowest Gate In 21 Years

Women's Hockey Championships In Michigan Drew Event's Second-Lowest Gate In 21 Years

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A total of 20,034 fans attended the 22 matches at the IIHF Women's World Championships from March 31-April 7 at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Mich., marking the "second-lowest attendance in 21 years" for the event, according to Gregg Krupa of the DETROIT NEWS. IIHF Communications Manager Adam Steiss said, "It's disappointing. We topped out over 20,000, which is unusually low for a North American tournament." He added, "The numbers fluctuate a little bit, but at Kamloops (in Canada, the 2016 Women's World Championship), we had about 41,000 total, and topped out in 2007 at Winnipeg, when we had over 119,000." Steiss: "You had 89,000 in Halifax in 2004. Mostly when we have it in Europe it's about 28,000 to 30,000." Krupa notes the two tournaments previously played in the U.S. drew 28,605 in '11 in Burlington, Vt., and 21,847 in '01 in Minneapolis. USA Hockey "defended its marketing of the event, despite nearly empty houses for games not involving" the U.S. or Canada, and "complaints from some fans, players and their representatives that their games are not well-promoted." USA Hockey "put part of the blame on the players, saying their boycott of a training camp set for the weeks before the tournament and well-publicized negotiations with USA Hockey put a crimp on ticket sales." USA Hockey Senior Dir of Communications Dave Fischer said, "The boycott had a significantly negative impact on ticket sales, with sales completely halted for a 2 1/2-week period and numerous refunds to customers." Krupa notes while Dunkin' Donuts and Kroger "helped sponsor the event with on-ice signage, there were no in-store promotions" (DETROIT NEWS, 4/20).

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