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Thread: Ticket Pricing Issues

  1. #1
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Mens IHWC Ticket Pricing Issues

    The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced earlier today that they're going to lower the prices of tickets by about 60 percent for some seats to draw fuller arenas. "We could have gained better income with the current prices, but in the end decided that better attendance is better for hockey overall," said Christer Englund, President of the Swedish Ice Hockey Association.


    And few hours later, the Finnish Association had this to say...

    "We don't see it necessary to lower prices here in Finland as they did in Sweden. Finland's opening match versus Belarus was full, and the home team's games versus Slovakia, Canada and USA are similarly sold out. The total attendance in Helsinki at the opening day was 27 000 spectators over three games." When asked about the attendance on games Finland does not play in, they didn't comment.


    Okay, I've got two things to say...

    Firstly, the Finnish Association is lying through their teeth when they claim those number. No way in hell did the numbers in USA-FRA and CAN-SVK total around 15 000 spectators, and FIN-BLR game was far from sold out.

    Secondly, they're obviously trying to save face by claiming that Finland's games will have good attendance so the supply and demand is straight and narrow. However, despite not stating it out loud, they're at the same time essentially mooning all the other teams, and couldn't care less on the amount of empty seats as long as the total income comes up with tolerable numbers.

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    IHF Member itry's Avatar
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    I was unpleasantly surprised by how empty the arena in Belarus - Finland game sounded and looked. To claim it was full is an insult to hockey fans as a sold out arena can never be that quiet.
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    IHF Member Vicente's Avatar
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    I am by far not an expert in maths but:

    What is better?

    1000 x 50€ = 50.000€

    or

    8000 x 25€ = 200.000€

    So a full arena would not only be better for the sport but also it would be better for the finances.
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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The poor attendance figures have been shocking, considering the tournament is being held in two nations where hockey is well-loved and followed. Even considering the ridiculously priced tickets, I am surprised at just how bad the attendance has been.

    The Finnish association can claim 6800 people for the USA-Canada game all they want.....it looked and sounded more like 680 people to me. On a serious note, it seemed like there were maybe 2,000-3,000 people there, tops.

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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    "We'd like to welcome every hockey fan in Helsinki. We intend to make this the best WHC ever."








    Down with these fees, Kale is a thief.










    And the "official" truth...




    There'd be even more, but according to Finnish sports journal Urheilulehti, the security was under strict orders to remove anyone presenting a dissenting opinion from the arena. For example, those guys with their thumbs down had their sheet confiscated.

    Proof in images, from FRA-KAZ:


    Kale, we came to this game, the only one we could afford. (Ticket price: 36€)


    "Okay boys, the sheet goes... or you go."


    Both go.


    If you know anyone representing media currently in Helsinki, feel free to spread the message. Kummola needs to be asked a hard question or two.
    Last edited by Laho; 06-05-2012 at 15:07.
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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Another curious piece of news that's further showing that something stinks at FIHA:

    MTV3 reported that when the Swedish federation decided to make some tickets cheaper, their Finnish counterparts tried to encourage them to call change a "new price category" instead of a "discount", because that would not have looked as if they're so blatantly trying to correct a mistake - and it would also have made it easier to explain why Finland didn't lower the prices... "because Sweden didn't either".

    So yeah. Everyone in Finland knows that the FIHA bigwigs are ingrown and narrow-minded, but the way they're handling these games is something unbelievelable. You know it's going bad when people are starting to morbidly joke that "Lukashenko running the show will probably be an improvement".
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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    The Saga continues...

    FIHA bent too. Following heavy critique by Finnish media and comments by IIHF chairman Rene Fasel and Paavo Arhinmäki, the Minister of Culture and Sports, who both admitted that the prices are too steep, they just announced that they're selling all the leftover round robin tickets as 4-in-1 packages. This means that when you buy one ticket to a single game, you'll get three extra tickets to that game for free. According to official sources, they can afford this because "the regular sales have gone well" and "this move should bring more families to the audience".

    Their reasoning's pure dung, of course, but the move is a step in the right direction regardless. Perhaps what little honor and athmosphere these games have in Helsinki will be salvaged after all.
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    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Even though their reasoning is pretty funny its good to see they are atleast making some kind of an attempt to get people into the arena. I would however be really pissed off if I paid full price (be mad I was dumb enough to pay those prices anyways) and now people are getting 4 for 1 deals...I believe I read somewhere that those who did pay full price would get "special compensation," any idea on what the compensation is going to be?

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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHKStarkovs View Post
    I believe I read somewhere that those who did pay full price would get "special compensation," any idea on what the compensation is going to be?
    Apparently it has something to do with next years' tickets... no details as of yet.
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    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    FIHA bent too. Following heavy critique by Finnish media and comments by IIHF chairman Rene Fasel and Paavo Arhinmäki, the Minister of Culture and Sports, who both admitted that the prices are too steep, they just announced that they're selling all the leftover round robin tickets as 4-in-1 packages".
    Those packages only came out for two games: Finland-France and Finland-Kazakhstan. For example the cheapest ticket for Slovakia-Kazakhstan is 70 €... That's as much as the cheapest ticket to the Champion's League FINALS!

    The whole controversy is getting very ridiculous turns. Mika Sulin (Secretary General of the IHWC) and Kummola have repeatedly claimed that some Finnish games are sold out or the medal round is sold out. The latest occasion of this was today:

    Sulin: "All tickets to games of Team Finland have been sold. Also no tickets for the semifinals and medal games are available".

    However, whoever wishes can go online and see that most Finnish games, including the ones against Canada and USA, both semifinals and both medal games still have tickets available... In fact the only games sold out are FIN-FRA and FIN-KAZ both of which were discounted. And those both still have wheelchair seats left which were NOT discounted...

    In addition Kalervo Kummola is not only looking down on the outcrying public but has also snubbed the Finnish minister of culture and sports Paavo Arhinmäki. Arhinmäki commented on his Facebook on the ticket prices and the removal of the banners at the KAZ-FRA game that criticized the prices:

    "Now I understand why the hockey bosses don't see a problem with Belarus organizing the IHWC. They think that limiting the freedom of speech is OK also in Finland. The ticket prices are arrogant and people must have the right to protest against it."

    Kummola responded to this when he appeared on the Finnish tv in a live talk show last night:

    "I don't put any importance on Arhinmäki's comments on Facebook".

    Arhinmäki responded by:

    "Everyone can estimate if it is appropriate that the Chair of the Finnish Hockey Federation says that the views of the (Sports) minister have no weight in the matter. If the Chair thinks this way it implies something of how the Federation views - not only the fans - but also the minister in charge of sports who attempts to tell what is right and just."

    Arhinmäki also doesn't buy the explanation that the protest banners were removed because they posed a fire hazard.

    "You can invent any reason you want. In European football games there are huge banners everywhere. I too have had a Finnish flag the size of a sheet in games and no one has ever regarded that as a fire hazard."

    In the game where those banners were seized there were still plenty of big flags in the stands...

    Among the early ridiculous comments by Kummola was this one:

    "The people complaining about the high ticket prices were not going to come watch the games anyway."

    I can't fathom how the Finnish Federation has screwed up the ultimate dream scenario of IHWC in Finland (two years in a row) by these outrageous prices and comments. Air hooks and world championships muddled, no kids in the stands with these prices, no hype. It's sad.
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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shardik View Post
    Those packages only came out for two games: Finland-France and Finland-Kazakhstan. For example the cheapest ticket for Slovakia-Kazakhstan is 70 €... That's as much as the cheapest ticket to the Champion's League FINALS!
    Damn, did I really omit that? Yeah, looks like I did.

    Kummola and co are definitely not out of this quagmire yet. Somebody still needs to ask them if they really don't care that the rest of the teams don't play to good, athmospheric audiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shardik View Post
    I can't fathom how the Finnish Federation has screwed up the ultimate dream scenario of IHWC in Finland (two years in a row) by these outrageous prices and comments. Air hooks and world championships muddled, no kids in the stands with these prices, no hype. It's sad.
    Yeah, it's been (and is) a damn farce. Ticket prices jacked sky high, all this pay-tv business (though not exactly FIHA's fault), and those ridiculous, belittling comments or outright lies from the organizers... and to think they had the gall to market this tournament with slogan "these games are for everybody". Right, everybody with enough money as it seems.
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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Just watched Canada-Finland on the You-Tube feed. I counted the players + cheerleaders. I think they outnumbered the spectators. I thought this was the showcase event for the IIHF? I guess someone miscalculated. Zero atmosphere. Pity.

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    IHF Member Ref72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Just watched Canada-Finland on the You-Tube feed. I counted the players + cheerleaders. I think they outnumbered the spectators. I thought this was the showcase event for the IIHF? I guess someone miscalculated. Zero atmosphere. Pity.
    Correction: Canada - France

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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ref72 View Post
    Correction: Canada - France
    Cheapest ticket to that game was 70 euros (roughly 90 dollars). No wonder you won't find many to pay that sum to see a game that's a mere curiosity to a local hockey fan.


    EDIT: the "official" attendance number: 3415

    ...in an arena that draws 13,000.
    Last edited by Laho; 07-05-2012 at 17:58.
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    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    The minor hockey nations should celebrate this IHWC. They keep being told that they can't host because of concerns of attendances. Well, that argument has well and truly gone this weekend. Finland obviously got a lot of credit for bailing out Prague in 04. I think that good will has been exhausted. They need a fantastic tournament in 12 months time to have any chance of hosting again within the next decade.

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    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paavo Arhinmäki View Post
    You can invent any reason you want. In European football games there are huge banners everywhere. I too have had a Finnish flag the size of a sheet in games and no one has ever regarded that as a fire hazard.
    Ah, the old standard. Next year, when the tickets are even more expensive, "public health and safety" will be the reason critical banners are confiscated.

    Graham, couldn't agree more. When Austria hosted in 2005 with two allegedly undersized arenas, Ukraine averaged the lowest attendance that year at 3815 per game which was badly dragged down by qualifying round attendances of 1909 (vs. USA) and 2211 (vs. CAN). This new format was meant to get away from the poorly attended qualifying round but greed has scuppered that. No matter how you argue it, Ukraine at Austria 2005 drew better than this year's FRA-CAN game of 3415 as Laho pointed out. In a Big 7 country, that simply should not happen.

    Laho said FRA-CAN was a curiosity for local fans but this is Finland; the current World Champions are playing at home and not even their matches are sold out. We're not talking about an elevator country using an arena that cannot seat 8000.
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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Does Arhinmaki have the power to fire Kummola, or to impact FIHA's funding?

  18. #18
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Does Arhinmaki have the power to fire Kummola, or to impact FIHA's funding?
    Sadly, no. We aren't exactly a third world country where state officials could meddle in the matters of private organizations... at least as long as they haven't broken the law. And no statements against greed in the Finnish Law as far as I know.

    He is, however, the guy responsible for state-seeded funding for sports organizations... but that would require FIHA to ask for some in the first place. Up to my knowledge, last time they've done so was sometime in the late 90s. They're pretty much the richest sports organization in Finland, pretty much for reasons listed above by Trim.


    Starting to affect players, too:







    Oh, and the "official" attendance at USA-SVK: 3 948. You gotta be friggin' kidding me.
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  19. #19
    There's a quick interview on Youtube from Mark Streit, taken from finnish TV, where he says the ticket prices are too high and it's a pity the arena is so empty...

    Can't put the link right now though cuz I'm at work...
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    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    That's the link in Laho's previous post.

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  21. #21
    my bad... youtube blocked from work :)
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    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Haha Kummola is a funny guy, now its the media and sponsors fault that prices are so high because they take up so many seats and if they didnt, the prices would be lower. Guy sure loves to point fingers at everybody but himself.

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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Yeah, he is pretty hilarious. You won't hear too many Finns laughing though. Since we've had to watch his antics and self-absorbed leading style for the past 20 years, the joke's got a bit old.
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    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Even President Niinistö think prices are too high...
    http://www.iltalehti.fi/mmjaakiekko2...45024_j0.shtml

  25. #25
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHKStarkovs View Post
    Even President Niinistö think prices are too high...
    According to insider sources, Kummola's reply will be:

    "I don't put any importance on Mr. President's comments in the papers."




    Seriously. Anybody with half a mind would resign after all this negative publicity. But Kummola for sure doesn't. If he does, I'll tattoo his face on my left ass cheek.
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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I thought FIHA was under Finnish government control......I guess not.

  27. #27
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I thought FIHA was under Finnish government control......I guess not.
    No, it's a self-controlled organization. As said, the only way the government can control it is via public funding, but FIHA has no need for that either.

    I guess the most ironic thing is that while I've always thought Kummola should stay out of the on-ice issues within this organization (the NT general staff is such an ingrown good boy club suffering of cronyism), I've always considered him a shrewd businessman and the good financials of Finnish hockey are mostly thanks to him... but now he seems to have crossed a line on that field as well.
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  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    Seriously. Anybody with half a mind would resign after all this negative publicity. But Kummola for sure doesn't. If he does, I'll tattoo his face on my left ass cheek.
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  29. #29
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Let's take a break from all this ticket talk and shake our heads at something else...


    This shot is from the Hartwall Arena, listing drinks on sale:



    And yes, those prices are in euros.



    I wonder how much tap water is.
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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    I wonder how much tap water is.
    2.50, but only if you bring your own cup. If you need to get one it's an extra 2.00 as well.

  31. #31
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laho View Post
    This shot is from the Hartwall Arena, listing drinks on sale

  32. #32
    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    Ottawa Sun has also reported of the pricing issues.

    Top comments by Team Canada GM Kevin Lowe:

    "The people in charge of pricing completely missed the market"

    "The Finns won the gold last year and they are a favourite again this year. Clearly they have the hockey on the ice figured out but have failed miserably in identifying something just as important, and that's the fans"

    Meanwhile in Sweden they have started giving away free tickets to hockey juniors to fill the stands. The tickets are available to all Stockholm games this weekend except the Swedish games and Czech R.-Russia.

    As for the alcohol prices at the stadium. They are high of course, but not as ridiculous as the tickets. In Finland alcohol is expensive. Deduct a euro or two from each price and you get what most bars offer. Just what can be expected in an event like this. To be noted is that FIHA was not in charge of alcohol prices. If Kummola had his way a 33cl beer would probably have been 15 €...
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  33. #33
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shardik View Post
    If Kummola had his way a 33cl beer would probably have been 15 €...
    15,60 for III, 19,60 for IV A.
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  34. #34
    IHF Member Cabal's Avatar
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    LoL, i bought tickets (good seats) for IIHF World Championships in Germany for about 40-50 Euros...
    Prices in finland and sweden for this IHWC are simply out of this world.

  35. #35
    IHF Member pedalinka's Avatar
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    Disgusting greedy country of Sweden cant organize a championship,, totally empty arena, and even Swedish games is not full, move the championship from Sweden next year please,

    The Swedish TV commentators ashamed of the empty stands and the organization.
    Last edited by pedalinka; 09-05-2012 at 19:04.

  36. #36
    IHF Member pedalinka's Avatar
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    I have also heard that the attendance figures are heavily fixed in sweden..... in Finland i dont know

  37. #37
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinka View Post
    Disgusting greedy country of Sweden cant organize a championship,, totally empty arena, and even Swedish games is not full, move the championship from Sweden next year please,
    No, move it from Finland. If the reports are right, the masterminds of this idiocy are from FIHA, them being the main hosts and all. I've a good reason to believe that if Sweden had organized these games all by themselves, we'd have seen lot more reasonable pricing and fuller arenas.

    One could of course say that Swedes are similar idiots considering they fell for this scheme.
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    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Okay, here's something funny/not funny, depending on your POV:

    Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat did some investigative journalism and they got to know that the rent for Hartwall Arena (the main venue) for these games is 50 000 euros a day. The arena draws 13,500 people.

    They also got a statement from the manager of Espoo Blues home arena (located right next to Helsinki), Barona Arena, who said that they were also asked how much their costs would be if they organized some games. Their reply: We do it for free. The company managing the hall and the City of Espoo would have been willing to cover all the costs there are for bringing some games to their rink.

    It was never of course the intention to set up some of the bigger matchups over there, but they would have been happy to host some of the games between lesser countries. FIHA chairman Kalervo Kummola, this Finnish business genius we all know and love, however shot down the idea, stating that "the arena is too small, doesn't draw enough people and therefore would hurt the revenues".

    Barona Arena draws about 7,500 people. Which is, by the way, about 1,500 people less than the visitor average in Helsinki...
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  39. #39
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    So now Finnish companies are refusing to take free tickets because its boarderline bribery?
    http://www.kauppalehti.fi/5/i/talous...d=201205172187


  40. #40
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    So how long before Kummola comes out and blames Finnish corporations for the atrocious attendance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    So how long before Kummola comes out and blames Finnish corporations for the atrocious attendance?
    Quote Originally Posted by DHKStarkovs View Post
    Haha Kummola is a funny guy, now its the media and sponsors fault that prices are so high because they take up so many seats and if they didnt, the prices would be lower. Guy sure loves to point fingers at everybody but himself.
    He already did

  42. #42
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    ^Actually, that was a jab aimed at the international organizers, who hog room and income from the arena and give nothing in return.

    Except, you know, this whole event...


    Kummola is a pure old school Finnish bonehead in that sense he completely lacks one word in his vocabulary, "sorry". He's far from being the only one in this country though, which is probably the main reason he gets to remain on his throne despite all the dung people flung at him.
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  43. #43
    IHF Member pedalinka's Avatar
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    it does not matter no more this year is already fuckt. , i hope the sweds and Finns never get i no more,, the question is if it is going to get moved next year and where, and also they have problem whit Belarus 2014 but my guess is that in gonna be a real ice hockey party,

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinka View Post
    the question is if it is going to get moved next year and where, and also they have problem whit Belarus 2014 but my guess is that in gonna be a real ice hockey party,
    A party? In Belarus? I have no doubt it will be! :-)

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  45. #45
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ro Herregraven View Post
    A party? In Belarus? I have no doubt it will be! :-)
    Who knew Marx was a demon on the dancefloor!

    Really, I bet the ticket prices for 2014 will be pretty good to entice people to come to Belarus. Makes me wonder what the difference in ticket prices, if any, will exist between Sweden and Finland next year. It seems the Swedes are learning the lesson while Kummola and friends haven't gotten grasp of it.
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  46. #46
    IHF Member Laho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trim View Post
    It seems the Swedes are learning the lesson while Kummola and friends haven't gotten grasp of it.
    Actually, they have already said that they will likely go in a different direction next year. They just don't have the spine to admit they went all wrong this time.

    Actually, if I were to guess, they'll dress it into something such as: "We got so good income from last year that we can afford to go a little cheaper this time... you know, for the fans. You know?" *nudge nudge* *wink wink*
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  47. #47
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    What I find absolutely astonishing is attendance comparison between Helsinki and Stockholm. According to official IIHF site the attendance in Helsinki is rather good. Below is a table depicting average attendance by country. Teams colored in blue play in Finland, teams in yellow in Sweden.

    You can see that either the official figures are wrong or that the organizers in Helsinki in reality do know how to draw large crowds.

    1 FIN 12653
    2 SWE 9366
    3 FRA 8361
    4 SUI 7436
    5 BLR 7066
    6 SVK 6727
    7 USA 6658
    8 KAZ 5705
    9 CAN 5371

    10 GER 4898
    11 CZE 4409
    12 NOR 4237
    13 LAT 3684
    14 DEN 3681
    15 RUS 3667
    16 ITA 2013

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by GorazdR View Post
    You can see that either the official figures are wrong or that the organizers in Helsinki in reality do know how to draw large crowds
    I think that a lot of the corporate seats that are sold to sponsors and other companies and that stay empty, are still counted in the attendance figures.

    They're counting the number of seats sold, not the actual number of people inside the arena.
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  49. #49
    IHF Member itry's Avatar
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    Hmm... while I could understand Swedish and Finnish numbers I am baffled by the French number. Really? More than 8k per game? Something smells fishy about that.
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  50. #50
    IHF Member Shardik's Avatar
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    France has already played against Canada, USA and most importantly, Finland. Also France-Kazakhstan had higher-than-normal attendance since that was the game where the fans organized a protest against Kummola and co. Free tickets have also been awarded to many of the games between smaller nations.
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