October 11, 2016
Going to a hockey game is like a mix of MMA, soccer and figure skating. Well, maybe extreme figure skating with long hockey sticks. Regardless, hockey is an underappreciated sport and Everett has its own team. Tickets are cheap and the beer is good, but better if you’re 21 or older.
Well, ticket sales are down and people haven’t shown up in the playoffs according to current EvCC student and longtime Silvertips season ticket holder Jeff Swanson. Swanson has had season tickets with his father and brother since the 2003 inaugural season.
Swanson has enjoyed the Silvertips being in Everett, Washington, but wishes more people would attend games like they did in the first three seasons of Silvertips hockey. Swanson enjoys hockey, especially with season tickets right behind the glass of Xfinity Arena’s ice rink.
However, Swanson is right about the lack of attendance after the first few successful seasons for the Silvertips. “There is just not enough people at games anymore, it is different from the first few seasons in the league. There are usually about half the people that fill the stadium on game nights.”
The stats back up Swanson’s statements considerably. There is also a dramatic decrease in playoff attendance compared to regular season attendance. Max capacity for the Xfinity Arena is listed at 10,000 where normal attendance for the regular season has been around 4,900 to 5,270 from 2011-2014.
The Silvertips have been at Xfinity Arena since it was first built in 2003 and has made the playoffs in every season since. The first season was surprisingly the best for the Silvertips because it was one of the most successful starts for a team in the history of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Everett has broken a minimum of 10 junior hockey records in a season, along with winning the U.S. Division title with a record of 35-26-8-2. Another record was broken for a first year team in any major junior hockey leagues by gaining 80 points in the regular season standings. Coach Kevin Constantine also won the WHL Coach of the Year in 2003-04.
When the playoffs began for the Silvertips in 2011, attendance dipped to 2,414. In 2012, attendance lowered further to 2,370 which is only 29.1 percent of max capacity for Xfinity Arena. 2013 reached 4,529 in the playoffs which was a dramatic increase for attendance, bringing the capacity to 55.6 percent. This was still only half of the maximum capacity used for the entire arena.
Tickets are not very expensive either. A second level ticket costs in the range of $20-$30 and the view is amazing from any seat in the arena. Of course, the ticket prices depend on the matchup and importance of a game.
At the beginning of the 2016-17 season, the Silvertips are currently 3-0-1. Meaning they are undefeated and have not lost a game with only one tie. Swanson said because of the new incoming talent and the current record, there is a reason to be optimistic about the current Silvertip season.