March 11 2011; Denver, CO, USA; Hockey fans fill the seats during the game between the Anaheim Ducks against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Will Fans Return After Lockout?

While owners and players are arguing over who gets more money I wonder if they realize how much money they will both be losing once the lockout ends. It disgusts me that the selfishness, ignorance, and greed of the large egos in the league could cause the second missed season in only eight years. The two sides knew that the current deal was expiring yet they failed to begin negotiating any earlier than they did, which is simply unacceptable. The league is already in a fragile state, and a prolonged lockout will only hurt the momentum the league gained since 2004-2005. The two sides are set to meet again on Friday but knowing the turtle-like pace and inefficiency of their negotiating techniques nothing will most likely come out of the meeting.

If another whole year is missed due to a lockout, which is a possibility according to some players, will fans be dedicated enough to return to follow their respective teams? Obviously die-hard fans will be beating down the door to see the first game whenever the league returns. I personally will watch all the games and catch a few at Scottrade whenever play resumes, but it will be hard to maintain the kind of fan reception of the past few years if games are missed. More casual fans may not return to hockey once play resumes. There will also be some fans that will not go to games even once play resumes in protest because of the way the league has disrespected us fans. Long story short I think attendance and merchandise sales will be down for at least a year after an extended lockout. I believe that both sides will ultimately lose no matter who wins the negotiations.

Tags: Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) St. Louis Blues

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