Home ice?

So, if Twitter replies are any indication, people have very strong opinions about the playoff schedule that the Thunderbirds and Silvertips have for their first round series. If you don’t know what we are talking about, here is the schedule:

Seattle #4 vs Everett #5

  1. Saturday March 22 @ ShoWare Center
  2. Sunday March 23 @ Comcast Arena
  3. Tuesday March 26 @ ShoWare Center
  4. Friday March 28 @ Comcast Arena
  5. Saturday March 29 @ ShoWare Center*
  6. Monday March 31 @ Comcast Arena*
  7. Wednesday April 2 @ ShoWare Center*

(To address arena conflicts, there are only 2. Seattle couldn’t be home Sunday and Everett couldn’t be home Monday. So had it gone 2-2-1-1-1, Seattle could have played at home on Friday and Saturday. No conflict to prevent this.)

Where the point of contention seems to be is swapping venues for games 2 and 3. While the teams haven’t named the reason why for the alternating schedule, it’s not a stretch to infer that Seattle asked for this to be able to have a guaranteed Tuesday game in the series. Why would they do that? Well, as those of you who have been to them this season (and game 3 in last years playoffs) you know they tend to get good to great attendance for Tuesday games. Let’s look at last years playoff attendances as a reference:

Tuesday game 3 6021
Wednesday game 4 2559
Tuesday game 6 4344

Now, no matter how you feel about the schedule, you can agree that 6021 and 4344 are much better than 2559. From a purely business perspective, even at half-price, you made more on ticket sales for game 3 than you did for game 4. You almost matched it for game 6, as well.

But no one cares about the business perspective. Why should you? You’re a fan. You want what’s best for the team. And what most people think is best is to have the first two games at home. In theory, with 2 games at home you would be up in the series 2-0 for game 3. With an alternating game series, the feeling would be it would be tied for game 3. I won’t go into probabilities or stats (maybe another blog will look at that this week) but unless you think this series is going to be a sweep for Seattle, and almost no one I know thinks that, the order of the games isn’t going to make that much of a difference. And if Seattle is going to sweep, they are going to win 2 games in each rink anyway.

It sounds like I’m defending the choice. I’m not. For the most part, I get why people don’t like the schedule. The level of outrage from some people is a little much but that is why fan is short for fanatic, right? And I do have a problem with one aspect of it. If the team thinks a Tuesday is important to have for your attendance or for motivation or whatever, how did Seattle not get game #7 to also be scheduled for a Tuesday? That’s the part that doesn’t make sense to me.

Anyway, feel free to opine in the comments about how you feel about this. Initial comments are moderated, as they are for any post. Be civil, people.