Monday, November 3, 2008

Blackhawks at home on Saturday nights

Since the late ‘80’s—for a generation—the Bulls have been the top attraction at Chicago Stadium and United Center. As the top attraction, the stadium gives the Bulls the preferred dates, including most Saturday nights throughout the winter and spring. Saturday night, Oct. 25, United Center’s other major tenant, the Chicago Blackhawks, hosted the Detroit Red Wings in a key early season matchup. The fans responded with a record regular-season turnout of 22,690. That figure includes almost 1200 standing-room tickets! Unfortunately, the Blackhawks will host just one more Saturday night regular-season game this season, on Valentine’s Night.

I just checked some schedules for comparison’s sake. So the Blackhawks scheduled two Saturday nights this year. The Bulls have 12, plus two Saturday matinées. That’s outrageous. Two other major cities with shared venues have a more balanced allocation of its Saturday nights: in New York, the Rangers get five, and the Knicks get four, plus a Saturday matinée. In Philadelphia, the Flyers get ten Saturday nights and one Saturday matinée, while the Sixers get six plus one. Why the unusually large discrepancy between the two teams in Chicago? It’s not fair, and it should stop, beginning next season.

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