With the 2014-15 regular season and playoffs in the books, it has given the organization some time to reflect on their first three seasons in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. If you’re a numbers person than you might enjoy some of our attendance figures and stats from the past season.
In 2014-15, the Oil Caps had 689 season ticket holders with 28,025 people walk through the doors at Tundra Oil & Gas Place through 29 regular season home games. Within that bulk number, the team saw 8,044 walk-ups for an average of 277 walk-ups in attendance each game. This gives Virden an average of 966 fans per night throughout the regular season.
The Oil Caps faithful witnessed five exciting playoff home games this season – three against the Winkler Fyers and two against the MJHL champion, Portage Terriers. In five games, the Oil Caps drew 5,673 fans for an average playoff attendance of 1,135.
In comparison, the Oil Caps had 738 season tickets holders in 2013-14 with 29,443 for total regular season attendance numbers. Although that number would indicate that attendance was down, what the team is most pleased to see is the very slight increase or consistency in the walk-up numbers from 8,041 to 8,044. This works out to be exactly 277 walk-ups per night for each of the last two seasons.
Dale Lewis, Oil Caps President
“Everyone says we are in the ‘honeymoon phase’ – that’s the catch phrase that everyone keeps using and I’ve used it myself, but as we move along, the support keeps getting bigger and better,” stated Dale Lewis, the Oil Caps President, in an interview with CKLQ’s Tyler Crayston following the team’s playoff elimination on March 31st. “(our games) are not only a hockey game, they’re a community event and being a small town, it kind of brings everybody together.”
The support that Lewis speaks of is not only from an attendance number, but from corporate and volunteers as well. The Oil Caps also have three local user groups each night volunteering at the games for 50/50, security, and to handle the bar sales, aside from the team’s regular merchandise and ticketing volunteers.
The Oil Caps finished the year by compiling a 30-20-10 record, finishing fifth overall in the MJHL standings. In terms of attendance, they finished amongst the top teams, if not as the top team in attendance numbers during the season.
Marketing Manager, Lindsey Gullett, fires off a tshirt during a regular season game.
From the fan experience side of it, Oil Caps Marketing Manager, Lindsey Gullett, says he works hard to provide entertainment for the fans each game regardless of what is happening on the ice. “With the additions of the Oil Caps mascot, Digger, thanks to TSL and our t-shirt cannon by Castle/Longshot, we’ve got a few different things that people can look forward to on most nights,” stated Gullett of some of the in-game highlights. He continued, “I feel our online ticketing system is also another feature that appeals to our rural audience who are travelling from upwards to an hour or more to come to games. Almost 20% of our tickets during certain playoff games were sold online.”
Gullett and the Oil Caps plan on keeping that momentum going and will work to get everything in place this off-season to hit the ground running come this fall.
Getting back into the numbers, for the second straight year the Dauphin Kings were the most watched team in Virden with an average of 1,064 fans each time the Kings were in town. Getting technical, the Portage Terriers had the highest averaged attendance in Virden in 2013-14, but that was averaged over just one appearance with the old split division schedule. This year the Terriers were the second highest viewed team in Virden with an averaged of 1,052 over their three regular season visits.
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Like the Oil Caps attendance numbers, all pricing will remain the same heading into the upcoming season. The Oil Caps season ticket timeline will be very similar to last season. Fans will have untilFriday, June 5 to renew their season tickets at the Early Bird price with Relocation Week taking place June 8-12. This will be the week that fans will be able to change their seats to any other available seats in the arena on a first come first serve basis.
Aside from the guarantee of your same seat for all 29 Oil Caps home games at a discounted rate of almost 30% from the gate price, Season Ticket Holders will also be able to enjoy a 10% discount on all merchandise items as well as receive a free Oil Cap car decal with the purchase of their season tickets.
Here are the important dates to remember:
June 5: Renewal deadline/Early bird pricing deadline for all season ticket holders
June 8-12: ‘Relocation Week’ – season ticket holders can move seats during this time frame
June 15: All remaining seats will be available to the public at standard ticketing pricing
September: Season tickets available for pick-up at all Oil Caps exhibition games
September: Oil Caps 2015-16 regular season beings!
Stay tuned as the Oil Caps continue to prepare during the summer months to bring you another exciting season of MJHL hockey this fall. Fans can call the Oil Caps Office at 204-748-4848 or email email@example.com to reserve your seat. In order to receive Early Bird pricing, season ticket holders MUST pay before the June 5 deadline.