Lake Erie Monsters Have Come A Long Way

The Lake Erie Monsters ended their fifth season last Friday with a 2-1 loss to the Rochester Americans. The game was a must win for the Monsters and luck was not in their favor as the Americans skated off with the victory that would end Lake Erie’s season.

As the crowd of over 12,000 started to exit that night, a thought occurred to me:

“This franchise has come a long way.”

The Monsters have only made the playoffs once in their existence but the real victories have come off the ice. Five years ago, bringing in another hockey team was an idea that some frowned upon. After the demise of the Cleveland Lumberjacks and the poor turnout at Cleveland Barons games, whether or not minor league hockey could succeed in the city became a big questions.

Five years later, the Monsters management proved that hockey could succeed in a town that has been dubbed “a football town.” Clever promotions, intense marketing, player appearances and fun times inside the arena have made the Monsters a success.

When the Monsters first took to the ice in their inaugural season, ticket reps were often faced with the following questions and comments when making outbound calls:

“We have a hockey team in Cleveland?”

“I didn’t know we had professional hockey in Cleveland.”

“What happened to the Lumberjacks?”

With the help of marketing and promotions, more people are familiar with the Monsters and attendance has grown each season. The Monsters have risen to third place in league attendance, which is pretty good for a team that started from scratch just five years ago.

The Monsters may have only been to the playoffs once but the team has made an impression on those who have attended a game. Many fans who have attended games mentioned they enjoyed the atmosphere inside the building and come often. With ticket prices being reasonable, it makes it easy for families to come to the games and enjoy the atmosphere.

In addition to good attendance, merchandise sales have been a strong part of the Monsters success. The team has experienced high merchandise sales over the past five years and the team has come up with different items that have been appealing to fans.

The Monsters left the ice for the last time in the 2011-2012 last Friday but the team has come a long way since it began five years ago.

 

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~ by jeffrsabo on April 21, 2012.

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