Local business owners and ticket sellers say the Vancouver Canucks’ unpopularity has resulted in âhistoricâ lows in ticket and merchandise sales.
âWe have jerseys at prices we’ve never had before, and it’s always difficult to move them. They are very difficult to sell,â he said.
A swimsuit that usually sells for $ 140 now costs $ 99.99.
Czveka ordered less inventory from Canucks than usual this year, anticipating the items would not be big sellers. He said other items, including Winnipeg Jets clothing and Connor McDavid jerseys, flew off the shelves.
Czveka said the holiday season hasn’t done much to boost sales of its Canuck-branded items.
âPeople don’t jump on the Canucks bandwagon just because it’s Christmas, unfortunately. We have seen it all year round.
Local businesses feel burnt
Jay Bomford, owner of Roxy’s Burger, said the drop in interest has been noticed by the local pub and restaurant community for over a year now.
“There is definitely no more rushing before or after the game. We don’t have any more people coming to us asking us to activate the game,” he said.
“When people plan to go home disappointed, they tend not to come out at all.”
Bomford said the drop in turnout doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the general enthusiasm of Vancouver fans, as other major sporting events have seen massive turnouts.
âThe Women’s FIFA and the Summer Olympics were amazing for us. In fact, we were amazed by the people who came.â he said.
âWe just don’t see that for the Canucks right now. “
“It’s a reconstruction”
Kingsley Bailey, owner of Vancouver Ticket, said that despite ticket sales down 25% from previous years, he remains cautiously optimistic.
âWe’re at an all-time low but on a good swing,â he said. “It’s a rebuild, but we have two, three years before we can really fight again.”
In some cases, tickets cost as little as $ 20.
Bailey said avid Canucks are often characterized as good weather fans, but he believes they are disappointed and astute.
âThey’ve been to the well three times now. We came all the way to the Stanley Cup Final and couldn’t find anything. They are frustrated.
He added that decisions made by the franchise may have led fans to walk away from a team that should be adored.
âThere are ebbs and flows in sports, but it’s more than just one of those collapses. Mistakes were made that resulted in a much faster decline in the fan base,â he said.
Rebranding on the way
Back at Vancity Sports, Czveka observed that the drop in enthusiasm is noticeable even on the streets of Vancouver.
âHow much Canucks gear do you see walking the streets on a day without a game? Five years ago, you couldn’t go two blocks without seeing a Canucks hat or jersey. “
He said savvy fans should get their jerseys now, as the team’s clothing will be renamed next year, leading to an inevitable increase in prices and interest.
Bailey shared the view that enthusiasm for the Canucks will return once the team starts winning again, especially once young talent is injected into the roster.
“The team will turn around,” he said. “It’s always like that.”