Serious question: Are you really the state of hockey, Minnesota?
Can you be with an empty arena for your signature college hockey team?
A panorama at puck drop. pic.twitter.com/SDZ67KYtV1
— GPL🏒 (@GopherPuckLive) March 9, 2019
Those I asked on Twitter over the weekend insist that the University of Minnesota being forced to join the Big Ten’s hockey program, eliminating regional rivalries, is to blame for the disinterest in the program.
City Pages says there’s more to it:
The same year the team switched conferences, students who wanted season tickets for hockey were forced to buy seasons for football as well. Prices for everyone else soared, accompanied by mandatory donations with each purchase.
Talk of the “Gopher Family” tends to ring hollow when the Gopher’s always trying to raid your wallet.
And all this arrived with a precipitous decline in play. Despite having the most money, the best facilities, and all the prestige of a multi-generation dynasty, the Gophers began their tumble from greatness.
The quality of hockey is “stunningly bad,” City Pages’ Pete Kotz writes, more the result of bad effort than bad talent.
For those asking about Gophers hockey attendance today, here’s a second period crowd shot. I’m writing about this. Will be published on @SKORNorth website this evening. Gophers up 3-0, by the way. pic.twitter.com/y7yJzCHBG0
— Judd Zulgad (@jzulgad) March 9, 2019
Kotz suggests the empty arena supports the notion of the state of hockey, since fans know lousy hockey when they see it and they demand better.