June 2003
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The Fan Base
By Kurt R., Grade 12, Delta Secondary, Delta, BC

Have you ever gone to a hockey game, baseball game, or a football game and it seemed like it was being played on mute? It may seem quiet, but there is always something going on in the stands. For instance, vendors are selling food, fans are screaming at visiting teams, or perhaps the fans are hollering at the officials. The fans are a source of money, and audience. They are also an energy boost for the home team.

Money. The world is in desperate need of it. Why do we not make more money at the mint? It just isn't logical. This is particularly evident at the sports entertainment level. Players get traded because the organization doesn't have the money to keep them. The Edmonton Oilers, for instance, had to trade Mike Grier, Janne Niinimaa, Anson Carter, Tom Poti, Bill Guerin, and Doug Weight. Their payrolls were too much for Edmonton to keep, so they got traded during the past few years. All of these trades resort to the price of tickets rising, therefore leading to a reduction in ticket sales. Who would want to pay eighty-dollars for forty-dollar tickets? Not me. The arena therefore looks like a Dalmatian with the spots being fans in the seats.

It's great that the fans are an audience to the entertainment industry. Without the audience the show would not go on. Teams are always finding new ways to get fans involved with the team. There is the infamous paper airplane toss, where the fans pay a small price for some paper to throw on the ice for a chance to win money by getting their paper the closest to a certain spot. There are also times where the fans get a chance to interact with the players of their home teams. The Vancouver Canucks, for example, have a day where the fans get to hang out with the Canucks in General Motors Place and have hardest shot competitions with the players, shoot some hoops, and get some autographs. The Vancouver Canadians baseball team goes out to local baseball fields to teach younger kids how to play baseball, which is a moral booster for many of those youngsters. Many of these young players remember playing ball with the pro-players for the rest of their lives. Many learn new skills/techniques from the players they watch at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Have you ever walked out onto a field or stepped onto the ice for a final game? Did you ever notice how the crowd went wild? Perhaps you have seen signs for your team being held up, or the wave going around the crowd. Did any of these ever step up your willingness to play better? Of course they did. Most people play better with fans cheering them on, making them feel like heroes. The crowd can win or lose a close game, if you ask me. If a team makes a few errors and the crowd starts booing them, then they will continue to make errors because the crowd is not cheering for good plays, but only noticing the mistakes. On the other hand, if a crowd cheers for good plays and doesn't care for the mistakes, that team has a higher chance of achieving their goals. If you watched the NHL playoffs this year, you would have seen the crowd and how much of an impact it had on a team. They cheered their hearts out for their home team, and that shows the team how well they are liked. The teams thanked their crowds in newspapers and let their thoughts on their crowds be heard in interviews on the radio and television.

The fans will always be a part of sports, whether they are family watching a young child play tee-ball, or season ticket holders cheering on the team of the local town like the Oilers, Eskimos, Canucks, Blue Jays, or the Expos. Without the fans in the crowd, the games would not be as entertaining for fans or the teams playing the game. There would be no point to the game if it were not for the loyal supporters.


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