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In This Economy?: Finding A Way To Fill The Seats

3 - Published March 20, 2009 by in Pro Lacrosse

If you’ve watched a sporting event lately, you might notice a disturbing trend: giant swaths of empty seats in arenas around the country. What’s a team supposed to do to keep fans coming to the game? Las Vegas has the answer to all your problems because strippers and booze can sell anything!

Not so funny when you realize he’s loadedTrust me when I say that Minor League pro sports are notorious for their wacky promotions.  I know this first hand after spending a summer as a sports marketing intern for a single-A pro baseball team out in Oregon (read: naive college kid working for free for 3 months).  I saw such exciting events as “Free Loaf of Bread Night” ( I ended up pelting other interns with crushed bags of wheat bread for 3 hours) and “San Diego Chicken Night” (Insider note: I walked around with the Chicken and inside that costume he’s a creepy old man who rides around to gigs in a Winebago.  I almost choked on my nachos when I heard how much he gets per appearance…That guy is clucking all the way to the bank)

Leave it to minor league hockey and the debauchery of Vegas to go all out in their quest for filling empty seats in these tough economic times. The Las Vegas Wranglers minor league hockey team has had some creative events in the past like the hilarious ““Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night.”. Even better is their planned “Over 18 Night” scheduled for next Tuesday.  Highlights of the upcoming even include:

  • The V Theater inside The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood will provide a few entertainers and the American Storm All-Male Review will be available for pictures in the concourse.
  • Stripper-101 will also be on the concourse, providing demonstrations on exotic dancing
  • The Wranglers and Orleans Arena will provide drink specials for the event, including an open bar for $20 from 7:30 – 9:05 PM 
  • San Francisco artist MIKE RELM will headline the promotion. RELM is known for live performances which feature a series of audio mash-ups with video images, manipulated in real-time (via lasvegaswranglers.com)

Vegas baby, Vegas!

So to re-cap, the game will include a DJ, strippers wandering the arena posing for pictures, pole dancing classes, and all you can drink booze for $20. One obvious question: why are they bringing MALE strippers to a hockey game? Am I missing something? Are all the female strippers busy that night or are the hockey fans in Vegas demanding all male strippers? I need some answers.

I.T.E. aka “In this economy” (I’m trademarking that acronym) desperate times call for desperate measures.  With the MLL’s troubles, rumors of some NBA teams struggling financially, predictions of the same trouble for MLB, and large patches of empty seats on TV for March Madness, this kind of creativity might not be the exception to the rule anymore.  What’s next?

For the younger crowds, how about pony rides for the kids around the concourse during NBA games? Or taking the adult theme even further what about “Nudist Night”? Imagine the distraction for the players when they look into the stands and see a bunch of flabby old people letting it all hang out.  Not a single free throw would be made…

Have any other ideas to help fill the seats for pro sports teams? Lay ‘em on me.

(Editors note: “In This Economy?” will be a recurring segment on LAS where we tackle the larger issues around how sports teams big and small are dealing in this Great Depression 2.0)