News & Notes From Around PioNation

The University of Denver has dumped Ticketmaster and replaced them with a Comcast subsidary called Paciolan. The new ticketing service should mean lower fees for DU sports fans.  Additionally, DU students will now be able to buy tickets online in their dorm rooms and print them straight to their student ID cards.
DU Lacrosse 2012 recruit Patrick Karole won a Summer Lacrosse National Championship with the Tri-State Black in Baltimore two weeks ago.  Tri-State upset the Philadelphia Dukes who had won five straight championships.  Karole attends Montclair Kimberly Academy in New Jersey.
Former DU volunteer assistant coach P.J. DeLuca has been hired as the Florida Panthers video coach. DeLuca worked for the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild after his stint at DU.


Anonymous said...

Was this not the company that had the fiasco with the world series tickets when the Red Sox played the Rockies? If I am remembering right all the requests actually "crashed" their servers and twice no one could get tickets for several hours!!

dggoddard said...

Yes. Same company.

I'm guessing DU ticket demand won't crash the computer system.

BooneDogg said...

the easier it is for students to get tickets, the better the turnout... printing to your id sure beats walking across campus to the ticket office

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if the students actually showed up for games other than CC and the Sioux.

Aluuum said...

The siren call of our great and nearby ski areas works against hockey attendence for many students.

Ring_of_Fire said...

@ Aluuum...

I know of multiple long-tenured professors at DU that have given up even attempting to hold classes on Fridays; as the mass student exodus to the mountains that begins in earnest on Thursday afternoons makes it a complete waste of time for all involved...

Amy said...

Hope this new ticket company is better than Ticketmaster. I've had some problems with them and their customer service is horrible.

Anonymous said...

I understand the students have choices for entertainment. But I have also wondered why DU doesn't "force" sell the student section, either by giving away to groups or offering deep discounts to get bodies in that lower bowl end area, particularly for the big games that are on live TV in big markets across the country. It just looks so lame to see empty seats on TV - and doesn't really entice viewers to want to come out to see a game. Another idea would be, if they went the route to fill those chairs with warm bodies like that, to intentionally "plant" that section with a few rowdy "cheer starters", Boone, maybe the pep band, etc. Anything to bring life to that end of the rink. For God's Sake, why can't we be like the Sioux, Gophers or Badgers home crowds?

It also looks ridiculous when they say Oh, this is the "upmteenth" consecutive Magness sell out..... yet you look around and the place is half full. But hey - I guess that means shorter beer lines, quicker urinal visits and fast exit out of the parking lot for you and me!!! DU Hockey is the best kept secret in Colorado, except for maybe the Eagles' up north. Go pay twice the $$ and be pissed off about the way the Avs perform downtown..........

dggoddard said...

Important to note that the students subsidize the athletic department through a portion of their student activity fee.

I've always maintained that if the games are fun the students will be there, no matter the opponent. We have to find ways to engage the students and encourage their participation.

I'd like to see more ideas to create a more unified and boisterous student section. Bring the band down closer to the ice when the student turnout is light. Remove the chairs to create a more rowdy atmosphere and contests and rewards for those students who do turn up. More Boone, more band, more signs and more creative energy is needed.

On a positive note, several students have been working on school spirit ideas and planning all summer. Last year ended strongly with the Lacrosse support so momentum is building.

Jordan said...

I think NCHC will help big time with attendance from students. So many DU students come from all over, including non-hockey markets, and consistently getting big names in Magness should help with the buzz. Considering the varying interest and apathy about athletics and DU in general, I would think that brand name opponents would probably go even further than an outstanding record, sad as it is.

It's not really about the money, it's about taking the time to walk across campus when one could just be drinking instead- especially when you're trying to convince someone to make an effort to go watch Mankato. When someone hears Notre Dame or Miami, they're going to be more interested, and may know friends there, so they'll be more inclined to spend $5 and 10 minutes to get to a game. And perhaps be more interested in the game and less interested in getting plastered, yelling obscenities, and booing every call indiscriminately.

Hopefully that effect snowballs and the environment organically gains a more positive, exciting atmosphere. And the average hockey IQ in Magness goes up.

Anonymous said...

Nutini signs in the ECHL

Pioneer Man said...

Don't bother comparing DU's crowd support to big 10 state schools (UW, UM)or state flagship schools such as UND. It's apples and oranges.

The reality is DU will likely NEVER have those kinds of fan bases.


1) We're smaller. Only 5K undergrads at DU. Most schools we play have far more undergrads than we do. That makes a big difference on student crowd size.

2) Skiing. You cannot underestimate the weekend power of nearby world class skiiing on students. For many, this is a big driver of why they come here, and we lose a lot of kids to the slopes in winter.

3) We're not local. Most Minnesota kids or Wisconsin kids or North Dakota kids grew up in the state, and cheer for it over generations. Most DU students didn't grow up here, and most people who live in Denver are not from here, either. Fan loyalty is usually awarded to the place you came from, not here.

4) We're private. Private schools usually have a harder time getting support from people in comparsion to state flagship schools, who get casual fans automatically due to state pride.

5) We're in a saturated market. DU is the number 10-12 team in town here in Denver. DU hockey is a peripheral, niche sport locally without a great deal of public interest.

6) Mellow Colorado. All College teams in the state in all sports have a hard time selling out, and most have mellow crowds even whenm they do. There is so much else here to do and care about here that local teams really aren't followed with much intensity. Even the Broncos crowds are mild.

6) Lack of Hockey culture. Hockey here is played by few, and we don't have the culture of natural outdoor ice, either. It's a minor sport in this state.

7) Affluence. DU is seen locally as a rich kid's school, and a lot of locals resent it more than support it. That makes getting fans in the building harder.

8) Isolation. Our fans rarely have the opportunity to see other arenas due to distance and have little idea of good fan support at other schools. It's rare that DU hockey ever sees more than a handful of students from other schools here, either.

9) Coporate atmopshere. In the past, DU's emphasis in crowd development was more focused on corporate sponsors. Emotional displays of enthusiasm were met with outright hostility and overzealous security.

10) Crowd composition. DU has a lot of affluent older fans and young families. They don't make much noise. FOr them, DU hockey is a social event, not a hard core athletic event.

Finally, Magness has improved a lot in the last 5-7 years. The school is trying to do more all the time. Boone, Band, Whiteouts, Fight Song resurgence, Grilling society, this blog, and student spirit efforts are much better than they were years ago.

Serious Progress is being made.

dggoddard said...

I'd agree with Pioneer Man, but add a few more thoughts.

We've got to improve the culture. Students go to Duke, Texas A&M and Wisconsin and the foundation has been laid by previous generations of students.

I'm hoping that by having two flagship sports in hockey and lacrosse, DU's spirit culture can build exponentially. I think we saw a very engaged crowd at the NCAA Lax playoff game against Villanova.

The administration has done a great job supporting DUGS, the band and the cheerleaders. We've contributed with Boone and various events. Many student leaders are emerging so we're well on the way.

We still need more alumni support, input from all sides and student engagement. Keep the good ideas, comments and observations coming.

I'm very excited at the progress we've made and the direction we're heading.

BooneDogg said...

Very good points Pioneer Man.

I think increasing the level of entertainment at the games can have an equally positive effect as having a big-name school as the visitor.

Comparing the atmosphere at DU to games at Minnesota, North Dakota, etc is not even close. While everyone sits around and waits for the next period in Magness there are games, cheerleaders/ice dancers on the ice, and loud music. that alone can make games more fun for students who have plenty of options outside of denver

it has improved by leaps and bounds lately, but need to continue

Anonymous said...

-More fraternity involvement. Sell them blocks of season tickets on the cheap. Perhaps split them up to be be behind both goals. And get them to compete with eachother. The drunkest (I mean, loudest) section gets some stupid prize.

- On that same note, don't drop those pom-poms on the student section every game. Have a "loudest section challenge" and drop the pom poms or whatever over them. People like to compete. Have Boone be the MC. Like Rocky at a Nuggets game. Ever been to a game in the Springs? One cheer that consistently works for them is the "Go Tigers" cheer where one side of the arena says 'Go!" and the other says "Tigers!". It works because each side wants to be louder than the other. That cheer is a great "icebreaker" for the crowd and encourages people (makes them more comfortable) to be louder throughout the game.

-Overall, DU fans have a culture of being quite and you are the "oddball" if you are loud. The culture needs to change so that you are the oddball if you don't cheer.

-Last thought, this sounds crazy, but put under-cover cheerleaders in the crowd. Put 5 drunk fraternity guys in each small section of the arena. Their enthusiam will spread throughout the arena like VD through a soriety house.

old pio said...

Pioneer Man (if that's who you really are) and DG and the rest all make good points. I think the glass is half full and we just have to keep on working it. From my vantage point in the desert, things have improved--a lot. It's so great to hear the "D-Rah" again.
And comparisons with other schools really are apples/oranges. Take UND for instance. What are the real choices on hockey night? Go to the game or hide under your bed waiting for the knock from the literacy police.

I've been making anonymous' point for years--greater fraternity involvement. During my freshman year at Illinois we got houseblocks (along with a selected sorority) and these were good seats, too. It has been my experience that Greeks show more school spirit and loyalty than other grous (both while students and as alumni). What's to stop Gwoz from stopping by right after rush to make a little pitch about getting your house seats, at a discount, with some other perks? It could work and to my knowledge has never been tried.

A lot of work has been done and it shows. I have two models for student participation in mind: Duke basketball and Rice football. In the case of the Owls, they've got the smallest enrollment in D1 (their total student enrollment can fill about one section in their 70,000 seat stadium) but that section is usually full. As to Duke, they're certainly a private, elite school, yet their kids turn Cameron Indoor into a zoo. We could find worse examples to emulate.

Bottom line? It's gettng better all the time. And those of you who've been working the problem all deserve our gratitude. Keep up the good work, it shows.

Anonymous said...

Pioneer man, you forgot number 11.

11) DG sucks all the oxygen out of Magness with his enormous.....ego.

Anonymous said...

The jealousy continues...

Jordan said...

If that "jealously" leads to an improved college hockey experience, it's good for everyone.

Willing to admit that there are things we envy from other schools, but we take that with a dose of reality.

There's also plenty we don't envy. The prestige of a rabid fan base only goes so far when so many of those fans are such dirtbags. At least UND fans understand hockey for the most part, unlike the 8,000 townies at the World Arena who think they do.

Anonymous said...

I think DU students are really changing into a more spirited mindset than in past years.

The tipping point, in my mind, was last spring's lacrosse studnet support - when you see DU students spontaneously jumping on the tables of a campus bar while singing the school fight song without prompting, I think the mental switch has been flipped...

I think now in their minds, it's cooler to be behind your school than is to be aloof and self-focused. Now let's see if they can keep it up this year and grow it...

Anonymous said...

But still, in a strange way, at the end of the daybeing the conservative school that we are, in light of some good comments here..... that makes it all the more sweet in March and April, when the Pioneers are steamrolling through the post season, knocking off other "spirited" schools. Remember 2004? OMG the College Hockey world was stunned. Who the hell is Denver??? 200 fans for 7,000 fans - it's all about the scoreboard and the guys on the ice... so in that respect, I'd say we're doing everything right. The fans, the fluf, the revenue.. is all good and nessecary, yes. But I kind of enjoy the "low Key" aspect of it all season long, because at the end of the season, when people & the media really start caring, and people are scrounging for DU-CC tickets, I'm like..... "what took you so long? I could have told you this 6 months ago"

Aluuum said...

Wow! This is a great bunch of posts. Everything covered from all angles.

One more comment: There are about two thousand dedicated fans that are at every game(I'm one of them) who are mostly quiet except when a goal is scored or an outstanding play is made, like Ryder knocking Malone on his ass. These are mostly older D.U. Alums. We are passionate about the team as much as the students but the old rah rah days are tempered.

Anonymous said...

What do all students want? Free food and beer. Give em that and they'll show up in droves. I'm sure DU concessions can spare some freebies. The rest of us can keep getting shafted for $7 for a crappy light beer.

Ring_of_Fire said...

FYI: Lalonde has accepted the Green Bay Gamblers job.