St. Louis is trapped in a snow bubble, or it was last night. Road conditions sucked and driving was hazardous. Still, a little over 15,000 fans made it to Enterprise Center last night to watch the Blues outgun and outrun the lethal Colorado Avalanche.
They risked life, limb, and horrible drivers to be at a hockey game. Does this give them some best fans points? According to Forbes.com, maybe. Their annual best fans in hockey list has come out, and stadium attendance plays into it, among other things:
We ranked the best fans objectively based on quantitative fan consumption metrics: local television ratings (per Nielsen and local Canadian reports), stadium attendance based on capacity reached, secondary ticket demand (per StubHub), merchandise sales (per Fanatics) and social media reach (Facebook and Twitter followers based on the team’s metro area population). For U.S. teams, we further added a hometown crowd reach component defined by Nielsen as a percentage of the metropolitan area population that watched, attended and/or listened to a game in the last year.
Blues fans, according to these numbers, rank seventh overall. But Forbes won’t tell you where they ranked relative to Chicago, or Toronto, or Montreal. Vegas is fourth overall, Nashville eighth.
Forbes agreed not to disclose metric rankings or our entire ranking of all 31 teams in order to gain access to sensitive data.
Ok. We know that the Blues blow it out of the water with both local and national TV ratings. They’re selling a lot of product right now, and they’re selling out games left and right after winning their first Stanley Cup. So this makes us, the fans of the Blues, the seventh best in the NHL.
Can we stop this fan-ranking bullshit? We all know people who are fans of any NHL team that are great folks. We all know assholes. And, hopefully, we know that what we see on social media isn’t indicative of how “good” a fan base is. We also should know that this trend of quantifying everything is equally bull. Just because numbers exist doesn’t mean that it proves anything. How do you count the person who waited 52 years to watch the Blues win the Cup? How do you tabulate a collective feeling of relief and jubilation? Can the number of businessmen who show up to a Leafs game be counted as well as the poor lifelong Maple Leafs fan who is forced to watch at a local bar because he’s been priced out of his own arena?
What about that poor Arizona Coyotes fan who has suffered through years of low attendance and relocation rumors? Is there a value based on fear of losing your team and having to constantly defend your organization’s existence from nasty comments made by Real Fans? God knows I (and everyone else) deserved a medal for being a Thrashers fan, not derision.
To be honest, Blues fans, you do you. You love your team as much as a Golden Knights fan loves his, a Blackhawks fan loves hers, or a Red Wings fan loves theirs. You can’t tabulate the real things that make you a hockey fan: patience, civic pride, tradition, and alcohol consumption.
Ok, maybe you can tabulate that last one.