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Thread: Fan Base...Do We Even Have One?

  1. #21
    Raptors Republic Veteran white men can't jump's Avatar
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    There are definitely a lot of corporate 'fans'. It's unfortunate but it's pretty common everywhere and it's how teams sell tickets to keep the lower levels as full as they can, even in bad years. Toronto has enjoyed large attendance(relatively speaking in terms of success) because of this, but it also means at a lot of games, especially in bad years in games that suck(bad opponents, when the season's in the gutter) you get a crowd that doesn't care and/or doesn't know about the game. This is a bit worse in Toronto I think than in most American cities, where the general population knows more about the game. BUT, most cities wouldn't fill the lower bowl as much, even with 'non-fans', in bad years. Toronto is a pretty good sports city, and when teams do well, the real fans come out and the casual fan base grows/becomes smarter about the game. Frankly, the big city fans in the US are still only loud in most cities for good games. The craziest fans I think might be Portland, or OKC right now because of how good they are. Those are some small cities, with fans who are crazy about the game and know it well.
    It is frustrating though. I wish we had fans at games who didn't care about pizza so much. It bugs me that basically they try to make it feel like a "fun" atmosphere with gimmicks and giveaways galore, but whatever. I think no one would mind some of those things if the policy was simply every time they win(maybe win and score 100). I also think if the team was winning, less of those fans would be there compared to more interested, passionate fans. Winning cures everything I think. What this team needs, more than anything, is a solid decade of play. Making the playoffs most years out of the next 10 or so would make a huge difference. It definitely helped the Jays and their fan base in the 80s and 90s. Anyway, now I'm just starting to rant. Yes there are problems with crowds at the ACC, but I think the Raptors have a good fan base and that includes real fans, who right now don't want to spend frequently to see the team suck, but who eagerly await for when the team starts winning again, and will help change the fan culture if the Raptors ever experience some repeated success.

  2. #22
    Raptors Republic Starter knickz's Avatar
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    Quote ryanc123 wrote: View Post
    It really bothers me as well as I feel like most of the people in the stands (atleast lower bowl) are pretty much just business men, leaf season ticket owners, and just not real fans. But trust me, there are REAL FANS in Toronto, just can't afford tickets on a regular basis. Similar to what Andrew Bogut did in Milwaukee, I think some of the Raptors should step up and do the same.

    What BOgut did was he held tryouts for the craziest fans (they audition for it) and he gets them season tickets.
    I couldn't agree more, I can sit behind home plate at a jays game for about 65 dollars. Don't want to know how much it cost at a raptors game.
    "the raptors were my fav team growing up"-kevin durant

  3. #23
    Raptors Republic Starter knickz's Avatar
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    2.I asked someone close to the franchise the question, that is the respond I got

    4.They mention it a lot on the radio
    "the raptors were my fav team growing up"-kevin durant

  4. #24
    Raptors Republic Starter knickz's Avatar
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    We are lucky that bettman didn't let jim balsillie bring that hockey team to hamilton
    "the raptors were my fav team growing up"-kevin durant

  5. #25
    Raptors Republic Starter knickz's Avatar
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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    I am hopeful that if and when the Raptors return to a above .500 team that attendance and fan interest will come back. Winning is the solution.
    I'm hoping too...People don't understand how much I love this team
    "the raptors were my fav team growing up"-kevin durant

  6. #26
    Raptors Republic Starter knickz's Avatar
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    Quote Pele wrote: View Post
    I'm not sure about others, but I'm an ex-Leaf, now Raps bonafide FAN.

    I can't remember it, but my mother tells me that, as a fetus, I'd push my ears up next to her belly so I could listen to the Leafs on the radio. I grew up playing hockey and bleeding blue and white. I knew all the stats, and would go crazy over things like Vince Damphouse being MVP'd at the all-star game. Those old Norris division playoff rivalries with the Blues and Red Wings still give me shivers.

    I think there are two reasons why I began to lose interest in hockey.

    1. The perennial losing ways of the Leafs. Leaf fans are chumps, pure and simple. It would take two consecutive Stanley Cups to even revive a white and blue flutter in my heart, such is the absolute, embarrassing crap product that the Leafs have been. They piss on and bitch-slap their fans, and we keep running back for more, doling out huge dineros. Chumps.

    2. The game kept getting faster, more hard-hitting. It seemed to me that hockey began to lose it's flow, like there increasingly wasn't enough room to make beautiful, poetry-in-motion, strategic passing plays. No room to ebb and flow and deke around the opposing defence. Heck, nowadays, Gretzky would be out after 4 years with a concussion. (sound familiar?) I always liked the tough aspect of hockey, but it needs to be balanced by rhythm and skill. (like music)

    Now, all through the "Vinsanity" years, I wasn't really interested in basketball. To me, it was a black thing. White guys like hockey, black guys like basketball. (I was ignorant, and plain wrong; waaaayyy out of line) However, after drafting Bosh I began to watch games, purely out curiosity. (and boredom) I'm not sure at what point it happened, but slowly I began to understand the game. Defensive strategies, boxing out, man-to-man vs. zone, pick and rolls, positioning for rebounds, timing etc. I began to see that basketball is game with rhythm, strategy, swagger, skill, vision etc. I began to understand the nuances of the game.

    Basically, I fell in love with the game, and with the Raps. The 2006-7 season cemented my fanship.

    Now, I follow the Raps the way Mexican grandmas follow Telenovelas. With 3 quality starters (JV, draft pic, FA) added to the "core" (or, rather, a "core" added to our current strong supporting cast) we just may be a contender.

    One thing I like, CASEY. I like his style, his commitment. He's a good coach.
    I moved from Jamaica to Toronto in '91, been a leaf fan since '92-'93, but I'm getting sick and tired of the way the media blows the leafs. I don't know anywhere in pro sports where a team can be that bad and still getting all the media attention. It got so bad that I started listening to Buffalo sports radio.
    "the raptors were my fav team growing up"-kevin durant

  7. #27
    Raptors Republic Starter knickz's Avatar
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    I think if you were to go to a New Jersey game, or Washington, or Charlotte, or Sacremento etc. (teams we are 'competing' with) you would find a much sorrier situation in terms of fan presense.

    Add in all the fans the Raptors have in Europe, and the 'illegal' live feeds that are used to watch games, and I'd bet the Raptors are right at the Top in terms of Fan Following.
    I know this situation exist with other teams, but i'm more concerned with us. The nba, tnt and espn screwed us out of a playoff spot 2 years ago so I could careless about other teams.
    "the raptors were my fav team growing up"-kevin durant

  8. #28
    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote Copywryter wrote: View Post
    Go to any Toronto FC games? I was at one where so many fans were tossing rolled paper that it was like a snowstorm. No riots, of course, but still a much different atmosphere -- even from the 'casual' fans.
    Have you ever seen that at an American football game? How about a hockey game? How about a baseball game? How about an NBA game in any other city?

  9. #29
    Raptors Republic Rookie Absinthe's Avatar
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    Quote knickz wrote: View Post
    1.The fans at the raptor games are basically people who buy leaf tickets.

    2.Low tv ratings so the games are relegated to tsn2 and sportsnet one.

    3.Fans get more hyped for a stupid slice of pizza

    4.Ratings drop whenever basketball is being discussed on the radio.

    discuss
    It's hard to come up with evidence for the statements posed, 'cause we're on the outside looking in. The only thing I can find in terms of stats is what Apollo posted - attendance figures.

    #1. Speculation.

    Even if that is the case, MLSE's job is to maximize their profit. So, they must have made a decision to allow leaf season ticket holders to attend the game, because they felt that would lead to more sales - more profit.

    I'm okay with that. Even if anyone says something like "those aren't real fans," it doesn't matter - those people paid money to see MLSE's product(s), thus, those people supported the Raptors.

    #2. Are smaller/diminishing fan bases correlated to low TV ratings? I guess that would make sense. Still though, hard to argue since it's impossible for me to get any meaningful stats on Raptors TV ratings.
    Note: I'm using TSN synonymous with Sportsnet, and TSN2 synonymous with Sportsnet One.
    Doug Smith says:
    TSN launched its secondary channel, TSN2, in the summer, basically to act as a home for sports events it didn't have room for on the main network.
    http://www.thestar.com/sports/basket...ronto-cable-tv
    However, that was when the network launched, in 2008. Four years later, different licensing restrictions, and who knows how the purpose of TSN2 has changed.

    So, I guess this is my opinion (not necessarily based in concrete fact):
    TSN2/Sportsnet One are channels made for a new source of profit. With a new channel boasting HD broadcasts, they offer a service to people willing to pay the premium for it. Will fan base affect TSN/TSN2 broadcasting decisions? Sure.

    Compared to a higher rating program, if we assume that the broadcasting company will make more profit by moving a lower rating Raptors game from TSN/Sportsnet to TSN2/Sportsnet One, then they will do so. This situation supports the view that lower TV ratings implies a smaller fan base. If the team was better, and thus had a higher fan base, more people would watch, and the decision to 'relegate' the game to TSN2/Sportsnet One would not be made. Again, this is all assuming that moving the low rating Raptors game to TSN2/Sportsnet One would net more profit as opposed to leaving it on TSN/Sportsnet.

    I guess that your fanbase will increase when the team gets better. If that happens, I'd wager that more Raptor games will be placed on TSN/Sportsnet than on TSN2/Sportsnet One, because the former is accessible by more people than the latter. The above assumption of profit is key. If that assumption doesn't hold, then the situation is a bust.

    #3. Discussed a lot already.

    #4. Whoaboy! What? Ratings of the radio program?

    Let's assume this statement to be true (BIG assumption, I'm totally in the dark here). I suppose if the Raptors were a better team (or Canada Basketball got really popular), the Raps would have a higher fan base, which would be more tuned into basketball. Then, ratings for a given radio program wouldn't drop when the topic being discussed was basketball.

    ^ Total speculation.


    So, conclusion? We have a fanbase. Ticket sales for Raptors games are meshed between the die hard raptor fan, the leaf fan who benefited from his/her season ticket deal, business people, and the casual fan - who simply wants to be entertained. Trying to pick apart whether these fans are 'true' fans or 'fake' fans is a meaningless exercise. By them going to the games, it means someone paid money for that privilege, and thus, the Raptors prospered. I'm good with that.
    I'm happy that the MLSE is a smart organization as far as it comes to making money with franchises that have not been enjoying success for a while now. If that wasn't the case, then the Raptors would be horrible as far as fanbase and attendance turnout is concerned.

    The one concrete fact we do know is that more people turn out when a team is better, some of those people will become fans, and that means more profit for the team (a good thing). The Raptors have a fan base. If the Raptors get better, the fan base will grow. If the Raptors get worse, the fan base will diminish.
    Last edited by Absinthe; Sat Mar 31st, 2012 at 07:37 PM.

  10. #30
    Raptors Republic Starter b2kelly's Avatar
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    The fan base for the raps and jays on the west coast is big.. just don't mention you like the leafs and youll be fine out here..

    The fans at the raps games really really suck ass balls though, they just want a free slice of the worlds worst pizza because they are dumb and lack intelligence. There is a hardcore following though, unforuntatley they are drowned out by all the idiots.

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