As if trying to do business in a tough economy isn’t enough, now Dayton businesses have to worry about getting attacked in the Dayton Daily News.
On Friday, May 13 2006, I open my paper to the sports section and see a huge article, top of the page- “Are Bombers skating on thin ice”- never mind the team has never gotten front page coverage for an actual game, but they now have a “sports writer” dissecting their business, piece by piece.
The owners of the Dayton Bombers don’t deserve this. Costa Papista and Don MacAdam came in and rescued a franchise that has been mis-managed for quite some time- and kept professional hockey alive in Dayton. They may not have known what they were getting themselves into- but they certainly did nothing to deserve the “sinking ship” article in the DDN.
Unlike the Dayton Dragons, the Bombers didn’t have the tax payers build their facility and give them a sweetheart deal, and have every major business cajoled into buying season tickets by the Chamber of Commerce and the power brokers of downtown. They also inherited the lease in the Nutter Center- which isn’t the best place to play hockey- but no tax dollars were offered to upgrade Hara to keep it a viable hockey venue.
The ticket drop numbers (the actual head count vs. the sold ticket headcount) are no indication of financial success- the Dragon’s can announce sell-outs with half the seats empty- and no one bats an eye, yet, the Bombers information, because Nutter is a public building, the numbers can not be hidden from the public.
Compare the Nutter with UD arena- and you see instantly how one looks like a place to have a sporting event, and the other, well it looks like an institution, right down to the gray walls. Compare the parking situation and you have a whole other mess. But, fundamentally, the worst part about the Nutter is the “convertible” roof- that makes it impossible to get the place loud and proud with anything less than a full house- plus a PA system and a marching band. The cavernous ceiling sucks up the noise and makes the place seem dead no matter what’s going on, where at UD or Hara as few as 5000 can make the place rock.
The Dayton Daily News owes the Dayton Bombers an apology- or at least decent coverage to undo the hatchet job they just handed out.
If they want to be fair- maybe someone should point out that they will sell annual subscriptions at half-price just to keep their readership numbers, and that their circulation has been in a tailspin much worse than the Bombers win loss stats.
Do your part to say stick to the news- call the Dayton Bombers (937-775-4747) and buy tickets to a game for next year- even if you think you hate hockey- you might be surprised, but it’s still got a lot more action than baseball- and moves a lot faster than basketball- and is still a good place to take the kids in the middle of winter.
What do you think?