Wednesday, February 13, 2008

There's Somethin' Happenin' Here...

...what it is ain't exactly clear.

OK, those are the first two lines of "For What It's Worth," by Buffalo Springfield, and like the last two lines, we ought to be thinking, "Stop, children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down."

What's going "down" is what's going up...attendance, that is. If you look at the Caps' 29 home dates so far, the graph looks like this...

We've marked Game 9 -- the 5-1 loss to Atlanta on the day before Thanksgiving -- as perhaps the low point of the season for the club on the ice.

Since that gruesome loss, the Caps are 21-11-4, and their fortunes at home mirror the rise in the standings. The trend in that graph is unmistakably upward. Look at the five game averages over the course of the season:

1st five: 13,797
2nd five: 13,880
3rd five: 11,803
4th five: 15,091
5th five: 15,488
last four games: 17,053

There is that 11,803 in the third group of five games, corresponding to the five games played at Verizon Center from November 26th through December 12th. However, that might be explained by frustration over the season as it had unfolded to that date and the holiday shopping season getting underway. Whatever, since then, the Caps have seen attendance rise substantially and dramatically.

Winning does that.

What it means is that maybe Verizon Center is going to be the place to be for the next few months for things other than concerts and Georgetown University men's basketball games...


dmg said...

I've always thought that the MCI/Verizon center was somewhat inconveniently located in terms of people getting back and forth on weeknights, especially those living out in the suburbs as hockey fans in the DC area tend to do, so I think it'd be interesting to isolate the effect of home game versus non home games.

I was considering trying to do it myself but apparently even as graduate students we are not to use those types of resources for our own little pet projects.

Anonymous said...

Try a moving average of 3 points. Might give you smoother lines.

Brunella said...

I've always thought that the MCI/Verizon center was perfectly and exquisitely located in terms of me getting back and forth on weeknights, especially since I work downtown but live out in the "suburbs". I have a 4-block walk home from a Red Line station at my home end. I wept with relief when I no longer had to drive to Landover. Words can not describe my delight in the Phone Booth.

But as Olie says, it's a Bandwagon Town and the question always is 'so what have you done for me lately?’ Momentum is building, however, 'specially since football is done. And folks catch on to the Ovie Phenomenon. They'll come 'round!