Ice hockey has always been a popular sport, but it has never seemed to hit the heights of support games like football, basketball, and baseball receive. With some sports struggling to keep their fans interested, is hockey getting more popular among global fans?
There are more countries than ever before with ice hockey facilities. That gives sports fans the opportunity to go and watch an ice hockey game without heading to the USA or Canada. Many countries in Europe are used to cold climates, and they too are huge ice hockey fans.
Just take a look at the countries participating in ice hockey at the Olympics. Russia, Germany, Sweden, Finland, as well as the United States and Canada have all been among the medals in recent Olympic Games.
Speed of play
Some sports are not that captivating, and viewers struggle to stay focused for the entire game. Hockey is a fast-paced game and requires the audience to keep up in case they miss something important. Not every game racks up a score like in basketball, but there are plenty of moments in between that keeps everyone gripped.
The players glide across the ice at breakneck speeds, smashing into each other while the puck that travels even faster. Fans attending the games are always on the edge of their seat and there is always a lively vibe in the arena. Audience members can practically feel the players slamming into each other with the deep thuds echoing over the ice.
One reason why people seem to be turning to ice hockey is that football fans are becoming disillusioned with their sport. Last year’s NFL divisional playoffs had 23 million fewer viewers than the previous year, and it is a trend that could continue. People have become fed up of the politicizing of football and so are searching for other forms of entertainment.
Ice hockey does not depend on the weather unlike other spectator sports, which means games don’t get called off and fans can sit in relative comfort. Yes, there is a chill from the ice, but there are enough warm bodies in the arena that it remains pretty comfortable. Playing under the roof helps to create the atmosphere, and in several countries across the world, ice hockey has become the most attended indoor sport.
Then there is the videotron. This huge TV screen is lowered down to hover above the ice to allow everyone to keep up with the super quick action. Replays are shown, and you get a better angle of the plays if you can’t see clearly on the ice from your seat. You don’t have to look behind you or to the side for a screen, it’s right there, at the heart of the action and it keeps people’s attention focused on the ice.
Ice hockey is getting a better following across the world, and its popularity is on the rise. More countries are coming to love the quick-paced game, and it’s attendance numbers are growing year on year.