Title: Still on their honeymoon: a five year case study of an American Hockey League team and the reasons for their continued success

Authors: Kimberly L. Bogle, Douglas D. Blais, Jeff Eisenberg

Addresses: Department of Sport Management, Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 North River Road, Manchester, NH 03106-1045, USA. ' Department of Sport Management, Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 North River Road, Manchester, NH 03106-1045, USA. ' President Manchester Monarchs, Verizon Wireless Arena, 555 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101-2509, USA

Abstract: Previous research has indicated that there is a |honeymoon effect| for teams moving into a new stadium where substantial attendance gains are recognised during the first one to three years. Research also indicates that the same effect is realised for teams new to a city. This case study examines an American Hockey League (AHL) team that five years ago relocated to a new arena in a new city. Surveys totalling 4187 were administered over the five-year period and analysed along with in-depth interviews with senior management to define and characterise the fan base. Two major categories of fans, the hockey fan and entertainment seeker are introduced and analysed along with the 10 major points of relevance which have allowed the team to extend the honeymoon effect beyond the first three years of operation.

Keywords: honeymoon effect; stadium novelty effect; AHL; American Hockey League; fan characteristics; relocation; sport marketing; new stadium.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSMM.2009.021747

International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 2009 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.1 - 14

Available online: 01 Dec 2008 *

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