Season 2 of the Sultana Bran Hockey One has started with a bang as Australian domestic elite hockey attendance records tumble across the first three rounds.
With 1,406 at the National Hockey Centre in Canberra last night, expectations are building that over 12,000 people will have attended the first 3 Rounds of the season.
With a plethora of Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallists throughout the franchise playing rosters, and a show being put on at venues and on screens through Fox Sports, Kayo and the Hockey One League’s digital platforms, the league is providing an entertainment experience hockey hasn’t seen before in Australia.
Hockey One General Manager, Andy Crook, believes the start of the season has laid a strong foundation and proves that Hockey One is a League that can drive interest in the game for years to come.
“We naturally hoped that hockey fans would come out and support their favourite franchises and favourite players after nearly a three year layoff, however the start of the season has exceeded our expectations,” said Crook.
“Hockey One and the franchises have a really strong focus on what we are looking to achieve and I think we are seeing this now starting to pay off with the sheer number of people attending games.”
“When the league was founded in 2019, it was always the vision of Hockey Australia and the State/Territory Member Associations that Hockey One would bridge the gap for hockey and general sport fans between the Olympics and Commonwealth Games years, and really support the transformation of the sport into a genuine force outside of the obvious success that has been enjoyed at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games level.”
“Hockey is among the most watched sports during the Olympics and Commonwealth Games and it is important that Hockey One captures the imagine of the sporting public and turns them into Hockey One fans.”
Crook believes that the recent spike in attendances is a sign the Hockey One League is heading in the right direction and has a bright future.
“I really do believe we are probably only a season or two away from needing to put the ‘sold out’ signs up around particular venues.”
“This needs to be a major aim for us. The franchises have dramatically improved how they promote their games and the show they put on in venue from the 2019 season. If this trend continues, and the new content produced by Hockey One continues to engage new and existing audiences, there is no reason why this won’t happen.”
“A key part of our plan is to reach fans through various forms of content, both in Australia and around the world. Not only have the Hockey One franchises started to buy into this way of connecting, but the fans have really started to engage also.”
“Brisbane Blaze for example have been a leader in this space, and so it was no surprise when their first home fixture drew a record of nearly 1,200 on a Thursday night. We have also seen record crowds across other venues. This is something for them to build on.”
Seemingly Hockey One is the league that hockey in Australia needed. Not only a way to showcase the outstanding talent Australia has to offer, but an annual entertainment experience designed to capture the imagination of not only hockey fans, but the sporting public more broadly.
Round 3 continues tonight with Adelaide Fire against the NSW Pride at MATE Stadium, followed by the Perth Thundersticks taking on the Brisbane Blaze in Perth on Saturday night.
Tickets for every Sultana Bran Hockey One League fixture is available through Ticketek.
Every match can be seen LIVE on Kayo.