Thursday, August 27, 2009

Islanders Game Operations Survey

I'd apologize for the lack of updates lately if there was anything going on that was actually worth reporting. Sadly, that isn't the case. We're doing what we can, but we won't resort to filler. Thankfully, the Islanders sent me (and everyone else on their mailing list) a survey about their game operations. It's not news, but it's something.

Now, I could just fill this out and send it in. But that's no fun. Besides, these things are actually fairly serious issues to me. If I'm going to pay for tickets to ten Islanders games and watch them lose each time, the least they could do is provide a solid environment to watch a hockey game. They're pretty hit-or-miss in that area. With that in mind, below are my results to this survey. I'm sure it will accomplish very little, but it's worth a try.

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All questions are of the "1-to-5, 1 being very dissatisfied, 5 being very satisfied" variety.

1. The music played at Islanders games, such as warm-up music, songs on whistles, audio prompts, and pump-up songs:

- Dissatisfied. Holy crap. Have the Islanders introduced even one new song over the last five years? I'm not counting emo, either. Listen to the PA during a Penguins home game. You hear Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer. Old, sure, but it's got an edge to it and it's appropriate for an edgy game. Meanwhile, the selections at the Coliseum are as generic as they come. If you want fans to be excited about the upcoming play, you need to help them keep their energy level intact.

2. The quality and frequency of the live organ:

- Neutral. It's a nice touch. I kind of like the National Anthem with the organ and no singer. But if I never hear the Family Guy theme on the Coliseum organ again, it'll be too soon.

8. The usage and frequency of noise meters, noise prompts, and the general atmosphere at Islanders games:

- Very Dissatisfied. The noise meter is annoying enough. Hearing it five times a game is unbearable.

9. The exposure of the NHL out-of-town scores and the NHL highlights shown pre-game and during both intermissions on the video board:

- Dissatisfied. This is one very untapped area at Islanders games. How about some highlights from other games during intermissions?

10. The intermission on-ice games, such as the Human Puck Shoot, Nathan's Hot Dog Race, and the American Airlines' Fly Away game:

- Very Satisfied. I can't wait to do the Human Puck Shoot with my daughter one day.

12. The in-game texting features, such as text-2-screen, pix-2-screen, and the second intermission song poll:

- Satisfied. Mindless fun is always good. Though it'd be nice if they showed texts with more substance than "what up. hollaaaaa".

14. The overall Islanders game entertainment experience:

- Satisfied. Everyone's going to nitpick when the team is losing. But the Islanders do provide something for everybody and that should be commended. As the team rebuilds and forms a new identity, I would like to see the Islanders game entertainment experience change to fit the team's identity. From the music played between whistles to the videos played on the scoreboard, the presentation should fit the Islanders.

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At the bottom of the survey, there was an area for miscellaneous comments. Of course, I used that space to gush about the Coliseum pretzel twists and suggest the Islanders hold an "All You Can Eat" night.

Surveys like these might not accomplish very much, but they probably do more than give us the impression that the Islanders care what we think. We're an important part of this rebuild; the least the Islanders could do is cater to our suggestions while shelling out considerable cash to watch a mediocre (at best) team. It's not just about hearing Slayer between faceoffs, it's about helping our team become better in every way. A better game experience gives the Islanders more of a home ice advantage, which results in more wins.

We'll see how these surveys end up influencing the Islanders game operations in 2009-10. But I have a feeling I shouldn't wait up on "All You Can Eat" night.

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