CHI FOLLOWING IN VAN’S FOOTSTEPS

by Ron Spence 

Vancouver’s fan base is as multi-racial as you can get. And it’s been that way for some time.

The presence of minority media outlets at games is but one example of this.

With the ascent of the Blackhawks, they are also finding a new racial diversity amongst Chicago’s hockey fans. 

The Chicago Tribune reports: 

“Nothing brings sports fans of all generations and races together like winning, and this Blackhawks season has been one of uniting power and universal appeal.

The United Center indeed.

Along those lines, Scarborough Sports Marketing research provided to the Tribune indicated an 11 percent growth since 2007 in the number of adults in Chicago who had either watched, listened to or attended Blackhawks games in the last year — from 9 percent to 20 percent.

It comes as little surprise that the percentage of males in that group increased from 13 to 27 percent. Similarly, among white-collar men and women identifying themselves as Blackhawks fans the numbers rose from 12 percent in 2007 to 24 percent this year.

More interestingly, and perhaps surprising to some who consider hockey as a traditional a sport appreciated by white males, the numbers of women and African-Americans who fit the criteria of Blackhawks fans more than doubled.

In 2007, only 6 percent of women in Chicago considered themselves Hawks fans compared with 13 percent this year, according to the survey. In the same span, the number of African-Americans in the city identifying themselves as Blackhawks fans increased even more, from 6 percent in ’07 to 14 percent in 2009.

“People I know in [the African-American community] are saying not only let’s take a closer look at the Blackhawks but let’s take a closer look at the game of hockey, and a lot of that is due to their success,” said Garrard McClendon, an African-American talk-show host for CLTV.”

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