Over 100,000 in total attendance sign in the final Zydeco game.

Low Minor League Hockey in Baton Rouge

posted in: Other Sports | 0

Congratulations to the Baton Rouge Zydeco, which led the Federal Prospects Hockey League in attendance this season and broke the league record in its first year.

I have lived in Baton Rouge for seven years, and this was the first bit of live hockey I’ve seen. Naturally, I am a season ticket holder. One, because it’s hockey, but it’s also pretty cheap hockey.

I lived in Columbus, Ohio, during the heyday of the Columbus Chill in the ECHL and the introduction of the Columbus Blue Jackets to the NHL. I am familiar with the appeal of lower-minor cheap hockey and the creation of a brand-new franchise.

The Zydeco had one thing going for it: Baton Rouge hasn’t had hockey since the Kingfish of the ECHL left 20 years ago. There was an appetite for it.

However, let’s be honest. Louisiana is not a hockey hotbed. The FPHL is not full of highly skilled players, and the Zydeco were especially atrocious for most of the season. (A late run of six wins in the final eight games got them one point ahead of fellow newcomer Blue Ridge to finish next-to-last in the league.)

In short, this is not good hockey. But it is entertaining, proving once and for all that hockey is the best live sport. Seriously, go to a game. Almost 4,000 people showed up each night to watch this team lose repeatedly. (16 wins in a 56-game schedule.) Hopefully, ownership learned something about recruiting better players and will invest in better social media, so next year will be just as entertaining, with more wins and even bigger crowds. We’ll see.

I’m hoping minor-league hockey will be available in Baton Rouge for the next few years, at least. I know enough about the history of low minor-league hockey in the US to not count on it being a long-term situation, but I intend to enjoy it while we have it.

Will I see you at a game next season?

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.