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AVALANCHE WRAP: Crowd noise, jerseys for road team continue to be eyesore for Avs at Ball Arena



Jack Dempsey/AP

Should that have even counted as a home loss last night, for the Colorado Avalanche against the Washington Capitals at Ball Arena? After all, weren’t there actually more fans will Caps jerseys on than the home team? Sure looked – and sounded – like it.

It’s a great compliment to the city of Denver, the state of Colorado, that so many people from other states choose to live here over their actual hometowns. Hey, I’m one of them, having moved here from back east in 1991. But, honestly, can’t Avs fans fill their own building a little better than this?

When you see the highlights on TV of opposing goals scored at Ball Arena, and you see a sea of raised hands in the first few rows lining seemingly every inch of the rink, it’s embarrassing.

Why can’t Avs fans fill up their own building? Why does it have to feel like a road game on nights like last night? We’re talking about the team with the best record in the NHL, maybe the best team in franchise history, and all the best seats in the house were purchased by Washington Capitals fans?

Superstreak Bonus!

Yeah, I know this is part of the “buying tickets in advance on StubHub by transplants who wait all year for their team to come to town” yadda yadda. Personally, I’m tired of that excuse.

This team has been in town for 27 years. It can’t all be transplants who live here, can it? It’s time for Avs fans to show up and support this team more. The players will never say it, that it hurts their momentum/energy/whatever seeing their own building filled with rabid, loud fans in opposing jerseys, in all the best seats.

But I don’t care what they say. It does hurt the team, in lots of ways. How are you supposed to get any energy in your own building when it’s louder when the visiting team scores? (Also, we know the “I’d rather watch the team on TV than pay to go to the games” excuse doesn’t fly too well here – because the vast majority of this city can’t see the team on TV thanks to the bumbling farce that continues to be ownership’s handling of things with Comcast (Yes, I blame Comcast too, a pox on both sides). And, yes, that might be part of the blame for this too. When you can’t get your product out for your own fans to see, you no doubt kill some of the interest that might generate into people actually wanting to go buy tickets to see it. Ultimately, that’s on management).

Whatever the excuses are, the Avs and their fans need to find a way to turn Ball Arena into more of a harsh environment for visitors to play. This team has put the best product out onto the ice of any team in the league this year, but fans from other teams apparently are more interested in seeing it in person.


  • Jared Bednar was OK with his team’s work ethic overall, but “we didn’t have the puck enough” was one of his laments. He also hinted that the team tried to be a little too fancy, a little too deliberate, at times.
  • I didn’t take anything terrible out of the loss. Look, the Avs were missing some very key players in the game. It wasn’t their real team.
  • The Avs’ 39 hits equaled their season-high (also: March 15 at Los Angeles).
  • Yeah, Jack Johnson gave Bednar an excuse to make him the odd-man-out in the playoffs with those turnovers last night. He’s had a fine year otherwise, and I still think the Avs will need JJ’s toughness at times in the postseason. But in an ultra-competitive environment where there are six other guys vying for D jobs, a game like that doesn’t help.
  • Cale Makar on the game: “It just felt like we didn’t get much generated tonight in the O-zone. It’s also like when we were getting it up at the point, we weren’t getting shots through and they were doing a good job of staying in lanes. But for us on the backend, the forwards were doing a pretty good job of getting to the net after they got it to us and we just weren’t getting it there. So, kudos to them, they did a good job of boxing us out. Going into the third period, we knew it was going to be tough and it’s another test, another challenge that’s just going to be beneficial for us moving down the line.”
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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Hank Braxtan

Sell tickets only at the box office, forget online… or at least make it that way for the lower bowls.

Wearing the opposing colors? Ooh, sorry… looks like all we have available are the nosebleeds! Thanks for helping pay our salaries, though!


Love that idea, the Avs need to do something. Have like Ticketmaster and whoever else have to verify zip codes to buyers . Other NHL cities do it’s time for the Avs to do it too.


Problem is that the Krankies want to sell as many season tix as possible. You can’t then tell those folks they can’t sell their tickets when they want. And $10+ g’s for a season’s worth of good seats is a lot of dinero to most people.


Well, you’re not gonna win ‘em all and losing to a team like Washington isn’t the end of the world. And I’ll give up the Presidents Trophy to rest guys and win that other, more important, trophy!!

Ryan Krueger

Don’t disagree Adrian. I will also call out Avs fans as not being there for this game and also when the team was bad. It is easy to be a fan when you win every game, not so when you don’t. I remember vast empty seats during the 16-17 season. As a former long-time resident of the swamp (the city was built on a swamp) I believe DC fans will fade as soon as Ovechkin fades which is sooner than they think. The best hockey fans tend to be from the original 6 cities plus StL and some of the… Read more »


A lot of Avs fans probably sold their tickets because the Avs have clinched the division. Bednar is resting players so why go. Too many nasty Capital fans. I saw a fan last night sit in front of the ice without purchasing the ticket for that seat. Just because the usher wasn’t paying attention.

Chris Krauss

It seems like it’s worse when they schedule those games on off nights – opposing fans whose team plays here once a year (or in this case it’s been seemingly forever due to the Covid scheduling) are going to be far more likely to jump on a Monday night game than local hometown fans who have their pick of 41 games. Boston was here on, I think, a Wednesday and it was gross.


Boston fans are THE worst.


No it’s Capital fans


Season ticket holder for many years and in my section, most of the seats are filled with other season ticket holders.. But it always seems like when a big market team from the east coast or mid west shows up, many of the STH sell their seats to opposing teams fans.. It’s maddening..
NY, Bos, Wash, Det, Chi, Min etc.. I was so angry last night at that scene..


That’s interesting. I had season tix all through the Avs previous run. Moved on after the lockout. But I was at every playoff game in McNichols and Pepsi Center in those years and I don’t recall this ever being a problem. Sure, you’d have opposing fans….I myself got into some interesting scrapes with Red Wings fans at the time. lol But the building was always heavily in the Avs favor back then and loud af. I will never forget the night Drury scored the overtime winner in McNichols against the dreaded Stars and Belfour. The roof almost came off the… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Flounder
Chad Burdorf

I think the playoffs and this game are a little different when comparing crowds. I was a STH up until the lockout and I remember I hated going to the Philly games back when they were good, nothing but Philly fans. That was during the days of Sakic, Forsberg and Roy, I would get so annoyed but it is what it is. Playoffs will come soon and we will not have this issue.


I would not be so sure that when the playoffs come it will only be Av’s fan’s in the stands. Went to several playoff games back in the glory years and there was always a strong contingent of the opposing fans, particularly Red Wing fans. And even the Bronco’s are not immune from this. I’ve to playoff games against New England and Pittsburgh and it was embarrassing how many opposing jerseys were in the stands. With the cost of season tickets, I can’t blame the holders for trying to make a few bucks back to help defray the cost. If… Read more »


Nice sermon AD. In the past what you’re pointing out has been true. But before you make too much of this (probably already too late), This is the first time Washington has played in Colorado in over 2 years. The stubhub thing is real enough with 1 opportunity a year. But after a pandemic that always haunts the back of peoples minds, you never know when you’ll get aa chance to see Ovie again or maybe even your cup champs from 4 years ago for the first time. I was going to the game last night. It woulda taken 10,000… Read more »

Roger Hutton

Adrian, I agree. Wings, Bulls, Bruins, etc. BUT, and this is a big one; the ticket cost is outrageous. My wife and go to Nuggets games and sit in 3rd deck handicapped for 1.5 to 3 times less than the cost of a hockey ticket. I don’t see he Avs offering specials l I ke the Nuggets. We recently got the channel advertised to see both teams and last nite the game was not available. Payrolls are less in hockey unless the Nuggets are yhe loss leader.

Fritz Kerr

Hey AD. Can you please get word to the Avs media department. When doing in between period player interviews, can someone PLEASE give the player a towel to wipe their faces with? I understand that the interview happens right after they come off the ice, not live as they try to make it appear, but they all have multiple towels at their disposal on the bench and someone can easily hand them one. Last night, Cale looked as if someone had dumped a bucket of water/sweat over his head…not the best look, IMO.


When only one sports radio station in town covers the Avalanche, then I think the fan following suffers; and when a lot of these fans of opposing teams can’t watch the one game their team comes to town because of these disputes between the cable companies and Kroenke sports, I understand why they probably pay through the nose for tickets that season-ticket holders can’t resist selling at such high prices. When playoffs start, I don’t think it will be so bad…..

Last edited 7 months ago by DANIEL S FISHER

While I’m thinking about the lack of Aves coverage from 104.3 on the dial…..I remember last year when Kadri got suspended during the playoffs, many on that station called for him to be traded or cut (because he was a “liability” and had gone through a bit of a scoring drought). They must not have been watching the games because Kadri does SO MUCH out there. I messaged Mike Kelly (who I respect very much for his hockey knowledge) when I kept hearing that talk, to see if he thought my views on Kadri were spot-on or off-base. He basically… Read more »

Thomas Wilgus

Totally agree with your point about the lack of coverage of AVs hockey by our local sports talk radio shows, especially 104.3 The Fan where none but Sandy Clough know anything about hockey. I’m not an NBA fan, including the underachieving Nuggets. I find the game boring with little/no effort at playing any defense and guaranteed contracts to backstop their half hearted performances. You’d think the Nuggets were perennial contenders for the NBA crown given all the attention they get from local media (and when was the last time they sported the league’s best season record?). And little/no attention given… Read more »

Terry Frei


Things have changed. Darren McKee (DMac) now is at every home game, attends the post-game or even post-practice and post-skate availabilities, asks questions and talks about the Avs and Nuggets on the air. Sandy Clough is on the air with Shawn Drotar at night so only can go to weekend home games but is more conversant about hockey than anyone in town. And when given the chance, Mike Evans can talk hockey with anyone.

My 2 cents…


Last edited 7 months ago by Terry Frei

I had to listen to the game on the radio and noticed on the first goal the Caps scored that the crowd sounded different. McGahey barely even announced the goal, and I wondered if the Avs scored because of the noise. I was wrong.

Aaron Rud

The Comcast/Altitude dispute is contributing to some loss or interest in the team. Too bad the Kroenke family is too stubborn and arrogant to see that.


I actually heard the dispute will be resolved in June. So the end is near, a solution has come.

Karl Keen

The ESPN/TNT coverage of the Avs this season has been terrible. For being the cup favorite going into the season, I had hoped for more games, but we have barely been on.


The only thing that bugs me is listening to Biz Nasty and women play by play announcers. They totally suck. During those games I miss Moser and McNabb.

Brian Phillips

As a somewhat recent transplant to the Denver area, I would love to support the Avalanche and Nuggets, but I can’t watch any games on tv unless it is nationally televised so I don’t even think about these teams. Altitude is not a part of my already robust suite of streaming options, as a result my entire family is completely disengaged from these teams. Maybe the rich guys in charge of this debacle could get together and figure this out, although they have already proven that they don’t care about Denver area fans, why should we care about them?

Charlie Anderson

I really wish CHN gave an actual breakdown of the game. What if I wasn’t able to see it on TV last night? I don’t even know what happened in the game.

Brandon Clark does a decent job of doing post game articles and is free for everyone to read

Jeffrey Anderson

AD, Nice insight in this piece. I also moved to the area in 1991, am a long time hockey playing fan (formerly of another team), and am annoyed at all the turncoat fans at Ball! Can we pass a State law that if you have been relocated more than 2 years ago, you have to support the local team? Haha!! I don’t think that this is on us, the fans. What did it for me is that the Avs were instantly great, traded for Roy, and won the Cup in ’96. I ACTUALLY WAS ABLE TO WATCH ALL THE GAMES… Read more »

Nick Rising

Only thing “embarrassing” about the fans is Dater’s take here. This is professional sports. The Avalanche (and this website) have a one-way financial relationship with the fans, and then to turn around and demand more comes off as insanely spoiled. The owner doesn’t have to put the Avs on tv, so why should fans put have to their butts in seats? The players sell thier talents for millions, so why can’t a season ticket holder sell thier tickets for mere hundreds? You just sold out the building, in the smallest media market that has all for 4 majors sports, in… Read more »


In principle, I get what he’s saying. Ideally, fans should be all kinds of loyal and fill the arena, particularly for a team that’s performing so well. The cost is definitely a factor, but honestly, some of you have no idea how good you have it. I live in Vegas. You think you pay a lot for a game there? HA. But what I’ve observed here in Vegas is that even for as insane as the fans are about VGK here, the same thing happens. I went to the 2-0 Avs win, and sat lower bowl corner about 15 rows… Read more »


I’m pissed, I had a Capitals fan dump there beverage on the back of my signed Rantanen jersey as a joke. It’s now destroyed. I paid my hard earned money for it. I also pay for my season tickets and don’t expect an opponent fan to destroy something that takes my time and love for a team and players to sign. Ball Arena needs to do something with supporting the Avs and limit road team opponents from the Avs. Do what most teams are doing verify zip codes, sell game tickets to Colorado only.


Firstly, don’t wear an autographed sweater…ever, unless you want to risk diminishing it’s value.

Second, zip code verification won’t work unless you actually believe all those fans were out-of-towners. They most likely were not. Transplants…

Wayne Dunlap

The problem with the crowds is somewhat exaggerated this season because some of these teams haven’t been here for several years. I have never seen that many Cap fans before and Ive had season tickets for years. That being said the remedy is for the Avs to regularly beat the crap out of these teams. They won’t want to come if they know they’re going to lose. Nobody likes seeing their team lose in person. Also, why are Avs fans so nice to these people? Ridicule and demean them at every opportunity. Let’s make Ball Arena a distasteful place for… Read more »

Glendon Gulliver

The Avs have always been the bastard step child of Denver sports. The Avs brought Denver their first championship, but if you blinked, you may have missed it. Unfortunately, Denver is still a Broncos town. I put much of the blame on the hands of Kroenke Sports. Even though the Nuggets have never won anything, they are their priority sport in town. Denver has become a town of transplants. Since I moved here in 1995, the Denver metro area population has gone from approximately 1.7 million to 2.8 million. Denver is blessed with 4 really good teams. The Broncos are… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Glendon Gulliver
Brandon Iwamoto

A friend of mine’s dad was watching the Carolina broadcast (lives in NC) and they were talking about how the team flew a bunch of their fans to Denver for the game… is that a common practice, for teams to fly in their own fans to away games? Because the Carolina game was very much the same way, just a lot of red in that arena who all felt more coordinated and bold for it to be random happenstance


I gave up my 5th row, attack twice, season tix because of all the mask and vax BS. Bought a ski condo instead. Now I get paid to own something. NHL66.IR. F Comcast and Kranky.

It’s very simple – WE CAN”T EVEN WATCH THE AVS ON TV. Blame the owner, not avs fans. My son’s favorite team is the Rockies and he asks us all the time if we can take him to the games, and he play’s hockey. He watches the Rockies on TV all the time. Guess who he is not watching? How are you going to get people excited about a team that you can never watch?


The richest counties in America surround DC…

Tyler Knight

Never going to increase GABA with the games not being televised to the majority of Colorado residents. This is an owner issue. Not a fan issue. In fact not having the games televised encourages fans of other teams to buy the tickets when their team is in town.


We have been season tickets holders for the past 5 years. We have become more and more frustrated at most games due to the lack of Avs fans attending games. The seats in front of us are also season ticket holders, that sell almost every game to other people (mostly the opposing teams fans). It has reached the point that we have thought about giving our tickets up because the opposing fan base takes a lot of fun out of the whole “home game” experience.

Last edited 7 months ago by Angela

Totally agree. Im a transpant from Chicago. I would have jumped on the Avs bandwagon big time, but i cant watch games in maket due to Altitude Sports nonsense, so i hardly pay attention. Been finding myself watching Oilers games on ESPN+. McDavid and Draisityl are the next closest thing to MacKinnon and Rantenen, i guess. Wish i could see more of Makar’s magic though…


Good article AD. This actually has become a problem across different sports and in many different cities across the US and Europe. There was a European soccer fixture in Barcelona last week, where some 30,000 of the roughly 90k seats were filled by German fans of the opposing team. Needless to say, the atmosphere was entirely detrimental to the home side and Barcelona ultimately lost with an absolutely awful performance. The problem seems to be caused by a number of factors: 1) Resale platforms: It used to be STH would sell the occasional ticket here or there, usually to friends… Read more »


Ooh, I like that last idea. If you’re not in a designated visiting section, you’re not allowed to wear opponent colors. Probably wouldn’t work, but it would be great if that were the case!

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