The Florida Panthers apparently are a thing. And last night they had themselves an honest-to-goodness NHL hockey match at the BB&T Center in Broward. Unfortunately, not many people were aware of it because, according to the official tally, only 7,311 people showed up to the game.
So maybe it's because no one knew about it.
Or maybe it's because no one cares.
The previous lowest attendance for an NHL game was 10,063 in 2007 -- also set by the Panthers. So the Cats have made history. Twice. For the worst possible thing.
Attendance was so bad, we only managed to find a couple of tweets from people who actually attended the game.
Like-afternoon sports talk radio host Marc Hochman:
Small crowd... But I don't care. Let's go Panthers! pic.twitter.com/zpKK1zhiVX— Marc Hochman (@MarcHochman) October 14, 2014
I was at the Panthers record setting attendance night! History!— Marc Hochman (@MarcHochman) October 14, 2014
For the record, the BB&T Center holds about 17,040. Yet even with the Panthers having an aggressive offseason that included getting free agents Willie Mitchell and Dave Bolland on to the team, people just aren't responding.
The Panthers announced attendance for tonight's game was 7,311. This is what that looks like. pic.twitter.com/wIcf17Aey1— theScore (@theScore) October 14, 2014
The main issue is that people just don't give a crap. South Florida is already known for being fickle with its sports teams. Yet here you have a sport that no one in South Florida really cares about. It's ice hockey. Might as well just have boxing kangaroos at the BB&T Center at this point.
And this is nothing new. Back in 2013, Nate Silver wrote that fewer than 5 percent of people who live in Broward and Miami consider themselves "avid hockey fans."
Yet there are perfectly good cold-weather cities in the north who would kill to have their own professional hockey team. Hell, Connecticut still whines about how it lost the Hartford Whalers.
There's also Canada. It'll always take a team.
Still, the bad attendance and overall fan indifference didn't stop the Panthers' official Twitter from posting a passive-aggressive tweet:
Loyalty is best earned on the back of virtue, honor and integrity. Together, we climb. Thanks to all who came. #FlaPanthers— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) October 14, 2014
That Florida Panthers game was so empty I was freezing by the lack of body heat around me— Eric Lauzin (@Lauzin) October 14, 2014
Send your story tips to the author, Chris Joseph.