A few years ago, a weeknight game in October against the Anaheim Ducks wouldn’t have been a big draw for the Dallas Stars.
But Tuesday at American Airlines Center, a respectable crowd of 17,798 watched the home team fight back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Ducks.
Oh, how things have changed since Tom Gaglardi bought the club in 2011.
“Our season-ticket base has more than doubled,” Gaglardi told the Vancouver Sun in a recent interview.
“We have come a long way. Our crowds are vibrant. It is exciting. I just got a statistic this morning that we are in the top three in merchandise sales this year in the NHL. When I got here we had very poor merchandise and not much of it.”
It helps that the Stars are winning, and playing an exciting brand of hockey to boot. But as we’ve seen so many times in pro sports, it all starts at the top. Good owners hire good management, and good management gets good players.
“These things, I think, need to be run by passionate owners who want to invest and build and make things better and it was really no fault of the franchise,” said Gaglardi. “It just didn’t have that for a period of time.”
The Stars (7-2-0) host the Canucks (4-2-3) tonight.