Monday, July 6, 2009

AUS releases 2009-2010 Regular Season Schedule

The AUS has released the 2009-10 season schedule, availabe here. Special thanks to "Anonymous" for the tip.

UNB begins the season at home on October 16th vs the UPEI Panthers, then hosts UdeM the following night for a tough first weekend of action. Let's cross our fingers that the renovations to the AUC will be completed in time.

It appears that once again UNB will have to compete against Halloween night when SMU rolls into town on October 31st in what would should be another great installment. A few years ago STU got the short end of the schedule in a Battle of the Hill game that drew under 600 fans between the two schools, half the number they drew at the LBR the next semester when hundreds of people weren't preoccupied with Halloween activities. Hopefully the fact that it's on a Saturday won't be too detrimental to attendance.

You have to wonder why the AUS couldn't work out a Sunday game, or another Wednesday game, or even any other match-up instead of the AUS Champs vs National Champs to go on Halloween? Of all the games to put at risk of a lower attendance, why would you pick one of the better current rivalries? The other teams probably aren't helped having to play on Halloween either. At least StFX and Dalhousie are hosting earlier in the afternoon instead of the regular 7PM start time.

We'll assume there's a great reason behind this and hopefully all the teams won't be affected too much. Maybe UNB fans will show up in force before whatever festivities are planned later that night.

The season ends on February 13th with what's looking to be a considerably different Dalhousie Tigers team visiting UNB, so at least we don't have to fight Valentine's Day again.

We're roughly just past the half-way point of this rainy off-season, it won't be long now.


Dan said...

STU is at Dalhousie on Halloween, and they are playing at 3pm. StFX is also doing an afternoon game. Curious if UNB didn't consider that?

Ken C said...

Fair comment, UNB might very well feel Halloween is a non-issue.

Could also be that they feel the evening would draw better than a Saturday afternoon or Sunday game? Exhibition tournament games typically have drawn better in the later time slot.

I wouldn't doubt the coaching staff would prefer the full day of rest to recharge for SMU, so that could be it too.

There was a healthy amount of criticism about the schedule after the game at STU in 2008. The last Halloween home date at UNB drew 800fans back in 2003 when UNB averaged around 2000 per game. Not a big deal either way, but not unreasonable to think Halloween isn't the best day to host games.

Sometimes these things can't be helped.

Anonymous said...

For a team that excels at marketing, this is not a winner. I know it takes two to tango (SMU being the dance partner) but this will kill one of UNB's largest potential gates of season. I'm sure SMU will be perfectly happy playing to a smaller crowd!

AUS, that is trying hard to promote and sell its product, should intervene and find a more amenable date.

Eric said...

Worth noting that the last four games are against the Kelly/NS teams rather then the local MacAdam/NB-PEI teams.

This is the first time since 1984/85 that UNB will end the season playing NS teams. It's been MacAdam teams for the past 15 years.

Eric said...

I'd like to see one afternoon game a season. It would allow kids 6-8 yearsold to stay for the entire game. My son is 8 going on 9 and as much as I like going to the games - he needs a good night sleep, which is hard when a game ends late or goes into OT. So, he gets to see two periods - have to respect the sleep schedule or it's mr. grumpy the next day.

An afternoon game allows for these fans to stay for the entire game and attend 'meet the players' after the game.

Ken C said...

Interesting...UNB used to have a a Sunday afternoon game once in awhile several years ago. I wouldn't mind the odd afternoon game on the weekend in the winter months. Worth a try at least.