TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Topeka RoadRunners are staying in the city after months of back and forth negotiations.
But some fans think those long and public negotiations left hockey enthusiasts uneasy.
And the empty green plastic seats are hard to miss.
“It has been down. I think it has to do with the fact that they weren’t sure whether we were going to have them this year,” said Julie Ramsey.
According to SMG Management, the company that oversees Landon Arena, there is room for 10,000 fans.
But in the first four home games this year, not including the Oct. 2 and 3 home games, the team has only scanned 450 tickets. Almost 200 less than the first four home games of last season.
And the empty seats upset on long-time RoadRunners fan.
“You like to see a full crowd. A lot of people,” said Lois Troxel.
Troxel, who has been following the local hockey team since the Scarecrows were in town, said some of the hockey fans are considered family.
And watching a game with Troxel it’s easy to see why.
She yells at the players like they are her sons and wants them to succeed for more than just the sake of winning. She said she wants Topekans to come cheer on the RoadRunners because they are playing for scholarships.
But the empty seats aren’t worrying the organization just yet.
“I understand attendance is down but this is very normal of any event type in the fall,” said Tiffany Langer.
Langer, a part of the marketing division for the team, said the RoadRunners are vital to life in Topeka because of what they do off the ice too.
“There’s nothing else in Topeka that will send people into the schools to read with the kids and play fitness games with the kids,” she said.