Oct 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) is high-fived after he scored a game winning goal in overtime against the Nashville Predators to beat them 2-1 at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
In 2007 the Blackhawks were voted by ESPN Page 2 as one of the worst sports franchises in all of professional sports. In the last seven years, times have certainly changed. The Blackhawks are now vastly popular in Chicago and are the hottest ticket in the city.
With the Bears imploding under Marc Trestman; baseball being irrelevant in Chicago since 2008 and the Bulls being one Derik Rose injury away from irrelevance. The Blackhawks have filled the Chicago Sports void. The Blackhawks have been a rising star in Chicago.
Since 2008-09 the Blackhawks have won two Stanley Cups and been the Conference finals four times in the last six years. They have two of the most popular players in the NHL in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. They are a very likeable team with good quality people on it.
The Blackhawks certainly pass the eye test. In terms of viewership, The Blackhawks rise has been steady and substantial. The Blackhawks have led the NHL in average attendance for the last six seasons in a row. They have 159,000 viewers per game and that leads North American NHL teams. During the Blackhawks Championship rallies the numbers of fans gathered were estimated in the millions. Some roughly guess it was over 3 million people.
In a poll taken by the Chicago Tribune in May of 2014, the Blackhawks were ranked second in Chicago only to the Bears in popularity. The numbers do not lie the Blackhawks are a rising team in Chicago. If you walk anywhere near Chicagoland, you will see someone donning the Blackhawks logo. the Blackhawks are the one ray of hope in a BLEAK CHICAGO SPORTS LANDSCAPE.
So I pose the question again, Is Chicago a Blackhawks town now? The answer is not yet..but maybe soon.
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