NHL lockout: Flyers fan wants boycott when NHL returns

One Flyers season-ticket holder wants this building to be empty when the season starts. (U.S. Presswire)

Fan reaction to the ongoing NHL lockout seems to range from complete apathy to anger.

Some fans don't miss the games, others don't care and others swear they won't come back when the labor dispute is settled.

One Philadelphia Flyers season-ticket holder is urging fans to boycott the first game at the Wells Fargo Center when the NHL resumes play, whether it's this season or next season.

Bill O'Toole told Sam Carchidi of Philly.com that the first game in the Wells Fargo Center should be empty as a form of "protest to what the league and the players have put us through. It would be a national story and a fitting 'final word' put on the debacle by the fans, the ones who write the checks for the billions of dollars these two sides can't seem to divide."

It's a nice idea. In theory. Practically speaking, it would be nearly impossible to pull off and wouldn't really send much of a message even if you could.

Are the Flyers (or any NHL team) really going to care if the first game is played in an empty building when it's packed to the rafters  the very next night and every night after (and, in Philadelphia, it most certainly would be)? Especially when, for that opener, the Flyers have still collected all of the ticket-sales money from season-ticket holders. They would still be collecting revenue that night whether anybody shows up.

The other issue is trying to mobilize an entire fan base into actually staying away from the game. For every fan who jumps on board with the boycott idea, there are going to be just as many, if not more, who are just happy to see hockey back and will find a way to go, anyway. Every year in every sport, you hear about some bad team that has a fan base ready to protest management with a walkout or a boycott -- and nothing ever comes of them.

Solid idea in theory to make a point, but it just doesn't seem like a realistic option.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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