Don't know Mike Dingman, but he's a former student body president at UAA who is clearly passionate about Seawolves hockey, as he showed in a commentary in today's ADN.
The commentary in large part was about UAA's plan to close off most of the Sullivan Arena's balconies to fans -- although Dingman repeatedly writes about curtains, and that works as a metaphor for his piece, The Blog was told by UAA's Tim McDiffett that the school actually is buying seat covers. OK, enough quibbling. (For what it's worth, if The Blog were a fan, he'd rather watch a game from the balcony, where the sight lines are better than in the lower bowl.)
In his piece, Dingman wrote that UAA could learn a lot from the Alaska Aces, who pull in vastly larger crowds than UAA.
But nowhere in his piece does Dingman address the most glaring difference between UAA and the Aces, and what surely plays a large part in the Aces' continued success at the gate and UAA's diminished attendance.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Aces win games, a lot of them. The Seawolves, not so much.
The Aces have produced winning records in all 10 of their ECHL seasons, have won two league championships and only once have failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs. They have won their league's regular-season title an unprecedented three consecutive times.
The Seawolves have endured 20 consecutive losing seasons and only twice have advanced past the first round of the playoffs.
You can talk all the marketing and free-ticket ideas in the world, but we all know what puts butts in seats -- winning.