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How Google Searches Can Predict Hockey Ticket Sales
How Google Searches Can Predict Hockey Ticket Sales

As you can see, there’s a strong correlation. Nine of the 10 most popular teams based on Google searches also ranked in the top 10 in ticket sales this season, the exception being the Philadelphia Flyers.Further, there are huge differences in ticket sales between the top and bottom teams. Whereas fans spent only $27 million on Florida Panthers tickets this season, they shelled out more than $184 million (in U.S. dollars) to see the Toronto Maple Leafs play.Most of the differences are based on discrepancies in ticket prices rather than attendance. The NHL is a terrific live-spectator experience — I say this as someone who spends way too much on Rangers tickets — and most NHL teams can sell out their arenas if they charge the right price. But the right price varies. Whereas the average ticket cost $236 in Toronto, it was $74 in Tampa.The relationship is even clearer if we chart the data:You’ll notice that there are some diminishing returns to having more fans in your area.3I’ve used a logarithmic curve to fit the data, which tracks it more closely than a linear fit. Perhaps this is because there are only so many good seats available for each game or because larger markets like Toronto and New York have more non-hockey substitutes for the fan’s entertainment dollar.Still, the correlation is clear, and very strong. The size of the fan base, based on Google searches, accounts for 81 percent of the differences in ticket sales.4The 81 percent figure reflects the coefficient of determination of the regression line.You could undoubtedly do a bit better still by accounting for other factors, like how well the team has played recently. The on-ice success of the Chicago Blackhawks may explain why they do so well at the box office, for instance.But there aren’t a lot of exceptions, and there aren’t a lot of favorable precedents for a hockey team in Las Vegas. The Nashville Predators are a comparative success story — they’re a very good team that’s made some inroads in a highly non-traditional hockey market. And yet, while the Preds are usually selling out their rink, fans are paying comparatively little for tickets. So Nashville ranked just 24th in NHL ticket spending this year, and the Predators have barely been breaking even financially.Several other teams in non-traditional hockey markets — the Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers, for instance — are losing money. And most of them play in metro areas with considerably larger populations than Las Vegas.When should you be skeptical of Google Trends data? Sometimes ambiguities of language can cause problems. (Do you mean Kenny Rogers the singer or Kenny Rogers the pitcher?) And as the complexity of the analysis increases, so can the potential for error. It proved to be more difficult than Google expected to determine which searches predicted flu outbreaks, for example — although that was more an issue of flawed analysis than faulty data.In this case, though, Google is just stating the obvious: Putting an NHL team in a small market in the middle of the desert isn’t a good gamble. You may have doubts, as some readers did, about whether Google searches are a reliable way to predict that an NHL expansion team would struggle in Las Vegas. But it’s actually a pretty good way to forecast this kind of thing, and there’s another way to prove it:It turns out that there’s a strong relationship between Google searches and an NHL team’s bottom line. How often fans are Googling the term “NHL” in a metro area reliably predicts how much they’re spending on hockey tickets.In the chart below, I’ve estimated how much fans spent on tickets at each NHL arena during the past regular season. The process is simple: I just took total home attendance and multiplied it by the average ticket price.1The average ticket price is estimated based on a 50/50 blend of face-value and resale-market prices. For face-value prices, I used data from Team Marketing Report. For resale prices, I used data from TiqIQ, averaging prices from the start of the 2014-15 season and its most recent report in February. Then I compared ticket spending against the estimated number of NHL fans in each market based on Google search traffic.2The only new wrinkle: I subdivided fans between the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils based on the relative Google search volume for each team in the New York metro area. The Rangers are more popular than the other teams and capture more than half of New York’s hockey fan base. I did the same in the Los Angeles area; the LA Kings are more popular than the Anaheim Ducks. read more

Baseballs Savviest And Crappiest Bullpen Managers
Baseballs Savviest And Crappiest Bullpen Managers

At a glance, this leaderboard passes the sniff test. Aside from interlopers such as erstwhile Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez and former A’s manager Bob Geren, it’s a list of eight well-respected tacticians. Moreover, the first five men listed have all won Manager of the Year awards, as have seven of the top 10. While it is famously difficult to predict who will win that honor, which suggests the award might not be the most robust measure of managerial quality, it’s still good to know that our new metric isn’t coming completely out of left field. And the bottom-10 list also makes sense, as it could pass as a meeting of the Crusty Old Curmudgeons Society: Jerry Narron90 wRM+ is weighted reliever management plus, a measurement of efficient bullpen management, where 100 is average and higher values are betterSource: FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus Manny Acta87 Joe Torre113 NAMEWRM+ Joe Girardi111 Fredi Gonzalez108 Bob Geren108 Eric Wedge105 The best bullpen managers since 2000 Tony La Russa92 MANAGERWRM+ Bud Black106 As September draws to a close with multiple teams still locked in tight playoff races, baseball fans across the country have ample reason to pore over every last detail of their managers’ decisions. And when it comes to bullpen management, they have a great deal to scrutinize. Mistakes in this arena — which, by definition, almost always occur late in games — usually come in the form of either saving an ace reliever for “his inning” even as the game slips away at an earlier stage, or, conversely, wasting top relievers by deploying them in unimportant situations.Earlier this month, we showed that major league managers have gotten better at avoiding these types of errors over the past three decades. Instead of handing big moments to subpar relievers based on tired notions of seniority,1Such as age, career saves or years of big-league experience. managers are increasingly handing important responsibilities to the best relievers available. But not every manager is equally adept at doing this. Grading individual skippers on their ability to consistently deploy their best relievers in the biggest moments, we find that bullpen management is a repeatable skill that can be fairly assigned to individual managers, and that good bullpen management is worth something on the order of one win per season.Here’s how it worked. First, we ranked the relievers on each team2Excluding relievers who switched teams midseason. in every full season since 20003Moving the cutoff up from 1988 in order to focus on managers who are still relatively fresh in the collective memory. from best to worst in deserved run average (DRA), which is Baseball Prospectus’s context-neutral metric for evaluating pitcher performance.4The stat accounts for, among other things, weather, team defense and umpire performance. We then ranked those same pitchers by the average leverage index — essentially, the importance (and pressure) of the moment — at the point when they first entered the game.5We pulled leverage index data from Fangraphs. Finally, we checked how well each team’s ranking of relievers by leverage index matched its ranking by DRA, a correlation6Specifically, a Spearman correlation weighted by innings pitched. we’re calling a team’s reliever management (RM) score. Effective bullpen managers use their best relievers (those with the lowest DRAs) in the most important moments (those with the highest leverage index), which pushes the RM score toward an ideal of -1.In our last article, we refrained from assessing the reliever usage of individual skippers because we weren’t sure yet whether what we were grading was attributable to the manager’s ability or whether it was just a function of the bullpen he had at his disposal in any given year. So we decided to test that relationship out. If reliever management is indeed a skill, we’d expect to see the same group of skippers be good at it — or bad at it — year after year. You don’t wake up one morning and forget how to drive a car, but sometimes you do hit every red light on your commute to work, or, in this case, get handed a bad batch of relievers.After calculating each team’s RM score, we assigned it to their manager of record that season (the one who managed the most games). Then we looked at whether individual managers’ RM scores were correlated with each other from year to year. Although the effect we found was rather weak — only about 10 percent of the variation in RM score year-over-year is likely attributable to managerial choices — it was statistically significant, even two years out.7We found p-values under 0.02 in both our year-over-year and two-year correlations. So it’s reasonable to assign at least some credit (or blame) for a team’s RM score to the man in the dugout.Still, there’s so much variation in team RM scores from year to year that we needed to use a more sophisticated statistical model to estimate each skipper’s overall bullpen-management ability.8Specifically, we used a Gaussian random effects model with terms for the manager and the year, since we previously determined that bullpen management was a skill that managers are increasingly improving at. A random effects model, in contrast to a fixed-effects model, assumes a great deal of statistical noise around an uncertain mean, then strips that noise away to estimate, as accurately as possible, a “true talent” level over time. When we applied our chosen model to each manager’s raw RM scores for each season, we ended up with an aggregate measure of how likely any given manager was to optimally match their relievers to appropriate situations — good relievers to tense moments, worse relievers to calmer ones.We’re calling the resulting metric weighted reliever management plus (wRM+), and in the style of other “plus” statistics, it’s been rescaled for ease of interpretability: 100 is average, with numbers above 100 corresponding to the percentage factor by which a manager is better than average (or worse than average, for scores below 100). For example, Joe Torre grades out as the best manager since 2000 with a score of 113, meaning his bullpen management was 13 percent better than average. Here’s the rest of the top 10:9To be especially sure we were isolating managerial skill, we limited the table to only include skippers who have managed at least five seasons since 2000. Ozzie Guillen111 Bob Melvin93 Clint Hurdle90 Ron Washington94 John Gibbons91 Jim Tracy108 Bobby Valentine93 Bruce Bochy108 Jim Leyland92 Dusty Baker91 The worst bullpen managers since 2000 Buddy Bell105 wRM+ is weighted reliever management plus, a measurement of efficient bullpen management, where 100 is average and higher values are betterSource: Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus Several of these guys are on the record as advocating innings-based roles, which are the bane of optimal relief management. But even the worst bullpen managers can change their philosophies over time. Hurdle went from having one of the worst RM scores in the league in Colorado to having one of the best in Pittsburgh. His overall ranking is more of a testament to his earlier difficulties than to his current acumen, and to the influence that front offices can have on managerial decision-making.So, now that we have a means of grading individual managers on reliever usage, how much is that actually worth in terms of wins and losses? To answer that, we looked at how many fewer runs were allowed — which in turn points to how many extra games were won — by good bullpen managers versus bad ones, sketching out a rough estimate of how many additional wins a manager’s bullpen smarts have been worth to his team.10For every team in our sample, we looked at how many runs the team gave up and how much the team over- or underperformed its run differential. We found that raw RM scores were significantly — if also weakly — correlated with both runs allowed (with an r of 0.11 and a p-value of 0.015) and whether a team over- or underperformed its run differential (an r of 0.12 and a p-value of 0.02). We used linear regressions of RM scores on these two numbers — and the fact that each win is equivalent to about 10 runs — to derive a total run value for bullpen management.Perhaps surprisingly, we found that bullpen management — good or bad — doesn’t actually affect a team’s overall performance all that much. Certainly it’s not as important as, say, having good relievers to employ in the first place. A manager who’s bad at managing a bullpen (for example, Manny Acta) might be expected to win about 0.5 fewer games per season as a result of his bullpen-management problems than an average manager with the same ’pen, while a good one (such as Joe Girardi) might win 0.5 games more than average over the course of a season. The total effect of this skill has a range of perhaps one win per year.In other words, bullpen management isn’t the be-all and end-all of managerial skills. That fits with what we already knew about managers: How they shape the chemistry and morale of the team tends to be vastly more important than their on-field tactical machinations, no matter how high-profile those machinations might be. And since every team is getting better and better at using their bullpen, the range of this skill is likely to shrink even further. And, more to the point, the single biggest determinant of team success, now and forever, remains the same: player quality.The usual caveats, discussed in greater detail in our earlier article, still apply.11Notably, our simple correlation-based metric doesn’t take into account matchups, reliever fatigue or bullpens changing over the course of a year. What’s more, for now we’re laying all the responsibility for the bullpen at the feet of the manager, when the front office and pitching coach probably also play a role. And our particular ranking method doesn’t account for fluctuations in reliever performance throughout the season — a guy who’s good in the first half but terrible in the second will be viewed as the average of the two — or for bullpens where the range of talent available to the manager is not wide (which makes for less obvious choices).Still, we can say this with some certainty: Effective bullpen management is a skill attributable at least in part to managers, and is not just the result of random variation. Moreover, some managers are far better at handling their bullpens than others, probably to the tune of a win or so at the margins every year (which is not nothing — consider the tight wild-card races in both leagues this year). So your deepest suspicions about bullpen usage were always correct — unless you’re a Braves fan, in which case it’s probably worth sending a note of apology to Fredi Gonzalez.CORRECTION (Sept. 21, 4:35 p.m.): A table in an earlier version of this article incorrectly listed Dale Sveum among the worst bullpen managers since 2000. Sveum shouldn’t have qualified for the list because he managed fewer than five MLB seasons during that period. read more

Five Decades of the Canadian Flag marked today
Five Decades of the Canadian Flag marked today

first_img Related Items:canada, canadian flag, maple leaf Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 16 Feb 2015 – It is the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Flag… and while the design of the maple leaf is now a celebrated and iconic symbol for our friends north… today, those who were in Parliament when the vote was had for the final design reflected on the challenge to get that maple leaf, red and white design passed. Today, as Canada marked that 50th anniversary the 20th Prime Minister of Canada, John Chretien addressed an energetic, patriotic group of Canadians holding replicas of that flag… and he spoke: “You know, because it was very cold on parliament Hill, our hearts were very warm with pride as the new Canadian flag was raised for the first time. (CHEERING/APPLAUSE) I was there with my three colleagues; we were there for a very difficult debate that lasted for months. I was there when at the end of the vote, when those who had voted for the flag got up to sing Oh Canada, unfortunately they were booed… but politics creates changes, sometimes for the better, sometimes not for the better but that is democracy and democracy is there when we need it.” PanAm Junior Games countdown on Ex-Govt Consultant ordered to leave TCI Canada offers help in financial services sector to TCI Working Grouplast_img read more

Carlsbad police officer arrested for burglary stalking
Carlsbad police officer arrested for burglary stalking

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Jeffry Edwards. Photo via Facebook.A former Carlsbad police officer has been arrested on charges of residential burglary and stalking, according to a statement released by the Oceanside Police Department.On Thursday, Carlsbad police told Oceanside police that a Carlsbad police officer had possibly committed a crime in Oceanside. Detectives from the Oceanside Police Department conducted a follow-up investigation and found that the suspect, Jeffry Edwards, had been stalking his ex-girlfriend and committed a residential burglary at her residence.Last night, Oceanside Detectives took Edwards into custody without incident in San Clemente, Calif. He was charged with residential burglary and stalking and was booked into a detention facility.According to a Facebook post from the Carlsbad Police Department, Edwards joined the Army at 19, was deployed to Iraq with the National Guard, and began his law enforcement career at the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice. Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: burglary, Carlsbad, Crime, Oceanside, Oceanside Police Department, police, stalking April 7, 2018 Carlsbad police officer arrested for burglary, stalkingcenter_img Posted: April 7, 2018 KUSI Newsroom FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

New Years Eve safety with Chief Nisleit
New Years Eve safety with Chief Nisleit

first_imgNew Year’s Eve safety with Chief Nisleit KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – If you’re celebrating New Year’s Eve in San Digeo, you can rest assured that San Diego Police will be working hard to keep everyone safe!It’s up to each of us to make the right choices to stay safe, too.San Diego Police Chief David Nislet joined us Saturday morning with more. Updated: 3:07 PM Posted: December 29, 2018center_img December 29, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more