Thank you very much for this insightful question.
It is not a matter of "pull", it is however, a matter of overall business applications. The Avalanche and the Nuggets have to play 42 home games each, obviously for them to be successful they need to play some weekend home games as well. As the two marquee tenants, of course they both must have their offering of dates into their respective leagues long before us.
Only after both the NBA and the NHL schedules are complete are the Mammoth able to select dates. There is one person who holds the master schedule for the building and we have a great relationship with him.
The Mammoth is required to submit 10 dates in order to schedule 8 games. You will notice that we have more premium dates earlier in the season that happens because we must co-exist also with the Crush in the time frame where our schedules overlap. We must be good partners here and help them as they help us with premium dates in order to fill the building.
Also, we are faced with a situation where the Pepsi Center itself must book events to be financially stable. Events like the NCAA hockey regional tournaments, CHSAA wrestling, Monster Trucks, Stars on Ice and other events are also necessary for the building to be successful. It certainly is a roulette wheel around here sometimes with all the conversions to different events. It is quite a ballet to mesh all the events together every year.
You will notice that this particular weekend the Mammoth was locked out of Friday and Saturday with Avs and Nuggets games, our only option was Sunday or Thursday. We felt that our past experience on Thursday was stronger than our past experiences on Sunday, sometimes you gamble and it works and sometimes you gamble and it doesn't. Consider this a calculated gamble.
Incidentlly, our new scheduling criteria for the NLL has us only required to play each divisional opponent home and away once each, in the past three games was required with each divisional opponent. Scheduling flexibility was very difficult with more stringent requirements and being able to actually create the schedule was very difficult. Less requirements create more flexibility for the schedule makers, whose job is very difficult as it is.
With limited number of dates available, many things must be considered. Weekends only, commercial travel, strength of schedule, rivalries, etc. all play a factor. We have tried to play earlier in the year and it was an unmitigated disaster financially, later and ticket revenues drop off significantly because people want to get outside and do other things. We are forced to stay in the season that we have and increasing games is exceedingly difficult when teams are unable to submit dates when we can only play on weekends.
Many owners in our league are also reluctant to play more games because it means higher pricing for season ticket packages which may decrease the number of ticket buyers resulting in fewer revenues. Nobody wants to hear that especially those owners that are losing money now.
I hope that gets the majority of your question answered.