The Wild cross-check their fans
Damn, Wild fans better start saving their scratch if they want to watch Derek Boogaard smash someone in the face at Xcel this season. The owners are increasing ticket prices on 12 select games this season. Calling the move “premium pricing.”
Essentially, premium pricing increases the single ticket price of popular games. Jamie Spencer, VP of customer sales and service for the Wild says such games include the day after Thanksgiving Day game and other popular ones like Detroit and Toronto.
But as Matt Ellenberger from the Bleacher Report writes:
The Wild play a very high stakes poker game, with their fans’ money. Its easy economics, really. Drive ticket prices up, and therefore less people who are able to afford to go…
If the “New NHL” is all about branching out to the “casual fan,” you can’t tell me the majority of “casual” fans can afford that. Heck, the majority of diehard hockey fans aren’t able to afford to see games at those prices.
The ticket increase will be about 20% above gate price. So a $24 ticket creeps up to about $29. This means that attending a premium games will cost you a beer. Spencer justifies the raise by saying other teams like Edmonton already have premium pricing, and there are still plenty of games available at the current levels.
“I know for some that might mean going to less games,” says Spencer. “And I know the first year will take some getting used to for our fans.”
He adds that the increase doesn’t impact season ticket holders.
So people who can drop a grand or more each year for hokey should love this. It validates their expense. But like Ellenberger points out, the whole thing is really just a grab for more money. And the fans that can only afford a game or two a year get stuck with the added cost.