The Hitting Zone

The NHL just makes it up as they go along, why can't we?

13K in 17 Minutes

The MTS Centre in Winnipeg, the soon to be home of the NHL’s Winnipeg franchise, seats 15,015 people when configured as a hockey venue.  When season tickets went on sale after 15 years of a city desperately waiting for NHL hockey’s return, it took 17 minutes to sell 13,000 of them.  True North Sports and Entertainment, the new owners of what was the Atlanta Thrashers, spent less than 72 hours on their season ticket campaign, met their goal, and guaranteed that 86.5% of tickets for next year are already sold.

To put that in perspective the Thrashers were 28th in attendance in 2010/11 with an average false amended inflated attendance of 13,469 or 72.6%.  Without a puck being dropped, Winnipeg has already topped Atlanta’s numbers season on season.  I won’t even get into how much I absolutely doubt the accuracy of that attendance figure for Atlanta.  Let’s just say the organization was buying its own tickets to make itself look better.  People who went to games there  said they usually saw less than 5,000 people in seats.  The television camera generally agreed with them.

Winnipeg is easily going to sell out every game or come very close to it.  I’ve been in some heated arguments since all of this relocation stuff started about where to assign blame.  Look I do blame the Thrasher’s former owners in large part for the debacle in management that led to the move.  However fans, saying I love my team and then refusing to pay for a ticket because of the problem with management is asking for them to move if the city is unwilling to subsidize them.  My case in point is the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It’s no secret I have a fundamental problem with Major League Baseball because of their total disregard for their steroid problem.  I made the ethical decision to boycott the entire league due to what had happened with the influx of and then lack of true testing for illegal drugs.  On top of that I have major problems with the owners of the Pittsburgh Pirates.  So much so that I have said I will care about the team when ownership does.  However I know that the Buccos are going nowhere.  How?  PNC Park is a dedicated facility for the Pirates.  They have a 25 year lease with the facility, with over a decade remaining.  They aren’t going anywhere until that is up.  At that point, if they do move due to poor attendance, I won’t cry.  I’d be happy to see MLB collapse entirely at this point.  That is why I do no buy any Major League Baseball related items.  I won’t support it and I know what the lack of support means as a statement from me.  It means I am not a Major League Baseball fan.

The Thrashers had zero tie to Phillips Arena or its revenue.  The NBA Hawks do.  The Thrashers were ripe for the picking and educated fans should have known it.  So yes it was a bad ownership group and structure.  However by not putting your butts in seats as “fans” you made it that much easier for them to be whisked away in the blink of an eye. The 28th best attendance in the NHL (only PHO and NYI are worse) was asking to be moved, even against the sun belt will of NHL overlord Bettman.   Winnipeg showed in 17 minutes that they wanted a team very badly.  They sold out every season ticket in minutes.  That’s a feat that was not accomplished in Atlanta over 12 years.

Update:  In addition to the 13,000 tickets sold the Official Season Ticket Waiting list in Winnipeg has hit and been capped at an additional 8,000 people.


Written by ozman51

June 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

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