Sunday, March 14, 2010

NHL Management - 2 Tickets to . . . nowhere

I see this facebook sidebar advertisement,
"Get 2 free tickets to a NJ Devils game when you purchase a Devils retro jersey at Modell's (see participating NJ locations)." 
And  I think, "Which one of these two, the jersey or the seats, is way over-priced?" (Shhhh,  It's a trick question, the answer is C - all of the above)

In NHL Pro rinks across North America, the affordable seats are certainly not family-friendly (think nosebleed section OR picture the drunken hoser sloshing about). And the seats where a father or mother might pass on a passion for the game are certainly NOT affordable. I recognize and applaud the gestures made here and there - the New Jersey Devils, for instance, host a family night package on selected games that includes 4 tickets, 4 fountain drinks, and a pizza for one more modest fee.

I'm not asking for the elite, glass-banging first row seats*, and I am not directing this to all those wonderful individual players who are helping out with so many charities, not for the publicity but because they care. But surely, SURELY the National Hockey League takes in enough through endorsement deals, franchise fees, and contracts with the various broadcast media to let a little hockey love trickle down to the have nots.

I'd like to see the NHL, the owner/management of each individual franchises, TicketMaster, and season ticket holders stop trying to extract every last dollar from those unused, cushy seats up front and instead use them in a continental program to let the have-nots experience professional hockey in all its glass-banging, life-size, heart-pounding glory.

*turns out I WAS asking for the elite, glass-banging first row seats, but not ALL of them ALL of the time. And I have found row 6 pretty special, too, although it was on the visitor's side. This special treat still set us back, just for my son and  me, one-third the cost of a decent used car.

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