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Preds boss wants to appeal to the average fan

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11-15-2010, 07:19 PM
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Seth Lake
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Preds boss wants to appeal to the average fan

Great article and interview with new Predators CEO Jeff Cogen about the fantastic start at the gate the Predators have experienced this season and his vision to keep the team heading in a positive direction.

Thus far this season the Predators have had 3 sellouts (Anaheim (opening night - Thursday), Pittsburgh (college night - Thursday), and Chicago (Saturday night)) in the first 7 home games of the year, which is a significant improvement over last season when it wasn't until December that the team sold out for the first time. The team was also close to another sellout vs. St. Louis on the Thursday night our undefeated streak ended.

Over the past three years the Predators have averaged $74 million in revenue, whereas the team only averaged $43 million in revenues during the Leipold era.

Cogen admits that ticket comps will be up 10% this season, but explains why within the article and I tend to agree. In addition, he has added benefits throughout the season to season-ticket holders and every six weeks or so sends out a letter that he personally signs to the season ticket holders giving updates and offering another benefit to season tickets.

On the downside, season ticket numbers are in the 8,000 range and Cogen wants to get that up to around 10,000 as soon as possible, but the difference between this ownership group with Cogen now at the helm and Leipold is made clear in this quote...

Quote:
While Cogen is brimming with new ideas — the ones he’ll talk about and the ones he’s holding back like the circus showman he once was, building to a big reveal — it’s almost more noticeable what he’ll never talk about.

Gone is the fear-based strategy of “Buy tickets or you’ll lose the team,” which, intentional or not, was the way the team sold itself in the post-lockout period. Gone is the moaning about how 65 percent of season tickets are sold to individuals and not corporations, a reverse of most NHL franchises and long a complaint of Preds brass.

Cogen doesn’t care if you are Joe and Jane Q. Public or Waller Lansden or AT&T. Everybody’s money is green. Everybody’s butt fits in a seat.
Every home game thus far this season has had an great atmosphere and even on Saturday night when Chicago had a very large contingent of fans in the arena, it just added to the atmosphere with the sold-out building and electricity in the air.

Things are looking up in Nashville and this article is really a must-read if you want to find out how we've gotten here and where we're going...

http://nashvillecitypaper.com/conten...al-average-fan

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11-15-2010, 08:16 PM
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Glad to see that things are looking up for the Preds it was always a market I liked more than Phoenix and Atlanta - despite having to comp a few more tickets this season - do Amy Grant and Vince Gill still go to games? I always thought that was kind of cool.

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11-15-2010, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by KJP View Post
Glad to see that things are looking up for the Preds it was always a market I liked more than Phoenix and Atlanta - despite having to comp a few more tickets this season - do Amy Grant and Vince Gill still go to games? I always thought that was kind of cool.
Those are awfully close together.

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11-15-2010, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by trenton1 View Post
Those are awfully close together.
I couldn't come up with enough words to separate them, but I liked that the music community really jumped on board when the Preds joined the league.

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11-16-2010, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJP View Post
I couldn't come up with enough words to separate them, but I liked that the music community really jumped on board when the Preds joined the league.
Yes, Vince and Amy are still season-ticket holders and they sit in the lower bowl at the shoot twice end. Kid Rock is at every Red Wings game in Nashville. Dierks Bentley plays on two rec league teams in the area and is a huge hockey fan. It's not unusual to see the Titans at the games and various other celebrities.

Nashville is a unique place in that respect and more and more players are settling down here after their careers end. No matter who you are in your respective field there's always somebody bigger than you are. Celebrities/athletes are allowed to live among the community as neighbors and citizens first. The only people that disturb anyone are tourists and even the majority of them realize that it's not cool to hound a celebrity during their everyday life seemingly all year except for the award show weeks and the CMA Music Festival week when the number of tourists in town is amazingly high (I actually leave town that week and know many others that do as well).

Jim McKenzie, Stu Grimson, Steve Sullivan, JP Dumont, Wade Belak, Dan Keczmer, and I believe Greg deVries have all made Nashville their home and I'm sure I'm missing a few.

Hockey is really starting to take root down here with local ownership in place and committed to the long-term success of the franchise. Heck, a couple of the owners play hockey and several grandchildren of the owners are starting to play as well...

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11-16-2010, 08:27 AM
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Nashville is going to work out for the league. It's a shame they had so many speed bumps along the way, but that is a city where the NHL can really make some headway if things are run properly.

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11-16-2010, 12:01 PM
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Nashville and Carolina have good fanbases, there is obviously still room to grow but these two markets have definitely embraced hockey.

Phoenix/Atlanta have bad reputations as sports market so I dunno if it's a "hockey doesn't work in the south" thing or just a bad market thing.

Tampa Bay is also a good market, but the Miami markets have been known to be fickle in sports. I'm kind of shocked that TB has done well with the Lightning but not the Rays.

I still would like to see teams in Seattle/Portland but Paul Allen doesn't watch hockey and seattle doesn't have an arena. I also think KC would do well because they would have a natural rivalry with St Louis and Colorado. Plus, they don't have a NBA team.

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11-16-2010, 12:57 PM
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I'm kind of shocked that TB has done well with the Lightning but not the Rays.
It's pretty obvious why.

The Rays play way out in St. Pete, sort of in the middle of nowhere. And in a craptastic dome.

The Lightning play in Tampa, where the people are, I guess, and in a nice stadium.

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11-16-2010, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Nashville is going to work out for the league. It's a shame they had so many speed bumps along the way, but that is a city where the NHL can really make some headway if things are run properly.
I think that's a sign of a respectable franchise, over coming quite a few major obstacles and yet steadily increasing attendance while revenue has been about break even. I can see Nashville becoming a Carolina or San Jose type market in only a matter of time.

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11-16-2010, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FacePalm1967 View Post
Nashville and Carolina have good fanbases, there is obviously still room to grow but these two markets have definitely embraced hockey.

Phoenix/Atlanta have bad reputations as sports market so I dunno if it's a "hockey doesn't work in the south" thing or just a bad market thing.
I can think of three reasons off the top of my head:

1) Nashville and Raleigh resemble each other, being relatively small but stable cities. The Canes are the only major-league game in Raleigh, the Preds compete only with the Titans and that's over in January. Meanwhile Phoenix and Atlanta also resemble each other, being enormous cities with all 4 pro sports, but a reputation for fairweather fans.

2) Carolina has had ok owners, Nashville hit a rough patch but seems to have ironed it out. The ownership in Phoenix and Atlanta has been a joke.

3) The Preds and Canes have won a lot more games than the Coyotes and Thrashers.

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