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Old
03-18-2013, 01:59 AM
  #1
Squantosawuss
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When PLAY Impacts Ticket Sales

About 10 years ago, the Sabres were only selling about half the available seats in the arena, true?

How was attendance leading up to that period and when/why did it trail off?

Regarding the current team: How much longer can team management expect to sell out games as ticket prices continue to rise and team play continues to stagnate and/or decline?

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03-18-2013, 02:01 AM
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Won't happen...look at the Bills

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03-18-2013, 02:05 AM
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10 years ago also coincided with the team having an imprisoned owner and facing bankruptcy.

now that there's stable ownership? never. That building will be filled irregardless of performance on the ice. Buffalo loves hockey too much for it not to be full.

there's also the TV ratings, which are beginning to look like Buffalo is actually somewhere in Ontario.

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03-18-2013, 02:05 AM
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Won't happen...look at the Bills
It's a lot easier for fans to cough up the price of a ticket to 7 home football games vs. 41 home hockey games..

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03-18-2013, 02:07 AM
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If they come out and say they're rebuilding and lay down a reasonable plan, I think it's pretty easy to sell hope.

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03-18-2013, 02:09 AM
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If they come out and say they're rebuilding and lay down a reasonable plan, I think it's pretty easy to sell hope.
True.

Obviously that does not include Darcy's usual muddling through, trying to sneak into 8th because-anything-can-happen-in-the-playoffs pipedream.

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03-18-2013, 02:12 AM
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That 2005 team made a large portion of WNY into rabid hockey fans for life. They were the biggest underdogs ever and they came within a staph infection and Rory Fitzpatrick's neck from winning the conference finals and likely the Stanley Cup.

I think that building being sold out regardless of success is the new reality. Look at the attendance, look at the tv ratings, look at the events Buffalo is being asked to host, look at harborCENTER.

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03-18-2013, 02:27 AM
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Attendance was so low in the early 2000's because they had a crook owner. It will take more than one terrible season (or a few medicore seasons in a row) for attendance to drop down to those levels again. And I hope I never see that.

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03-18-2013, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squantosawuss View Post
About 10 years ago, the Sabres were only selling about half the available seats in the arena, true?
2002-03 Avg. Attendance = 13,776.

Quote:
How was attendance leading up to that period and when/why did it trail off?
17,839 in 2000-01 and 17,206 in 2001-02, with the slight 2001-02 decline partly explained by the fact that we traded away Hasek and Peca in 2001and lost ~1,000 STHs because of it. Sales trailed off drastically in 2002-03 due to Rigas' indictment, bankruptcy, league control, missing the playoffs in the previous year and the 2002-03 team being bad enough to land a top-5 pick (Vanek).

Quote:
Regarding the current team: How much longer can team management expect to sell out games as ticket prices continue to rise and team play continues to stagnate and/or decline?
As long as there's a loyal base and substantial waiting list, they're going to increase revenues with increased prices .. that's league business.

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03-18-2013, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoey View Post
That 2005 team made a large portion of WNY into rabid hockey fans for life. They were the biggest underdogs ever and they came within a staph infection and Rory Fitzpatrick's neck from winning the conference finals and likely the Stanley Cup.

I think that building being sold out regardless of success is the new reality. Look at the attendance, look at the tv ratings, look at the events Buffalo is being asked to host, look at harborCENTER.
Those are good points, however, those exciting '05-'07 memories are only getting further and further away, while ticket prices continue to rise in this shrinking hockey market.

I'm just wondering what the limit is for many people. 41 games in an 18,000+ arena is a lot of $50-$150 tickets to sell, and if the team continues to show poorly, are ticket sales really that immune?

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03-18-2013, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squantosawuss View Post
Those are good points, however, those exciting '05-'07 memories are only getting further and further away, while ticket prices continue to rise in this shrinking hockey market.

I'm just wondering what the limit is for many people. 41 games in an 18,000+ arena is a lot of $50-$150 tickets to sell, and if the team continues to show poorly, are ticket sales really that immune?
it'll take seasons of mediocracy AND Darcy to just eliminate the waiting list. Fire Darcy and you buy yourself 2 more seasons. Personally I'd say ticket sales won't reflect fan views unless they go on a Billsesque run and muddle for 5+ years. The luster may have worn off but if Terry comes out tomorrow and says he's gonna make a change it probably resets the fan base completely.

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03-18-2013, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squantosawuss View Post
True.

Obviously that does not include Darcy's usual muddling through, trying to sneak into 8th because-anything-can-happen-in-the-playoffs pipedream.
The ****ed up thing about this, is that it hasn't really happened lately, even though this team could actually really use a Dominic Moore type or three.

I mean seriously, at the time of the Loktionov trade, Buffalo had four players in the regular rotation who have since been waived, sent to juniors or are John Scott. The closest thing to "veteran defensive forward" brought in from outside the organization in the past three seasons is Rob Niedermayer. It's so easy to build a bottom six of decent grinders and ride them to the 6th-8th spot if you know where to look. Then you don't have to strength-on-strength Hodgson all the damn time, or have Ennis lead the team in defensive zone starts for the first 15 games...

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03-18-2013, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squantosawuss View Post
Those are good points, however, those exciting '05-'07 memories are only getting further and further away, while ticket prices continue to rise in this shrinking hockey market.

I'm just wondering what the limit is for many people. 41 games in an 18,000+ arena is a lot of $50-$150 tickets to sell, and if the team continues to show poorly, are ticket sales really that immune?
What is your limit? Are you done...you a season ticket holder? Do you know market economics or any economics?

This market is shrinking?...prove it.

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03-18-2013, 06:50 AM
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From all the tickets I see for sale on EBay by Ticket companies, I'm beginning to wonder how many individuals even have season tickets?

I know its still probably a good chunk, but just something I thought about the other night.

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03-18-2013, 07:43 AM
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Believing that fans will crack and stop buying tickets any time soon is just wishful thinking.

In a lockout year after the team sucked the year prior there were something like 80 people who canceled their season tickets. Meanwhile, the line to get in is still probably somewhere in the thousands.

I think fans who are invested enough to pick up season tickets understand and are comfortable with the fact that not every year is going to be an 05-06 or 06-07. There's an owner in place who will clearly take the necessary steps to put a competitive team on the ice. That it hasn't happened immediately isn't a concern for the fans who care about the franchise outside of its immediate future.

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03-18-2013, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S319R11S16 View Post
From all the tickets I see for sale on EBay by Ticket companies, I'm beginning to wonder how many individuals even have season tickets?

I know its still probably a good chunk, but just something I thought about the other night.
What do you mean?

There is still a waiting list for season tickets and I think the number of holders is currently in the 14,500-15,000+ range.

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03-18-2013, 09:32 AM
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He means ticket brokers own a lok of the season tickets.

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03-18-2013, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
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He means ticket brokers own a lok of the season tickets.
I don't think that's a large number. You're probably just seeing a lot of actual holders trying to sell of their tickets for this year.

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03-18-2013, 09:45 AM
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I've been on the STH waiting list since slightly before Pegula took over.

I've moved up 110 spots. Still have over 1700 people ahead of me, and I'm sure there's a ton behind me that got on board after Pegula's purchase was announced.

The ticket demand was out of wack during the Rigas years anyways. Even when they 'sold out', about 4k tickets a game were comps given out by Adelphia to employees, vendors, etc. After they imploded, that was a LOT of unused seats flooding the market to watch a team that many thought would be gone. Of course nobody came then.

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03-18-2013, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SackTastic View Post
I've been on the STH waiting list since slightly before Pegula took over.

I've moved up 110 spots. Still have over 1700 people ahead of me, and I'm sure there's a ton behind me that got on board after Pegula's purchase was announced.

The ticket demand was out of wack during the Rigas years anyways. Even when they 'sold out', about 4k tickets a game were comps given out by Adelphia to employees, vendors, etc. After they imploded, that was a LOT of unused seats flooding the market to watch a team that many thought would be gone. Of course nobody came then.
Good point.

I also remember how many Toys for Tots coupons they gave away at Christmas time. Good for Buy 1 get 1 free tickets.

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03-18-2013, 10:36 AM
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I went to 38 home games one year on free tickets. I was far from alone. It was common for people working to take a couple hours off at the end of their shift because there were tickets given away at the drop of a hat.

In retrospect, I feel bad about it because it contributed to the team's financial issues since the Rigas' were counting those as paid seats.

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03-18-2013, 10:59 AM
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Does anyone know season ticket prices for the Sabres vs. The Bills? (I'm a Redskin fan, I go down there for games, and their season tix are absolutely ridiculous). I'm just curious as to which is more expensive. I'd assume Sabres season tix have to be more costly... But with the NFL, anything is possible

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03-18-2013, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RattleYourSabre View Post
Does anyone know season ticket prices for the Sabres vs. The Bills? (I'm a Redskin fan, I go down there for games, and their season tix are absolutely ridiculous). I'm just curious as to which is more expensive. I'd assume Sabres season tix have to be more costly... But with the NFL, anything is possible
The Buffalo Bills season tickets this upcoming season start at $25/game for the cheapest seats. That includes the 2 preseason games and 7 regular season games, so starting at $225.00.

The Sabres season tickets also start at $25 per game (for regular season) but $10 for preseason (which there was none of this year). So the cheapest seats this year would have been $600.

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03-18-2013, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RattleYourSabre View Post
Does anyone know season ticket prices for the Sabres vs. The Bills? (I'm a Redskin fan, I go down there for games, and their season tix are absolutely ridiculous). I'm just curious as to which is more expensive. I'd assume Sabres season tix have to be more costly... But with the NFL, anything is possible
Sabres seasons are going to be 2 or 3 times more expensive. $2520 for 100 Level II. Bills seasons for a similar type of seat (100 level corners) are around $630.

Average cost of $58.60 per Sabres game and $70 per bills game. This includes preseason games.

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03-18-2013, 11:17 AM
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Sounds about right. Makes sense. Bills season tickets are actually pretty affordable! Nice!

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