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The Chicago Blackhawks Are Adjusting Ticket Prices

from Ben Pope of the Chiago Sun-Times,

After months of surveys, studies, focus groups, conversations, brainstorms and fresh ideas, they unveiled a new season-ticket membership program Wednesday — with an emphasis on the “membership” aspect, designed to provide fans far more than a simple ticket to every game.

They hope the program will maintain the energetic atmosphere and relatively large crowds through this transitional era. They also hope it’ll initiate a new relationship between the franchise, which seems to realize its previous sales brand of exclusivity and elitism no longer flies, and its fans.

“The fans have built this program,” Hawks business president Jaime Faulkner told the Sun-Times.

“They are not shy about telling us what they care about. We listened and we’ve incorporated all of their feedback, or as much as we could, into this membership program. We hope they’ll be happy. We hope that they see this program and say, ‘Yes, you heard what we said, and you’ve delivered on that.’”

There’s one aspect of the new ticketing program fans will inevitably care most about: the price. And on that front, Jamie Spencer — the Hawks’ new vice president of revenue — wants to make something very clear.

“They’ve told us this, and we’ve heard them, and we’ve done the research and we agree with them,” he said. “Our tickets are too expensive.”

Therefore, 84% of seats will be cheaper next season. Another 9% will stay roughly the same, leaving just 7% more expensive. Plans no longer require purchasing tickets for preseason games either, further reducing the cost.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

TreKronor's avatar

“The fans have built this program,” Hawks business president Jaime Faulkner told the Sun-Times.

Corporate lingo, which when translated means: We’re not selling enough tickets so we had to change something.

They were able to ride the wave of high ticket prices and consecutive sellouts for years, but a pretty bad team and a sexual abuse scandal can change things pretty quick.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/06/22 at 05:40 PM ET

Kaszycki and his Krew's avatar

Being a season ticket holder is at times - being in an abusive relationship.  Try being a ticket holder during a period of sustained bad ownership (Spano/Gang of Four/Milstein and Wang) where you are paying full freight and there are a ton of people sitting around you on freebies or deeply discounted seats. 

And when the team has leverage, boy do they use it.  (See Arena, UBS and seat selection for that)

I was happy you posted it - Interesting to see how the Hawks are doing it.  I went to games there in 2003 or so when the building was empty.  I attributed that to Bill Wirtz more than anything.  It will be interesting to see arena capacity figures next season, should that season be ‘normal’ (i.e. no delays due to virus/Olympics, etc.)

The economy could cause a drop in sales and teams need to account for that.  We shall see!

Posted by Kaszycki and his Krew on 04/06/22 at 06:08 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

The club announced the new program will also offer free rape whistles to all new season-ticket holders, “We’re really hoping to foster a sense of security here in the building,” owner Rocky Wirtz would have said if he were still talking about this.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 04/06/22 at 06:16 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I’ll give a little more insight, because I lived in the city for over a decade.  A lot of my friends, coworkers, and relatives are big Hawks fans. 

Everyone I have talked to about it explained they were not as excited to go see them since they’ve been doing worse, but the sexual assault was the last straw.  I couldn’t believe how many friends of mine have stopped watching the team altogether because of this.  I’m not talking casual fans either.

It used to be impossible to get even standing room only tickets for under $100 for games against the Wings.  This season my friend offered me free tickets that HE had been given but wasn’t going to use. 

They are suffering through a few different things, and they fans will slowly start coming back, but there’s a very sour taste in people’s mouths right now, and it’s going to take time for it to get better.

Posted by TreKronor on 04/07/22 at 09:37 AM ET

Avatar

The lack of uniformity stems from an overhaul of the United Center seating chart, doubling the number of different “price zones” from 16 to 32.

32 different pricing zones. That seems excessive.

Being a season ticket holder is at times - being in an abusive relationship.  Try being a ticket holder during a period of sustained bad ownership (Spano/Gang of Four/Milstein and Wang) where you are paying full freight and there are a ton of people sitting around you on freebies or deeply discounted seats.

And when the team has leverage, boy do they use it.  (See Arena, UBS and seat selection for that)

Been there. About the only advantage of being a season ticket holder for a bad team is that you can get the same seats each night and make some friends with those sitting around you.

Posted by evileye on 04/07/22 at 10:00 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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