The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/05/12 at 02:07 PM ET
The Swedish press came down hard upon the World Championship’s organizers on Friday as the Globen Arena in Stockholm and Hartwall Arena in Helsinki were essentially half-full—if that—because even games like the Sweden-Norway and Finland-Belarus openers were not exactly barn-burners, though the Wings’ Swedes readily admitted that prices between about $45 and $195 per ticket in U.S dollars made less than smart financial sense in terms of bringing families to games, especially given that ticket prices are likely to increase for marquee match-ups.
So the tournament’s organizers addressed the “fiaskot” (you can guess what that translates into in English) on Saturday morning, as IIHF.com’s John Sanful reports—and I hate to say it, but they did so in a really half-assed manner:
Christer Englund, Chairman of the Swedish Organizing Committee, said that recently there has been plenty of public and player input regarding the issue of how to promote greater fan involvement for Sweden games at the Ericsson Globe Arena.
“To that end, we will offer 2,400 seats in what we call Category 4 to encourage getting more fans to our games,” said Englund. “What we have done is extending the amount of seats in the lowest ticket category for 395 SEK.
The newly created price plan is for seats located on the short sides of the arena on the upper level and lower ring. The seats have not been previously sold and instead being offered at a newly created price point. There are no plans to reduce prices for current ticketholders.
“We will now have four price categories with the most expensive ticket being 1495 SEK and the cheapest ticket being 395 SEK,” said Englund of the pricing plans.
These changes apply only to games of the Swedish national team; all other prices will stay the same.
“We don’t have the same structure of the price for other teams. For example all other games the lowest price is 125 SEK and the highest price 770 SEK. What we have to do, of course, to bring people to these games, too.”
Englund said these changes were made because of input they’ve received in recent days and to stimulate additional attendance. He also felt that the demand for the consumer dollars, owing to other sporting events, might have also been a factor.
“I think we have competition in Sweden because football season has started and we also know that more fans are going to the European Championships in Ukraine,” he said. “People are choosing to go there and see games and we are affected by this.”
Per Coinmill.com, those “Category 4” seats will fall between approximately $58.58 U.S. and $221.72 U.S., with other teams’ games costing between approximately $18.54 U.S. and $114.20 in U.S. dollars.
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