Canucks and Beyond

Cautionary Tale for the Canucks

10/04/2007 at 5:58pm EDT

From News1130:

Canucks CEO Chris Zimmerman was asked how regular fans will be able to afford to take in a game at GM Place. Zimmerman says when you compare the Canucks to other NHL franchises, ticket prices are quite reasonable. “Some of the pricing is driven by supply and demand, and then we obviously assess the ticket prices against all the other Canadian teams. We tend to be in the bottom half of the prices, looking at the prices across Canada.”

Hmm. The increase in ticket prices for this season was pretty bloody substantial. But even assuming that Zimmerman is correct in simply following the theory of supply and demand (after all, the Vancouver fan base has clearly been willing to pay) there is a cautionary tale out there that the Canucks might want to keep in mind as well: the Detroit Red Wings.

From A2Y this morning:

The Wing win last night, as fun as it was to see, will be secondary to the echo chamber they played in. As Mike Emrich and Ed Olczyk did their pre-game deal on camera, the results of Red Wing apathy jumped out at us on Versus. A thousand empty seats just minutes before faceoff.

For years Hockeytown operated under the assumption that the fans would take whatever they got, and they were right. But a poor economy and plenty of other complaints have changed things drastically. Detroit still has a huge base of fans, but at this point it would appear the team has sucked those fans dry.For what it’s worth, I think the Canucks are doing a much better job at responding to their fanbase than ever in the past—and certainly better than the Wings by a long shot. But they might not want to get too cocky about it, either.It’s not that many years ago that GM Place had their own sea of empty seats.

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