Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Winter Classic - 42,000 Tickets Sold in 25 Minutes

Everyone seems to be outraged about the ticket situation for the New Year's Day AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic, which we now know will be the highest attended game in NHL history. The "average Joe" segment is outraged that so few tickets were available to die hard fans, Bills season ticket holders are outraged that they had no priority rights to purchase ducats, Pittsburgh fans are outraged that Buffalo fans hacked their highly encrypted password 'Crosby' and bought up their block, Sabres season ticket holders are outraged that there's only 1 ticket on average set aside for them as "extras", and outrage has been set aside for mass confusion from everyone in regards to the bizarre decision to give Toronto Blue Jays season ticket holders preference.

The bottom line, which seems to be being missed by nearly everyone, is that Buffalo sold all 42,000 available tickets in 25 minutes. That figure doesn't even include the 30,000 tickets reserved for Sabres season ticket holders. This is incredible display by the most rabid NHL fan base in the United States. For a league that takes more than it's fair share of flak, this is a fantastic way to show the NHL is not nearly as dead as advertised. Given the right market, the right amount of exposure, and competent marketing, the NHL is capable of hosting a successful event on a very busy sports day (traditionally dominated by college football) because they have the most passionate group of fans in professional sports.

The national ratings will be poor. I'd be highly surprised if it even cracks a 2.0. Don't be fooled by the ratings though, this level of interest is a great sign for hockey.

The NHL released the following statement:
Demonstrating once again that our fans are the most passionate in sports, more than 42,000 tickets to the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic were sold in the first 30 minutes of availability this morning. Due to the overwhelming demand, plus our commitment to Sabres and Penguins season ticket holders, the Buffalo Bills and sponsors of the event, we are currently sold out. If additional tickets become available, we'll release the information at a later date.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't know about this game since our market has decided not to even show the game! WTHR in Indianapolis says that their talk shows will appeal to a broader market on a holiday.

clarkab said...

That's due to redneck mentality in the Hoser State.

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