How will the NHL win back fans after a lockout that has alienated them? By doing … uh … something. Exactly half of the teams refused to answer questions about ticket prices for the coming season, according to an article in Toronto’s Globe and Mail. Most of those teams’ silence will continue until the lockout is officially over and terms are set. Of the remaining half, ten plan to lower ticket prices, and four do not. Some of the franchises have gotten fairly creative in implementing discounts. The Ottawa Senators, for example, are “providing a rebate of 5 percent for the 2005-06 season. Ticket holders who left the entire amount of their 2004-05 money on account will receive 7.5-percent interest.” Other teams, like the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, are cutting costs for fans who buy multiple tickets at once. But I think there is more to regaining the patronage of one’s fan base than cheaper tickets. Additional incentives are needed to rebuild faith and interest in the sport—and no, I’m not talking about an increase in violence, which some people believe is an integral part of the game. I’ve always been a fan of gimmick nights; those encourage safe fan participation, and would help a lot if combined with, say, cheaper concessions for those who participate.
—Posted by David Kiefaber