Ted Leonsis puts on a good fan experience IMO. The team has developed a passionate fan base that frankly did not exist 6 or 7 years ago (at least not at this size). The fans are treated with more respect than they are with other organizations ticket departments (like the Nats). That said the tickets have stopped being a good value. I got my ticket renewal just like many of you did today and the prices are through the roof, those with the cheapest seats, in the Mezzanine Corners are seeing our tickets skyrocket from 29 to 35 dollars. Just four years ago my STH cost was 15 or 16 dollars a ticket. On top of that the price of concessions has also risen. Anyone who has bought Nachos at a Verizon Center knows that while you used to get a decent amount, now you get basically the size you would get at the gas station.
Ted says he wants fans to hold onto their tickets and try and attend as many games as possible. However most of us, especially those in the upper deck have a fixed income we can spend on tickets. Drastic increase in prices over the course of the year means we have to sell more games, which means less of a sense of community and probably more opposing fans. Even the games we can sell are going for considerably less than past seasons. If you want to go see the Islanders play next Tuesday, you can get in at below the STH price by about 2 dollars (27 a ticket). This will probably drop even more as the game approaches.
Ted talks about caring about the fans, and he does give back in a number of ways to the community (via charity and season ticket holder parties. However all his talk about wanting to have an affordable environment for the casual fan is just that. He is continually doing everything he can to squeeze each dollar out of his fan base, be at the concession stand or through the ticket price. The team is in a momentary tailspin, and we may or may not even make the playoffs. However as many individual's budgets are shrinking, If the fan base reverts back to closer to its pre-Ovi size, it will be because Ted cared more about maximizing profits, than allowing the real fans to attend as many games as possible.
Attached is the years upcoming STH prices. This year my tickets were 28-29 dollars, so its slighty over a 20% bump, far more than the 8% he claimed in his email.
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