Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

To Buy or Not To Buy? This is the Question.

An open letter to Atlanta Thrashers.

My name is The Falconer and I'm an NHL addict. I've been a season ticket holder since season three and I've been buying tickets for games since season one.

The Thrashers have played something like 650+ games in their history (counting playoffs and pre-season games) and I have watched something like 97% of those games in person or on television. There was a lot of ugly hockey in those 650 games so clearly I'm an addict.

So far this is good news for the Atlanta Thrashers because they are in the business of selling NHL hockey games. The truth is that I'm addicted and I'll continue to buy even if the price goes up. Here is the bad news for the Thrashers: Clearly I am going to buy hockey tickets, but based upon my experiences the last several years it no longer makes economic sense to buy a full season ticket anymore. Again, the question is not IF I buy tickets, but WHEN I buy them.

Let's consider the known facts. I could renew my season tickets and save some money relative to the face value price or I could buy a half season or smaller package that covers many of the weekend sell-out games and just buy heavily discounted single game tickets on weeknights. Right now I would come out ahead by taking the second option.

The Atlanta Thrashers have tried hard to get more fans in the building on weeknight by discounting tickets greatly--I understand the reasons for doing that. But at the same time they have discounted tickets to such a degree and with such regularity that they have undercut the value of purchasing full season tickets.

Now I'm sure that the guys at Atlanta Spirit are rational business people since they all have accumulated more money than I have. If anyone can, they should understand the logic of a person trying to maximize the value per dollar spent. Right now the short term discounts offered by the team over the last few seasons have de-valued the season ticket product so that a rational person is better off not buying in for the long haul. Again, it is not a question IF I will buy tickets, but WHEN, and right now the options presented by the Thrashers are pushing me (a rational person) to buy later.

On the other hand, if the Thrashers were to announce that they would limit the number of discounted weeknight seats that might change the equation. Or if the Thrashers would guarantee that Season Ticket holders will get upgrades on nights when non-season ticket holders can get heavily discounted seats that might also swing the needle back towards the "buy in advance" side. Or if the Thrashers restored the $99 or $199 extra seats for week night games so could invite friends and family to attend that might change my decision (if you're trying to fill the stands let me pick who gets to sit in the cheap seats). Or if I were offered coupons for concessions that might also change the equation.

But right now, as it stands the season ticket package is not as attractive as the non-season ticket package--and that's a bad thing for hockey fans and a bad thing for the Atlanta Thrashers in my opinion.


  • FWIW - we never stopped buying the $99/199 tickets. Even though they haven't been "offered" they've been grandfathered in for people who never dropped them. Don't know if that's still the case

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 6:31 PM  

  • I'm in the same boat. I don't know when I'll purchase or renew my season tickets. I need something better than what they're offering now. I work downtown, getting to the week night games is a mere 5 minute walk from my cube to my seat. So it's a given I'm going each and every weeknight. Weekend games, while I'd hate to miss them, it won't kill me. With that in mind, I'm fairly certain I could do things much cheaper by forgoing the season ticket. The 2 for 1 seats are great, but not for season ticket holders.

    I also miss the days when I didn't buy season tickets and could view games from different points around the arena.

    By Blogger Andrew, at 7:20 PM  

  • Amen! I've been a season ticket holder since Season 1, but can only make about half of the games (work travel, family obligations wipe out the others). I've grown really frustrated with my ability to re-sell tickets the past couple of seasons because of the mid-week discounts, and I'm on the verge of just getting a half-season or quarter-season package for 2008-09 unless I can find someone to split tickets with. I've only been able to sell four games through Ticket Exchange. Seems Atlanta Spirit would want to make it more attractive for people to buy a full package.

    By Blogger twosheds01, at 9:04 PM  

  • Amen brother.

    I have great seats. I love my seats. I pay a pretty penny for my seats and have done so since the 02 season. On a night I happened to give my seats away, I found that I was going to be able to attend. I picked up two seats for 1/3 the price of ONE of my seats on ebay - one section over and about 3 rows higher. Not a bad deal.

    In the early years I didn't get season tickets because of the cheap alternatives. It may be time to do that again.

    By Anonymous Hairy Heckler, at 9:19 PM  

  • Jonathan:

    Well they stopped being available to me because I figured there would be zero NHL games during the lockout (that prediction proved accurate) and I didn't want even more of my money sitting in the Thrashers bank account instead of mine.

    Because I didn't re-up during the lockout I was not eligible to get them in the season after the lockout. So in effect I was grandfathered out by the season that never happened.

    By Blogger The Falconer, at 12:10 AM  

  • hello my name is David Robertson

    I am interested in buying the Atlanta Thrashers.

    this is not a joke I am very serious about buying this team.

    Thank you

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:21 AM  

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