It's Business, Not Personal
It seems that the tension between season ticket holders and the Atlanta Thrashers continues to heat up. Word has that one of the ticket reps called me a "hack"--I've been called worse in my lifetime.
On the one hand I really feel sorry for the ticket reps, my experiences with them have been positive and I like Jonathan Tillman who is in charge of ticket holder retention. So let me make this perfectly clear. I love watching NHL hockey and I want the Atlanta Thrashers to survive and prosper. Unlike most angry STH I don't even mind the increase in ticket prices--Atlanta prices are toward the bottom of the NHL if you look around the league. I don't have any issues with the ticket reps. This is not a personal grudge in any way, shape or form.
What I'm upset about is that the business side of the Atlanta Thrashers have discounted single game tickets so heavily it makes no sense financially to buy a full season up front and eat unused (or unsaleable tickets) or pay full price for the pre-season games.
You might quibble with my math. If you buy single tickets on ticket master yes you will need to factor in service charges. You may not be able to get a 50% discount for all the weekend games. But the simple fact is that if you bought single game tickets and attended around 37 home games this current season you saved yourself between $500-$1,000+ a pair depending upon where you sit in the arena--and (here's the real kicker) you still had a shot at buying tickets to the All-Star Game.
As a money making enterprise I think that the Atlanta Thrashers have made a fundamental error in allowing their "targeted" ticket discounts to become accessible to virtually everyone. This is the age of the internet and until they figure out some code system that really works those discounts can and will be widely used and abused.
A season ago when they had those "Blueland Club" seats I know somebody who got extra seats for $1 and used them to go out to the CNN Center to buy beers during intermission because it was cheaper to buy at Gorins outside and then re-enter with the $1 ticket. If you're in the business of making money on hockey and concessions that is a serious problem.
In the comments section of my previous post Stan noted that the "Buy 4 for the price of 3" deal is available for most remaining games and the prices are cheaper than season ticket holder prices. Then today some posted over at the Smirken Chicken an offer for 50% off all seats the rest of the season. These offers further bolster my case.
I'd like to end with my making an open invitation. If one of the season ticket holder representatives would like to make a guest post explaining why becoming a season ticket holder is a good deal based on the dollars, I will be more than happy to put it up. If I'm wrong, show me how a season ticket holder who attends 37 home games gets a better deal. However, until that happens I respectfully ask you to refrain from calling me a "hack" because I'm pretty sure that the evidence is on my side. It's not personal, it's just business.