SBD/Issue 13/Franchises

Blackhawks Down: AHL Wolves Attempt To Capture NHL Fans

The AHL Wolves are “ramping up marketing efforts, offering hockey fans a chance to reserve season tickets for a deposit of $11 per seat,” which is refundable if the NHL lockout is resolved and the Blackhawks resume play this season, according to Jeremy Mullman of CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS. The Wolves began marketing the $11 deposit in the spring when the lockout “began to look inevitable.” TV ads and billboards take “direct aim at the idled Hawks, urging fans to ‘See hockey the way it was meant to be: Played!’” A Wolves spokesperson said that the number of deposits from first-time season-ticket holders “is double the year-earlier total,” but he declined to disclose numbers. Mullman notes the club has already sold about 150,000 tickets for the upcoming season compared to 320,000 for the entire ’03-04 season. But a Blackhawks spokesperson indicated that the team is not “concerned about losing fans to the Wolves,” adding, “The bottom line is that if you want to see the best players in the world, you have to come to the United Center. That’s where they play” (CRAIN’S CHICAGO BUSINESS, 9/27).

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