SBD/Issue 169/Franchises

NHL Franchise Notes: Ducks Season-Ticket Sales Rise Sharply

Ducks’ Trip To Stanley Cup Finals
Expected To Boost Season-Ticket Sales
In L.A., Greg Johnson reports the Ducks expect to sell around 14,000 season tickets for the ’07-08 season, up from 7,000 when co-Owners Henry and Susan Samueli bought the team in ’05. The club is on pace to sell out all of its postseason games after selling out the final 22 regular-season games. The Ducks plan to build “new ice rinks, or partner with existing operators, so youngsters can get ice time.” Meanwhile, the first 55 playoff games league-wide averaged an announced crowd of 18,364, filling 99.5% of available seats (L.A. TIMES, 5/25).

RED WINGS: Also in L.A., Helene Elliott reported the Red Wings “didn’t sell out any of nine home playoff games, ending a streak of 452 consecutive sellouts.” While the announced attendance was “often close to capacity ... the large clusters of empty seats told of an economic alienation” between the team and fans. The average regular-season Red Wings ticket was $43.13, but the cheapest first-round playoff seat cost $63. The most expensive was $144, which increased each round and topped out at $225 for the conference finals (L.A. TIMES, 5/24).

LIGHTNING: In St. Petersburg, Damian Cristodero reports the Lightning will not cut payroll next year and it “might even end up higher than last season’s $44[M].” Lightning Exec VP & GM Jay Feaster said that he believes Palace Sports & Entertainment Owner Bill Davidson “will allow payroll to go higher if the team plays well and needs to add pieces” next season (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/25).

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