SBD/Issue 19/Franchises

Predators Try To Lure Fans Back After Missing Playoffs Last Year

Predators' Season-Ticket Base Of 8,500
Has Slipped Since End Of Last Season
Predators President of Business Operations Ed Lang said that the team's season-ticket base of 8,500 "has slipped since" the end of last season, according to John Glennon of the Nashville TENNESSEAN. Lang "declined to reveal a specific number, noting the Predators will be selling season-ticket packages through December or January," but he added that tonight's home opener against the Avalanche "probably won't sell out." But Lang said that ticket sales "for the first four home games are selling at a better rate than the first four home games" last season. Also, Glennon notes the team is "on target to meet or exceed last year's sponsorship numbers." While some sponsors "pulled out last season, others -- such as a.d. vallett & co., Equiplink, Jersey Mike's, Purity Dairy, Bridgestone and Anheuser Busch -- have returned or been added for the first time." The Predators also are "on target to meet or exceed numbers in their 'premium' category, which includes suites and premium seating," and they are "tracking well ahead of last season in group sales." Lang: "It's still hard out there. We're still spending as much money on marketing and advertising as we did last year, and we've actually added a couple new salespeople." The team failed to make the playoffs last season, and some sports business experts "believe it's even more important to produce a consistent winner in nontraditional hockey markets such as Nashville than in places where the sport has deeper roots, where fans are more likely to keep their hearts and wallets open to the team, even in less successful times."  Univ. of Oregon Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Managing Dir Paul Swangard: "In nontraditional hockey markets, in most cases, you're just another form of entertainment fighting for the dwindling discretionary dollar." Predators Owner David Freeman said that the team "made a small profit after the 2007-08 season, when they reached the playoffs, and suffered a small loss last season when they fell just short" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/8).

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