SBD/March 12, 2013/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Madison Square Garden announced that Knicks season-ticket prices for '13-14 will increase an average of 6.4% and the NHL Rangers’ will increase an average of 4%. Knicks and Rangers season tickets will be offered at 26 different price points for each team (MSG). In N.Y., Ken Belson noted MSG has spent “nearly $1 billion to refurbish the building,” and the company has “raised ticket prices in recent years to recoup that investment.” This season, Knicks season tickets “rose 4.9 percent and Rangers season tickets increased 9.5 percent.” That followed “even larger price increases the year before” (NYTIMES.com, 3/11).

WORK IN PROGRESS: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the Coyotes ownership situation remains "a work in progress" after prospective buyer Greg Jamison was "unable to close his transaction to purchase the Coyotes before the time window he had negotiated" with the City of Glendale expired last month. Daly said, "We're in a period where there is a series of potentially interested investors who are doing their due diligence on a very expedited basis. Some discussions have been had with the new city council, with the mayor. We hope we can bring this all together fairly quickly, but I'm not making any predictions in that regard" (NHL.com, 3/9).

BLAZING A TRAIL: In Portland, Allan Brettman wrote Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan has “set a business course he believes will emphasize customer sales and service like never before." He also “plans an overhaul of the team's social media, digital advertising and fan interaction.” McGowan said, "The culture will be different with me as opposed to the culture that I inherited.” The Blazers had “165 full-time employees when McGowan first walked in the door.” Today the team has 152, "a 7.8 percent staff reduction.” Ticket prices will “increase 2.5 percent for 2013-14 season, the first increase since the 2009-10 season.” But McGowan “plans to retain the fan loyalty perks program started in 2005 that incrementally awards season ticket holders with seniority-based ticket price reductions” (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/10).
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