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SBJ/20090202/This Week's News
Nets, Panthers offer cross-country ticket deal
Published February 2, 2009
The New Jersey Nets and Florida Panthers have created a ticket-sharing agreement that will allow season-ticket holders of both teams to redeem tickets at Izod Center and at the BankAtlantic Center.
Full- and partial-season-ticket holders will be offered comparable seat locations for games based on seat availability, with a five-day advance notification policy. Season-ticket holders of each team also can exchange their Nets or Panthers tickets for other events at the other team’s arena. The program runs for the rest of the Nets’ and Panthers’ regular seasons.
The reciprocal-ticketing program, which is unique in the NBA and NHL, is yet another promotion created by Brett Yormark, who runs the Nets, and his brother Michael, who runs the Panthers. The Yormarks may share a penchant for promotion, but this year they also share in their respective struggles to draw fans. Through Jan. 28, the Nets had an average attendance of 15,153 fans a game, 23rd in the 30-team NBA, while the Panthers were 26th of 30 NHL teams with an average of 14,919 fans a game.
“This is an out-of-the-box opportunity that we’re testing,” Michael Yormark said. “In this climate, you try to create as much value as you can, as much flexibility as you can, and as many benefits as you can provide.”
While most teams offer ticket-exchange programs internally, reciprocal-ticketing policies are rare, even among teams sharing the same owner. The Comcast-owned Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Flyers do not have ticket-sharing policies in place, nor do the Kroenke Sports-owned Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, the Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs, owned by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, or the New York Knicks and Rangers, owned by Cablevision.
“This expands on a ticket-exchange program, and while I can’t quantify it, there are a lot of people from our fan base who go to Florida,” Brett Yormark said. “It creates good value. I don’t mind saying it: Michael has inventory and so do we.”