NHL Lockout, Day 103: Sabres' Season-Ticket Base Remains Strong
Sabres fans who are angry about the NHL lockout said that they "might cut down on their ancillary spending on things like concessions and merchandise," but almost no one is "canceling their season tickets," according to Mike Harrington of the BUFFALO NEWS. The Sabres have 15,400 season ticket-holders and "more than 3,000 others on a waiting list for tickets known as the Blue & Gold Club." Even though the lockout has canceled more than half of the '12-13 season, the team reports that "just 15 accounts have canceled -- accounting for fewer than 50 tickets." On top of that, only about 20% have "opted for refunds on the canceled games." The rest have "kept their money with the team," earning 4% interest that will be refunded on credits for future tickets, merchandise or concessions. The Sabres had "a 99% renewal rate for tickets for this season." But the experience at First Niagara Center, "combined with a pricing structure that makes season tickets in Buffalo one of the best deals with the NHL, has most people keeping their seats." The Sabres, "particularly owner Terry Pegula, have plenty of good equity built up with fans." While the Bruins may have "a major PR issue to deal with because owner Jeremy Jacobs has been at the center of the league’s hard-line negotiating stance, Pegula has not had any active role in the negotiations." Sabres season-ticket holder Mike Tracz wrote in an e-mail "I may be mad at Gary Bettman, Don Fehr, et al, but I feel confident in saying that it’s not Terry Pegula’s fault, nor the fault of any of his players or other employees, that this lockout has dragged on this far" (BUFFALO NEWS, 12/26).