On-Ice Success Leading To Wild Popularity In Boston For Bruins Tickets
As the Bruins "embark on a new season with high expectations ... fans are clamoring for seats at TD Garden, routinely paying double the face value of tickets to sold-out games on websites such as StubHub.com," according to Callum Borchers of the BOSTON GLOBE. Data from TiqIQ showed that the average sale price for a regular-season ticket on the secondary market is $218.75. That is 35% "higher than it was at the start of last season." By winning the Stanley Cup in '11 and making another Stanley Cup Final appearance last spring, the Bruins "have woken up a dormant hockey town that hasn’t been so enthusiastic about its team" since team President Cam Neely’s playing days in the '80s and '90s. Following last year's lockout, observers "predicted it would cause legions of fans to turn their back on the sport." Yet the cancellation of 34 games last year "only seemed to whet the appetite of Bruins fans, who filled the Garden every night for the third straight season." Ticket prices suggest fans "are more excited about the Bruins" than the Celtics. The "going rate for a seat at a Celtics game in the coming season is $115.23 on the secondary market." Neely said that the "key to the Bruins’ ticket turnaround is post-season success." Harvard Business School professor Stephen Greyser said that the Bruins’ popularity surge has "coincided with a renewed financial commitment to winning by owner Jeremy Jacobs." Since '05, when the NHL "imposed a limit on how much teams can spend on their rosters, the Bruins have made a habit of spending the maximum." Greyser said that a "demonstrated willingness to pay for top talent has helped the club win fans’ confidence" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/3).
GARDEN PARTY: In Boston, Greg Walsh noted the Bruins and TD Garden are announcing the “Garden Greats” game-viewing experience, which will "allow fans to watch a Bruins game in an executive suite with a Bruins legend." Ex-Bruins on the list include Hockey HOFers Ray Bourque and John Bucyk, as well as former Bruins Mike Milbury and Bob Sweeney. More names to be added throughout the season. The Bruins are "selling the tickets in packages of 20 to a single game, ranging in price from $10,000 to $15,000." The package also includes "two parking passes, food and beverage, photos and autographs with the alums and a VIP tour of the Garden." Suite rentals for a party of 18 "sell on bruins.nhl.com for about $3,000 to about $5,000" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/2).
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: In Boston, Amalie Benjamin reports the Bruins continue to "work toward finding a new practice facility to replace Wilmington’s Ristuccia Arena." The "hope at this point would be to incorporate a facility into the plans for the old Boston Garden space, adjacent to the current TD Garden." Delaware North Principal Charlie Jacobs said, “If it works out with our partners at Boston Properties -- and we’re still penciling the numbers -- there is a good chance that we would have one right next door, in addition to obviously some retail, some mixed-use, some restaurants.” He said that if that "doesn't happen ... the team will continue discussions with New Balance on a facility in Brighton, and with the Skating Club of Boston." Charlie Jacobs said that the team has "looked at models across the NHL, but this would be the most optimal because it would complement some of the other aspects of the development on the old Garden site." There is "no timeline, but the plans have been submitted to the Boston Redevelopment Authority." The expectation is they will be "reviewed in November with a preliminary permit potentially forthcoming" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/3).