NHL, Canucks Struggling To Sell Last Heritage Classic Tickets, Have Given Some Away
The NHL and the Canucks are "having difficulty selling the remaining tickets" for Sunday afternoon's Heritage Classic against the Senators at BC Place, according to Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver PROVINCE. Several reports have stated that there have been "giveaways and deep discounting for tickets." However, NHL Exec VP/Events Don Renzulli yesterday said that about 90% of the tickets for the game "had been sold and that he was confident the venue would be full for the game." He added that the venue's capacity for the event would be "between 52,000 and 53,000." Asked if tickets were being given away, Renzulli said, "Yes, we’ve had a legacy program that we’ve done in every market. We’ve had an overwhelming response from all the youth organizations. ... It’s getting young children here to see this in a big atmosphere." Renzulli also "defended the price of the tickets, running from $104.40 to $324.70 -- which many people have complained is too high." He said of pricing, "We look at the market." However, Vancouver Ticket Owner Kingsley Bailey said of selling tickets for the game, "It’s a tough sell because Ottawa is the worst team we could have gone up against" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 2/27).
STILL POPULAR: In Chicago, David Haugh notes Blackhawks Chair Rocky Wirtz "expressed fewer doubts about the overall success of one of the league's brightest ideas under Commissioner Gary Bettman" -- the proliferation of outdoor games. Wirtz said, "Outdoor games pique everyone's curiosity. For the Wrigley (Field game in 2009) our fan base was still pretty small. ... If we can bring any new fan in, it's all about growing the game." Organizers of Saturday's Penguins-Blackhawks Coors Light Stadium Series game at Soldier Field "expect a capacity crowd of 61,000 even if temperatures dip into single digits." Haugh: "At some point the novelty of NHL outdoor games will wear off ... but nobody appears overly concerned yet" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/27).