Blues Charging Fans More For Certain Games

July 30, 2008 by Tyler  
Filed under Hockey Columns

Brad From St. Louis Game Time Presents:

Monday the Blues issued a brief news release announcing that single game tickets go on sale Aug. 16. Ok, fine. Until you get to the third paragraph.

In addition, the Blues are introducing Premium Pricing for 10 key match-ups

Pardon me? What the heck? The Blues are going to charge more for select games? Didn’t they already raise ticket prices for this season? Oh yeah, they did raise ticket prices an average of 3.8 percent. And remember what owner Dave Checketts said at the time? We do.

I think it’s a fair price increase. I don’t think it’s aggressive. And I hope by now that we have done our part in terms of showing fans that we’re serious about providing a better experience and putting a winning club on the ice.

Really? Anything change from February until now? The list of the Blues’ most notable off season moves begins with trading away the popular/gritty Jamal Mayers and ends with trading for a backup goaltender in Chris Mason with a bunch of nothing in between. The only other moves have been for depth at Peoria.

Free Agency Fumbles

In all fairness, few if any of the players available in free agency would make the Blues much better or would even consider signing with the Blues at this point. But that’s not the point. When they announced higher prices for this season, they didn’t say anything about charging $10 OR $20 more for select games. And how stupid is making the premium that different based upon the seat location? And by adding to the cost for some seats for some games, how much is the average ticket increasae for the premium games?

Here are the premium games (don’t worry, none of the thrilling Columbus games will cost you more):

  • Blackhawks on Oct. 18, Jan. 17, and Feb. 13
  • Red Wings March 3 and 14
  • Holiday match-up against the Oilers Nov. 29
  • Holiday match-up against the Sharks Dec. 27

They also chose three Eastern Conference games (the press release lists it as the Atlantic Conference — thanks for not knowing the league) to charge more for: the Penguins on Nov. 1, the Flyers on Jan. 31 and the Rangers on Feb. 16.

The Blues last season did have 20 sellouts in 41 home games with attendance increasing by 43 percent compared to 2006-07. So we guess the team is trying to build on that uptick in attendance and justify charging more for those high profile games. But this team isn’t noticeably better than it was the last day of the season.

Why Charge A Premium?

Obviously these premium games are designed to push fans toward buying season tickets, but for a lot of fans that’s either not affordable (even with the cheap Scottrade seats) or practical (41 games is a huge time committment). This from Peter McLaughlin, CEO of St. Louis Blues Enterprises:

As we announce Single Game pricing, including our new 10-Game Premium Pricing, we want to remind our fans that their best value, as always, is to purchase Season Tickets.

Thanks for all the proper nouns, Peter. And John Davidson is obviously smart enough to not connect his name to increasing the price of tickets, especially for a team that is already picked to finish last in the Central Division.

What a way to creat a buzz about the team, Blues. If beer prices are any higher come opening night (if that’s even possible), we may have to teepee the Drinkscotch Center. Allegedly.

What are your thoughts on charging a “premium for certain games?