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It's that time of year...Season Ticket Renewal email

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get why people are upset. Price increases and loss of benefits for anything sucks. I personally think the "Fan Zone" is bad for business. It creates a entry point for a professional sports team that is to low and creates secondary market of "cheap" tickets which isn't good for the Canes. I also think Rutherford steered the Canes way off course on and off the ice for the last 10 years. The effect is now is Waddell is trying to clean up the mess in one big swoop. I think everyone agrees this could have been a phased in approach with a pre-warning going to those affected plans/ ticket holders to set expectations and it would have been received a lot better.

  • 2015-2016 - cut back vouchers, preferred seat location and STH perks for mini plans. (keep ticket prices the same)
  • 2016-2017 - move to Gold, Silver, Bronze format. (increase ticket prices accordingly)

At least this way it's not one big cost increase and loss of benefits all at once and mini plan holders know what to expect. I do think though the Canes need pull back the benefits. Partial plan holders get almost zero benefits with other teams. The benefit is the cheaper cost. 

 

Compare cost and benefits the Canes offer now for partial plans vs other teams and they align a lot better. If that means the Canes can't sustain a fanbase here then they will be moved at the end of 2024 or if someone buyouts the PNC Center lease agreement before that.

 

Granted none of my opinions account for how bad the on ice product has been. I quit getting upset when they lose and see the games more as a chance to watch NHL caliber hockey with my wife (or son) at a price that's cheaper than almost all the other 30 teams. We went to the Canes/ Hawks game in Chicago last year. The Hurricanes got me the tickets (so I didn't have to scalp at crazy prices). To sit in the exact location I do at PNC in the United Center cost me $380 just for two tickets. My price here is $110. This is the same when I got to Canes/ Caps games in DC. My same seats there are $188 for two at their STH rate. I realize both those teams on ice product is much better but it's hasn't always been that way. Plus it makes it easier to justify (at least in my head) what I spend knowing other teams charge way more.

 

I see your points and agree that if we just had a winning team, that would change a lot of attitudes.  But as far as the fan zone being bad business -- I don't know.  I mean, if they came out this week and said they were doing away with it, I'd be done as an STH by necessity.  My alternative would be a handful of games a year, and I know I'm not the only one.

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Here's the only mention I've seen about the "ticket price" clause:

 

"The CBA dictates that clubs that receive revenue sharing must keep pace with the league’s average ticket price. If the teams fall below 75 percent of the average they “shall be required to submit to the league and Revenue Sharing Oversight Committee a forward-looking three-year business plan to establish a framework for improving its financial performance.”

 

Here's another question about what "league average ticket price" means (if that's the actual wording, which we have no way to tell). Does the NHL take the average ticket price of each team, average those, and then apply the 75%?  Or, do they take a global league wide average and apply the 75% to it? 

 

The difference is that it's likely that the teams getting the biggest crowds are likely charging higher prices (either because they're likely playoff teams or the Toronto Maple Leafs).  As compared to teams like the Panthers, Yotes, or Canes (low prices and low attendance).  

 

So globally averaging ticket prices across the NHL would give more weight (more tickets sold) to teams with higher ticket prices and therefore bump up that 75% threshold.  [as well as make it prohibitively difficult for the average fan to try to estimate what that threshold is]  

 

:dizzy:

Edited by LakeLivin

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I actually spoke with a live rep today (though not mine). Fifteen minutes of pure comedy gold. His key points:

A few people may be frustrated with the ticket renewal prices/features, but most are really excited!

The guy I spoke to said he converted a mini game plan to a full season AND sold a new ticket package!

They're going to be hiring in sales to keep up with all these happy fans!

Definitely no relocation (as long as team has enough support, right?).

Players want to be here, look, we resigned McClement!

They needed more phone prep before sending the email. He couldn't get his answers out without tripping all over them. He also tried to get me to concede that the team is playing much better and is a better value product now than in say, October (when we were winless for an entire month). My reply to that led to the sound of crickets on his end.

He heavily pushed the 30 days of prizes promo as reason enough to renew. Laying odds right now that any of the better prizes goes primarily to preselected designated super fans the way jerseys off the players back promo happens.

Losing consistently sucks. But I've had tix for other pro sports and they didn't jack up prices continually when they couldn't make the playoffs. In return, they had continual sell outs by fans who stuck by them until the team turned things around.

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I'll be happy to worry about that when we see a glimmer if the playoffs on the horizon, say the 2019-2020 season? The second the playoffs look like a possibility, I suspect that will be a benefit that is cut from plans.

Yes, I'm looking at things through my highly accurate cynical glasses.

So does anyone else wonder what playoff tickets prices would look like? That would be nice to know- what is that "Playoff Ticket Priority" worth. 

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Had a brief discussion with my rep today. He's a great guy, but in a really tough spot right now. He was trying to give me the bright side and mentioned that even after the changes, the Canes were in the bottom 5 in the league in prices. I said "You know what else the Canes are in the bottom 5 in the league in?" He said "Attendance?" I said "You know what else the Canes are in the bottom 5 in the league in?" He said "Standings?". Bingo.

He understands the frustration at least.

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Whats sad is that we have a hockey fanbase in the area, we don't have a huge Carolina fanbase mostly due to the losing.

 

They've really shot themselves in the foot not putting together more competitive teams and luring fans who are on the fence with their own teams from coming to the dark side.

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I actually spoke with a live rep today (though not mine). Fifteen minutes of pure comedy gold. His key points:

A few people may be frustrated with the ticket renewal prices/features, but most are really excited!

The guy I spoke to said he converted a mini game plan to a full season AND sold a new ticket package!

They're going to be hiring in sales to keep up with all these happy fans!

Definitely no relocation (as long as team has enough support, right?).

Players want to be here, look, we resigned McClement!

They needed more phone prep before sending the email. He couldn't get his answers out without tripping all over them. He also tried to get me to concede that the team is playing much better and is a better value product now than in say, October (when we were winless for an entire month). My reply to that led to the sound of crickets on his end.

He heavily pushed the 30 days of prizes promo as reason enough to renew. Laying odds right now that any of the better prizes goes primarily to preselected designated super fans the way jerseys off the players back promo happens.

Losing consistently sucks. But I've had tix for other pro sports and they didn't jack up prices continually when they couldn't make the playoffs. In return, they had continual sell outs by fans who stuck by them until the team turned things around.

 

Awesome!  So glad to hear that they are all excited!  Sara Daniel must be one heck of a boss to keep everyone so excited!  She said "we" are excited, so it is true, it pervades the organization.   :sarcasmalert:

 

The 30 days of promotions are "meh".  It is unclear to me what happens if I win something I get after a certain game that is not in my plan.  Do I have to buy a ticket to that game to get the prize (a jersey or meet up with a player)?   This exciting promo does nothing for me.  But maybe I'm just a grouch.  Give me some decent play and keep your "meeting for lunch with Ron" to yourself.  I think meeting Ron would be cool, but I would be so star struck I won't know what to say.  Seriously, it is a fantastic prize, but not for introverts.

Edited by wxray1

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I do feel for the ticket reps who are taking the wrath of the STH for a decision they had no control over. My rep has always gone above and beyond to give great service, and I think good customer service is a strong suit of the Canes. I agree it would have been easier to swallow if changes had been phased in over maybe 3 years. As a partial season ticket holder, I don't care about the "perks" I get except an affordable ticket to the game. Next year the walk-up price for a ticket in the corners upstairs on the day of the game in the gold category is $60. Don't think they will be selling many of those.

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Allboys, we know PK wants to sell the team. Like any investment, he wants and deserves to get the best return possible. The NHL went to the mat to keep a team in Phoenix. Do they feel the same about the Raleigh market? I doubt it. Remember Gale Force Holdings, owned by PK is the Canes' "landlord." Letting the Canes out of their lease would cost him some money on 44 0r so empty dates for however many years, but if he can get $100 million more for the team from someone who wants it in Vegas or Quebec City, lost lease revenue pales in comparison to that. I think the ticket changes and price increases are step one in determining if Raleigh can support an NHL franchise in the same way a Canadian market or hungry new American market would. In 2007, I would have said absolutely Raleigh can. Now, it is going to be hard. As upset as I am about paying a lot more for my partial season ticket, I am more worried that having an NHL team to root for in our area is in danger.

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To me, the attendance and winning is a chicken and egg thing. The org wants our money first too build the team into a winner. I think the fans would respond to a winner by buying more tickets.

Chicken and egg.

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Here's another question about what "league average ticket price" means (if that's the actual wording, which we have no way to tell). Does the NHL take the average ticket price of each team, average those, and then apply the 75%?  Or, do they take a global league wide average and apply the 75% to it? 

 

The thing is.. it is not based on ticket price.  It is based on gate receipts.  Certainly, a higher price for a sold ticket raises gate receipts, but a higher price for an unsold ticket that used to be bought by a mini-plan owner lowers them.  The CBA is not at fault here; this is the Canes effort at marketing, and whether it is a bad one or a good one, they OWN the plan.  

 

The actual text from the actual CBA is:

 

Any Recipient Club that has per-game Regular Season Gate Receipts (as set forth in the NHL Gate Receipts and Paid Admissions Report) for the most recently-completed League Year less than seventy-five (75) percent of the League-wide average per-game Regular Season Gate Receipts for that same League Year (e.g., $1,000,000 (approx.) x 75 percent, or $750,000 for the 2011-12 League Year) shall be eligible for potential assistance from the Industry Growth Fund, and subject to oversight by the League and the Revenue Sharing Oversight Committee and review of its performance as follows:

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So globally averaging ticket prices across the NHL would give more weight (more tickets sold) to teams with higher ticket prices and therefore bump up that 75% threshold.  [as well as make it prohibitively difficult for the average fan to try to estimate what that threshold is]  

 

:dizzy:

 

The global average was my best guess as well. Teams like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and other big cities completely ups the 75% threshold. I don't think you can even walk in to a Blackhawks game for less than $50 a ticket even if you have the cheapest season tickets. 

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After much thought and talking with my ticket rep we've decided to renew for one more season.

Teams go through dry spells and we are on one hell of one, but I actually trust what RF and Peters are trying to do more than previous mgmt/coaching in quite sometime.

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The thing is.. it is not based on ticket price.  It is based on gate receipts.  Certainly, a higher price for a sold ticket raises gate receipts, but a higher price for an unsold ticket that used to be bought by a mini-plan owner lowers them.  The CBA is not at fault here; this is the Canes effort at marketing, and whether it is a bad one or a good one, they OWN the plan.  

 

The actual text from the actual CBA is:

Thanks for finding the exact wording in the CBA. That does give it a different complexion than the way I have seen it portrayed. Of course, for Buffalo (who has had the most to say about it), there is a more direct correlation between higher ticket prices and higher gate receipts. As you pointed out, that is not necessarily the case here.

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Colliefan - Hope your health improves! We miss seeing you (and your jersey that stumps most) down in 130 this year.

 

 

Had to move "upstairs" and the stroke hit on 1/4.  The name on my jersey is known by old farts such as me who where fans of Lill Abner. Was released from rehab on 2/22 and am still undergoing speech and physical therapy.  My goal is to be through with both by the end of Jume

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So does anyone else wonder what playoff tickets prices would look like? That would be nice to know- what is that "Playoff Ticket Priority" worth. 

 

 

it is worth something if the Canes were to make the playoffs on a regular basis

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I am dumping my partial plan in LL South.  There is absolutely no reason or incentive for keeping them.

 

I guess I'll fall in the trap and upgrade to full season tickets in the Shoot Twice Goal Zone.  It's cheaper in the long run, I get to choose my seats, and maybe the team is closer to being more competitive than not.

 

I hadn't pushed the button yet, as I still feel like I'm being forced into this.

 

:huh:

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I am dumping my partial plan in LL South.  There is absolutely no reason or incentive for keeping them.

 

I guess I'll fall in the trap and upgrade to full season tickets in the Shoot Twice Goal Zone.  It's cheaper in the long run, I get to choose my seats, and maybe the team is closer to being more competitive than not.

 

I hadn't pushed the button yet, as I still feel like I'm being forced into this.

 

:huh:

I'm most likely just going to let mine go and go back to being an individual ticket buyer. I really don't like the idea of the team forcing fans to make that choice when we have been the ones supporting them for years. My cash outlay isn't as much as many people's, but I can't help feeling thrown under the bus here. With my distance traveled and the other costs associated with going to games, I just can not justify being a full STH.

They have eliminated all advantage to being a partial STH. The new flexible plan is just their way to get us to commit to buying X amount of individual game tickets and they will give a discount for that. I can go to about 10 games instead of their 11, retain flexibility on my terms, and not be obligated. I don't see where that leaves me any option other than going back to just buying tickets individually.

Yes, my actions only hurt the team that I want to have here and to cheer on. I refuse to reward those making the decisions without regard to the fans that have been paying the bills. My checkbook is the only power that I have in this relationship.

Edited by super_dave_1

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The thing is.. it is not based on ticket price.  It is based on gate receipts.  Certainly, a higher price for a sold ticket raises gate receipts, but a higher price for an unsold ticket that used to be bought by a mini-plan owner lowers them.  The CBA is not at fault here; this is the Canes effort at marketing, and whether it is a bad one or a good one, they OWN the plan.  

 

The actual text from the actual CBA is:

 

 

Thanks for finding the exact wording in the CBA. That does give it a different complexion than the way I have seen it portrayed. Of course, for Buffalo (who has had the most to say about it), there is a more direct correlation between higher ticket prices and higher gate receipts. As you pointed out, that is not necessarily the case here.

 

Yeah, thanks caniac; that really does change the meaning of what the article out of Buffalo implies, as it incorporates both prices and attendance.

 

Interestingly, the correct wording would seem to weaken the Sabres argument for raising ticket prices as they are filling almost 97% of their seats (avg 18.5k fans). Canes come in at 67% (avg 12.5k fans).  I guess a caveat would be if luxury boxes are counted as gate receipts.  It wouldn't shock me if an area like the Triangle brings in bigger luxury box $ than Buffalo, even if the overall attendance is less.

http://espn.go.com/nhl/attendance

 

One thing that jumped out at me as a result of my brief scan across some of the less expensive team season ticket plans was Anaheim.  Prices seem to be similar if not lower than the Canes.  And while they're mostly filling up their arena, it must be a relatively small one (98% which averages out to 16.8k fans).

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Got a nice call from one of the Canes ticket reps this past week.  I fully expected a sales pitch on buying tickets for next season.  He said that he knew I had suffered a stroke and he was going to see about some sort of refund for the games I could not make after 1/4.

 

I had given all my remaining tickets to my pastors and told them you use them as a voucher once the day of the game passes.  One of the pastors is trying to get a group of guys going to one of the remaining games in my honor.

 

Need to see by the June deadline if I have the stamina and the finances for even mini-plan.

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Had good conversation concerning mini plans with Don and PJ .   There is alot of information not presented here about how it will all work.  They acknowledged that issue.   I referred this to this as being asked to "buy a pig in a poke".   I also said that people that lve farther away have alot of difficulty with utilizing  Full Plans.  People in town dont pay as much per seat when you figure in the travel cost.  Not to mention just getting to games after work.  BUT- these fans are probably some of the most dedicated .  I would hope they realize this. They also indicated adjustments could possibly be made during the summer. It appears the number of games restricted for silver and gold will be fairly small. I did tell them the jury is still out and we will have to see how it goes.  Wait and see.   

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CC, I'm with you on the wait and see approach. I'd have to say that it's looking like about a 90% chance that I'm not renewing, but I'm leaving the 10% chance out there because we really don't know what we are being asked to buy.

Talked to my rep at the game Friday. I know his hands are tied. They are trying to move more people to full STH status and are putting the squeeze on the part timers to do it (he didn't tell me this, but it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to figure that out). I whole heartedly agree with you on the travel issue. It is just not possible for me to manage a full STH package. He suggested maybe splitting a full plan with someone. The problem with that is the people that I would be splitting with are the same people that I enjoy going to games with and seeing.

I think they have a two fold "plan". Hope that they make enough increase in full STH's to make up for the loss in partial plan people. The second is to make the partial plans enticing to fans of other teams who happen to live in the Raleigh area. Let them pick out their couple of games against their favorite team and then whatever else is left. If you get the vibe in the arena of late, the visiting fans are becoming a greater part of the crowd.

Edited by super_dave_1

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Well I doubt this earns me any friends (luckily I’m not taking applications for them right now) but here’s my opinion on what’s happening.

What has happened that would justify a 43% price increase? 

I think the obvious answer here is nothing.

In my opinion the Hurricanes organization is trying to make it more appealing to full STH and less appealing (and closer to what other teams do) for smaller ticket plans. It will also allow the Canes to get a fair market value for what they have here in Raleigh.

 

Are there any teams offering what the Canes did/do at the same or less price for half or partial seasons?

·         Unused Ticket Exchange?

·         Vouchers (half only)?

·         Opportunity to give guidance where you want to sit?

 

Out of Toronto, Columbus, Arizona, Edmonton and Buffalo I would think only maybe Arizona or Columbus even come close but I still think Canes are cheaper. In Edmonton and Buffalo you have to pay just to be on a season ticket waiting list.

 

I think the biggest mistake the Canes have made over the years is treating all the STH’s the same as far as benefits. I’ve bought single tickets (using the 20 different discounts the Canes offer each year), 12 game, 26 game and full season tickets over the last 7 years. The benefits should be based on the commitment (money spent) from the purchaser. I don’t see how someone spending $645 on a full season in the upper deck should get the same benefits as someone spending $2064 in the lower level. It’s a completely different level of commitment financially. I think the Canes have started that approach and went with ticket # commitment instead of overall $ amount.

My questions now are:

·         Is there a team that offers a lower cost and more benefits for 2015-2016 than the Canes?

·         Are all season ticket holders mad or just 26 and 12 game plan holders?

·         Will any partial plan holders join up with others to do a full season and split the tickets/benefits? (This is my personal plan)

 

Good luck to those that are unhappy. I don’t see the Canes changing packages at this point but they have been flexible in the past.

 

On a side note, I did two full seasons just buying them with the various discounts/ Craigslist and I was able to pay less than a full STH price. It just required a ton of work but I guess it’s all what you put into it…

This all makes a lot of sense - until you look at the population base you're drawing from here. Raleigh doesn't compare to any other NHL city in that regard. Not even close. And full STHs here are going to be a harder sell because of it. When you factor in the mileage, expecting a similar commitment to full season packages from this fan base is nothing short of ridiculous.

 

That's not to suggest the business side hasn't been neglected, as the ticket rep said. (Why am I not surprised that yet ANOTHER of JR's failings is thinking about how to pay for the contracts to which he committed?) But trying to fix that neglect in a single season is what I think has everyone here up in arms. Waddell's comments about where we rank in price are utterly meaningless once the demographics, population base, and distance that many fans are coming are factored in. They are nothing more than a poor attempt to put a good spin on a really, really boneheaded "business decision." If you want more full season ticket holders, how about growing their numbers incrementally, as the team improves? 

 

Bottom line: This org has misread our excitement over the apparent culture change in terms of the on-ice product. Maybe it's worth a 15 percent hike with a graciously worded accompanying letter explaining that any future increases will be tied to the team's success. Maybe. But it sure-as-shootin' won't support a 43% increase in one fell swoop.

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