Sunday, August 19, 2012

I'll buy tickets...when the lockout is over

Do you go on the road to watch NHL hockey? Received any promotional e-mails from other NHL teams, proclaiming that they're ready to sell single-game tickets? Are you a sales rep for an NHL team, and wonder why people aren't exactly jumping at the bit to buy single-game tickets?

If you do, or even if you never travel beyond St. Paul, read on...

To: All NHL Teams not based in the State of Minnesota
From: Wild Road Tripper

Subject: 2012-2013 single game tickets

Please be advised, that unless you stop shooting yourselves in the foot (or, higher) and formally restrain Commissioner Gary Bettman from taking NHL hockey away from the patrons who actually pay to help keep your businesses in business, I will not be buying any tickets to Minnesota Wild road games for the 2012-2013 season.

Your 'lockout' ploy to assist keeping the Commissioner's 'Southern Strategy' in play simply will not work. The Players Association have called your bluff. They are still willing to work with you, to help grow the greatest game on Earth, but your blind (and costly) insistence on propping up franchises in cities that have shown little, if any, interest in the game (Phoenix, South Florida, Nashville, Carolina) while other cities (Quebec City, suburban Toronto) build arenas hoping for a franchise, does not make for a successful business model.

Please refrain from trying to tempt me with 4-game and 6-game 'mini-packs' of tickets, where if I knew any other fan in another city, I would split the seat with. Sadly (for you), this will not work, as I see thru the Commissioner's ploy of getting every dollar humanly possible prior to Sept. 14th. Unless your staff announce in advance a lockout plan, I assume my money is lost, and will not be returned to me unless I appear IN PERSON at your box office, tickets in hand, looking to punch out someone who really didn't do anything to deserve it, except hire out with your business for a paycheck.

(Alas, since I actually commiserate with those employees whom you throw to the wolves, not unlike the movie, 'Gladiator', we will refrain from anyone getting hurt, save for Messrs. Bettman, Bill Daly and Colin Campbell, any of whom we will be glad to throw under the bus of your choosing.)

The current CBA, which expires on Sept. 14th, can remain in effect while meaningful reform, reform that will actually help BOTH sides, while promoting the great game of hockey, and not depriving the fan base of the game that they love and support in record amounts, can be effectively negotiated thru the collective bargaining process. Wouldn't you be better playing games, promoting local commerce, taking in money and actually playing games, than shutting the doors, and putting your non-contract employees out of work in this economy?

There is a middle ground. There is room for compromise on both sides. There is no need for a lockout.

But, since most of the owners seem to blindly follow the Commissioner (to the point where you are actually willing to be fined by him, should you dare utter any word to the contrary) as the point man in this labor dispute, I am left with no choice but to refrain from buying any tickets to Minnesota Wild road games, until this dispute is settled and a new agreement is agreed to.

Yours for better hockey,