The Buffalo Sabres are insulting their fan base yet again. The Sabres have announced that they will raise ticket prices. Again. The Sabres front office seems to have lost touch with reality. After a lock out and a lack luster season the mere thought of raising ticket prices is an insult.
John Vogl of The Buffalo News notes the Buffalo Sabres will be raising ticket prices by 4-percent next year and that increase is thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Sabres sent a letter to season ticket holders. That letter lays out their reasons for the increase.
“As part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement with our players, all teams must produce revenue primarily through ticket sales to keep the stability of the league and its franchises strong,” John Sinclair, vice president of tickets and services.
The ticket increase doesn’t look like much, however over the past two seasons there has been a total of 16.2 percent. Sabres season tickets are on the lower end of the NHL spectrum, but in Buffalo these tickets are not cheap. Next year, the season ticket holders will pay between $1,102 -$4,307 per seat.
The Sabres have missed the Playoffs two years in a row. This year fans saw the Sabres fire long time head coach Lindy Ruff, and there is turmoil in the front office. The timing of the letter is most concerning to me. It was received by most fans on what has become known as Fan Appreciation Night. On that same night the Sabres did discount merchandise by 50%. How can the Buffalo Sabres say in one breath that they need to produce revenue through ticket sales, and still have the audacity to discount merchandise at a 50% discount? If the Sabres need revenue that badly they should reconsider their strategy .
After losing half of the 2012-2013 season the last thing an NHL team should be doing is hitting fans with higher prices. Next year the salary cap will drop $5.8 million dollars. To simplify things that is what the Sabres saved by trading Jason Pominville.
It seems that with the “new” owner come the same problems as years pass. In Mr. Pegula’s words “money is not an issue. If I want to make money I will go drill a well.” It’s hard to believe that the Sabres need to raise ticket prices to stabilize the NHL. If the NHL is having money troubles, maybe they need to take a hard look in the mirror. Some teams are having trouble filling arenas with the current ticket prices. Unless the NHL is going to mandate a minimum ticket price this price jump is a choice.