Eight hundred. The magic number.
With the latest (and likely final) season ticket push from the St. John’s IceCaps, it’s estimated that once all is said and done, there will be 800 seats available for single game tickets. For this reason, you would probably bet that there will be a lot of upset fans once the season rolls around and it’s nearly impossible to get into the Mile One Centre for a game. Then again, there could be some upset folks on the other end as well.
When it was announced that the AHL would return to the island over the summer, the city was abuzz, especially given that former Premier Danny Williams was behind everything. The IceCaps season ticket drive basically blew the doors off with well over 4500 seats taken right off the hop – St. John’s easily has the highest commitment of any current AHL club.
But what about when all of these fans, who’ve clamored to throw their money at the Mile One box office, lose some interest? This isn’t a slight against the team, the city, or the AHL. It’s just the way things work.
There are plenty of weekday games that will be scheduled for the IceCaps, can everyone who’s committed to 38 nights of hockey find time to attend all of these? When a lackluster team with a terrible record is in town on a Tuesday night, will the arena be packed? If the Caps run into a rough patch and fall in the standings, will people start to skip games? Not to mention, there will be folks who swept up tickets on an impulse buy, forgetting that their interest in hockey isn’t exactly as strong as they initially believed.
Don’t get me wrong, this club is in good hands – through both the fans and owners. The team will not fail, and they’ll have plenty of support. We know that. But right now the numbers suggest that every game will be sold out easily due to the insane amount of season ticket holders and the miniscule amount of tickets open to the general public. And it’s questionable as to whether those types of numbers are sustainable. In other words, nabbing single game tickets to a home game may not be that difficult at all once things start to shake out.
It’s like Dos Equis beer. When the first commercial was released about the greatest man in the universe, or whatever he is, the product flew off the shelves. Within weeks, sales basically disappeared and everyone was left with a ridiculous inventory of this equally ridiculously disgusting beer. That isn’t to say the team will run it’s course in St John’s, but you get the idea. Once the novelty wears off, it shouldn’t be impossible to get in to see your home team play. Just because you don’t have a few grand to throw down on a three-year commitment, doesn’t mean you’ll be left in the cold while everyone else enjoys pro hockey. Give it time, you’ll get your chance.
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