Season Ticket Drive Thoughts

There is not a day that goes by that people don’t ask me about the season ticket drive. People hit me up on social media, text, email, and just about every hockey friend I run into asks me about it. I love that Seattle hockey fans are so excited about the possibility of an NHL hockey team coming to town. Let me share with you all the information that I DO know about the season ticket drive.

In a nutshell, I don’t know much on the ticket drive since not much has been announced since the league and city’s announcement on December 7th. What I do know is based on a combination of listening to everything that is being said publicly by people in the know, leveraging data and observed behavior of Vegas. I figured I would summarize my thoughts and findings here:

When will the season ticket drive launch?

No official timeline has been announced from OVG. Based on comments from last Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada, it would appear they want to put the Executive staff in place before finalizing and publishing any ticket drive timeline. That sounds like a February launch, but again, nothing official. I’ve been suggesting people to sign up for the NHLtoSeattle newsletter here. I don’t use it a lot, but intend to send out ticket drive details as more information is known.

Pricing & Down payment

Another hot topic is how much the tickets will cost. There has been no reporting or speculation on that…so let’s speculate. For starters, let’s look at tickets prices in Seattle for the NFL and MLB to get an idea on how Seattle stacks up as a sports ticketing market. The chart below plots the average ticket price by league and team.

NFL-MLB

As you can tell, Seattle as a market is right at the league median ($30 for MLB. $92 for the NFL). As a starting point, we might be able to anticipate Seattle’s NHL Ticket prices to be around the NHL median so now let’s look at the NHL ticket prices.

NHLticketprices

The median of the average ticket price is around $73 but as you can see, I teased out the Golden Knights to see how they compare as a first-year franchise with one of the smaller venues in the league. (The redeveloped Seattle Center arena will have close to the same capacity). Obviously, ticket prices will vary based on where you sit in the arena and as a good rule of thumb, I tend to think lower bowl between the blue lines could be double the average ticket price ($150 to $178), while upper deck could be half the average ($36 – $44).
As far as down payment or “pledge”, Vegas Golden Knights required a 10% commitment of the value of the season ticket package. This was refundable if the league chose not to expand to Vegas. I would anticipate something similar, so depending on your price point, multiply ticket price by the 44 games and then 10% of that would be your down payment.

Is there a sales target?

“Vegas wants hockey” was the Golden Knights ticket drive campaign. They had a stated goal of 10,000 season ticket holders when the campaign launched. To date there has been no reference to a goal for Seattle’s ticket drive. If there is one, I expect it to be announced by the time the campaign launches. No matter what the goal, I am fairly confident we will hit and hit it quickly. According to research I saw from Scarborough  from 2015, there is over 70,000 people “interested” in NHL season tickets in Seattle.

My recommendations for interested season ticket holders:

  • Join my mailing list. Once I find out more about the ticket drive, I will communicate Facebook, Twitter, blog and email. I don’t want interested folks to miss out.
  • Plan your season ticket plan. If you are like me, I am looking at creating a season ticket group that will sit together for games. Start talking with friends to make sure they sign up around the same time. I imagine there will be a process for selecting your seats based on when you sign up. In order to sit with or near friends, you probably need to get in the same window. I’ve also been talking to friends about full seasons, half season etc. I am already looking forward on having a draft to determine who gets what games.
  • Budget and Save. We are 30ish months away from buying our inaugural season tickets. I am a planner, so I am already putting money aside into my “NHL in Seattle fund”. I am sure I will be buying a jersey and going through plenty of face paint in the first season.

Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

9 thoughts on “Season Ticket Drive Thoughts

  1. The list of expectations in pricing was helpful to see. It’s also worth noting that choosing seating priority will likely be dictated by multiple year commitments from fans. When I scouted out the Golden Knights FAQs page on their website https://www.nhl.com/goldenknights/team/faq-season-tickets they have 3, 5 & 10 year options available. This is a new concept I haven’t run into before, and I can’t tell if it’s an approach unique to expansion teams or hockey plans (I was a charter STH for AZ Diamondbacks baseball in the late 90s, and they didn’t require anything like that). I suppose it’s a way to gauge interest, although the idea of entering such a thing a bit nerve-wracking. Even so, I’d expect a similar requirement from the Seattle team, and if you’re looking at seats in the lower bowl you’re probably looking at a multi-year commitment. From what I can deduce from the VGK site that was in the form of some sort of binding contract (opposed to a requirement of an advance down payment for the whole term) which I’d imagine is all they can do as fans can’t pony up that much cash in advance, so you’d still pay year to year. Still, the idea of being in a multi-year commitment with a team is a bit scary and hopefully not a source of anxiety. It looks like VGK have some flexible payment options to fit various budgets. Another helpful item would be some sort of page or site that helps interested parties get together to arrange season ticket groups….speaking for myself, I don’t know many other folks who are interested in hockey, and running a business from home I don’t have a ready-to-go group to go in on tickets with, so some sort of resource to that effect would be really useful. I’m at ModSquadHockey.com but I’m still trying to figure out it’s usefulness. Unless you’re keeping track of the Seattle hockey events as they unfold, most folks aren’t even aware that a NHL team is on the horizon, but as an inaugural season approaches I’m sure interest will increase and finding fans to go in on season tickets may be easy breezy….but for myself, I want to get in on season tickets early in the process and have them in my name so I can maintain some sort of control with them and potentially resell games I can’t make it to, but that’s a whole other subject and discussion. Thanks for being on top of this!

    • Thanks for your research on what Vegas did. It seems quite plausible that Seattle would look for similar commitments from potential season ticket buyers. The thought of getting locked into a 5 year deal makes me a little nervous despite the fact that I’ve been waiting forever for us to get a team and, like John, I need some cash left over for facepaint. 🙂

  2. My two teenage sons and I are huge hockey fans. I’m from the great north and played when I was younger. Now living near Tacoma. Its tough to see NHL games from here but we have a place in AZ so we catch our favourite teams on trips there. A team in Seattle is a fantastic idea. A large hockey base. I used to go to the Rockets in Tacoma and the Sabercats too. Good hockey not very good venue. But fans came and it was lively. I can imagine an NHL team with stars and good young players to build on like Vegas. The draft format was a success. Teams 2nd and 3rd line players and a goalie are exposed. Bodes for a good chance to skate a talented team, trade what you don’t need for other players or picks. Almost like selecting a very good tournament team from scratch. Exciting! Were in for tickets and we live an hour south, but it will be worth it, especially to cheer for a winning team right away playing the greatest sport in the world.

  3. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication John. Hope we can have a celebratory pint at “the Beav” together.

  4. I’m really excited about this becoming a reality. I grew up on Dallas, Texas and there was no youth hockey. Period. My only exposure was the Olympics and minor league. My dad took me to see the Dallas Blackhawks play. I still have game pucks and programs from the early ’70s. When the North Stars relocated, i had season tix until they moved to the new arena and priced me out :(. Moved to the Seattle area in 2003 and have been waiting……..and waiting. I’ll probably get a small group (no more than 4 people total) to go in on tickets. I’m at a point in life where I can afford the tickets, but it’s difficult to go to that many home games…..plus the added cost of concessions/parking which easily approach/surpass the price of your ticket for the evening. Plus the thought of going into Seattle to Key Arena of all places gives me hives. Oh well….what we’ll do for hockey 🙂 Go (Sasquatch/Totems/Mets/Eruption/Raptors/or whatever) !!

  5. The Seattle Metropolitans seems like the logical team name. What is a Seawolf? Might as well throw in Water Dogs, or Salish Sea Pirates… Traffic Jammers?

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