Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 4/1/12


For the third time since 2008, the year that the Cubification of the Chicago Blackhawks started, the team is raising ticket prices. That was the year snake oil saleman John McDonough and his lickspittle Jay Blunk came to the team and took over the front office.

Hockey may be the sixth or seventh favorite sport, or at least the NHL is the sixth or seventh favorite league in United States, but the insane consumer demand in Chicago actually justifies the Hawks’ obscene price hike.

Hard to believe that for every year of the preceding decade up until 2008, the team was averaging just 6-7,000 fans a night. Just five years ago, you could get a 300 level seat for $8 if you had a college ID.

From the Chicago Tribune:

The Hawks have raised the price of tickets for those with season plans an average of 8 percent for the 2012-13 season. The increases occur across all price tiers. The cheapest 300-level seats move from $24 per game to $28, and the most expensive in the Private Bank Platinum Seats go from $320 to $335.

As is par for the course, the single game ticket prices will likely soon follow suit. According to that same Trib report, the Hawks have had a 99 percent renewal rate the last two seasons/waiting list in excess of 10,000 for season tickets. So, we actually have no one to blame but ourselves for this absurd price inflation. Apparently, there aren’t enough other interesting things to do here in the third largest city.

Such is the danger of a sport that almost everyone loves to watch in person, but no one likes to watch on television. These McDonough quotes from that same article warrant major criticism:

“It’s been consistent where we’ve been over the last few years. We went back to the Western Conference finals (in 2009), and there was not even a price increase at the time. We’re very, very sensitive to that.”

That’s because you made a major increase the very season before! How are you going to take credit for not jacking up costs, when you just did it the preceding seson? Do you want to take credit for not going to jail too?

“We’ve been in the bottom half of ticket pricing in the National Hockey League for many, many years. Recently we’ve just kind of crept up to the top half of that.”

Yes, they just crept up there somehow accidentally, so slowly like maple syrup oozing down a plate, you can’t stop it- it just happens mistakenly!

It was after that same Western Conference Finals season in 2009 that the Blackhawks decided their press box should be as decidedly empty as their stands are full.

Up until 2009, the team was very open and welcoming to the media. Then the next year they started throwing people out/not letting people in. Even guys who had been covering the team for nearly 30 years were tossed out as the Hawks PR went from accommodating to ludicrously restrictive overnight.

Today their press box is (by choice) about 1/10 full for most home games. I’ve seen the seating charts to verify this. So while the Hawks leave out the media, they also have the highest home attendance in the league for the fourth straight year. And McDonough got exactly what he wanted- a full house and a controlled message.

That doesn’t look to change any time soon. However, there’s got to be some blowback in the long term, right?

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Paul George extremely critical of Pacers following trade deadline

Chris Bosh joining TNT as analyst

Cameron Payne will have chance to shine with Bulls

Danny Ainge opens up about why Celtics didn’t make a trade before deadline

Kevin Durant wants to be NBA GM or owner after playing career

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Mavericks discussing buyout with Deron Williams

T-Wolves reportedly backed away from Ricky Rubio-Derrick Rose trade

DeMarcus Cousins calls duo with Anthony Davis ‘Fire and Ice’

Reasons why 76ers got so little for Nerlens Noel emerge

John Lynch: 49ers ‘absolutely’ need to improve at QB position

Report: Raptors trade Jared Sullinger, two future picks to Suns for P.J. Tucker

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker