Tuesday, November 06, 2007

An Open Letter to the Devils

{Cross-posted to Interchangeable Parts}

Dear New Jersey Devils,

We often use this space as a stage for the ridiculous, frivolous and stupid, but something happened today that demands a serious, meaningful response from us: we tried to buy tickets to a game at The Rock. Devils, you guys have got to be kidding. Now, we're just the kind of people that teams like you love to target; we've got a comfortable household income, much of which we consider "disposable", and we love nothing more than spending it all on hockey. We spend more on our television set-up than we do on all of our monthly utilities combined. We eagerly peruse the merchandise catalogs for the teams we like, just so we can shell out $40 a pop for logo branded t-shirts. We recently forked over many hundreds of dollars for a hockey vacation that included only three live games; we calculated that we spent half of an entire paycheck for the tickets to one of those games alone. We are clearly not people who shy away from obscenely high ticket prices. But you, New Jersey Devils, have taken things too far.

In trying to think of a nice Christmas gift for Boomer, we lit upon the notion of treating her to a night at the new arena during the Holidays. But when we went online to see what was available, we discovered the entire lower bowl was sold out. This seemed a little unbelievable considering the crowds -- or lack thereof -- we've seen on TV, but fine. So we went to see what was available anywhere. And what did we discover, Devils? We discovered that you are expecting people to spend $100 on tickets in the upper deck. Oh, we can already hear you protesting -- "It's not the upper deck! It's the mezzanine! The sightlines are great! You're right on top of the ice..." Stuff it. We don't want to hear it. If we're spending $100 per ticket, we damn well better be up close to the action. For that kind of money we should be able to see the game in a way we can't on television; we should be able to see the boards shaking and feel how hard the puck whips around them, we should be close enough to read the players' lips when they yap at officials, we should be able to feel like we're really there. We're happy to watch games in person from upper deck -- sorry, mezzanine seats, but not for $100. For $100 dollars we should get to ogle the guys up close. And don't even try telling us the fast-food sushi and empanadas are worth the extra bucks, since those aren't exactly included in the price of the ticket, and frankly, we can eat better than that at home without having to spend 90 minutes round-trip on the train (assuming we get an express). Devils, you should be ashamed of yourself. You have managed to price us out of buying tickets. It's one thing to price Joe Lunchpail or the average family of four out of attending your games, but it's another thing altogether to price out people with deep pockets and a total lack of prudence about how to spend their money.

So the long and the short of it is this: it's no skin off our back to not go to the game. Heck, we'll be more comfortable watching it in our pajamas on the couch and we can blog while we watch. But we hereby refuse -- refuse! -- to be ashamed and embarrassed by the small crowds turning up at the Rock. Every television talking head, every blogger and every fan will spend all season looking down their noses at Devils fans based on the sea of empty seats but we will no longer feel even a tiny bit responsible. You're on your own with this. Until you get your head out of the clouds about ticket prices, we wash our hands of your attendance issues.


Pookie and Schnookie

UPDATE It seems the Devils are not content just to ruin our lives with their terrible play on the ice. Now they're ruining our lives by rendering our posts into a web of lies. In writing this post, we decided to double-check the ticket availability for the game in question and discovered there were indeed at least 3 seats available in the lower bowl, but not in the area where we'd want to sit. So, we're stillticketless . And we stand by all our assertions that the ticket pricing is out of control. But in the interest of being honest and forthright, we figured it was only fair to point out that we could buy seats closer to the ice than the upper deck -- er, sorry, mezzanine.


Dare said...

That's pretty bad. You would think that with attendance the way it is, the prices would reflect a desire to, I dunno...fill seats?

That's pretty much on par with the Oilers (part of the second level is $72, the rest is $100-$125).

Given the state of the Oilers this year, I wonder why we clamored to grab tickets on release days. Oh yeah...we pay to see their opponents...I remember now. :P

Interchangeable Parts said...

Oh yeah...we pay to see their opponents...I remember now.

HA! That's insane that they'd charge $125 for a second level seat!

Shan said...

I live in Toronto, I've never attended an NHL game. (Not a big problem, as I am a Habs fan, but I haven't attended a game in MTL either).

Hockey is expensive :(

Shmee said...

Absolutely redonkulous. I remember them saying the prices would go up, but that friggin much?

Dare said...

I mean, the fact that I moved to Edmonton from Toronto makes the tickets seem "cheap" in comparison, but still. Half price singles make the games seem to be reasonably priced, but also require you to attempt to make friends with whoever you happen to be sitting beside.

Hell, even the Oil Kings tickets, while cheaper than the Oilers ($25-29) are still pretty ridiculous (most expensive in the WHL...and for an expansion team).

Kerriberry7228 said...

Booo for that, considering I would love to take the trip to see the Devils new arena. Particularly for a franchise with major attendance issues, who just moved to an arena in a city with economic problems... what are we thinking, New Jersey?

But when the Devils miss the playoffs this year, it's bound to go down. (Jussst kidddding)