We love Cam Neely. He's a fucking god around here. He was a beast on the ice and has been a huge part of the development and success of the team since he went to Boston's front office. So it hurts even more to see him play the role of corporate PR spewing machine, like he did recently when talking about the Boston Bruins season ticket price icrease.
A little background info: Boston Bruins season ticket holders, including us, logged into our accounts this week to see the 2014-15 season ticket prices, and things were jacked about 30% (give or take) right across the board. When we first got season tickets back in 08-09, our seats were roughly $22 a game. They're going to be about $50 a game now. Tickets jumped about 100% in five years. Imagine if your salary moved that well?
Per a Bruins press release, the new prices per game are: Loge Seat: $88-$145 per game and Balcony Seat: $45-$98 per game.
This is just a cold reminder that NHL owners like Jeremy Jacobs love the concept of supply and demand until it comes to paying its players, than it needs a cap.
From ESPN (also has quotes from our good pal Heather Yunger who nails it):
"Obviously, it is a big increase," Neely said. "It's something that they haven't seen an increase like this and we've had numerous discussions before we landed on what we were going to do. We expected our fan base to have some comments about it, but I think, for the most part, we've done a pretty fair job of controlling our ticket prices, based on what we're able to spend to the [salary] cap and how much money we do spend on player payroll and trying to build championship teams."
Like we said. Our ticket prices have jumped 100% in five years, so not sure how Neely thinks this is a rare thing. It might be the biggest price jack in recent memory, but it's not a rarity. In fact., here's an excerpt from a post we did a while back:
Following an impressive run to the Stanley Cup as a result of pure grit and Original Six style hockey, the Boston Bruins have seen a 37.26% rise in their average ticket price. While they opened last season at $162.12, this year the average price of Bruins tickets have climbed all the way to $222.53.
A 37% increase in ticket prices? Jesus Christ.
"We're seeing a bigger gap between the season-ticket price and what the box-office price is, and then on top of that the box-office price with what the secondary market is, so we're looking to close that gap a little bit."
If this is a real concern of theirs, they're going about it all wrong. They should curb the wallet molesting the box-office and the legal scalpers (aka the secondary market of AceTicket, etc.) conduct on a daily basis.
"We feel we've put a competitive team on the ice. We've won a Cup, we've gone to the finals [twice] and the cap's going up next year by close to $7 million and we're going to be able to spend to the cap, so we felt it was justified at this time."
More like cover the expenses for all those "free food" fans got last year because of Jacobs & Cronies lockout.
The Globe had an interview with Glen Thornborough, the Bruins’ senior vice president of sales, so you know it's going to crap coming out of this trapper:
“We believe that we put out a very, very competitive product on the ice, obviously, an elite product on the ice on our team performance. We feel our game presentation is as good as any. Our amenities are very, very strong."
Yes, the on ice team is fantastic, but the game presentation is mediocre at best, the fan relation is a goddamn joke, the food is shit (thanks Jacobs), and the amenities ok at best.
According to Amalie Benjamin of the Globe, the cheapest balcony seats for $18 five years ago have been increased 150% since then. Sounds right.
Going back to Heather, she really nailed it with this line:
"I'm not debating that the team isn't good, and I'm not debating that's probably in line with what the NHL can charge and what the Bruins can get away with charging, but just because you can do something doesn't mean you should."
NHL is turning into a league in which you can either go watch shitty teams play for dirt cheap or need to take out a morgage to watch good teams play competetively. It's brutal. Again, supply & deman is great until it hurts the owners pockets. The fine folks over at Stanley Cup of Chowder have broken down what their ticket prices have looked like over the past six years, and it's unreal (43% increase every three years). They're also looking to gather ticket info, so go fill out the survey.
Later today, if all goes well, we'll post Purrgern's exlcusive "interview" with Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs on the price hiking.