Thursday, June 14, 2007

7,000 Season Tickets & 6.25 Million Dollars in Less than 10 Hours--Wow

Upon hearing about the season ticket sales in Hamilton I thought it might be a good idea to gauge the differences between Hamilton and Nashville in terms of NHL interest by looking at social networks on the internet (Facebook Groups) and season ticket sales. The methods are not sound, but they provide a glimpse of the quick and virtually unsolicited support from Southern Ontario hockey fans. There are no official campaigns in Hamilton, nor huge push from the local government, but in a matter of days, there are almost as many people supporting a move to Hamilton as there are people want the Predators to stay. But of course, it is easy to sign a petition, but such 'commitments' do not put money in the owner’s pocket.

A more objective measure of true interest is in the number of season ticket sales. Nashville had a team for 9 years, has probably had multiple ‘season ticket drives’, but with such a talented team they currently have fewer than 9,000 season ticket holders. Hamilton on the other hand was not given any warning apart from an advertisement in today’s local newspaper and a few rumours flying over the internet last night that season tickets deposits were available starting today. In a matter of 10 hours, fans of the NHL in Hamilton dropped 6.25 million dollars and nearly caught up to the number of season ticket holders in Nashville (our 7,000 to their <9,000).

Even if Nashville fans smarten up and buy more season tickets, it should be interpreted as a knee-jerk response that says nothing about their long-term commitment to the franchise. If fans were devoted to this team, Leipold [current owner] would not have lost money every year he owned the Preds, nor would he have sucked money from other NHL teams.

Hamilton's numbers are quite impressive considering a lack of fan mobilization or identity. Now imagine if Hamilton did have a team--this impassioned interest should have any owner seeing green.

Social Networks
Results as of June 15, 2007

Bring the Preds to Hamilton Groups (no team yet)
19 Groups: 3,791 members

Keep the Preds in Nashville Groups (team established 9 years ago)
7 Groups: 4,182 members

Honourable mention:

If the Predators come to Hamilton, we will support them (936 members)

The Hamilton “Predators” – The NHL in Hamilton! (1,018 members)

Bring the Predators to Hamilton!!! (1,055 members)

Running Tally of Ticket Sales

Hamilton, Ontario
As of 8:42pm, June 14, 2007 (Canadian Press)
After 10hours, 42 minutes

4,700 Lower Bowl ($4,700,000)
2,500 Upper Bowl ($1,250,000)
60 Suites ($300,000)

TOTAL: 7,260 ($6,250,000)

Nashville, Tennessee
As of 9:28pm, June 14, 2007 (Shoalts, Globe & Mail)
After 9 years


You be the judge of where a team belongs.

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