The massive investments in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are already paying dividends for the Minnesota Wild. As reported by the Star-Tribune, the club sold 500 season tickets in the two hours following yesterday’s big news. By the end of the day, it was up to 700.
“With the exception of the day the franchise was granted — and I’ve been here since then — no day matches up to this,” Wild COO Matt Majka said. “We’re enjoying every minute of this.”
Until yesterday, ticket sales had been a challenge. The club’s seen attendance dip the past two seasons as the team continued to struggle on the ice. In September of 2010, the Wild’s 409-game sellout streak officially ended. (We say officially because it unofficially ended before that.)
In 2011-12, the Wild’s average crowd of 17,772 ranked No. 16 in the NHL.
Presumably there won’t be many unsold seats at Xcel Energy Center this season. In fact, there probably won’t be any. And if the Wild can make the playoffs for the first time since 2007-08, that’s more ticket revenue for the coffers. Make it past the first round for the first time since 2002-03, even better.
Whether guaranteeing $196 million to two players will pay off in the end, we’ll have to wait and see. But if you have to spend money to make money, the Wild’s halfway there.