The lockout postponed Columbus’ chance to host an All-Star Game, but that might not end up being the worst result for the Blue Jackets franchise. The team established an estimated season ticket fan base of just 7,000 for this season – the lowest in their history, according to Business First Columbus’ Jeff Bell.
Bell goes a little deeper to explain those troubling figures:
Those numbers are for “full-season equivalents,” which factor in tickets bought in full-season packages as well as partial-season plans. By my calculations, the 7,000 mark is the lowest in the history of the Blue Jackets, who made their NHL debut in 2000.
Blue Jackets president Mike Priest didn’t make excuses, instead acknowledging that the team needs to get better to draw fans into Nationwide Arena.
“Our product has to deliver,” Priest said. “It needs to be competitive and deliver the value commiserative with what you’re asking people to spend with you.”
One trip to the team’s Web site shows that they’re going all-out to fill the building for their home opener against the Detroit Red Wings on January 21.
Here is what also comes with one purchased ticket:
- Another ticket to that game
- A T-shirt
- A hot dog
- A Pepsi (no word on if you can sub a Mountain Dew for this EXTREME deal …)
- A schedule magnet
- A male and female of every species*
* – OK, the last bullet point isn’t true, but the other giveaways are totally real.
As you can see from this screen grab, the Blue Jackets also agreed to pay the nebulous ticket fees prompted by Ticketmaster for any ticket purchases through Jan. 21. (Eddie Vedder would probably approve.)
Hey, if the team itself hustles like this, things might turn around sooner rather than later.