I find it immensely strange that they would send us any email at all commenting on the problem. It's very candid of them, and I really do appreciate them addressing something that a lot of us have talked about for years but especially this season.
However, I'm really not happy that some suspicions several people have had are actually true. The Devils management is driving up the cost of buying single-game tickets because they don't care about casual fans, or about getting people into the game. They just want season ticket holders, and regular people be damned. It's extremely disappointing to see that their outrageously high prices this year is not bad judgement, but a "strategy."
Why would the Devils intentionally drive away casual fans, or hardcore fans who just don't have the money to buy season tickets? I just don't understand it.
Each season I have felt that it is important to communicate with you, our Devils Plan Holders, about our continued path towards growing our base. First, I’d like to let you know that as a Devils Plan Holder we appreciate your continued support and consider you a partner in the growth we are experiencing.
One topic of conversation that I’ve discussed with many of you recently, surrounds home game attendance. I feel that it is important to let you know where we have been, where we currently are and where we are headed. Over the past three seasons the Devils Full Season Ticket Holder base has seen steady growth. Since the 2009-10 season the Full Season Ticket Holder base has grown over 4,000 total seats, to bring us to over 10,000 Full Season Ticket Holders for the 2013-14 season! On top of that, we have grown to over 1,000 Partial Plan seat holders per game, which brings our total base to over 11,000 Devils Plan Holders per night. This is a great tribute to you, our most dedicated fans.
So, why doesn't the plan holder growth mean that every game is a sell out?
In previous seasons I openly communicated with you about discounted ticket offers we would be providing for select games in select areas of the arena, in an effort to introduce new casual fans to our games. Casual fans often act on "special offers" to try out a product. Due to the growth of our Devils Plan Holder base referenced above, we no longer feel there is a need to create these specially discounted offers through external group aggregators, or our internal super group links. Our philosophy is focused specifically on long term value for you, Devils Plan Holders, and not short term "value-focused" fans in seats. Additionally, for three seasons now, we have made every effort to cease the sale of plans to new broker/reseller accounts. Our commitment to you, our loyal Plan Holders, is to protect your value and provide you with extra benefits that are exclusive.
We will continue to work through other channels to grow the Devils casual fan base. This will be done through a few different methods, including aggressive activation in our Group Sales department with custom experiences for fans that want to attend a game with a traditional group of 20 or more. You will also see a greater marketing presence with a digital focus to reach new people in our region who have not traditionally made Devils hockey part of their routine. Historically the early months of the hockey season have come with challenges in our market (which we were not presented with last season due to the late start in January). We are committed to protecting your value, as opposed to just putting extra fans in seats at heavy discounts for these early season games.
We believe that Devils games provide the best entertainment value around and if you personally know someone that needs to be part of the Devils family as we begin this amazing new era, complete with new ownership and management, we would love to hear from you! These new casual fans will be brought in through all the efforts mentioned above, and converted to Devils Plan Holders to join you. In the coming seasons we will grow our Devils family far past the 11,000 plan holders we currently have.
We are working hard to create a home ice advantage that is second to none. We appreciate your commitment and role in striving to be the best.
Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!