Chicago Blackhawks fans looking to hit the road will have one less stop on their itinerary.
Division rival Nashville Predators are attempting to limit the amount of red sweaters by not allowing single game ticket sales to the three home games against Chicago. Fans will have to buy a second home game in order to guarantee tickets. (Stick tap to Section 303 and Chicago’s own Jay Zawaski).
That means Blackhawks fans that are not in a short drive’s distance to Nashville will have to make two road trips or skip the long weekend. This will clearly get more Predators fans in the building, or crash and burn.
Nashville sold out 20 or 24 home games last season, according to ‘303,’ very respectable for a miniscule market in hockey terms. Will the Preds be able to sell out at the same rate in 2013-14?
Safe answer is no, and if the games against Chicago do not sell out with this new plan, the hockey club won’t be the only business looking to make up for lost revenue. Nashville is an attractive tourist destination and is a reasonable road trip for Midwestern families. While Predator management may seem excited about this new venture for “Smashville,” I find it hard to imagine local bars and restaurants are behind this idea.
There is one decent option coming from this poor business decision. Fans that buy tickets for the two games that cannot attend both can donate the unused passes to members of the military. The logical fan could just donate tickets without this proposal, especially because Predator tickets are cheaper overall.
While I am not happy to not plan a trip to Nashville to see my favorite hockey team and enjoy a city I have never stopped in, I will be following this promotion closely with the hope that it crashes and burns, and then I can throw gasoline all over it.
Nashville Predators and local businesses, I was willing to give you my hard-earned money with the intent of soaking in everything the city has to offer. Instead, I will travel to much maligned Detroit, Columbus, or St. Louis since those local hockey cities will gladly make my wallet a little lighter.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffrotull44 for more sports and entertainment ramblings. If you play fantasy sports, check out The Fantasy Fix, where his weekly column ‘Peaks and Valleys’ covers your add/drop/watch needs during baseball and hockey season.Follow paulmbanks