I love hockey and I love the NHL.

This love often takes a huge chunk of cash from my wallet.  I’m not talking about the cash you are accustomed to.  When I take my family to a game, it seriously dips into our disposal income.  The last game we went to cost $200 for tickets alone.  Factor in the amount of money we spent at the game, it was about $300 for the experience.

I know that number is chump change for you.  But I’m beginning think that the real chumps are me and the other fans who support the league and its players.  We spend a lot of our money on you.  Money that we take away from other parts of our lives.  And for what?  So the NHL game can be taken away from us because you can’t agree on how to divvy up a pot of money most of your fans can only dream of.

The league has been on an unsustainable financial path for almost twenty years.  In a hockey crazy town like Buffalo, our team is hard pressed to turn a profit.   And Buffalo isn’t the only city.

Take a look at this picture.

The image is from a ticket order form for Buffalo Sabres tickets in 1982.  Based on what tickets cost now, fans are paying almost 1000% more for tickets thirty years later.  One thing is for sure, fans aren’t making 1000% more than they were back then. What it tells me is that you have placed the financial burden of the game squarely on shoulders of the fans.  The attempts to grow the game into something it is not have failed.  In the process, you have failed the fans.

The time to fix the game is now.  We both know that isn’t going to happen.

Where does that leave me?  I really don’t know.  Fans will probably flock back to the game after your labor problem is resolved.  My guess is that you know we are chumps.

Maybe we are the real problem.


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