It's been over a year since we have used this space, so I thought it was time to get it back up and running again. Ryan Cardinal and Jeff Oftos may write here if they want, but I will leave that up to them. I personally plan to use it just to get some thoughts out there. I am not a writer, so don't expect much from me. I leave the real writing to Ryan & Jeff... On to the main topic today.
Back in April I put a poll up on GPL asking the current season ticket holders if they plan on renewing their season tickets for the 2011-12 season. In past years, this poll would have resulted with an overwhelming "Yes" vote. After 3 dismal seasons, I had a feeling that people may feel different this year. Results: Yes = 39%, No = 39% and Undecided = 22%. So it was apparent right away that some of the season ticket holders are not happy right now.
Well... Those renewals are happening right now. The feeling that I am getting from the message board is mixed just like the poll was. Some are renewing. Some are still on the fence. Some are dropping their tickets.
5 years ago, I don't think this would have been an issue at all. Most would renew without hesitating. Others that were on the waiting list would keep waiting. But in recent years thing have changed quite a bit. Renewal rate is down for Gopher Hockey. Many have dropped their tickets and a ton of people who were on the waiting list have had their number called. The list used to move 5-15 people a year. These days it not unheard of for someone who is hundreds deep on the list to get a call.
So what's going on? Have many fans given up on Gopher Hockey? Have a few bad seasons turned off long time fans? Gopher season tickets are the most expensive in college hockey. Has the cost become too much with how the team has performed recently?
What do you think it going on?
Here is what the GPL users have been saying recently.
"Orion" wrote: It's also just getting to be too expensive to buy 2 seats for a full season. 4 seats and you're talking the price of a cheap used car. It wasn't a problem in other years since it was easy to split up a package. Now I can barely give them away.
"WPoS" wrote: got the e-mail last week late about my "chance to be a season ticket holder in section 2 or 4, limited availability, with upgrade options in the future" all only for $775...heck I can scalp tickets cheaper than that and still have pick of a seat most games that isn't in section 2 or 4. Needless to say, i thought abuot it for a whole 2 seconds and deleted the e-mail.
"George" wrote: I just sent Joel an e-mail telling him we are dropping from three to two tickets for the coming season and that we will likely drop them altogether when the seating fees are added.
"frozen4champs" wrote: I guess my wife and I are in the minority as far as season ticket renewals. We renewed them. This is our choice of how we spend out entertainment money. We, like most Gopher fans, are disappointed with the direction of the program, athletic department and overall atmosphere in Mariucci. While the on ice performance the past few years has not meet our standards, our love for Gopher Hockey, and HOPE that the program will turn the corner in the next couple of years keep us coming back. I don't blame people for dropping them though.
"JWG" wrote: We too came up on the wait list this year after 11 years of waitng... and passed... So sad to feel like the value isn't there... I did ask if I said no if I could stay on the wait list. I was told they've decided to no longer maintain a wait list. Guess that means they've worked their way through it.
"Gopherguy33" wrote: I just renewed. When it comes down to it, I love Gopher Hockey. In the 80's, 90's, 00's and today. I will next year too. I am lucky and the $ while an irritant is not a retardant. I wouldn't judge anyone one way or another. I can see why you would and wouldn't renew.
"Gopherfan119" wrote: After 16 years, I didn't renew. I will take the $1530 I spend on Gopher tickets and redirect to airline tickets for Spring Break 2012 for our family. If I need tickets, I will scalp for less than face outside, look on GPL, or Craig's List. I look forward to watching from the confines on my home for the upcoming season with a cold beer in hand.
"MNGolfer" wrote: We are not renewing our season tickets, even though the points program does not start until next year. The points promotion was enough for us to decide that we can spend our entertainment $$$ elsewhere. Had a hard time even selling the tickets we were unable to use. The ticket prices, parking prices, poor concessions and the games on the schedule. What happened to playing every WCHA team, both in a home and away series? Could care less about U of BC, the US Junior Game or the holiday classic games.
"Bertogliat" wrote: I spent 14 years on the waiting list and had my tickets for 2 years. I never thought this would happen, but I am dropping my tickets this year. Instead my wife and I will be going to Vegas. I do plan to hit some of the big games (UND and Wisco). As always I will travel to Madison. I had trouble GIVING my tickets away last year. I hate the schedule this year. There just aren't enough good games on the schedule that I want to pay these prices
"Streakygopher" wrote: I don't pull my money out of the market when the ticker goes down, and I don't stop supporting the Gophers because they're in a dry spell. There will be better days.