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Friday, July 08, 2005

nhl- Wings must cut ticket Prices

from the Detroit Free Press (Sat. edition) via the Mercury News, This new coach. Is he going to coach any ... you know ... games?
The Red Wings, a hockey team that didn't play hockey, fired a coach, Dave Lewis, who didn't coach ... presumably so they could hire another coach, Mike Babcock, who didn't coach.
Help me out here. When Gandhi was in the middle of his hunger strike, did he call a news conference to announce he was firing his cook?
Not too long ago, all of Detroit would have been buzzing with the mere hint of a rumor of a possibility that the coach might get canned.
But Lewis' contract recently expired, and I didn't get a single e-mail, voice mail or comment from anybody wondering if he would come back.
Not too long ago, Wings games meant a ton to Detroiters. Playoff games were can't-miss events.
But in the past year, it became clear that the games do not mean nearly as much as cost certainty, a $1.83-million average salary, or the despicable, juvenile, he-started-it-no-he-did spitting match between commissioner Gary Bettman and union leader Bob Goodenow.
If the games don't mean that much to the people involved, how can they mean that much to you?
Now, supposedly, there is a labor deal almost in place. Now everybody is supposed to care again.
Now the NHL will come back, suction tube in hand, and ask you to re-attach it to your wallet.
If the Wings really want to bring people back, they should do the right thing and slash ticket prices.
For years, the Wings hiked prices, then said they needed to do it to support their championship-level payroll. Their 2003-04 payroll was around $78 million. Thanks to the enforced socialism of the new collective bargaining agreement, their 2005-06 payroll probably will be half that amount.
They should cut ticket prices in half, too. Or at least come really, really close....more...