Friday, May 1, 2009

Excitement, Business Trend Upward

The Islanders are reporting that their recent triumph in the Draft Lottery has sparked excitement in the fan base and, more importantly, business in the ticket office.

According to a May 1st press release, interest in tickets for next season has grown since the April 14th drawing that deposited the No. 1 overall draft pick in the Islanders' deep but full-of-holes pockets. Phone calls and e-mail inquiries are up 300 percent compared to the same time a year ago.

The team also states that it is on pace to renew almost 90 percent of 2008-09's season tickets. Over the previous three seasons, that number ranged from 67 percent to 80 percent. The Islanders ranked 6th in the NHL this past year in new season tickets. Of course, while that's a positive trend, you have to account for the fact that some teams simply do not have a lot of season tickets left to sell. But the team reports being 40 percent ahead of last year's pace.

Business is good enough (or has leveled off enough—just trying to keep it real) that you can place deposits for partial plans and group tickets as well. A deposit now gets you seat selection priority later—the schedule and details of the partial packages are not yet available. At this year's Draft Party on June 26th, interested parties will be able to tour the available seating areas. (I imagine they should get that part of the event done before the pick is made.)

No doubt this press release is intended to drum up even more business and create a perception about the buzz surrounding the team. But you also have to acknowledge that there should be extra buzz this offseason. With the performances by Kyle Okposo and Mark Streit last season, you know that there's always something to see when you watch an Islanders game. With the possibility of seeing a potential star added to the lineup on June 26th, and the continued development of other young talents, there should be a bump in excitement.

Of course, there is still a sense of hesitation that prevails with some fans due to the increased politicization of the Lighthouse Project. In the past week alone, we've seen one blog assert that a political party opposes the project because of fears that it will increase the numbers of the other party on voter registration rolls. And another blog shines light on the strangeness that has the company backing the Town of Hempstead's evaluation of the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement also contributing to the Committee to Elect the town's supervisor—but perhaps also consulting for the Lighthouse Development Group.

So it's understandable when some say they refuse to commit their hard-earned savings to a team that might not be here very long. If it were me, and spending the necessary money was reasonable and provided sufficient joy, I would want to enjoy the team as long as I could.

So what's it going to be? Are you swept up by the excitement being trumpeted by the team, or beat down by the immovable project?


In World Championship action, Team USA opened the Qualification Round with a decisive 6-2 victory over France. Kyle Okposo opened the scoring just 4:02 into the game. He later assisted on the goal that staked the U.S. to a 4-0 lead in the second period.

Team USA meets Russia Saturday afternoon at 2:15 ET before facing Mark Streit and Switzerland on Monday to finish out the round.

The Swiss surprisingly lost to Latvia 2-1 in a shootout in their opening game of the Qualifying Round. Streit assisted on the game-tying goal with just 1:31 remaining in the third period and played 34:30 total.


Jim McGlynn said...

I laughed at your comment about showing ticket packages before the pick (or trade- yikes) is made.

Also enjoyed the videos with Morrow and Trots- brings back memories of that day. In the Morrow vid you can hear the Isle legends joking around that they didn't fit into their jerseys.

Islanders Outsider said...

Good to hear from you, Jim! And funny, too, because I thought of you today as I happened to be on the Harlem line going through your area.

The day of those videos was certainly a fun one!