Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Ticket Crisis

Do you want to go to an Oilers game for $30.00? Now you can.

Even though the Oilers already have their money secured this has to be a major embarrassment for the organization. 

I understand that the Devils, without Taylor Hall, and the Blue Jackets aren’t great draws, but that’s no excuse for the product to be valued this low. The best player in the world is taking to the ice in Edmonton and you can get in the building for less than what it costs to go watch the new Captain Marvel movie with a pop and popcorn. (Side Note: Captain Marvel started slow but finished strong)

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One of the biggest reasons they finally decided to pull the trigger on the Chiarelli firing was because of negative feedback from season ticket holders. The organization knows its reputation is in need of improvement within the community, and the Chiarelli firing was the first step in that plan.

I do believe Bob Nicholson and VP of Communications Tim Shipton are gathering as much information as they can, as far as developing a plan, to help the Oilers connect better with their fans. One of the first steps in doing that was the team signing at West Edmonton Mall.

The easiest way to connect with your fan base is by winning, but until that begins to happen I believe the team needs to do as much as it can to be visible in the community. The most important thing moving forward would be to continue doing events like the West Edmonton Mall signing when the team becomes a winner.

Wednesday morning on the smash hit Nielson Show I was asked by a listener if the Oilers need to get a GM in place to help with season ticket renewals. Not being a season tickets holder myself I asked all of my Tier One listeners how they are approaching their ticket renewals this season.

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Mar 27, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) tries to make a pass by Columbus Blue Jackets defensemen Seth Jones (3) during the first period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

“We have had season tickets in our family since the very beginning of the Oilers. We still love our team and have a lot of faith in them but we are considering getting rid of our tickets for next year based on the overall cost and the inconsistency with the team. We have spent many years going and watching terrible hockey and frustrating hockey and we’re starting to wonder is it just better to watch it on TV.”

“I’m a season ticket holder and will renew either way, but unfortunately the renewal thing isn’t a problem yet as they still have a 3 or 4 year wait list.”

“It definitely matters? As we want to start to see a winning team. But we can enjoy and cheer for the team sitting at home in the comfort of our man cave. I love the new building but having three kids and the cost of tickets and the cost of food is just far too expensive.”

“After 22 years I cancelled my season tickets. People now saying “they’re only five points out, regret that decision yet?” NO! In reality the Oilers are 14 points behind the pace when the west corrects itself next year. Plug them in the reality East and that’s what next year will look like. This winning streak is the worst thing that could happen. It will be “we’re good enough” next year and nothing will change… Much like the last 30 years! Only difference is my money will be in my pockets and not the Oilers!”

“Guys. Oilers season ticket renewals are just about to happen. I live in Calgary and have to sell the majority of my tickets. It’s too late for me on the GM question or even the playoffs for that matter. It’s irrelevant. It was a lifelong dream to be an Oiler season ticket holder. Tonight’s NJ game is for sale and listed for $28 ea. They have so far gone unsold! I paid nearly $200 for the pair. I’m out regardless of what happens.”

“Let me put it this way the cost of my seats are $300 for the pair, then if we go and buy some food we’re looking at least a bill of $400 for the evening. Yes it’s a form of entertainment ,and we love it, but it’s a lot of money to shell out when the team is so unpredictable. Will it change if we’re a winning team? Maybe but I’m starting to really enjoy watching the games at home and may be attending the occasional game. Oil Kings tickets look pretty good”

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“Season ticket holder Jeff – season tickets holders have changed from fans to businesses. Oilers games are now used more as a marketing and customer appreciation tool instead of people who love hockey going to see the game. I can guarantee you for that reason getting the GM before the renewals are up won’t make a difference. ”


The first step in trying to get things back on track is admitting you have an issue and I’m pretty confident the Oilers are well aware that something needs to be done. I know there is a waiting list for tickets and because of that, some fans will refuse to believe the organization doesn’t feel the need to improve their community relations but that’s not the case.

I guess I’ll wrap up with a couple of questions. Are you renewing your season tickets, why or why not? If the Oilers are serious about improving their relationships with the fans, business community and media in this market what would you like to see them do?

Previously by Dustin Nielson:

  • moosewacker

    Dropped my shared season ticket the last year of Rexall. The Oilers organization really does nothing for fans, other than keep jacking up prices. The top bowl was fine in Rexall, but the top bowl at Rogers is cramped and washrooms are pathetic. Designed for 2nd tier fans. I can watch just fine at home thanks. Maybe I’ll pick a new team too, just like I do every Spring anyway !

  • KPUZ

    I had season tickets and left in protest when the incompetent management, under arguably the worst GM in NHL history, traded Taylor Hall. That trade was just the tip of the iceberg. I did not really care about anything other than a winning team.

    The management’s motto is trade or sell your NHL players at their lowest market value for magic beans and underwhelming returns, overpay pathetic free agents and then have the audacity to blame our city when in fact they should blame themselves. Who would want to come to constant losing organization year in and year out since the early nineties?

    I used to listen to Nielson, Gregor and Stauffer whenever I could but now could care less. I feel sorry for the fans, the media and the players for having to rely on this incompetent organization, starting with Darryl Katz.

    I dare Katz to threaten the Oiler fans with a move to Seattle or elsewhere. Please don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out of Edmonton. This will never happen of course as Edmonton is a gold mine and in the top 7 of revenues of the NHL.

  • Walker8Geoff

    Well they can start by not insulting their fan base at different times. We aren’t stupid. We see on a daily basis that the people in charge of this team have no clue on how to improve the team. If they did we wouldn’t have missed the playoffs 12 out of 13 years. As a Tier 2 fan all these years, being insulted by the same management group didn’t help the cause. Clean the house of management.

  • Old Boys Club

    I will be giving up my tickets next year. It would be easy to say it is because of the team’s performance, having only 2 post seasons in my time as a season seat holder but the biggest reasons are all off ice issues.
    As much as they brag about Roger Place, it has been a major disappointment. Poor overall design, congested concourses, underwhelming concession options.
    The game day experience is terrible. Long lines, too many advertisements, same old promotions during stoppages.
    Upper Management is out of touch with its base of fans. I feel I’m in the prime demographic of who they should be targeting as a customer and holding onto (late 30s, money to spend, plenty of years ahead of me). I was 9 the last time they won a cup, I barley remember it. Sorry to say, all they people are trying to impress with the glory days BS are starting to die off. A whole generation of new fans has been lost from the decade of darkness, but they are to short sighted to see it. Management had been so bad….. I honestly feel bad for the players & former players having their careers affected by this clown show.

    Next year I’ll enjoy a brand new TV in the man cave and cheer just as hard without handing Katz my hard earned money.

  • Vanhellian

    Not a season ticket holder but i went to see the Oil in vegas last year and it was fantastic. Truly entertaining (aside from the play of the Oilers that night). It was a party, and the tickets retailed for around $40 usd. Happened to run into a number of other Albertans there, one of whom told me he’d been to most other arenas around the NHL, and thought Rogers in Edmonton was the worst. OEG needs to step it up in a large way.

  • Oilers70

    I am out. Put my notice in already. I have been a Gold ticket holder since 2004.

    Having the same incompetent management starting with Katz has led me to this decision. He has done nothing but decimated this organization with his friends… yes the boys on the bus.

    Worst team in the NHL with no change in management. Don’t fool yourself this is deeper than Chiarelli. It is all of them, Lowe, Mac T, Howson, scouts etc. The only repair of this culture of losing is a wholesale firing and starting with fresh ideas.

    All I see in the future is Gretzky getting the GM role and the inbreeding continues…… We are the laughing stock of professional sports.

    And to top is off, our media are morons, already pumping up Gretzky instead of asking for all to be fired. It is not wonder our teams sucks, there is nothing else to do in winter so we put up with it. Not anymore for me!

  • Sammy27

    I won’t be buying the 4 or 6 game packs anymore and stopped buying my seasons last year. The pattern is the same almost every year….we go on a late season heater and look respectable, so management decides that they were right (despite the rest of the season)and the team is good enough. Rinse/repeat

  • Frank Rizza

    I gave up my seats a few years ago mostly because of cost and the fact that with my young family, I’d rather be at home anyway. It’s more comfortable and my TV (that I paid for with basically 20 games worth of tickets) is unreal. I do however absolutely love the building. I love being there for any event, hell I love driving by and staring at the damn thing. I applaud Mr Katz for what he’s done for downtown and the city. I hope he makes another Billion off the real estate so that he keeps building more sick buildings. That being said, the man has completely destroyed this franchise. We are a laughingstock! A complete joke in the league. I am going tonight (the company I work for has a box), so everything is free for me about 5 times per year. So that and watching the best player on earth is still a reason for me to be in the building but I won’t be buying tickets from the Oilers for a while.

  • Slapshot

    I have decided not to renew, I have had my seasons tickets since 1999 and was already going to give them up but then the Oilers won the McDavid draft lottery and I decided to stay on after watching Chiarelli single handily ruin this team the past few seasons and I also blame the rest of the management group as well, I cannot justify supporting this organization any longer. Katz is s terrible owner, Nicholson should’ve been let go same time as Chiarelli and Keith Gretzky was the assistant Gm so he was in on a lot of the terrible trades for the organization to even consider making him the GM is a complete joke.

  • Derzie

    40+ games. 3 or 4 hundred bucks per game. Anywhere between 10 or 15 thousand dollars. That’s 2 to 3 grand per month of the season.
    How does anyone justify this sort of expense to entertain themselves?

    Then, fold in 13 years of losing with the same group of dunderheads in charge for year 14.
    How can anyone in their right mind even consider signing up for that? Seriously, how?
    I’m at a loss to comprehend this. I really am. A lot of people have way more money than common sense. Tragic, really.

    • Derzie

      And this ‘best player in the world’ crap is getting tired. He has that potential but one has to earn that title. If I have to win one game today, for all the marbles, my starting center would come from Pennsylvania.

  • CMG30

    For all you non-tier 1 fans out there, you can support the protesting season ticket holders by not buying Oiler merch. The back room boys have tried to pile all the baggage onto Chirelli before he was unceremoniously shoved overboard. Don’t let them get away with it… Only when Katz sees revenue crater will he get serious about changes in the organization!