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WWYDW(FE): Season Tickets

This is an important time for the Edmonton Oilers. The fanbase’s angst is at an all-time high with the team failing to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons despite great play from Connor McDavid. As a result, many fans have shown skepticism to renew their season tickets.

The Oilers operate their premium season tickets on three-year contracts. The first-ever round of these contracts began back in 2016-17, which was the inaugural season at Rogers Place. Season ticket holders got bang for their buck in the first year, but, in the next two years, obviously didn’t.

I’ve heard stories about companies with seats in the loge level who couldn’t even find employees who were interested in going to games for free towards the end of the year. Now the Oilers are trying to get people to renew these seats for the next three seasons.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question. If you’re a skeptical season ticket holder, what would get you to renew your tickets? If you aren’t one, what would the team have to do in order for you to consider shelling out thousands of dollars on season seats?

The big thing, of course, will be the hiring of a new general manager to steer the ship. I think, ultimately, that’s what people care about here. At the end of the day, Oilers fans don’t care about random perks, they want to be in the building watching a winning team and they want first access to playoff tickets. In other smaller, non-traditional markets, you’ll see things like a luncheon with players, free jerseys, the ability to skate on the ice surface at designated times, vacation packages, and concert tickets.

This year, the Oilers are rolling out a few new features to their season tickets:

New things season ticket holders will see starting next season are discounts on food and apparel, arena tours, monthly open practices, and access to extra tickets at discounted prices. None of these things, to be honest, are very major upgrades and most are already standard things for most other organizations.

The big thing here is the fact there wasn’t a rise in ticket prices. (I’m seeing conflicting reports on Twitter that there was a slight raise, likely for inflation, but it was much smaller than the standard raise we’ve seen each year.) Obviously, it’s incredibly hard to justify spending even more on tickets when there was so little value in investing in them over the oast couple of years.

Personally, if I’m the Oilers, I would offer people a discount on renewing season tickets. So many people lost so much value with the team being out of contention the last two seasons and this would be a positive gesture to compensate for that. I see from a business standpoint why that wouldn’t be very feasible, but I think, beyond the team doing a complete 180, it’s the best thing the organization can offer to show fan loyalty at this point.

What say you, Nation? What would it take from the Oilers to get you to invest in season seats? 

HOCKEY HELPS THE HOMELESS

Last year, the fifth edition of Hockey Helps the Homeless in Edmonton had a record year by raising $200,000 to assist the Mustard Seed and Jasper Place Wellness Centre in helping the homeless and those living in poverty.

With the event fast approaching May 10 at the Terwillegar Rec Centre, we’re hoping citizens of Oilersnation step up to help, as they always do, to make HHTH the biggest success yet. Last year’s response was fantastic, thanks in large part to the 10th anniversary Oilersnation party that raised $5,000 for HHTH, with every penny staying right here in Edmonton.

In these final days leading up to the tournament, we’re hoping to sell as many $1,000 pennant sponsorships, and $100 Mega-Raffle tickets as we can. If you own a small business or want a keepsake for the games room at home, pennant sponsorships are perfect – you get a pennant with your company logo signed by our pros. With the Mega-Raffle, just 100 tickets are printed. The winner gets a Theatre Suite for 10 guests, food and a bar tab at an Oilers game next season hosted by Ron and Linda Low. Good times.

You can check out the website, purchase pennant sponsorships and Mega-Raffle tickets or donate here.

  • Spydyr

    The Oilers organization cannot even build an arena with adequate bathroom facilities. If you give them your hard earned money you are only enabling the debacle know as the Katz era. Talk with your dollars folks.

    • Gorf27

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Our group is not renewing our season tickets, and we’re happy not to…sort of liberated. This organization is such an embarrassment to the city. They tour the other 30 arenas in the league, and then build a brand new one, in large part subsidized by taxpayers, with a badly undersized concourse on the upper level and a ridiculous shortage of washrooms. Then they provide a cringeworthy and very annoying in-game ‘experience’, that NEVER changes, while serving grossly overpriced food and beverages
      They succeeded in one thing: providing the worst value for money of any pro sports franchise in North America. The folks who continue to buy tickets, jerseys, beer, etc, are unfortunately enabling these clowns and ensuring that nothing substantial will change

  • Rick Stroppel

    What about the food? Before the new arena opened, Pat Laforge was bragging about this stupendous new food experience. All I see is the same old cheap hot dogs and hamburgers cooked three days before and left in a steam table wrapped in tin foil, and the same old greasy pizza. The rare “new” food choices cost literally double or triple what you would pay in the real world. Maybe the people in the executive boxes get better food. The poor schmucks who are paying $200-$300 for individual seats have to make do with food I would not feed to my dog (if I had a dog).

    • Serious Gord

      A few months back a commenter with seasons tickets in the loge level said that the food quality was quite good the first season but had plummeted after that. (And his company wasn’t renewing)

      Me experience- admittedly anecdotal and limited – is that all Aramark run facilities have terrible food

      • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Aramark food can be horrible but it can be great (or reasonable) too. They’ve got tiers for ingredients and prep. I’ve been in a number of corporate spaces that have high-end Aramark food that’s been quite good–but I’ve also seen the prisoner of war versions of their grub. It all depends on what they pay for.

  • Oil4Lyfe

    I think Stroppel hit on a major point. And it underscores something bigger. We’ve been lied to. The arrogance of this organization, the resting on laurels, it’s absolutely ridiculous. They are so out of touch.

    The ingame experience is terrible. Here are a few points.

    1. The food. I’ve been to other arenas, such as the one in Toronto (whatever it’s called now) and they allow multiple franchises to offer food, not the prison garbage that Aramark serves. As Stroppel said, I wouldn’t feed that crap to my dog. The beer selection is embarrassing. And it’s such a stupid business model. How about cutting prices in half – people will then buy twice as much and actually be happy. How stupid.
    2. The experience is more about the music, and the videos, and the shopping mall atmosphere. It’s like a market in some third world country where hawkers are yelling at you the whole time. How about making it about .. . hockey? Maybe show highlights or a replay promptly? Not the Ryan Jespersen show or a constant pile of sh!t on the video screen.
    3. Speaking of Jespersen, if we’re not bombarded with commercials, we have that @ssclown screaming at us about . . . nothing. I feel like I’m in court in front of Roland Friesler. Youtube it if you want – I’m sure you’ll agree.
    4. The incentives this year – I’m a multi decade season ticket holder by the way – are pretty lame. Renewals should get a discount, a significant one. New ticket holders should get a discount. In other words, discounts all around.
    5. How about a recognition that this organization has royally f_cked up everything they’ve touched? From the Owner. From Nicholson. Someone. I know honesty isn’t a value anymore in our world, but maybe, just maybe, the Oilers could be ahead of the curve on that one by bringing back a once-valued human trait.

    I could go on and on . . . but I have to get to work so I can afford an 11 dollar discounted can of Pilsner and . . . BAAAAAAAAAAAAAA . . . renew my tickets for the 30th time.

    O4L

    • puckdrops

      This. I’ve been going to games for close to 30 years and this is as bleak an offseason i can remember, and we have the best player in the world.
      They need to change everything about the in-game experience. Get the crowd pumped up FFS. Forget the T-shirt toss crap, Change the music, show highlights, replays, hits. It’s the same thing every game. I find i would rather watch the game at home on TV more and more. What’s the incentive to buy anymore?
      I for one, will not spend another dime on tickets or merchandise until the team/ownership decides to give something back to the fans for putting up with the same BS for the last 20 years. It’s embarrassing.

    • Rick Stroppel

      In the last ten year I have been to games at MSG, The Bell Centre in Monteal, and the arenas in Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg. And Rogers Place of course. The food at Rogers place was easily the worst. ZERO healthy choices.

    • reidgm

      Best beer in the place is on the upper level, behind section 215 or so. Couple of offerings from Granville Island Brewery so not just usual garbage they offer elsewhere.

      • Ass Eatn Szn 69

        Six pints is the best place for beer, however Grandville island has been garbage ever since molson bought them. Cant wait for a few more years of dirty pipes, instead of heroine Canadians, we can get heroine IPA’s have a feeling these are going to come in around the 10% mark. Lol

  • Rick Stroppel

    Has anyone seen Darryl Katz at an Oilers hockey game in the last two years? Has anyone seen Darryl Katz in Edmonton in the last two years? What does that tell you?

    • I remember it was a big deal when Daryl Katz went to the Oilers-Rangers game earlier this season. Really? You show up to 1/82 games like you’re batman or something? Meanwhile Mark Cuban is literally sitting with his players behind the Mavericks bench wearing his Mavericks t-shirt and hassling the refs every game. Katz is an absolute joke

  • The future never comes

    I have little respect for people who renew their tickets. People citing “I dont want to lose them and I still have hope”. If you still have hope after missing 12 of 13 years and 3 of 4 years with the best player on earth, you my friend are a donkey.

  • WeekendatBernieMacs

    The entire experience at “No Frills Place” is embarrassing. The on ice product has nothing to do with my reason for not renewing. From the bland concession stands to the lack of washrooms to the tiny concourse on the second level is awful compared to every other stadium I have been to in pro sports. I expect to pay the big prices for food, drink, souvenirs as that’s just the way it is attending a pro sport arena, but at least put some effort and quality in to it all. I would much rather save my money here and spend it on a road trip to take my family and see a road game once a year.

  • Oiler Al

    Long time removed from the city,but always a fan.[still] Probably would be broke if I still lived there.
    Had a friend who was a VP of a movie chain, and he told me that 80% if their revenue came from concessions.Sports rely on concessions as well…to a lesser degree.Few years ago took my grandson to a Leafs/Oiler game in Toronto,kid almost fainted when he saw the price of 2 beefs on a bun/cokes were $35.
    Didn’t want to tell him the seats [corner reds] were $185 each.Not sure guys like Katz can relate to the working man blues.