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Commentary and Storm Advisory for February 1: NHL News, Rumors, Links and Daily Roundup

Thoughts on the lower bowl promotion - and there is such a thing as a free lunch.

Jamie Kellner

Wherefore Art Thou STMs

I’m starting today’s roundup with a short commentary. This was posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, and was a reaction to the lower-bowl promotion at Tuesday’s game, but in light of my story yesterday about the recent ticket promotions I thought it was worth posting for those who may not have seen it on Twitter.

I’ve heard from a good number of STMs, almost all of whom sit downstairs, that are feeling like they’re left holding the bag here over the last few months. Keep in mind, I’m the guy that three months ago argued for something creative like a general admission night, which is essentially what Tuesday night was.

So the problem isn’t with the promotion; it’s with the STMs whose last payment came out in December and January and are being severely undercut now. These are the people who have been the Canes’ bedrock of support over the past 10 mostly forgettable years. The very least the Canes can do is offer real cash, in some form, back to them. Not vouchers; not experiences; dollar bills in hand (or, at the very least, a credit toward next season’s tickets).

Raleigh is a unique place, and not many corporations spend money on tickets here. These are individuals, and it’s a big part of their budget. I know; I was one of them once upon a time. I remember annually figuring out if I could afford a seat (and in the el cheapo seats to boot - section 332 back in the $9 days!).

Related: anyone want to see my credit card debt?

Was it worth it? Absolutely. And I want to see the building full as much as anyone. But the optics of this are not good if you’ve sunk tens of thousands of dollars into the organization for years on years.

The promotion isn’t the issue; the issue is that the tickets are too damn expensive in the first place. And fixing that problem is a good and noble cause, and one that I fully support. But it can’t come at the expense of loyal customers who have made, in some cases, significant personal sacrifices to meet those inflated prices.

There’s got to be a way to make these people whole. It might be a minority of a minority, and I get that. But those people are important too, and the least the Canes can do is to do right by them. If that means figuring out cash refunds, ticket credits, or whatever else, then do it. Fix the problem; don’t wallpaper it over and hope it holds.

From what I can tell, no one anywhere on Canes social media is arguing that this promotion shouldn’t have happened. I’m in that camp myself. It should happen! It’s a brilliant idea, and look at the buzz it created.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem of how to do right by existing ticket holders. That’s where the disconnect is, not with the upstairs hoi polloi suddenly infiltrating the lower bowl. And it’s embarrassing that folks are being called out for voicing their entirely valid concerns.

I can’t speak to every individual fan’s preference. But neither can anyone else. And if someone feels like the Canes are pulling a fast one on them, then that’s on the Canes to fix, and other fans shaming them on social media is a damn terrible way to maintain a fan base.

There’s space here for both being excited for new ideas and not wanting your money to be flushed down the toilet. Why can’t we just agree on that instead of inventing strawman arguments that do nothing but cause unnecessary headaches and turmoil?

Reading Assignments

  • OK, time to jump off the soapbox. If you are ever thinking that there is no such thing as a free lunch, the Canes’ massage therapist would like a word. [Hurricanes]
  • Some teams made out like bandits in the expansion draft process, and some teams are the Florida Panthers. Where did the Canes check in? [Sportsnet]
  • Mike Fisher apparently decided that he’d had enough of sitting at home, so he’s on his way back, signing a one-year deal with the Predators through the end of the season. [Predators]
  • HASHTAG TRENDING, courtesy of the Canes: