UPDATE: Bucky's 5th Quarter spoke with Intersport communications director Lauren Price who informed us that there will be additional price points for tickets. For more information, read this article.
Wisconsin hockey season ticket holders were treated to a rather rude surprise when they checked their inboxes Wednesday. The UW athletic department sent out an e-mail with information regarding tickets for the Hockey City Classic outdoor game in Chicago.
If the Hockey City Classic organizers goal was to sell out Soldier Field on February 17th when Wisconsin will play Minnesota, and Notre Dame will play Miami, they need a reality check.
Included in the e-mail was the cost. According to the e-mail:
Tickey prices for the Hockey City Classic at Soldier Field are $65 and $75. Price levels for the Hockey City Classic will be assigned based on annual giving levels, priority points within giving levels, and in the best judgement of the UW Athletic Department.
And that's just the special price for Wisconsin season ticket holders (they have from September 7th through September 17th to order exclusively). There's no guarantee that when public tickets go on sale that the cost isn't higher.
Update: I spoke with Paul Rovnak,
The price is a slap in the face to the average middle class hockey family that had planned on bringing an entire family to the event. Instead of making the event a celebration of the game in 'Hockey City' (seriously though, does anyone think of Chicago as hockey city?) they've decided to turn this into a corporate priced event.
Judging by the brief reaction on twitter and message boards, the ticket price is going over like a lead balloon with college hockey fans.
Many die hard Badger hockey fans have already made it known that they are not happy about the ticket prices, and with the added hassle of the game taking place in Chicago, they don't plan on making the trip. Keep in mind that these are the same people that traveled to Green Bay for the outdoor game at Lamebeau in 2006, and the outdoor game at Camp Randall in 2010.
Obviously the organizers of the event are planning on four large fan bases packing Soldier Field. And while it's true that the four schools involved have large alumni bases in Chicago, how many people do you think will make the six and a half hour drive from Minneapolis, or the four and a half hour drive from Oxford to pay $75 a seat to watch hockey in a football stadium where you're so far away from the puck you need binoculars?
Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of this event. I'm excited to cover the event live for Bucky's 5th Quarter. Wisconsin vs Minnesota should be an outstanding game, and outdoors at Soldier Field is very cool.
But the outdoor game appeal is wearing off for a lot of fans. Like I mentioned, this is the third outdoor game that Wisconsin has participated in since 2006. They sold 40,000 tickets at Lambeau, and just 55,000 at Camp Randall when the game was IN Madison.
Tickets for Camp Randall were just $25 for the general public, and $10 for students. Tickets for Lambeau were $24 for adults, $16 for students, and $14 for children (under 12).
I truly had high hopes for this event, and thought it should be a slam dunk sell out with four outstanding college hockey programs facing off in a double header.
At this point I'm just hoping they sell enough tickets that the event doesn't embarrass the programs involved.
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