The freeze encompasses all single-game and season tickets to Ducks home games, as well as group-ticket packages, food and beverages in the arena, and parking.
“I think that it’s something we started to talk about three months ago,” said Tim Ryan, the Ducks’ executive vice president and chief operating officer. “What we wanted to get out was that we’re all rolling in this boat together, as it relates to these challenging economic times.”
Several major-league sports franchises have announced similar pricing freezes in recent months, but few have encompassed both individual, season, and group ticket fares. For the second straight year, Ducks season tickets will begin at $10.50 per game ($472.50 for the entire season), individual game tickets will start at $18.50, and every ticket will be subject to a $1.50 arena facility fee.
Behind the scenes, Ryan said that “every department” in the organization has been asked to shed 10 percent of its operating expenses this season, resulting in a net savings of about $1 million. The Ducks have also scrimped by not replacing two of the six employees who have left since the season began, though none have been laid off.
“So far, it hasn’t affected operations,” Ryan said.
The Ducks’ streak of consecutive home sellouts ended at 78 in October, and roughly 10 percent of the 17,174 seats at Honda Center seem to be empty on a regular basis. In terms of tickets sold, Ryan said the team is playing to 95 percent capacity, while paid attendance and gross receipts have actually improved in 2008-09.
Some fans have already renewed their season-ticket plans, but Ryan said the organization won’t have an accurate forecast of how many will sell until June.
“I think that hockey fans are one of the most loyal parts of humanity,” he said. “They’re passionate, they have stuck by this team in good times and bad, both on and off the ice. By freezing prices, our owners and (CEO) Michael Schulman are sending the message it’s a fan-first policy.”