Honda Center freezing prices in 2009-10. Update.

The Ducks are making plenty of sacrifices off the ice to weather the economic downturn, one that’s affected attendance not just at Honda Center but at sports venues around the country. Most of these sacrifices were invisible, up until to Monday’s announcement that prices on tickets, concessions and parking would remain frozen for the 2009-10 season.

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.”

This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *