Ticket-price story

Here’s the story I wrote for today’s paper, about the Kings’ season-ticket pricing and their general financial woes.

Kings announce ticket price hikes, say they’re not just losing on the ice

As I said earlier, I have a ton of quotes from Lombardi, Robitaille and McGowan, about these subjects and a few others. As soon as I’m confident that things are working OK with the blog, I’ll start posting. Don also has a “10 questions” with Jim and Daryl ready to go, as well as some great prospect evaluations. So stay tuned!

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  • Anonymous

    “Wow, I can’t believe how much tickets are in Dallas.We’re lucky in L.A”

    Lucky! Really? Dallas has won a Cup, and appears ready to win another. Lucky! We suck, but hey, Dallas pays more to see a winning product. PLEASE AIG, sell the Kings to an ownership that cares and lease them the building so you can steal bleed L.A. fans. I feel so lucky that I’m going to go watch other teams in the playoffs play for the Cup that I just have to pinch myself…what a joke this team is…

  • anthony

    I guess I’m stupid enough to pay for these seats.

    Hopefully, the team won’t end up 29th or 28th place.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting read, Rich. Thanks.

    Any mention of a draft party for Kings fans, and any plans to interview Dean shortly before the draft?

  • Mark

    I’ve only been a season ticket holder for 2 years and I really don’t have a problem with ticket price increase but there’s just something wrong with management. They’re more secret about their work than the government. If you’re going to hike ticket prices the least they can do is make the GM more active with the community. I don’t mean that he has to shake everyone’s hand. Just something simple as trying to market the team by doing more television interviews and using that “FREE MARKETING” tool to make more people know that LA isn’t on life support. The NHL is an awesome game to show up to but once the game is over the sport is non existant in LA. It’s sad to say but we need a Brian Burke type of GM who’s going to be open about their team and expectations.

  • Tito Jackson

    Those top 5 rows are going to suck if you are on the sides with all of the people getting up to get their 11th hot dog.
    “Kings Target Poor With Season of Obesity.”

  • nekroman

    I guess they have to find a way to pay for all the bad pick ups last summer and for Cloutier buy out.

  • MstrB

    On the cheap seats, did you mean $12 to $10? I sat in the Die Hard Seats (since they were the Dave Taylor Die Hard Seats) and they were orginally $10, then last season were increased to $12, I would assume the Die Hards are the one’s going back to $10.

  • ryan oliver

    Who didnt see this coming? Sucks for the people in LA, but every year, almost every team raises ticket prices. People will bitch, but its called inflation. And if the owners continue to lose money, then they will not resign Kopitar, JJ, Sully, etc.

  • Bill

    Technically Rich, your numbers aren’t correct for the cheap seats. This past year the season seats were at $12 per game, not $11. If you believe the picture taken of the 2008-2009 season seat plan which can be found on other message boards, they’ve dropped the price to $11 for the “die hard” sections.

  • El Guapo

    When the LA faithful continue to fill Staples year after year, even with a horrendous on-ice product, I think it really sucks they’re going to raise prices on us. The article said it- they’re losing b/c they haven’t had playoff revenue in years. Fix that first!

  • Jerry Bruckheimer

    If AEG is truly losing money as they say they are, then sell the freakin’ team already and get the hell out of L.A. Raising prices after that last season from hell is beyond defensible. No wonder Anschutz is getting bashed every Saturday in the Times’ letter section. The more I think about it, a dunk tank seems like a grand idea!

  • Anonymous

    “We’re Luck in LA”?

    Who is this clown? Did someone remind him that Dallas actually plays good hockey?

    Nothing better than to raising ticket price for last place hockey, then to make a comment like that.

  • Buck

    “We have to run a better business.” NO, YOU HAVE TO WIN! Then all of this price gouging would be somewhat justifiable.

    I think their rhetoric sucks too. Bottom line? Crappy product, increase price for said crappy product, equals f’you to the fans.

    Thanks Kings.

  • Garrett

    They average like 90% capacity at Staples and have one of the lowest payrolls in the NHL, so how can they possibly be losing money?

    Is someone embezzling that money? Because honestly, I can’t see how you lose that much when you spend so little and have so much revenue in ticket sales already.

  • Anonymous

    For the first time ever, I actually HOPE the Kings lose money and fans. “Below inflation”… Luc, you didn’t just say that did you?

    OK, here’s an Econ 101 lesson for you Lucky.. Food, Clothes, $4.00 a gallon for fuel…. NECESSITIES!!

    Watching the worst team in the league disappoint us season in and season out when I can spend less money at a movie or dinner or any number of other things in the town… NOT SUCH A NECESSITY.

    Inflation is driven by a number of factors Luc. Try looking at the Consumer Price Index once in a while. It actually IS your job to make coming to a game affordable to compensate for the $10 it costs me just to get to a game in GAS ALONE (Forget Parking and all the other things you people jack up the price for in that building).

    Don’t tell me I’m lucky I live in LA because the Stars charge more… If I’m so lucky why do I still get to listen to idiot Duck fans who like to throw in my face the fact that in about a third of the time the Kings have been in existence, those friggin Ducks won the whole thing! Oh yeah, We’re lucky alright… We pay $4.00 per gallon for unleaded here, wonder what they pay for it in DALLAS (Where all the f’n Crude is!!!).

    Typically dumb, uneducated comments from Kings Management. Just shut up and ice a team worth a damn and stop justifying your mindless price raising. The fans will tell you if it’s worth it or not by buying them or not. I, for one, will not for a long, long time.

  • SS

    I’m not sure how much good the price increase will do for their financial situation. If they increase prices 5.66% and end up with 5.66% less tickets sold then they haven’t really accomplished anything.

    The LA area is big enough and rich enough to fill the building at twice the prices they are charging now. They just need to put a winning team on the ice.

  • Quattro

    wow, Mark, I could not disagree more with your comments about Lombardi being “secretive”. I have never seen a executive in any major sport who is more open about his strategy and future plans than DL. Have you ever been to a Breakfast with the GM? He discusses in great detail his reasons for making various decisions and his philosophies and strategies for building the team. I am blown away by how open he is.

  • kyle

    Agree with some of the sentiments but not the vitriol…I’m about to sign up for my 20th year as a season seat holder, and I don’t like paying more for seats than anyone else on this site. That being said, if paying extra means signing young talent for years so we have a top-level team with a core that will be together for the long haul, I’ll write the check. Just don’t tell me I’m lucky not to live in Dallas. I knew that already, but at least that city’s team is still playing hockey in May. Tell me you’re using the money to pay and keep top notch talent, and then follow through with the promise. This is the first time in decades we have the chance as a franchise to build from within with youth and with a predictable financial structure (via the CBA). Let’s get it right this time, and the banners will follow.

  • metalmaster

    Here is a novel concept-
    keep prices the same and
    actually REBUILD the team
    by playing youth instead of
    signing a bunch of FA’s to
    overinflated contracts with
    NTCS. You don’t need to pay
    Blake 12 million for two
    years to finish at the very
    bottom of the NHL.
    Someone was going to have to pay for Cloutier and the other blunders made.Who
    did you think it was going to be?

  • Daniel

    “We have to run a better business.”

    Like, building an arena in Kansas City before you have a pro franchise to fill it?

    Like, not marketing your team to the extent the Lakers and Dodgers do?

  • Jon G

    I’d like to know what the Kings’ financial performance looks like without rent expense. Any rent paid by the Kings goes right back into AEG’s pocket as owner of Staples Center.

    The right way to look at it is to see how much higher or lower AEG’s profits would have been last year if the Kings had not existed. I believe this would paint an entirely different picture of the Kings as a business venture.

  • Anonymous

    These explanations are a load of crap. I was on the fence on whether to renew my seats. Thanks Kings management(or lack of) for helping with my decision.


  • Irish Pat

    If the Kings lose 8-10 million per year why on earth did they sign such high priced free agents? Handzus, Nagy, Stuart, Calder, Preissing and Aubin= 17.2 million and last place in the Western Conference. I completely get the whole “bridge and builders” thing, but couldn’t they just have signed lamer/cheaper bridges like Willsie ($900,000) and gotten the same results this year thereby not jacking the ticket prices up? Lame. Hey Dean, Mike York is a free agent this summer and only made a million last season… wait, let me put away the sarcasm. I don’t want to throw any ideas like that out there.

  • David

    Jerry Bruckheimer, please rescue this dismal franchise! Make Philip Anschutz an offer he can’t refuse and then take an active interest in the team!!

  • Vahe

    Jeez…Imagine if the Kings ever make the playoffs, the ticket proces will go up 20% in the next season

  • Anonymous

    AEG is in the business of
    making money and you can bet that they are still
    turning a profit no matter
    what the say. As long as
    they have a building that
    is 90% full they have no
    real incentive to improve
    the team on the ice. Kings
    are Clippers on skates.

  • Sylmar Slasher

    1,200 fewer sales per game?
    OK, average price, of, say $200 a pop, and you got a loss figure of $9,840,000.

    The Loser List (courtesy DL)
    -Cloutier’s $3.1 Mil
    -Handzus’s $4 Mil
    -Blake’s $6 Mil
    -McCauleys $2 Mil
    -Nagy’s $3.75 Mil
    -Lubo’s $5 Mil next season
    -Calder’s $2.75 Mil

    Total: $25,600,000.

    Seems to me the Kings owe the fans a ticket reduction package of $15,760,000.

    Of course, the Kings could simply dock Lombardi’s paychecks until that amount is recouped. And at this rate and performance level, that’ll be about the same amount of time required for DL’s rebuilding effort to be complete.

  • Tito Jackson

    Perhaps we should spare the expense of adding a blimp or ice girls next season. The best value I can get for my ticket is a winning team, not the bubble cam or fan bowling. I’ve been to games where the sumo hockey gets more cheers than the 3 periods. Whats up with that?

  • No Twitter marketing!? What’s with you man! It’s a MUST in marketing

  • Love the blog…people are missing out not using Twitter more often!

  • Thanks for the post! People are crazy for not using more Twitter.

  • How can I buy plane tickets a year in advance? There is a conference that I know I want to attend a year from now. I wanted to reserve plane tickets as early as possible to get a good rate and the tickets that I want. Is there a way to procure plane tickets this far in advance? All the flight search engines I have tried do not sell tickets that far in advance. Thanks.