On Sunday before the game, a few season ticket holders (full season) met with John Davidson and another Front Office exec. David Bullock. He is Exec VP Chief Marketing officer. (originally from Tampa Bay Lightning).
The meeting started around 3:30, and went until about 4:15. Game Time was 5, so it was a short meeting.
(I wish they allowed another half hour and started the meeting at 3, but that is just me)
There were approx. 50-75 people in our meeting which was held in the bowels of the Drinkscotch center.
I understand through Juan, that there were other meetings through out the previous few games for other season ticket holders (full season) to break it up into smaller sessions, which I think was a great idea.
After the jump, I will BRIEFLY go over the topics and highlights of the meeting.
and now, a random picture:
JD didn't start by reading or using a scripted statement. He just said he appreciate us coming out and taking the time to meet with them. We are here to answer questions and listen to your thoughts and suggestions.
1st item up for bid?
ESCALATOR ! ! ! !
Yeah ! ! !
He understood our frustration, and gave this statement.
"There was litigation and investigations that kept us from repairing it for the longest time. After that was settled, they started trying to repair it. They discovered the parts needed were not available and had to be manufactured from scratch causing MORE delays."
The estimated time for repair is..... wouldn't you know it, just in time for the playoffs.... err.. late April, early May.
Next up, Ushers in the upper bowl.
He didn't say it was fixed or going to be fixed, but indicated that more were hired (I have noticed more, but still not in EVERY portal), It didn't seem like they were going to add one for every portal, but indicated the cutback was due to costs etc etc. (Me talking here, Now that they are selling out the majority of games, seems like cost isn't the factor anymore. Put one in EVERY portal. Period).
For the rest of the items, I can't remember the order of when they were discussed, but here they are:
This topic seemed to take the majority of the time during the town hall. So it was important to the audience as well as JD and his exec
The price point of the Mezz. row "A" versus row "B."
It seemed that over half the audience, myself included (a "B" row guy) were either Mezz. row "A" or "B." The price difference for my seat and the seat 2 feet closer to the ice is $10 per ticket per game. In other areas of the arena, there is an even bigger difference in price. (I heard $12).
They understood, but weren't going to change. They said the majority of OTHER sports teams, NHL included, also used a similar pricing structure. We kept talking about it. The consensus of the Row "A" patrons suggested a value added perk for paying the premium for season ticket holders. A hot dog and drink, or something similar was suggested. They actually seemed interested in helping make it a better value besides the premium seat factor.
JD said he walked around the arena from time to time looking at the seats, their prices, and the value of the seat. He said in all honesty, that the best seat in the house is Mezz. row "A." I do see that as being true. But again, just IMHO.
Security personnel in and around the Top Shelf area during sold out games, esp when they sell standing room only tickets, specifically during the Jan 2nd blackhawks (suck) game.
I think we all remember what a cluster that game was. Although, I didn't see, or hear, about any fights in the stands. Ah.. the glory days of the rivalry (personal note, I hate the hawks, but I have much stronger negative feelings towards the "other" rival team, the team that shall not be named in this post. oh, but I do get to say, FUCK detroit.)
The main issue is crowd control and behavior of the fans in the area.
I am going to leave this topic, sorry.
The free food day.
We, as season ticket holders, and I would guess, most SLGT folks, agree that now that fans are back, we don't need to have the free food day. JD mentioned that it costs in the 100s of thousands of dollars to have it.
(he specifically mentioned that cost of putting it on by BUYING food for everyone, and LOSING money on people that are not NOT buying food. (separate topic can and won't be discussed there regarding concessions etc).
We, the STHs all agreed that we don't need, nor "like" the free food day and want what we really need for this team.
the one a piece of the puzzle we are missing, a sniper.
Well, don't we always say we need one.?
I listened to the yada yada yada about how few there are and how much they are etc etc.
He does make good points here. But I think we all know them, so I will spare you.
I would be shocked if you didn't know that the cap is going up by about 1.5 to 2 mil pre team.
We are under the cap, ovbviously. It was asked what we can do to improve the team. The sniper, above, was brought up again. But I said almost under my breath that we should get a number one goaltender. The dozen or so people that were sitting round me heard me and chuckled pretty good in agreement.
But alas, NO ONE brought up goaltending. Just the sniper. (no, they didn't call on me when I had my hand raised.)
They have decided to eliminate all reference and support of any non official Blues message boards, including SBN.
OK, I kid.
The Blues are ordering and receiving brand spankin new boards and glass for the DrinkScotch Center.
Yes, they are replacing the 12 year old, deader than a doornail, boards here at home.
(I regret not finding out if it is going to be seamless glass, or if they are keeping it more of what we already have.)
UFAs and RFAs.
I am not one that reads people well or can "read between the lines." But I did NOT get the impression that the Blues were in interested in resigning PK or KT.
Throughout the afternoon's meeting, JD kept mentioning Perron, Johnson as being the young core of players yada yada yada, along with Backes. But JD never did mention Oshie. Interesting. David Bullock mentioned Oshie a few times though.
New STH were getting perks the old and backbone didn't get nothin.
It was brought up that the STHs that pay year after year aren't getting too many perks versus 1st time STHs that are getting the specials. (Paul Kariya autographed jersey was specifically mentioned.). They new we were aggravated at that, but kept saying we needed to draw in more and fill the building etc etc. One person actually had a great idea of offering "older STHs" a drawing/lottery for a cool item such as a jersey or something else for like 100 to 200 STHs.
At least offer SOMETHING extra for sticking with the team during the tough times.
Overall ticket prices are in the bottom third of the league. yada yada...
No more details here except they understand our frustration at the increase etc etc. They did mention that there was a "freeze" last year and they can be "looked at" like an increase over two years at half a year increase. Yada yada...
The Blues have done a tremendous job at getting more perks for STHs of late than before. This year we got the MacInnis Statue, a Blues blanket (or throw). We also had access to the Winter Carnival, and of course, the Town halls this year. This is on top of all the other Blues activities put on throughout the year such as Casino night, breakfast with the Blues etc etc. They said the Blues were among the leaders in the sport with Player access and availability. (and I agree, they do a GREAT job with that and supporting the community).
A fan mentioned worries that so much extra activities were wearing the players down. They said they monitor the players closely and it wasn't an issue. (which I have my OWN opinion about, but that is what THEY said).
plenty of a few OTHER topics discussed, but the topics listed above were the highlights and more important ones that I paid attention to remember.
I wanted to ask three questions, but didn't get picked:
1) Do they blame Sweden
2) Getting a number one goalie for more than one year in a row.
3) Any interest or considerations in bringing the Rivermen to St. Louis DrinkScotch Center for a game or two a year. Perhaps as a double header to a Blues game. A Sunday afternoon Rivermen game followed by an evening Blues game would be awesome. Or is it just me?
I would LOVE to hear about any other STHs experience with town halls they went to. Please share.
Thanks for reading. Sorry this isn't up to the SLGT writers quality, but I thought you would appreciate the content more than the presentation etc etc.