The Vancouver Canucks are hoping that yesterday's announcement of Trevor Linden as their new president of operations will bring a welcome boost to their brand — and their sales of season tickets.
Though the deadline for season tickets was originally yesterday, the Canucks have extended that date. One of Linden's first acts in his new job was to send a letter to ticket holders urging them to renew.
Ticket brokers now say what was once the most expensive seat in the city, a ticket to a Canucks game, is now eminently affordable.
"You can probably get in for $50 guaranteed," says ticket broker Kingsley Bailey.
Bad for business
That's bad business news for a brand valued by Forbes at $700 million and, some say, still struggling to repair the damage done to their image following the 2011 Stanley Cup riot.
"Part of it is even a disconnect with the team management dating back to the riot. There wasn't the sort of accountability that people would like to have seen," notes sports business analyst Tom Mayenknecht.
For Mayenknecht at least, the second coming of former captain Trevor Linden is enough to make him reach for his chequebook.
"For me anyway, [it] was enough to make the commitment for one more year as a season ticket holder."
Will Linden turn the tide?
Jim Hughson, Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster thinks Linden's hiring will prove a shrewd move.
"Now here is a guy we trust, we have already loved," he says. "We may say bad things about him in a few years, but at least he repairs some of the bad things that have gone on."
But Bailey remains unimpressed.
"If they were going to come back and say, for next season we are going to drop our ticket prices by three per cent because we weren't happy with the season, you would have seen maybe 2000 more renewals."