British Columbia

Vancouver Canucks tickets still going cheap despite customer service rebrand

Lobster rolls, gourmet hot dogs and a new selection of beer are on offer - but is it enough to get fans flocking to Rogers Arena?

So far this season, average attendance at Rogers Arena is the lowest since the 2002-2003 season

Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack, of Sweden, reacts after giving up a goal to Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog in the third period of the Avalanche's 7-3 victory on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (David Zalubowski/The Associated Press)

A pair of seats for the Montreal Canadiens' only visit of the year to Vancouver have long been one of the hardest tickets to get your hands on.

But as the Vancouver Canucks open the doors to Rogers Arena for the fifth time this season a lot has changed. Their 10-year sell out streak is over and the organization is trying to figure out ways to win back fans.

That includes letting go nearly 1,000 Aramark employees and hiring their own team, rebranding their customer service, with new offerings including lobster rolls, gourmet hot dogs and a new selection of beer.

There is definitely an improvement over cardboard pizza- Mike Spicer, Vancouver Canucks fan

The changes weren't a coincidence. They have all come under new team president Trevor Linden, giving some fans hope for the future.

"Everything Trevor Linden touches turns to gold," Canucks fan Gage Marchand told our reporter Richard Zussman as he headed into the arena.

"I think it was needed," said fellow fan Mike Spicer, also on the way to the game, who recounted his experience of the arena's new food options.

"It was the first time I tried to eat something at Rogers Arena since last year and there is definitely an improvement over cardboard pizza."

Low attendance despite food, ticket offers

But even with Linden at the helm there have been early struggles. So far this season, the average attendance at Rogers Arena is the lowest since the 2002-2003 season.

The team has found it hard to draw fans to mid-week games and ticket brokers say prices are 40 per cent less than they were three years ago.

Indeed, some fans are now able to pick up tickets from scalpers for as little as $30 for some games.

"I think they are trying, I don't think they are being so successful, right now. I think they have a lot of potential to," said fan Sheila Ancheta, who despite it all, was still off to the game.

The Canucks meanwhile are being patient and continue to run ad campaigns to sell ticket packages. But for many fans, only one thing will bring them back to the ice: winning.

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