I have been contemplating a few things that have come to my attention lately. These are things that I would love to discuss with Coyotes management, if I had the balls to talk to them. I may have to send another fan to do the dirty work. ;)
First off, I am a season ticket holder (further referred to as STH). You would think that I would get the best price on all tickets. Do I? No. There are some areas of the arena that if I want to sit there, I use my group sales rep because it is cheaper than the STH price. Why is this? Maybe I should go back to just buying group tickets. This is what I did my first year here but then I was mesmerized by all the "perks" STH get...
Which leads me to my next complaint...the perks seemed to have gone down hill every year since I have been here. I have also heard confirmed reports of this from STH who have been STH for quite some time (some for as long as the Coyotes have been here).
Last year we had a backstage pass, where after a game the STH would get to go downstairs and see the players come out. I liked it because I got to get autographs/photos of my coyotes and I also could see some of the other players from the NHL. This year the program has been changed so that only STH with more than one seat can go and you will only get to meet three randomly selected Coyotes players. I am going to end up meeting Jovo, Jokinen and Hale or some other player that I really don't care that much about or already have pic and an autograph. Rumor is the players didn't like the old way because they thought the fans were more excited to see the other teams players then to see them. Well, there were a couple of those but most people were there to see the Coyotes. I feel like this rumor may not be the whole truth.
Also, in years past the Coyotes have had meet and greets/player parties throughout the season at various places in the Valley. So far management has not mentioned player parties, not even dates. This is a good way for fans to interact with players (usually two players), get some autographs and win some prizes (sponsored by Bud Light). This would be a terrible thing to get rid of as the fans really enjoy it, it’s not just STH, and there always seems to be long lines. I have heard the players don't like it, but too bad. You get paid big bucks (some of it my hard earned money) so you can suck it up one time a year to meet some fans. You don't see them having a problem doing the golf thing...
Hopefully the coyotes will still do the game night with the coyotes, as it is a charity event. It seems like most of the guys have a good time with it, except JR because he was apparently too good for it.
Also, last year they gave out autographed jerseys and/or sticks to STH. This year we get a t-shirt. Yup, a t-shirt. And some people didn’t even get the postcard to “order” their t-shirt. Also in the past they have given out jerseys and plaques to mark Cujo’s wins (the plaque had a picture and a piece of the net). I know times are tough and they aren’t making any money but not making the effort to keep STH happy isn’t going to help.
Also last year the scratchers were much better than this year. Last year each scratch card would get you two free tickets to anywhere but the Toyota Club. This year you only win one free ticket. And they are all to games that were offered as “bonus nights” (will talk about this in the next paragraph). Also, I get one scratcher when I walk through the door. I saw (and know) some people who get a stack of scratchers. I asked my brother if he got one, and he said no. I told him he needs to get to the games earlier to get the scratchers because the people don’t follow their own rule of one per each guest. Also, the line to redeem them is a mile long (and they say on the ticket they have to be redeemed that night) so we were told the box office stays open an hour after the game. We decide to go put our names in at The Yardhouse and go back to redeem the tickets and the box office was closed. I am going to go on Monday and if they say I can’t redeem them, I will be calling and/or emailing my ticket rep. I am not going to miss the game waiting in line for a free ticket.
And lastly, I hate the bonus night. Last season we got vouchers to upgrade, which was really nice. It allowed those of us in the upper bowl to sit center ice or by the penalty box. It’s always nice to switch it up and see the game from another spot. This year there are no voucher upgrades. Instead we get bonus night. We got to pick three nights (from a pre-selected list) where we would get bonus tickets (you get one bonus ticket per seat on your account, so if you have two seats, you get two bonus tickets). Ok, nice thought. You can bring a friend or two to the game, introduce them to hockey right? Well problem is the bonus seats aren’t next to your seats. They said they would try to get them as close as possible. Well mine are a row back and a couple of seats over. I know people who aren’t even going to use their bonus tickets because they aren’t next to their seats.
Maybe the Coyotes need to actually listen to their fans. It might help and it definitely couldn’t hurt. I know you can’t please everyone but every issue I have brought up here seems to be the complaints of many. These reasons are really making me think about next season. With the economy as it is, I really need to think about where I am spending my money. Being able to see every home game is awesome, but I need to think about if this where I put a big chunk of my budget. This has nothing to do with the players, I will always be a fan of this team. But maybe I just need to watch from home and go to the games that aren't broadcast or maybe a partial/min plan would be better. I have a lot of time to think on this.