(HockeyStL) -- The Blues announced Thursday that ticket prices will be increased for the 2012-2013 season. The Blues currently have the 5th lowest average ticket price in the NHL at $40.34. According to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post Dispatch, the Blues were planning on raising ticket prices regardless of whether or not they made the playoffs.
Dave Checketts and his company (SCP Worldwide) were tasked with bringing back Blues fans to Scottrade Center after the NHL underwent a lockout in 2005. Checketts took over the Blues in June of 2006, and was forced to lower ticket prices to bring back the fans that had lost interest in hockey due to the lockout. Checketts did a wonderful job marketing and rebuilding the team and as a result, the Blues are now selling out the majority of their home games. But the low ticket prices are hurting the Blues financially.
The Blues are currently searching for an owner, and it appears minority Tom Stillman is willing to purchase the Blues from Checketts and a deal could be done in the very near future. Stillman will not make a profit from the team immediately, and understands that this will be a huge undertaking, but he remains focused on purchasing the team and stabilizing the Blues financially. In order to do this, the price of tickets must increase and while this may anger fans, it has to be done in order for the Blues to become financially stable.
According to Jeremy Rutherford, the Blues are implementing a 9.8-percent “blended” increase for next season. The increase will not apply to all seating sections, and as the word “blended” implies, some sections will increase more than others.
It is impossible to fault the Blues for making this decision, and fans will come to realize that this increase was a necessary one for the Blues to make. The increase is not substantial, and is also not enough to stabilize the team’s finances, but for now it is the maximum increase the club could implement in the tough economic times.
The Blues currently lead league in points and could clinch a playoff spot on Thursday, so it would be surprising to see fans overreact to this small increase in pricing.