November 12, 2008
There are clearly two different ways professional sports franchises are dealing with the recession and its effect on ticket sales. You have teams like the New Jersey Nets of the NBA giving free tickets and job search assistance to unemployed fans, and teams like the NHL's St. Louis Blues that are opting to give $4,000 of mortgage money to one lucky fan at 11 home games.
That's all very nice in a weepy, "Extreme Home Makeover" way. We prefer teams that want to help you drink your worries away.
Atlanta Thrashers/Hawks: Fans attending Atlanta Thrashers/Hawks games at Phillips Arena can purchase 64 oz. adult beverages for approximately $8 in the food court area of the adjoining CNN Center.
What a wonderful idea: Baryshnikov-inspired dancing, discussing Dostoyevsky ... oh, wait, it's just a postgame party with Alexander Frolov, Igor Larionov and "Two Premium Russian Vodka Drinks." Wonder if there's an "American Heritage Night" in the KHL, with "Two Premium Jim Beams."
Fighting and booze. It's the lifeblood of hockey. And it might just get us through this economic downturn yet. Now we just need the Tampa Bay Lightning to bring back the unlimited-beer-for-season-ticket-down-payments offer.