CBJ Tickets Sales

A follow-up here to my earlier post and a few comments to other bloggers.

Yes, the CBJ sent players to baseball games in Cincinnati and Cleveland, but that had more to do with FSN Ohio in the case of Cincinnati.  You see, if you’re Fox Sports, you have two marquis attractions, the Cavaliers and the Blue Jackets.  The Cavs without LeBron are going to draw a few hundred viewers on a good night while in Cincinnati and Cleveland, the Blue Jackets will draw about the same.  FSN has a lot invested in these two teams and they are going to have a very hard time selling commercials.

As for Cleveland, it makes sense to promote the CBJ in that market because it is a large hockey market.  Sorry Columbus, but the road to youth hockey success does go through Cleveland after it winds through Toledo.  If I were the Jackets, I would put together a unique ticket promotion for Cleveland (and Toledo) area fans.  Tie it to something local, like a Cleveland area restaurant.

Regarding the local economy, it no doubt has hurt ticket sales for Columbus.  But I don’t see the Jackets doing any marketing to overcome a bad economy.  Most restaurants changed their pricing to convince people to eat out.  I know the Jackets will probably do something with Pepsi and Giant Eagle again, but the trouble is they wait until November before they act.  If I was Mike Priest, I would make damn sure that opening night was sold out, a positive experience for the fans and the team.  But I don’t have his background in accounting or lease negotiations.

Finally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to trash attendance at Reds games.  The unemployment rate is nearly a full percentage point higher in Cincinnati compared to Columbus.  And we know how tough things are in Cleveland.  Nobody came to Clippers’ games this season, either.  So be nice and remember that the Jackets are Ohio’s team.


4 responses to “CBJ Tickets Sales

  1. I appreciate your thoughts and, seeing as I’m the only person that I know of to comment on the Indians & Reds appearances in the context of the season ticket “bombshell” (actually, a delayed bomb as we’ve known about this issue for 2 months), I’ll attempt a response.

    First, the point of my blog piece, Canaries in the coal mine, was to suggest that the team alone was not responsible for the drop in season tickets – that the state of the Ohio economy is such that ALL major league sports are feeling the pinch and can not be overlooked. The Reds example was simply graphic proof of my assertion. I actually had planned to include the Indians appearance as well, but Blogger wouldn’t let me put two different NHL.com embedded videos in the same post. The link to the Indians within my post, however, shows the video in question…and attendance was no better in Cleveland. So sure, the CBJ should be identified as Ohio’s pro hockey team…and Ohio as a whole has a problem as it relates to pro sports attendance. That’s all I was trying to say. (And then I extrapolated beyond Ohio to the entire country, but the Columbus-Cleveland-Cincinnati dynamic is the point of your discussion.)

    I absolutely agree that if the CBJ want to resurrect ticket sales in this lousy economy, they’re going to have to get very, very creative. I like your Cleveland tie-in.

    I think they also should have leaned on the AHL to make sure that the Lake Erie Monsters host the Springfield Falcons at least once or twice this season — and then make a big deal out of it in Cleveland. It stands, the only time the two teams could meet is in the playoffs.

    I’m glad that you’re still posting on the Blue Jackets. I enjoy your blog and was worried that one of the more interesting writers out there (you) was giving up!

  2. DBJ, I had you in mind, but a lot of people are trashing Cincinnati these days. Rob Oller took a mild shot this morning in his column, but then Rob takes a shot at anything that doesn’t have a block O on it. And then there are the comments on Puck-Rakers. These people live to show the world their ignorance.

    I am frustrated that the CBJ organization won’t wake up. Or maybe they know the nightmare that is in the dreams of local hockey fans is real. But there is a train wreck coming and it is not going to be survivable.

    I read your blog all the time and enjoy. Now if we can get Sarah at Neutral Zone Trap to start writing again, hockey blogging in Columbus would be complete.

  3. TS – I’m glad to see that you’re still in the ether, commenting on the CBJ. I’ve missed your acerbic wit and snarkiness.

    I also believe that the marketing that I’ve seen here in Columbus leaves much to be desired. It’s been the same since I moved here in 2004. And, really, I’m still not impressed. Not that I’m a marketing guru, but I would have to say that the CBJ really needs to not only think “outside the box”, but LOOK “outside the box”. Be bold. Make a splash. Try something new.

    I just wanted to add my two cents.

  4. Rick and DBJ, thanks for commenting and reading my blog. My mother must have called you, too.

    Anyway, it’s going to be a different season to blog since I don’t have my PSL’s anymore. This is my final year of officiating and I’m going to take as many assignments as I can, so I would miss a lot of CBJ hockey anyway. It will give me a different perspective, not seeing the games in person.

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